Radar technology has long been in use for collision-avoidance and adaptive cruise control features in cars. In motorcycles, however, this feature has only recently made its debut. With premium European machines such as the Ducati Multistrada V4 and KTM 1290 Super Adventure making use of radar for enhanced safety and comfort-oriented features.
Up to this point, we have yet to see radar technology incorporated into any Japanese motorcycle. This may soon be about to change, as patents reveal Kawasaki’s plans of including radar to the extensive features of the upcoming Ninja H2 SX sport-tourer. Not only will this be a first for Japanese bikes, but the way Kawasaki has fitted the radar system, particularly in the rear of the Ninja H2 SX, is particularly interesting, and can certainly serve as a benchmark for future models from other manufacturers. Spoiler alert: you may soon find it difficult to fit an aftermarket tail tidy on your bike.
At the front of the bike, it’s clear to see where the Bosch-supplied radar unit will be fitted—right below the redesigned LED headlight. In the rear, however, things get a bit stealthier, and Kawasaki’s designers and engineers certainly had many meetings to finalize the design. At a glance, the rear-facing radar unit is very well concealed, and can’t easily be spotted by the untrained eye. The rear-facing radar has in fact been concealed inside the bike’s license plate holder.
In an article by Cycle World, we get a detailed glimpse on how the rear radar unit is mounted onto the 2022 Ninja H2 SX. The holder itself is made of three sections—the frame, turn signal assembly, and the radar unit. Upper and lower covers conceal the entire assembly and make it look like one solid unit. To keep things lightweight, Kawasaki hasn’t used simple steel or aluminum for the license plate holder which doubles as the rear radar housing. Instead, it has made use of a metal and glass fiber composite material to give the tail section rigidity, while keeping it lightweight.
The upper cover, which itself conceals the radar and all electronic connections, has been carefully molded and constructed out of a material that does not impede the radar unit’s field of view. Likewise, the lower cover of the tail section serves as protection for the wires which connect to the turn signals and the radar unit. The entire assembly is enclosed with a waterproof seal which is designed to protect the delicate electronics from the elements.
Clearly, the upcoming Ninja H2 SX features what could quite possibly be one of the most sophisticated tail sections we’ve ever seen on any bike. It’s more than likely that when Kawasaki releases the 2022 Ninja H2 SX, that people won’t be hacking the bike’s tail off and fitting an eBay-sourced tail tidy. That is, of course, until aftermarket manufacturers figure out a way to integrate the built-in radar system with their bike-specific tail tidies.