The Kawasaki Ninja H2 R has held the title of fastest production motorcycle since it was released back in 2015. You’d think that this much power, 300 ponies, to be exact, would be enough for even the most extreme of speedfreaks. As it would turn out, this isn’t the case, and people have been modifying and upgrading Ninja H2 Rs all over the world to have them eke out more power, and subsequently achieve death-defying speeds on them.
The latest of the Ninja H2 R speedfreaks comes to us all the way from New Zealand. Scott Wilkins, from Tauranga, a coastal city in New Zealand, recently set a record-breaking speed on Goudies Road near Reporoa. His ultimate record was at 364.5 kilometers per hour—that’s 226.5 miles per hour—on a one-way run. Since speed records are recorded in two-way stints, his final record was 358.4 kilometers per hour, or 222.7 miles per hour. Both of his runs broke the New Zealand Land Speed Association’s one-way and two-way speed records.
Scott Wilkins and his family started kicked off their land speed record-breaking dreams back in 2017, when they purchased the Kawasaki Ninja H2 R in stock form. With 267 horsepower out of the factory, the bike was already fast, and Wilkins achieved a top speed of 330.5 kilometers per hour, or 205.3 miles per hour, during the Cliffhanger Speed Trials in Masterton.
After his first run with the bike, he and the team have been tweaking various elements of the machine—from aerodynamics, ECU tuning, and combining a whole array of setups to eke out just a tad more power and efficiency. At the end of it all, they were able to bump up the Ninja’s power to a staggering 350 horsepower at the crank, 303 of which made their way to the back wheel.
In a story published by New Zealand motorsports website Velocity News, Mike Wilkins, Scott’s father, recounted the arduous process in developing the bike, as well as realizing the land speed record dream. “We needed a machine that had the engineering strength to absorb the power increase we gave it.” Indeed, you may have the fastest bike in the world, but all of that is meaningless if you don’t have a pilot with the skills to boot, and of course, balls of steel. “We also needed a rider who has the courage and skills to ride the bike at that speed on a five-meter-wide country road – who else but my son Scott. I am so proud of him,” added Mike.
On the day of the speed record, several other riders tried to set their own records. Four other bikes were able to break the 200 mile-per-hour barrier—a Kawasaki ZX-10R, another Ninja H2 R, as well as a pair of Suzuki Hayabusas. Following the new speed record, it is said that Scott Wilkins intends to retire from land speed racing. He is, however, very much involved in the New Zealand flat track scene, so we can say with much certainty that Wilkins will still very much be involved with two-wheeled racing.