In order to get the true measure of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R’s speed, team 38 had made plans to enter last year’s Bonneville Speed Week event. However, due to adverse weather conditions, water had submerged part of the course and the event had to be cancelled. A last minute decision was made to enter the “Mojave Mile” event instead.
The Ninja H2R’s incredible speed was on display at the Mojave Mile as it put in 1 mile (1.6 km) runs from a standing start. We were able to notch a respectable 216.36 mph (348.2 km/h), though the limited distance left a lot of the Ninja H2R’s power yet untapped.
This year, the Bonneville Speed Week course will be 5 miles (8 km) long. With considerably more distance to accelerate than the Mojave Mile course, it should give the Ninja H2R a chance to stretch its legs and show its full capabilities.
Team 38 are aiming to take the Ninja H2R, a machine that embodies Kawasaki’s technological prowess, and unlock its true potential on the Salt Flats. When all is said and done, they hope to have delivered a result worth talking about.
With a rich history spanning more than 100 years, Bonneville Speed Week is the world’s most well-known and influential top-speed contest. The Bonneville Salt Flats, where the event will be held, is a massive dry salt lake that has been the birthplace of many a legend in the world of motorsports, and is regarded by many as the “Home of Speed.” It has been used as the backdrop to many movies and T.V. shows. For the task of breaking records alone, the salt surface has many disadvantages compared to asphalt. But for the speed-loving fans who attend the event, the one-of-a-kind experience of the Bonneville Salt Flats offers a special thrill that surpasses logic.
Team 38 began when a group of like-minded Kawasaki employees and test riders got together to form a privateer racing team in 1975. The team’s name was derived from the place where the employees worked, in the Experimental Technology Department/Experimental Engineering Department/ Testing Department’s building, Number 38, at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Akashi Works plant. For Team 38 the goal of racing is not simply to triumph over rivals or set new records; racing allows the team members to see the products they helped to develop in a new light, and, in so doing, to grow personally. The continued advance of Kawasaki technology hinges on the experience gained through Team 38’s racing activities.
Shigeru Yamashita is Kawasaki’s Team 38 pilot.
- Birthplace: Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
- Birth Date: June 3rd, 1970
- Age: 46
- Height: 184 cm
- Weight: 72 kg
- Hobbies: Unicycling
Shigeru Yamashita was hired by Kawasaki Heavy Industries as a test rider in the Experimental Technology Department in 1989. Two years later he was transferred to the newly established K-TEC Product Evaluation Division. His career includes 27 years as a Kawasaki test rider and nine entries into the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour Endurance Race. He is, without question, Team 38’s star rider and was entrusted with riding duties in 2015’s Mojave Mile. event.
This years Bonneville Speed Week event will take place on August 13th-19th, 2016 at Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway in Utah, USA. The class that Team 38 and their Ninja H2R will be entering is 1000MPS-BF (1,000cc and Under, Partial Streamlining; Modifications Permitted, Supercharging Permitted).
Team 38 Kawasaki Ninja H2R specs:
- Engine: Standard
- Chassis: Upper and lower wings removed, front fairing modified to be a fully flat surface, oversized front fender, chain cover to meet event regulations, modified rear sprocket and aftermarket tyres (Dunlop Sportmax GP-A Pro).