When Kawasaki announced that they were building a supercharged monster billed as the H2, it was quite the shock to anyone in the motorcycling community. Typically we see cutting edge motorcycles come out of a fierce battle between competing brands to win the hearts of consumers demanding a new and better bike. Yet that wasn’t the case with the H2. While the world was focused on a liter-bike slaughter fest, the H2 snuck up on everyone. Yet here we are, marveling over a motorcycle we didn’t know we even wanted. So much that we haven’t yet seen a unique custom built out of the absurdly fast Kawi. That is until now.
The prominent Dutch motorcycle clothing retailer REV’IT! decided it wanted a motorcycle that perfectly reflects their strategy in business; loads of modern technology while looking as stylish as possible. When seeking a builder that can accomplish this it really only comes down to a handful of shops. REV’IT! landed on the well established Wrenchmonkees garage. Being a custom shop based in Denmark it seems like an obvious pick, but it is really Wrenchmonkee’s track record that landed them this build. So REV’IT! supplied the H2 and the vision, and they let the gents at Wrenchmonkees take over the rest.
I’m going to point out the obvious here, but this H2 looks nothing like it did when stock. Nothing. For some that’s a good thing, others maybe not so much. For me it’s bittersweet. I love that they ditched the edgy futuristic body for something more… retro. Buuut I do wish they found something that fit slightly better. The front fairing seems too small for the rest of the motorcycle, giving it a slightly wonky look. If they had stretched the fairing just a tad more I think it would have made this H2 a perfect 10, but maybe that’s just me.
That being said, deciding to closely mimic the old school endurance racers we know and love is a bold move for a motorcycle of this caliber. But the choice of fairing couldn’t have been more exquisite, with the ‘Revmonkee’ now sporting the skin from a much older ZX-7R. With a single headlight and an offset air-induct, the fairing beautifully matches that of the late 90’s endurance racers. Directly behind that vintage bodywork resides some innovative aluminum work to mask the modern technology that still exists on this bike. The left side serves as an air passage to feed the supercharger, making use of the one air duct in the fairing. On the right side, the metal working is utilized to house the complex wiring needed by the ECU to control said nifty supercharger. It also happens to house a small coolant reservoir for good measure.
Moving from there the bodywork continues to be heavily modified. Where the gas tank used to reside, Wrenchmonkees has turned the entire tank cover and tail section into a monocoque one piece design all made from fiberglass. Two Dzus fasteners allow for quick and easy removal of the tank, just like a true race bike. In doing this they managed to remove the single gas tank from its normal location and instead installed a duel tank system under the tail section and seat. This gives the ‘Revmonkee’ the distinct look of a filler cap not on the tank like other bikes, but instead on top of the tail section where the tank actually is. Weird, yet oddly very pleasing.
To make matters even more confusingly wonderful they built a quick release battery mount into the bodywork where the gas tank used to reside. Another fine touch going back to the glory days of endurance racing. To accommodate all this gas tank and battery switchery, the brilliant minds at Wrenchmonkees had to fabricate a new subframe, by far the most extensive modification made to the frame. That said, this is isn’t just an H2 with a facelift, it’s anything but.
REV’IT! wanted this H2 to handle and ride just as good as the stock version, if not better. With that in mind, the ‘Revmonkee’ received a new tubular rear swingarm built by GIA Engineering. Pair this with the fully adjustable Hyperpro shock and a set of Hyperpro internals for the forks, the H2 now rests 15mm lower up front and can be fully dialed to its riders preference. A must have when dealing with over 200hp coming from the stock H2 engine. To haul this monster to a stop Beringer came up big with all new rotors and calipers, as well as a full set of braided steel lines. The final touch comes via a set of Dymag CH3 magnesium wheels powder coated to match the perfect white frame. Dunlop GP Sportmax slicks add the last line of defense between the engine and the attempt at traction. If those tires aren’t sticky enough, you sir are out of luck.
While it’s an impressive facade, is the ‘Revmonkee’ all show and no go? Hardly. This jigsaw approach to the H2 has given it more power and less weight, allowing for an overall better performing platform. Throw in the ability to dial it in like a superbike and you’re now ahead of the game. With 198hp at the wheel and a wet weight of just 485lbs, this H2 has saved some serious weight and even picked up a few ponies, not bad. It’s no H2R, but it’s pretty close. One could even argue that it’s better looking, but that is really in the eye of the beholder. Either way, there is no denying that the ‘Revmonkee’ is a seriously cool restomod.