In order to get the true measure of the supercharged Ninja H2R’s speed, the team 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. They were able to notch a respectable 216.36 mph (348.2 km/h), but the limited distance left a lot of the 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. The goal at Team 38 is 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 Team38 hope to have delivered a result worth talking about.
■ Race Summary
Bonneville Speed Week
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.
Date: August 13th-19th, 2016.
Place: Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway
Organiser: Southern California Timing Association
(1,000cc and Under, Partial Streamlining;
Modifications Permitted, Supercharging Permitted)
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.
(Bonneville Speed Week Version)
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
Aftermarket tyres (Dunlop Sportmax GP-A Pro)
Birthplace: Hyogo Prefecture, Japan Birth Date: June 3rd, 1970
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 72 kg
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.