Gear is our job. It streams into and out of our offices in an endless tide of boxes and couriers; it gets photographed and catalogued and crammed underneath desks until we have time to test it. We quantify it as best we can, to share its essence: good and bad, peccadilloes and superlatives. We even pick the 100 best pieces of gear every year. But to close things out this year, we asked each staff member to single out their favorite piece of gear that was new to 2015. We hope you enjoy our little love notes to the gear that made the biggest impact on our lives this year.
Speed is all relative. I’m not talking in the scientific sense, but the way that everybody perceives what is “fast” and how that can easily change. My first motorcycle, a ‘94 Kawasaki Ninja 250, was the most exhilarating experience I ever had (on two wheels) at 19 years old — right up until it was totally eclipsed by my second bike, a ‘96 Kawasaki ZX-11. Then that was easily dwarfed by my ‘08 ZX-10R.
Although I’ve become accustomed to mountains of speed that have been piling on over the years, absolutely nothing could prepare me for the Kawasaki H2. The H2 gathers speed so rapidly and accelerates with so much force, you’re well into triple-digit speeds before you even realize it. I’ve reached a new milestone in my motorcycling career with the H2. And much like my 250, ZX-11 and ZX-10R, the H2 sits as one of the most memorable bikes I’ve ever had the pleasure to throw a leg over.
Engine: 998cc supercharged inline four-cylinder
Torque: 98.5 lb-ft
Curb Weight: 524.8 pounds