Kawasaki’s 2019 Lineup Explained

As an umbrella marque, Kawasaki claims expertise in a number of areas to include industrial engines, heavy industrial equipment, gas turbines, robotics, precision machinery, and of course, motorcycles. Kawi is one of the Japanese Big Four, but it spreads the love around with factories at home, throughout Asia and in the U.S. to place it among the most prolific bike builders in the world. As with the other major sportbike manufacturers, Kawasaki maintains a presence around a variety of racing sports.

Kawasaki History

Top Speed 2019 Kawasaki Buying Guide
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Kawasaki started life the same way as many post-war bike builders; as an aircraft manufacturer. It bought out the Meguro Manufacturing company, a brand of which Kawasaki had been a partner, and by 1966 was producing motorcycles for sale under the Omega marque. The rotary-valve Samurai and Avenger models put Kawasaki on the map, and in ’68 the H1 Mach III joined a number of enduro-style racing machines to compete against the other three of the Big Four. Jet Ski personal watercraft joined the lineup in 1973, and the ’80s saw an expansion into the off-road, four-wheel ATV craft. Kawasaki currently operates a pair of factories in the continental U.S. – the 700,000 square-foot plant in Maryville, Missouri, and the massive 1.3 million square-foot facility in Lincoln, Nebraska – and sales are funneled through a series of 1,500 official domestic dealerships.

Kawasaki Terminology

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
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KRTC: Kawasaki Traction Control. It allows a certain amount of controlled rear-wheel slip with 9 levels of intervention plus an “Off” setting. Data from the inertial measurement unit gives the system a corner-sensitive quality.

Kawasaki Engine Brake Control: This feature lets you select how much backtorque the system will developed. It intervenes by increasing the throttle setting on hard downshifts so as to prevent the rear contact patch from breaking loose.

KLCM: Kawasaki Launch Control that monitors rear-wheel slip and front-end lift to deliver the best acceleration that the conditions will allow. It will also let you launch with a wide-open throttle.

KQS: Kawasaki Quick Shifter that delivers clutchless shifts both up and down the range.

KIBS: Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System that delivers corner-sensitive ABS protection.

Power Modes: This feature lets the rider dial in the full power delivery or tune it down as conditions permit.

KECS: Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension that delivers automatic, real-time adjustments.

KCMF: The Kawasaki Cornering Management Function that bundles the KRTC and KIBS together under the IMU to help stabilize the chassis in corners and allow for a shorter turning radius.

K-ACT: Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology that links the front and rear brakes for balanced, stable braking events.

Kawasaki Motorcycle Models

Kawasaki Ninja Sport

2018 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 400
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The Ninja Sport range covers the spread with a line that starts out at 399 cc for the entry-level market, a 649 cc for the midrange, and a 1,043 cc mill at the top end. Built for commuters/[tourers2669] who are looking for a racebike panache with a bit of comfort and safety, the Sport line is a good place to start shopping. A full cowling forms the sport-typical scoop with recesses that pull the front turn signals in and out of the slipstream. Short bars and jockey footpegs encourage an aggressive riding posture and attitude. ABS is a constant across the board, and the electronics suite is more robust as you progress up the range.

Ninja 400 $4,999 399 cc
Ninja 650 $7,399 649 cc
Ninja 1000 $12,100 1,043 cc

Kawasaki Ninja SuperSport

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
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Kawasaki’s Ninja SuperSport range carries itself with much the same sporty mien as the Sport line, but with more features meant to appeal to a more race-tastic breed of riders. Decidedly not built for the entry-level market, the line starts out with a 636 cc mill and ride-quality controls such as the KIBS and KTRC. The 998 cc “10R” holds the middle ground with the addition of the KLCM and KCMF to the electronics, and at the top of the SuperSport food chain is the “14R” that rocks a 1,441 cc plant and a monocoque aluminum “stressed-skin” frame.

Ninja ZX-6R $9,999 636 cc
Ninja ZX-6R KRT $11,299 636 cc
Ninja ZX-10R $15,099 998 cc
Ninja ZX-10R KRT $15,399 998 cc
Ninja ZX-10RR $24,899 998 cc
Ninja ZX-14R $14,999 1,441 cc

Kawasaki Ninja Hypersport

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon
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For the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, the Kawasaki Hypersport line is built with you in mind. The family carries itself with an edgier finish than that of the “lesser” Ninjas. Generous vents in the cowling run with a distinctive ribbed look and leave quite a bit of the drivetrain exposed compared to the rest of the Ninja family tree. All of the models within the line come with the same, 998 cc in-line four, but Kawi puts the “H2” Ninjas in a class all their own with a supercharger that punches up the volumetric efficiency. Engine size may be a constant, but output decidedly is not; the H2 SX SE+ rolls at the bottom of the pecking order with 84.6 pound-feet of torque on tap. Next up is the base H2 with its 104.9 pound-feet of torque to top the street-legal models, and at the apex is the track-only H2 R with a staggering 121.5 pounds o’ grunt. Top shelf electronics abound across this branch of the Ninja family tree. In addition to its clear performance bent, the two street-legal models lend themselves to sport-touring quite nicely.

Ninja H2 $29,000 998 cc
Ninja H2 Carbon $32,500 998 cc
Ninja H2 R $55,000 998 cc
Ninja H2 SX SE+ $25,000 998 cc

Kawasaki Mini-Naked

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
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In Kawasaki’s Mini-Naked category, the Z125 Pro is built to compete against bikes like the Honda Grom in the entry-level, 125 cc pocket-bike field. It’s essentially a monkey bike, but with a modern finish that borrows from the contemporary sport sector rather than than the nostalgic ’60-era design. The small size and low price of the Z125 Pro makes it a good choice as a first commuter for a young rider or a fun bike for experienced riders who understand the joy of riding a small bike fast.

Z125 Pro $3,199 125 cc

Kawasaki Supernaked

2019 Kawasaki Z400
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Kawasaki’s Supernaked bracket covers much the same ground as its Ninja Sport class with a 399 cc model at the bottom and a 649 cc engine in the middle. At the top of the range is a 948 cc model, and while ABS is available across the range and fully adjustable suspension makes an appearance at the top, the electronics suite is as sparsely populated as the body panels are. Minimal appointments are the rule of the day, and that essential nature helps to keep prices low.

Z400 $4,799 399 cc
Z650 $6,999 649 cc
Z900 $8,399 948 cc

Kawasaki Retro

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS
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Kawasaki’s Retro class has but two entries thus far in the U.S. market, but they are a historically significant pair that takes us all the way back to the UJMs of 1973. The Z900RS makes a connection to the café racers of old through the Z900RS Café. Design elements from the original Z1 900 join an all-new platform to deliver a dose of nostalgia along with the power of a modern powerplant, to the tune of 72.3 pound-feet of torque from the 948 cc engine. Fully adjustable suspension and ABS round out the ride-quality and safety gear across the board, and of course, the Café rocks the classic bullet fairing that ties it to the racers in the heyday.

W800 Café $9,799 773 cc
Z900 RS $11,199 948 cc
Z900RS Café $11,699 948 cc

Kawasaki Adventure / Touring

2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT
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The Versys line covers the adventure-touring bases for Kawasaki with a trio of engine sizes. At the entry-level, we find the Versys-X 300 with its 296 cc twin, ABS option and rider protection from a front fairing and windshield. Next up is the Versys 650 that comes in an ABS-equipped base model and an “LT” variant that has stock handguards and quick-detach panniers to turn it into an excellent commuter/tourer. At the top of the totem pole is the 1000 SE LT+ that replaced the “regular” 1000 LT from last year’s lineup. The SE LT+ takes it to a new level for MY2019 with quick-detachable, hard-side panniers for storage plus handguards, wide front fairing, and a tall, vented windshield for pilot protection. At the top end, the robust electronics suite pulls from the top shelf with nearly all the gadgets Kawi has to offer.

Versys-X 300 $5,499 296 cc
Versys 650 $8,299 649 cc
Versys 650 LT $9,199 649 cc
Versys 1000 LT $12,999 1,043 cc
Versys 1000 SE LT+ $17,999 1,043 cc

Kawasaki Supersport Touring

2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
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If you like to put state lines behind you in a hurry, the Kawasaki Concours 14 may be the bike for you. Windtunnel-tested body panels form a sportbike-like cowl and serve as stressed members for the monocoque structure. The 1,352 cc, four-cylinder mill comes with the Variable Valve Timing feature that deepens the torque well without sacrificing top-end performance. Hard bags and an electronically adjustable windshield make for comfortable touring right out of the box.

Concours 14 $15,599 1,352 cc

Kawasaki Sport Cruiser

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE
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The sport-cruiser Vulcan S line from Kawasaki leans toward the American style with mid-mount controls and pullback bars that put the rider in a relaxed, upright riding position. Power comes from a Ninja-derived, 649 cc parallel-twin plant, and in spite of its laid-back looks, the chassis is set up to have a sportbike’s handling characteristics to match its sportbike heart. The Café model adds a bullet-shaped windscreen as its main claim to the name, and the Special Edition rocks a unique two-tone graphic, but ABS and an adjustable rider triangle are constant features throughout the family.

Vulcan S $7,099 649 cc
Vulcan S Café $8,099 649 cc
Vulcan S SE $7,699 649 cc

Kawasaki Classic Cruiser

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
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The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 family brings even more Americana to the table with laced wheels, whitewall tires and a rigid-esque frame layout that looks similar to Harley-Davidson’s Softail line. While the Classic has an abundance of blackout treatment, the Classic LT trades most of that achromatic finish for a chrome one, and adds a windshield, studded-leather bags, and passenger backrest to the package. The Custom runs with plenty of blackout as well, and it trades the wire wheels for cast ones with forward foot controls that put the rider in the windsock position. The first and last models in the line are more appropriate as boulevard bruisers/commuters since the lack of stock baggage limits their utility as tourbikes. Power comes from a 903 cc V-twin across the board.

Vulcan 900 Classic $7,999 900 cc
Vulcan 900 Classic LT $8,999 900 cc
Vulcan 900 Custom $8,499 900 cc

Kawasaki Bagger/Touring Cruiser

2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
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Kawi added the Vaquero to its Vulcan 1700 stable to compete in the American-style tourbike and bagger market. Power comes from a 1,700 cc V-twin plant across the range and the K-ACT feature is a constant as well, but the attitude difference between the two are like chalk and cheese. The bagger-tastic Vaquero runs with a custom vibe from its chopped-down windshield, sleek rear end, and blackout treatment, while the Voyager adds a tall windshield, top case and passenger backrest to the hard bags for heavy-duty touring duties and serious grocery-getting missions. Big and heavy, the Vulcan line places long-range comfort at a premium.

Vulcan 1700 Vaquero $16,799 1,700 cc
Vulcan 1700 Voyager $17,499 1,700 cc

Kawasaki Dual Purpose

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250
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The dual-purpose line at Kawasaki is the natural successor to the old enduro racers, and it brings the same dual-surface capability to the table along with the lights needed to meet street-legal standards in the U.S. Power comes from a 249 cc engine with adjustable, long-stroke suspension front and rear and stealth-knobbies on wire wheels to make the connection to your surface of choice. This family keeps its gear limited to the essentials, so there are no higher electronics available, only a pure-raw ride.

KLX 250 $5,349 249 cc
KLX 250 Camo $5,549 249 cc

Further Reading

Kawasaki Concours 14

2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
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See our review of the Kawasaki Concours 14.

Kawasaki KLX 250

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250
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See our review of the Kawasaki KLX 250.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

2018 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 400
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja 400.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja 650.

Kawasaki Ninja 1000

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon
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See our review of the Kawasaki H2 / H2 Carbon.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 R

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja H2 R
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja H2 R.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+

2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS
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See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R.

Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT

2015 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 / Versys 650 LT / Versys 1000 LT
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See our review of the Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT.

Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+

Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA
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See our review of the Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
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See our review of the Kawasaki Versys-X 300.

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / Classic LT / Custom

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
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See our review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / Classic LT / Custom.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager

2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
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See our review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager.

Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Café / S SE

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE
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See our review of the Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Café / S SE.

Kawasaki W800 Café

2019 - 2020 Kawasaki W800 Café
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See our review of the Kawasaki W800 Café.

Kawasaki Z125 Pro

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z125 Pro.

Kawasaki Z400

Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA Exterior
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z400.

Kawasaki Z650

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z650 ABS
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z650.

Kawasaki Z900

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z900.

Kawasaki Z900 RS

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z900 RS.

Kawasaki Z900RS Café

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE
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See our review of the Kawasaki Z900 RS Café.

Honda Grom

2017 - 2020 Honda Grom
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See our review of the Honda Grom.


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Read more Kawasaki news.

Allyn Hinton
Writer and Associate Motorcycle Editor - allyn@topspeed.com
If it had moving parts, it had Allyn's interest from a very early age. At age 11 when bicycles were too simple to hold her interest any longer, her father found her taking apart the lawn mower. When he asked why she was doing it, she replied, “I need to see how it works.” That curiosity and mechanical drive served her well over the next 40 years as she pursued careers in both the automotive and motorcycle industries. Having shared her love of motorcycles with her now husband, biker TJ Hinton, Allyn brings that love and knowledge to TopSpeed as writer and associate motorcycle editor.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: kawasaki.com, honda.com

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