Kawasaki Ninja 400 is US bound for 2018.
Back in July, a Milwaukee television news broadcast had managed to give us a glimpse of the 399 cc green machines while they were parked on the streets for a commercial shoot. The footage gave us the kicks for the number plate clearly showed "Ninja 400" on it, and it was only time before it was confirmed.
Looks like it has now arrived. Spotted by friends at motorcycle.com, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) documents published indicate that the 399cc Kawasaki motorcycle will be coming to US shores amidst the existing Ninja 300 and the 650.
Kawasaki is throwing a rainbow-full of new colors to its 2016 lineup. A handful of Kawasaki models will benefit from the infusion of new colors, including the Versys 650, the Vulcan, and the ER-6.
Such a move may not seem like news worthy of headlines, but for Kawasaki’s customers, these new colors could mean the difference between buying a Kawasaki or opting for a competing brand. The biggest beneficiary of the new color schemes is the ER-6, known to US customers as the Ninja 650R. For its 2016 models, the whipper-snapping sports bike will now be available in Candy Lime Green with Metallic Spark Black fairing sides that fade into a lighter. Likewise, Candy Persimmon Red will also be a new color scheme for the 2016 model and will also come with the same Metallic Spark Black fairing sides. Then there’s the Metallic Carbon Gray option, which will retain a single color look.
In addition to the Ninja 650R, Kawasaki will also provide the Vulcan S a new Metallic Matt Carbon Gray color scheme to complement the existing and admittedly popular Urban City White finish.
Last but not least is the Versys 650, which will receive its own set of splashy colors, none more eye catching than the Candy Matte Orange scheme that will make its debut in the Versys range. A Pearl Stardust White finish will also be offered, this one coming with a Metallic Spark Black option.
These new colors will be available to all the 2016 models mentioned. More importantly, Kawasaki’s not going to discriminating between ABS and non-ABS models. Both variants will receive the new color schemes. Like I said, it’s not the splashiest update Kawasaki can make, but as far as piquing the interests of potential customers, we all know that nothing can do that quite like splashy and attractive colors.
Continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s new color finishes for some of its 2016 models.
Kawasaki has never been bashful about its love for speedy two-wheelers so it comes as little surprise that the company is already at work building an all-new ZX-10R superbike.
Guim Roda, the team manager of Kawasaki’s World Superbike outfit recently spoke to Speedwell about the new bike, divulging a few pertinent details that could shed light on what we can expect out of the 2016 ZX-10R. Apparently, the phrase “more competitive” was thrown out, enough to make us, or at least me, believe that Kawasaki isn’t afraid to match wits with the likes of the Yamaha YZF-R1, Ducati Panigale R, and Aprilia RSV4 RF.
Roda also admitted that Kawasaki is simply following in the wake of what Aprilia, Ducati, and BMW have done in the wake of restrictions that, according to Roda, boxes these bikes to be developed “win an eye on the sport.”
That doesn’t mean that Kawasaki will be handcuffing itself in the development of the ZX-10R. Instead, it’s an opportunity for the OEM to make the bike more potent straight from the factory. That’s a big reason why Roda wasn’t too subtle in saying that the 2016 ZX-10R could carry a sophisticated engine setup that can produce upwards of 200 horsepower on the dot. A high-tech electronics package should also be expected, although the definition of that could be subject to interpretation depending on what we kind of gadgetry we see from the bike when it comes out.
There’s still a lot of things about the ZX-10R that need to be sorted, not the least of which is a timetable for its arrival. But I’ll leave that up to Kawasaki. I’m just glad to see the company finally stepping up in the wake of the race-spec superbike invasion currently happening in the industry.
Continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s plan to launch an all-new ZX-10R.
Monterey, California will be a busy place on the weekend of July 18, 2015 as the World Superbike Championship races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. That’s all well and good but there’s another reason why Laguna Seca will be a hip-and-happening place this weekend. Kawasaki’s popular bike show series, Riders of Kawasaki, will be in attendance at Laguna Seca, giving Kawasaki owners and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts a chance to enjoy the the day’s activities with their fellow cycleheads.
The highlight of the Riders of Kawasaki event is a bike show that’s scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Kawasaki owners are more than welcome to enter their motorcycles into the show where they’ll get an opportunity to win from any number of prizes made available by the event’s sponsors. If they prefer to stay on the sidelines for the auto show, that’s ok too. At least they’ll be able to enjoy the day’s festivities. It’s a win-win proposition.
Those who do participate in the bike show will enter their motorcycles in any one of the following categories: Best Race Replica Ninja Sportbike, Best Custom Ninja Sportbike and Best Vintage Kawasaki. There will also be a People’s Choice Award for each category and a Best in Show, which will be awarded to the best Yamaha of the lot.
Winners will be determined by public voting with voting set to begin at 4:30 pm until 6:00 pm the very same day.
Continue reading to read more about the Riders of Kawasaki’s involvement in the WSBK round at Laguna Seca.
2016 is poised to be a big year for Kawasaki as the company will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the USA. So in keeping with the American tradition of celebrating every chance possible, the Japanese motorcycle company is already preparing for its 50th anniversary celebration and one of the first orders of business is to create a new logo.
Actually, it’s the same Kawasaki logo that comes with a slightly different treatment to it, an update, if you will, that “reflects on the brand’s global identity.”
The Arial Black Kawasaki logo is still prominently featured and is unchanged from its old style. The updates come in the form of a black background and the company’s unmistakable Lime Green stripes that run the length of the logo, each coming with different thickness levels.
Kawasaki aims to make this new logo as distinctive as the old one. It’s not overly fancy, but the addition of the Lime Green color scheme does add a bit of flair that the brand is known for.
The company plans to roll out the new visual branding as early as this month, July 2015, in selected markets. The goal is to have the new logo prominently displayed in dealerships all over the world by the end of the year, in time for the company’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
The new logo is also just the first step in what appears to be an elaborate plan by Kawasaki to ring in its silver anniversary next year. More plans are expected to be announced in the coming weeks and months so be on the look out for that.
For now, though, it looks like we’re going to have to get used to Kawasaki’s new logo.
Continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s updated logo.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2R has been billed as one of the year’s most exciting superbikes. For the most part, that hype has been justified, but like anything else in this world, even the mighty Ninja H2R isn’t perfect.
Owners in Australia are about to find that out the hard way now that there’s a recall notice from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission because of potential issues with the bike’s warning harness.
Normally, recalls from other regions don’t necessarily affect the same models in other places. But the situation with the Ninja H2R is different since there are only a limited number of Ninja H2R all over the world. So there’s a possibility, even though it hasn’t been announced yet, that other markets that have received the Ninja H2R could face a similar recall in the coming days or weeks.
As far as the problems itself is concerned, the ACCC has said that the warning harness on some Ninja H2R models may get pinched between some frame parts, leading to potential damage to the wire that could cause the engine to either stall, or worse, lead to excess fuel injection. The latter scenario is pretty scary since such a situation could increase the risk of the bike catching fire.
Fortunately, the Ninja H2R’s road version, the H2, isn’t affected by the same issue.
In case you own a Ninja H2R here in the US, do your due diligence and try to find out if the issues affecting some of the Ninja H2R models in Australia could somehow affect your model too. Better be safe than sorry, ladies and gentlemen.
Continue reading to read more about the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s recall of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R.
As if the Isle of Man TT event isn’t already brimming with events, Kawasaki has just announced that is all-conquering superbike, the Ninja H2R, will be a part of the Monster Energy parade lap.
Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider James Hillier will pilot the Ninja H2R around the Snaefell Mountain, making it the first event that Kawasaki will unleash its prized superbike in a bonafide race track.
The Ninja H2R will be Kawasaki’s showcase model at the parade but it won’t be the only one. Joining Hillier in the ceremonial lap will be World Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. Unfortunately, neither Rea nor Sykes will be piloting the Ninja H2R. Instead, they’ll each be riding the less awesome but still pretty cool Ninja ZX-10R.
The Isle of Man TT is a great track debut for the Ninja H2R, that is if it wants to strut its wares in one of the most demanding road courses in the world. Don’t expect it to go full blast, though, since parade laps normally don’t necessitate participating cars and motorcycles to go all-out.
That said, I’m still excited to see the Ninja H2R in action. It might not be in an element of its choosing, but with all the things we’ve heard about the superbike, now’s the time for it to finally show everyone what it’s made of.
Continue reading to read more about the Kawasaki Ninja H2R’s parade lap at the Isle of Man TT.
Since 2012, the Kawasaki Z800 has been a crowd-pleaser in Europe, turning heads like nobody’s business. America was left out of it, but now, the bike is finally headed stateside, or at least to every state in the US except California.
No announcement was made on why the Z800 isn’t going to the Golden State but the most obvious reason behind it probably lies in the strict regulations set by the California Air Resources Board. Whatever the case may be, all 49 states in the US not counting California will finally receive the Z800 ABS.
It’s a glorious day for Kawasaki and fans of the company’s streetfighter line. The Z1000 has been around for quite some time now, but with the Z800 ABS’ arrival, American riders can enjoy a mid-level version of the bike that packs an equal amount of aggressive, albeit stripped-down, styling with powerful performance numbers to boot.
Kawasaki has a lot of high hopes on the Z800 ABS, especially now that it’s headed to a market that enjoys its streetfighter bikes. The Z800 ABS should fit in nicely, too, thanks in
large part to the road paved by its big brother, the Z1000.
The new-to-North America street fighter is expected to retail for $8,399, $3,600 cheaper than the Z1000. That should be enticing enough for American riders who may prefer something a little tamer to go with a more affordable price tag.
It’s still unclear how California can get in on the fun, but I have enough faith in Kawasaki to believe that the company will do what it can to bring the bike to the country’s biggest motorcycle market. It would be a shame if all those riders in Cali end up missing out on the bike.
Continue reading to read more about the Kawasaki Z800 ABS’ arrival in the US.
Monster Energy Kawasaki is in the middle of a crisis and the situation isn’t getting any better. In what can only be described as shocking news, the AMA Supercross team has decided to terminate the contract of rider Davi Millsaps, capping off an unceremonious end to what has been an underwhelming season for Millsaps.
The team also announced that it would not be competing in the final three races of the current season. No specific details were given on why Monster Energy Kawasaki came to this decision. Likewise, Millsaps was tight-lipped on the termination, leaving plenty of people trying to scrape for answers on what brought about this sudden of turn of events.
What we do know is that Millsaps has struggled with inconsistency this season. After 14 of the 17 races this year, Millsaps only sits in 11th place in the series standings with 147 points, 171 points behind series leader His struggles could have been a factor in his termination, but the fact that Monster Energy Kawasaki also announced that it would not race the last three races of the season points to a bigger problem within the team that we all love to get to the bottom of.
Hopefully, we get an explanation sooner or later. That’s not too much to ask, but considering that this development all caught us by surprise, I’m not holding on too hope that we’re going to get answers in the near future.
Continue reading to read more about David Millsaps termination from Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Consumer Reports has released the results of a poll it took from motorcycle owners as part of the publication’s assessment on the value of different motorcycle brands as far as how their customers felt about the bikes they owned.
Japanese motorcycle brands took in top honors in reliability, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Of all the brands named in the survey, Japan’s four top brands - Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki - were all head and shoulders above the rest of the field, beating out the likes of Victory and Harley-Davidson. On the bottom end of the reliability list are brands like Triumph, Ducati, BMW, and Can-Am.
Can-Am, in particular, finished dead last on the list, and I’m guessing that it’s recent issues may have played a big part in seeing their spot on this list.
Victory Motorcycles may have ended up in the middle of the pack in the reliability survey, but as far as making customers happy with their bikes, the American brand stood victorious with 80 percent of Victory owners saying that they wouldn’t mind buying a Victory model again. Turns out, having a fairly reliable motorcycle and having positive dealer interactions and good customer service are important elements in gaining the trust of your customers. Who knew!
Coming up second on that list was Harley-Davidson, which received a 72-percent approval rating, followed by Honda at 70 percent. Interestingly enough, these three brands were the only ones to get approval ratings north of 70 percent.
Consumer Reports also discovered that motorcycle riders preferred “comfort” of all the things they look for in a bike. Not surprisingly, Victory scored the highest rating in this category while Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Triumph taking up the rear in this particular category.
Other satisfaction categories, including styling, fun, acceleration, and handling saw across-the-board ratings, signifying that a customer’s taste in these areas vary depending on what their requirements for a bike are. The only manufacturer that fell flat on its face in the handling category is Can-Am, adding more fuel to the growing assumption that its three-wheelers aren’t worth the money you spend to buy them.
Continue reading to read more about the results of Consumer Reports’ motorcycle poll.
Those who missed out on owning a Kawasaki Ninja H2 now have reason to celebrate. On the other hand, those who risked life and limb just to secure a piece of the limited edition supercharged bike are up-in-arms over what they perceive to be having the rug pulled from underneath them. Why the mixed reaction, you ask? Well, Kawasaki just announced that due to the incredible demand for the Ninja H2, it’s opening up new orders for a second wave of models for those who were too late to call dibs on the first set.
This is awesome news in the grand scheme of things. Ever since the Ninja H2 and its track-focused sibling, the H2R, were launched in November 2014, the two machines have been the talk of the motorcycle world. That much became clear when the first set of limited edition H2 bikes sold like snow cones on a warm summer day. The method by which Kawasaki used to score an H2 only added to the bike’s appeal. See, these bikes were never sold in dealerships because, quite frankly, Kawasaki didn’t need to. Instead, it offered the H2 on a first-come, first-served basis, even requiring interested customers to place a deposit for priority delivery on the bike and then making them wait for the spring of 2015 for the bikes to be delivered to them. Clearly, the circumstances surrounding taking ownership of a Ninja H2 were different and the price - $25,000 for the H2 - only adding fuel to its proverbial fire of exclusivity.
But business will always be business and when there’s an opportunity to capitalize on the incredible demand for the Ninja H2, Kawasaki seized without even batting an eyelash. So Kawasaki is opening up orders from a fresh batch of Ninja H2 bikes with deliveries expected to come sometime in June 2015. The company didn’t say how many bikes will be offered this time around, but make no mistake, these models will be scooped up just as quickly as the first batch, maybe even quicker than that.
As for those who feel slighted about supposedly being misinformed about the Ninja H2’s limited edition status, don’t feel too bad. Your bikes are expected to be delivered to you this month. By the time you see them, you probably won’t care about how many of these babies are out in the market, as long as you have one at your disposal.
It’s really a win-win scenario for everybody.
Continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s decision to release more Ninja H2 bikes.
I know Christmas is still a little over eight months away, but it certainly must feel like the holidays for customers who pre-ordered the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2. After months of waiting, Kawasaki has announced that the Ninja H2 has been delivered to select dealerships across the US where their eager owners can pick them up and finally go crazy with them.
The Ninja H2 is without question one of the most talked-about bikes in recent years so news that the hand-built bikes are ready to meet their owners is a huge deal.
Somewhat surprisingly, the deliveries of the Ninja H2 models happened sooner than I expected. The bike was only unveiled late last year in Europe and pre-orders only began in December 2014. Considering that the bikes are all hand-assembled, Kawasaki must have gotten a jump on production in order to accommodate all the orders coming in for the bike.
I don’t think expectant owners are going to complain about the quick turnaround because quite frankly, if I’m in their position, I’m already counting down the days when my Ninja H2 is delivered to me. Kawasaki also said that deliveries for the track-focused Ninja H2R are going to begin this month, giving new owners enough time to secure additional parts for the bike before they get that call from their dealerships that their new baby is already waiting for them.
For now, though, it’s the expectant owners of the Ninja H2 that should be rejoicing. The bike that you’ve been dreaming about since last year has arrived! Just be sure to temper your excitement as much as you can, or at least until that fateful phone call arrives, telling you that your Ninja H2 is ready to be picked up.
At that point, you have my blessing to go nuts.
Continue reading to read more about the Kawasaki Ninja H2.
Electric vehicles have become the rage these days and as the world continues to evolve into a more sustainable one, automakers and motorcycle manufacturers are all beginning to understand that the future does lie in these electric vehicles. You know things are getting serious when a company like Harley-Davidson is getting in on the electric motorcycle act.
Apparently, so is Kawasaki, or at least that’s what these patents for an electric motorcycle seems to suggest. Looking at the sketches really won’t tell you much about Kawasaki’s plans, although the rear section does show a rising tail. It’s possible that this could be a sportsbike, although I’m not quite sure how Yamaha will build a sportsbike while lugging that rather beefy looking battery pack with it.
But I’m willing to bet that Kawasaki has some plans up its sleeve that none of us are privy to. It used a similar strategy with the Ninja H2 and H2R, playing coy up to the point that it blitzed the business with the radicalness of the two superbikes.
Should we expect the same thing for this supposed electric motorcycle? I can’t tell you that at the moment, but if Kawasaki takes the pulse of the industry, it’s going to know what it has to do to join in on all the electric motorcycle fun.
Hey, if Harley-Davidson did it, why not Kawasaki?
Click "continue reading to read more about Kawasaki’s patent for an electric motorcycle.
Despite finally entering the scooter market in 2013 with the launch of the J300, there are still pockets of people who believe that Kawasaki isn’t planning to dive into the scooter market just yet.
After all, the J300 was pretty much a rebranded Kymco Downtown 300i that pretty much used Kymco’s own parts and technology. But with recent reports that Kawasaki has filed trademarks for the names “J500” and “J125,” it begs the question: is Kawasaki finally willing to invest its own research and development into developing its own scooters?
I don’t know what the answer to that is, but if you were to ask me, I wouldn’t count on it, at least not yet.
See, Kymco, in addition to having a partnership with Kawasaki that gave birth to the J300, has a lot of scooters in its lineup, so much so that it’s basically one of the company’s calling cards. The trademark of the J125 and J500 names is also curious because Kymco actually has its own models - the G-Dink 125i and the Xciting 500 Ri - that can be rebadged as Kawasaki models. 125? 500? Seems like a fit, doesn’t it?
Again, neither Kymco nor Kawasaki have confirmed any plans of partnering for two more scooters. But you know what they say, if there’s smoke, there must be fire.
Click "continue reading" to read more about Kawasaki’s perceived scooter plans.
Kawasaki is considered one of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world. That’s a status the company has earned over years of excellent bike production. But with success, there’s always that responsibility to give back to the community in one form or another. Kawasaki knows this more than most, which is why Kawasaki Motors Corp USA has announced its intention to donate a Ninja ZX-6R sportsbike to the American Indian College Fund. Oh, and the bike was signed by the cast of the Lone Ranger so that’s an added benefit, right?
The AICF, known for providing students with scholarships, will be hosting its 25th anniversary gala in Los Angeles on April 11, 2015. That’s where the Ninja ZX-6R, as well as a two-night stay in Kauai, Hawaii and a Kawasaki Teryx tour at Kipu Ranch, will be auctioned for the benefit of the organization.
Proceeds from the silent action will directly go to AICF as the organization continues its mission of providing scholarships and other financial means of support to Native American students. The organisation’s work yielded more than $6 million in the past two years, providing 6,452 students with college scholarships.
Kawasaki’s involvement in the auction goes to show how much value the bike manufacturer puts, not only in education, but in seeing that today’s youth receive a proper college education that they can all put to good use in the future.
Something like this isn’t the kind of thing Kawasaki actively promotes to gain brownie points. That’s up to people like me who understand the importance of this kind gesture, but also appreciates the way Kawasaki continues to uplift countless lives even if it’s not required of them.
Well done, Kawasaki.
Click "continue reading" to read more about Kawasaki’s donation to the American Indian College Fund.
Recalls in the motorcycle industry can strike anytime without warning. You can be riding your bike one day and then wake up the next to news that you’re bike is being recalled because of a problem in the fuel tank or wherever. But don’t worry, problems like this aren’t just exclusive to private consumers. As a number of police officers have found out recently, it also extends to them.
Yup. Law enforcement authorities are being advised by Kawasaki that the Concours 14 patrol bike might be recalled because of possible electrical problems that could plague certain until of the Concours 14 and 14ABS bikes. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority, the specific issue lies in added police accessories that could cause the bike’s 30-amp main fuse to blow and the wiring harness to chafe. This could result in a short-circuit that could lead to the engine stalling and increase the risk of a crash.
A total of 194 units of the Concours14 and 14ABS made between May 8, 2008 and February 23, 2013 are affected by the recall. Kawasaki has already notified affected police departments of the issue and have promised to send trained personnel to repair the bikes at no cost to the departments.
Should a police department have any of these two bikes, they’re also invited to ring up Kawasaki so they can address the issue.
Click “continue reading” to read more about the Kawasaki Concours 14 Police bike recalls.
Kawasaki has something brewing under the sheets. The company hasn’t divulged exactly what it is and the only thing we know at this point is that it has registered the name “Ninja R2” with the US Patent and Trademark office, among other patent offices around the world, specifically Europe and Japan.
No details were given on where Kawasaki will use the Ninja R2 name, but given its recent trend of loosening up its production platform, there is reason, if only a little, to believe that the Ninja R2 name is being prepared for some kind of high-performance bike. What that bike will become is also a matter of debate and it really would be getting too ahead of ourselves if we starting naming new bikes without knowing what Kawasaki’s plans are.
But it is worth noting that Kawasaki also registered a handful of names in Japan, including Ninja R2-R, Ninja E2, Ninja E2-R, Ninja S2 and Ninja S2-R. A lot of ‘2’s’ in those names, right?
Ok, so here’s what we know so far. We know that Kawasaki has become more aggressive in building new models recently. Whether its small-displacement sports bikes or supercharged monsters, the Japanese motorcycle maker hasn’t held back on the aggressive run of new models hitting the market these days.
Kawasaki has also hinted on using shared technology for its bikes in the recent past, having done so when it created a supercharged technology for the H2R. At that time, it appeared that the project was exclusively tied into the H2R, but Kawasaki nevertheless added that the technology could be used in “future projects”.
Perhaps the Ninja R2 qualifies under “future projects”?
Click "continue reading" to read more about Kawasaki’s trademark of the "Ninja R2" name.