First Look: Kawasaki Electric Concept
Kawasaki hit 2019 EICMA with a number of interesting items, but I think the most notable entry may be the sleeper-hit of the year; the EV Project. That’s right sports fans, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is showing us that they are looking at displaced-carbon/electric motorcycles, and the “Electric Concept” gives us our first glimpse of what the concept is like moving forward.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Kawasaki steps up its game ahead of the 2020 model year with new body components, updated electronics, and a smoother-running engine for its Ninja 1000SX. The factory also tuned up the ergonomics in an effort to improve long-range comfort and even chucked on an adjustable clutch lever for a little bit of lagniappe. Improvements in rideability, control, and aesthetics join the liter-plus engine and Ninja pedigree to deliver a refined product to the masses.
2020 Kawasaki Z900
Kawasaki beefed up its naked Z900 with even more under-the-hood updates for 2020 and an all-new look created by a wild new color combination. It may look a lot like the previous generation, but this model saw a ground-up rebuild that touched on just about everything but the engine with refinements across the board. While the 948 cc engine reprises its role as the beating heart of this machine, it also benefits from new electronic features in a bid to garner an advantage in the hotly-contested, sub-liter naked bracket.
2020 Kawasaki Z H2
Kawasaki’s H2 crossed family lines from the Ninja superbikes over to the “Z” supernaked range with the 2020 Z H2 model. This brings with it the supercharged engine that made waves when it landed in the top-shelf Ninjas to make this bike the flagship of the Z range. The magic doesn’t stop there ’cause Kawi blessed it with a veritable alphabet soup of electronic features that increase safety and rideability all at once. Best of all, the Z H2 wastes not an ounce on superfluous body panels, so the 100-plus pounds of grunt converts directly into acceleration to make it even meaner than the much-vaunted Ninja line, and the price schedule keeps it within reasonable reach for the majority of riders.
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z650 ABS
Kawasaki makes inroads into the naked streetfighter market with the new-in 2017 Z650 and adds some brush-up changes for 2020. Drawing from the popular Ninja line, the factory gave the Z650 that 649 cc parallel twin and put it in a new, lighter weight frame for improved handling and a exponentially greater fun factor.
2020 Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki draws on its very own historical roots for the newest addition to its “W” range with the reintroduced-for-2020 W800. This authentically retro ride doles out a healthy dollop of nostalgia for the 40-plus crowd, but beneath the classic veneer beats the heart of a thoroughly modern machine. An air-cooled twin delivers the goods with over 40 pounds o’ grunt and many of the ride-quality electronic features riders have come to expect to round out the package.
2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
Kawasaki delivered the 2015 Concours 14 ABS with a whole slew of improvements over the prior year — some cosmetic and some for performance — and carried that over to 2020. At the core, the Kawasaki kept the 1,352 cc engine derived from the Ninja® ZX™-14R in a chassis tuned for touring. The sportbike DNA is quite evident in the overall styling, so whether you love it or hate it, you don’t ignore the Concours 14 ABS.
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
“Cheap thrills” takes on a whole new meaning — or maybe just a revitalization of the old meaning — when it comes to the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki. It’s small and relatively fast for the thrills, good fuel economy, and a bargain-basement price. Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested thoroughfares because it’s small, lightweight, and narrow so filtering through traffic is a breeze. As a first bike for someone new to two wheels, this is a completely approachable bike, not intimidating at all and without the electronics that frequently get used as a crutch. On this bike, you learn how to ride.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Kawasaki gave its Ninja 650 supersport a facelift ahead of MY2020 with aggressive new lines. Safety and visibility were increased through LED technology, and instrumentation moves into the 21st century with a TFT display to deliver the metrics. New tires and new networking technology round out the package along with engine performance and handling that made the last generation a hit.
2019 - 2020 Kawasaki W800 Café
2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR
Kawasaki beefs up its street-legal racebike game for MY2019 with the improved Ninja ZX-10RR superbike. This hotly-contested sector caters directly to the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, and should be considered a continuation of the closed-circuit competition between the pros, just in a different venue. A new engine drives the windtunnel-tested chassis with a number of internal improvements along with a handful of suspension tweaks to handle all that extra power. Best of all, it comes with the necessary gear to make it street legal but can be quickly stripped for track days.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 R
Many of the major players offer a pure-D racetrack hypersport for the public’s consumption, and for Kawasaki, that honor falls to the freshly updated Ninja H2 R. The H2 R brings the best Kawi has to offer to the table along with top-flight aerodynamics and a supercharged engine on top of a full electronics suite to make itself a threat on the track right out of the box. That’s about the only place it’s a threat though, since the H2 R is far too awesome to be street legal, and as a track-only bike, it wastes not an ounce on any silly old mirrors, headlights or turn signals. Carbon-fiber components complete the package with their own brand of lightweight strength.
2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE
Most of the major players have a street-legal racebike replica on the market for relatively ordinary Joes/Janes, and for Kawasaki, that distinction falls to the 2018 Ninja ZX-10R Special Edition. The SE borrows its plant from the Kawasaki Racing Team’s WSBK liter-bike race program along with top-shelf electronic rider aids that add safety and value. Plus, this model comes stock with Kawi’s Electronic Control Suspension system that delivers three separate modes, each with their own performance profile for quick switchups. Best of all, the Ninja ZX-10R SE is priced with us mere mortals in mind, having a sticker in the lower five-digit range instead of the six figures a few manufacturers demand for their equivalent machine.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
Kawasaki beefed up its Ninja lineup ahead of MY2019 with the upgraded H2 SX SE+. Competition is fierce at the top of the liter-bike range, but Kawi has a not-so-secret weapon in its fight for street dominance in the form of a supercharger (compressor) that significantly boosts performance. The electronic suite received a buff as well with electronic suspension control bundled with new riding modes and the ability to network with your smartphone. Plus, it rocks a “self-repairing” finish that resists dings and scratches to help it keep its curb value.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX / H2 SX SE
Brand new in 2018, the Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE from Kawasaki present as a sort of hypersport-next-door with large-ish windshield and relaxed rider’s triangle that is part of the comfort-oriented features package. This new line adds a dose of “super” to the sport-touring genre with its supercharged four-banger that cranks out a generous 101 pounds o’ grunt with enough electronic fandanglery to help you tame the beast, or at least protect you from yourself somewhat. Commuter or ’really’ fast tourbike, the SX siblings cover a lot of everyday-riding ground for riders who are looking for more than run-of-the-mill performance.
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT
Street-oriented adventure bikes are rapidly establishing themselves as capable commuters as well as tour bikes, and Kawasaki’s Versys 650 line is no exception. The 650 and the 650 LT deliver 68 horsepower and 47 pound-feet of torque to establish them as capable competitors in the mid-range adventure market.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS
The race to grab a slice of the burgeoning Millennial market is heating up, and Kawasaki enters the fray with its sizzlin’ hot, retro-style Z900RS. Built as a tribute of sorts to the legendary Z1 superbike, the new-in-2018 RS packs a punch that does its predecessor justice with 111 horsepower ready to go with a twist of the mechanical throttle control. Suspension components are thoroughly modern as well, and at a glance, it seems Kawi has nailed the balance between nostalgia and nouveau with this ride.
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS
The Ninja ZX-14R ABS continues to serve as Kawasaki’s non-H2 Ninja flagship as we head into the 2019 model year. Essentially unchanged since this generation hit showroom floors back in ’12, the “14R” brings almost a liter and a half of four-cylinder supersport-goodness to the table along with the ride-quality and safety subsystems you’ll need to keep it under control. Make no mistake; this is a serious ride meant for experienced riders, and not another one of these racebike-looking commuters so popular with the masses right now.
2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon
Kawasaki gave the Ninja H2 and H2 Carbon a fairly major update ahead of MY2019 that goes far beyond any kind of token trim package treatment. The “new” category is well populated with items as minor as a new model-specific emblem up through a brand-new powerplant and electronic augmentation. Oh yeah, the supercharger that made this supersport line famous reprises its role with an efficient new design ramping up compression while it minimizes heat generation. As a result, this new pair comes with more of everything that made the previous gen a hit.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Kawasaki’s Ninja family has been a household name for over three decades now, and the factory aims to keep it that way with a couple of new models in the liter-bike range; the ZX-10R base model and its KRT variant. Toward that end, Kawi boosted power through a number of individual improvements throughout the engine. The engineers also added a few items that will certainly endear these siblings to the hearts of the race fans and wannabe knee-draggers out there, and they set up the head with those folks in mind as well. It doesn’t stop there; the electronics were upgraded with even more fandanglery on the menu, so without further ado, let’s dive into these new Ninjas and see what’s up.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
Kawasaki’s Ninja lineup made a well-deserved impression on the sportbike sector, and the factory elevates its game yet again with the 2019 ZX-6R. This newest mid-size Ninja “636” carries a host of improvements that range from vanity-to-vroom with spruced-up looks, LED lighting and new instrumentation, just to name a few. The electronics were upgraded as well, and the new features stack with the incumbent power modes, traction control, and on the ABS-equipped model, Kawasaki’s own Intelligent Brake System. Them’s (sic) the high points, but there’s a lot more to know about this middle Ninja, so let’s dive right in, shall we?
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250
Kawasaki pulled the KLX250 out of the mothballs, updated it and released back into the domestic market in 2018. That came on the heels of a three-year break, over which the KLX250 became kind of like the Loch Ness Monster, much discussed but rarely seen. Among the improvements are updated looks, revised suspension components and electronic fuel-injection that replaces the old Keihin carb from the previous generation. So, better looks, better ride and better performance in a market that hasn’t been glutted with KLX250 models for a few years.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900
Kawasaki steps up its bid to grab a slice of the growing naked-bike market with the Z900 ABS. As demand for the genre increased, so have expectations of performance along with polished looks. Kawi built this ride to replace both the Z800 and Z1000 moving forward into the 2017 model year, so buyers should expect to find plenty of both of those qualities. Aside from the 948 cc engine, what did the factory throw on this all-new bike to make it competitive in a minimalist, sportster/roadster market? Let’s check it out and see.