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 ’17 model year, so buyers should expect to find plenty of both of those qualities. What did the factory throw on this all-new bike to make it competitive in a minimalist, sportster/roadster market? How will it compare to the other “Big-Four” naked 750s? Let’s check it out and see.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z900.
Do you hate it? Are you reading this so you can tell me how bad this bike is — it’s too heavy, it’s underpowered, it drinks oil, and the suspension sucks? Get over it. If you already hate it, this review isn’t for you. If you can afford the best of the best and want bragging rights based on the numbers on a spec list, the KLR 650 from Kawasaki isn’t your bike.
If you don’t already hate it, are those things true? Yeah, pretty much, but I’m not sure that should dissuade you from looking at the KLR 650, even if it’s just to use as a comparison.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki KLR 650.
“Supernaked.” No, it’s not a state of undress or a new movie starring Ron Jeremy. It’s Kawasaki’s description of its newest mid-size streetfighter made to compete against rides such as the FZ-07 from Yamaha and Suzuki’s SV650 for a slice of the stripped-down pie.
Much of the Z650 is new, but there are also plenty of carryover details that show some continuity of evolution alongside the Ninja lineup, specifically the Ninja 650. To some, the differences may seem a bit subtle, but naked streetfighters draw a different type of buyer than do the fully faired, race-style superbikes, and said subtleties make all the difference in the world to those kinds of buyers. This is an area where Kawi has been conspicuously absent, and the release of this ride signals a move by the factory into previously uncharted waters against established makes and models, so let’s see what all makes the Z650 tick and how it stacks up against the current market.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z650 ABS.
Introduced to the U.S. market in 2008, the Versys stable doesn’t really fit into any one slot. Sharing design elements with adventure tourers, sportbikes and standard bikes, the Versys makes its own class of versatile commuter/weekender/tourer/grocery-getter bikes. Unless you want an all-out go-fast bike, the Versys lineup has a little something for everyone.
Newly available in the U.S. market from 2015, the Versys 1000 LT joins the 650 and 650 LT in the Versys stable. All-around getting some attention from Kawasaki, the Versys 650 gets a little up-tweak with a windscreen and a little power boost for more cruise-ability and overall comfort.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Versys 650, Versys 650 LT and Versys 1000 LT.
The Kawasaki Ninja is one of the most recognized models in the world, right up there with the likes of Honda’s CBR and Suzuki’s GSX-R families. The 2017 650 models can trace their roots back to the original 650R that rolled out 11 years ago. In order to stay competitive in this market, there necessarily have been a number of changes through the years, and the ’17 models benefit from a number of updates and revisions. The ’17 MY lineup sees the new-and-improved Ninja 650 in both the ABS and non-ABS versions as well as the black and green, Kawasaki Racing Team livery. Today I’m going to tackle this newest, mid-size Ninja and check out all the new stuff Kawi packed on in an effort to keep its iconic sportbike line relevant.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and 650 KRT Edition.
Take a Ninja® ZX™-14R, tune it for touring and what have you got? If you guessed a Concours 14, you get the prize. 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 2017.
At the core, the Kawasaki kept the 1,352 cc engine derived from the Ninja® ZX™-14R in a chassis tuned for touring. The sport-bike DNA is quite evident in the overall styling, so whether you love it or hate it, you don’t ignore the Concours 14 ABS. Slap some new paint it on for 2016 and we’re ready to go.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS.
Kawasaki created its Vulcan line back in 1984 in an attempt to capture a slice of the American cruiser market, and it is still alive and kicking in 2016. The family sports a trio of models from the boulevard bruiser “900 Classic” to the heritage-style “900 Classic LT” and the home-cooked “900 Custom.”
A 900 cc, V-twin mill and 600-plus pound curb weight put the range firmly in the mid-size cruiser category and give it the mass one expects to find an American cruiser. This slice of the market is hotter than it’s been in decades with Indian and Victory recently adding to the long-term pressure from Harley-Davidson as well as the rest of the Big Four, so let’s see what Kawasaki is doing to keep the line relevant in the face of such steep competition.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic, Vulcan 900 Classic LT and Vulcan 900 Custom.
The mini-streetbike market heats up with the new-for-2017 Z125 PRO, obviously meant as a direct competitor for the Honda Grom and KYMCO K-Pipe 125. “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. Small and relatively fast for the thrills, and good fuel economy and a bargain-basement price for the cheap.
Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested traffic 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.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z125 PRO.
Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model, the Ninja 300, displacing the old Ninja 250 with a few more cubes. This sport-bike looking ride offers the market a lightweight, easy to handle option with a 296 cc engine, a six-speed transmission and just enough alphabet-soup tech acronyms to be modern without whacking the price.
As far as being a starter bike, yeah, you can call it that. It’s also for folks that want a sport-bike look in a commuter bike or just to have a bike with a smaller engine size so it doesn’t smack your wallet on insurance premiums. It’s smooth, it’s flickable and I might even call it a sport-bike trainer. As a starter or a trainer, you’ll outgrow it; but for a lightweight, fun bike, this could be your huckleberry.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Ninja 300 KRT Edition.
The Vulcan 1700 series from Kawasaki launched in 2009 replacing the the existing 1600 series and carries forward the Vulcan family that started in 1984. The Vaquero — the bagger of the pair — and the Voyager — the full dresser — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero and Vulcan 1700 Voyager.
When it comes to sportbikes, and there are plenty to choose from, it’s one thing to build a racey-looking bike, but something else entirely to mass produce a bike that truly would be as comfortable on the track as it is on the street.
The Kawasaki Ninja has a long and illustrious racing history, and the ZX-10R carried Kawi to podium finishes over the years, and championship status in both the ’15 Rider’s Championship and the Manufacturer’s Championship, so it’s natural that Kawi would tap it to carry its race technology to the streets.
Enter the new-for-2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10R KRT Edition. Kawi blessed this bike with all the race-proven, superbike technology that propelled the Kawasaki Racing Team to its position as the dominant racing superpower within the aforementioned brackets. Usually I get to study bikes that do little more than pay lip service to the hardcore race enthusiasts, but this time, I’m faced with the Real McCoy, and I can’t wait to delve in and see what Kawi put together for us this year.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R ABS and ZX-10R ABS KRT Edition.
Kawasaki launched its first Vulcan in 1985. The Vulcan VN700A with Kawasaki’s first V-twin was limited to a 699 cc engine to avoid import tariffs on anything over 700 cc. Thank goodness that tariff was lifted, although today’s Vulcan S is a 649 cc parallel twin so it would pass muster even in yesteryear.
As the lightest bike in the Kawasaki cruiser lineup, the Vulcan S appeals to a variety of riders with adjustable footpegs and options for seat height and handlebar position.
New for 2016, Kawasaki introduces the Vulcan S Café and the Vulcan S SE to round out its cruiser stable and anyone looking at the "S" will want to check out the new Vulcan siblings.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan S, Vulcan S Café and Vulcan S SE.
A multi-talented, middleweight motorcycle that will make your commuting and paved adventures lots of fun!
The Kawasaki Versys® 650 LT comes into the 2015 model year with a host of updates, including dramatic new styling, more power and torque, improved comfort as well as rubber-mounted engine and handlebar, plus new suspension tomaximize your street-riding fun. The 2015 Versys 650 LT is one of those rare motorcycles that is equally at home commuting on the local freeway or mixing (...)
30 Years at the top
For thirty years we’ve created ultimate Supersport machines equally capable on road and track. Always our mission has been singular – to be at the top.
With World Endurance, WSBK and WSS Championship wins, the Ninja’s define the Supersport category for racers and road riders alike. Now, to celebrate three decades of success, we announce three Anniversary Ninja models.
Ninja - top choice for thirty years. Kawasaki Ninja 300 30th Anniversary Edition Video2015 (...)
Built Beyond Belief
The launching point for the development of the Ninja H2™R motorcycle was a strong desire to offer riders something they had never experienced before. Convinced that an extraordinary riding experience would not be found by merelybuilding on the performance of existing models, the design team committed to developing the “ultimate motorcycle” from a clean slate.
The bike needed to deliver intense acceleration and ultra-high top speed, coupled with supersport-level (...)
Cruiser Style with Complete Touring Credentials.
While any motorcycle can be ridden long distances if the rider is determined, only a special few truly deserve to be called a touring cruiser. The Vulcan® 1700 Voyager® ABS motorcycle is one of those rare machines. It offers a stylish alternative to run-of-the-mill V-twin tourers, combining Kawasaki reliability with the performance, V-twin feel, comfort and amenities that a long-distance touring rider and passenger demand.
Sample state of the art Superbike supremacy on the class defining Ninja ZX-10R. Track or street, push the WSBK developed performance advantage with K-TRC traction control and a standard fit electronic steering damper. This Performance Edition comes equipped with Akrapovic exhaust, tankpad, bubble screen and pillion seat cover.
Continue reading for more information on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Performance.
The Ninja 1000 was already one of the best bikes in its class, but this wasn’t enough for Kawasaki. Therefore the company’s engineers decided to raise the bar even higher with the 2014 version.
The new model year comes with a few style upgrades, traction control, hard panniers, more power and fresh top-spec brakes. Moreover, with a starting price of $11.999 the 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS is $100 cheaper the previous model.
In terms of power, the Ninja 1000 is propelled by the torquey 1,043cc inline-four that features a few key revisions which help it boost its low and mid-range power. The engine cranks out a maximum power of 140 bhp and 82 lb-ft. of torque and sends its power to the ground through a revised six speed transmission. The new transmission features a longer 6th gear, which helps you reduce revs at highway speeds for enhanced smoothness. It is also worthy of being mentioned that the engine comes with new selectable Power Modes that offer a choice between full power and approximately 50 percent power output to help suit changing conditions.
The brakes are also upgraded, featuring ABS and new one-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front calipers.
Hit the jump for more information on the 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000.