2015 - 2020 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 2020 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 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-in-2019 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 in 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 the electronics were upgraded with even more fandanglery on the menu.
2019 - 2020 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 to the table the best Kawi has to offer along with top-flight aerodynamics and a supercharged engine on top of a full electronics suite making it 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.
Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
Call them bikes that perfectly fill the gap between thrilling sportsbike and the gigantic touring machines, sports-tourers are naturally long haul motorcycles with sportbike expectations built to get the best out of that long way home. Here is our list of 2020’s top five machines offering the same capabilities as touring bikes but without sacrificing any of the sporty performance.
They tend to be a bit lighter and corner well but aren’t the most comfortable. The riding position tends to be a bit more relaxed compared to sports machines, and there’s better wind protection, much better pillion comforts, transmission with lower gearing, and usually a whole quick-release pannier system designed.
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 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.
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.
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-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?
2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS
The Ninja ZX-6R bolsters Kawasaki’s mid-range sportbike presence with much the same race-tastic tendencies as its larger-displacement siblings, just in a smaller package. It goes far beyond the looks; the factory stuffed a four-cylinder plant inside the windtunnel-tested body panels with a full electronics suite to help keep it all under control. However, this doesn’t necessarily make the “6R” suitable for beginners, but rather an appropriate first or second upgrade, or perhaps as a funbike for weekend warriors. Today I want to take an in-depth look at this Ninja and see how it fares against a comparable model from another of the Big Four.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.
Kawasaki adds electronic suspension to its new member of the ZX-10R class
With their bikes dominating the WSBK championships, we can see the direct impact of this on their street products. With the integration of technology and electronics from their motorsport experience, they have continuously pushed the limits for better handling and a thrilling ride experience along with ground-breaking technology catering to the rider’s needs.
One such addition is the semi-active suspension unit that the folks from Kawasaki have equipped their new 2018 ZX-10R variant. Suffixed as ’SE’, the bike sits right in the middle of the ’R’ and the ’RR’, and is ready to slay the competition.
After the mighty Ninja H2 and H2R, Kawasaki brings in the 207 hp H2 SX to the table
While we were still drooling over the radical H2 and H2R that can put any super sports to shame, Kawasaki decided to expand the overcharged family and give the same gut-wrenching soul to a biblical tourer.
Called as the ninja H2 SX, it was co-developed by Kawasaki’s motorcycle and aerospace division. This ‘world’s only’ supercharged hyper sport touring motorcycle will have the ultimate blend of power, performance, refinement, comfort and fuel efficiency.
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.
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 (...)
Kawasaki made a splash in 1995 with the addition of the ZX-6R line to the Ninja family, and the reverberations are still felt 20 years later, with the 2015 ZX-6R 636 Performance as its top-shelf entry in the U.K. mid-size bracket. Built to take on its traditional competitors (Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki) in the sportbike market, this little Ninja comes with a few extra features in an attempt to give it an edge over other comparable models in its weight class. It will need all the help it can get, because it shares this chunk of the market with successful, long-established models such as the 2015 Suzuki GSX-R750 and the 2015 Honda CBR500R, to name a few. Let’s take a look at what Kawi is hiding under all those body panels to compete with such august company, shall we?
Continue reading for my review of the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 636 Performance.
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.
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.