Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA
Essentially, it's a naked version of a Ninja 400 with an affordable price that's targeted primarily toward the entry-level riders.
First up is the Z400 that, essentially, turns a Ninja 400 into a naked bike that’s meant primarily for the entry-level riders because yeah, we don’t use the tiered license system over here (much to our credit, says I) so a complete Newby MacNooberson can ride it. However, if you live in an area that does tax you with a tiered system, the Z400 meets A2 restrictions with its 45-pony mill coupled to the tranny through a slip-and-assist clutch that protects the integrity of the rear contact patch, and it comes with ABS as part of the stock package that’s slated for a $4,799 MSRP.
Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+
The Versys 1000 hits the bricks this year with a repower, a facelift and gadgetry buff to give us the new SE LT+ variant.
Kawi’s globetrotting [Versys2738] 1000 hits the bricks this year with a repower, a facelift and gadgetry buff to give us the new SE LT+ variant. This new version rocks a total of 1,043 cc tucked away in the four-bore powerplant, and it produces a solid 75.2 pound-feet of torque at 7,500 rpm for your on/off-road adventures. To manage the mill, the factory has a brand new feature called Rideology The App that breaks the performance metrics down to a science through a wireless Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. A fresh face leads the way with cornering lights set in the fairing extensions that form the radiator cowl, and like the rest of the lighting, they use bright LED emitters to pierce the night.
The stems benefit from the new Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension system that reads the road and tweaks the dampers in real time for a responsive ride vastly superior to a fixed system, no matter how many adjustment said system offers. Kawi’s Quick Shifter was on the receiving end of a buff as well, and it can now provide smooth, seamless shifts both up and down the range sans clutch action. My left hand is green with envy, I tell ya’ what.
Of course, all of the above is on top of a Cornering Management feature, cruise- and traction-control hardware and Kawi’s Intelligent Anti-lock Brake system that round out the safety gear quite nicely. The $17,999 sticker is about right for this level of fandanglery, and I expect this new ride to be comfortable around top-line ADV bikes such as what Ducati and Triumph brings to the table. Stay tuned for my upcoming full review on this new marvel.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
Along with amazing self-healing paint, as far as electronics go, if you can name it, the SX SE+ probably has it.
Ninja fans rejoice, for thine is the power and the glory...or something like that. Kawasaki brought the Ninja H2 to Italy, and this one rocks the SX SE+ trim package that brings a new paint technique to the table. That’s right, I’ve got one of the hottest items so far this show season, and I’m gonna’ start with the paint. Remember that scene in Stephen King’s “Christine” where the car repaired itself? Well, this isn’t quite there yet, but Kawi’s Highly Durable Paint paint has the ability to “heal” small scratches and absorb impacts through the magic of dual-density components in the topcoat that act as a sort of chemical spring that shrugs off impacts that would otherwise ding it.
Under that paint is a technological marvel with a supercharged liter engine as its beating heart. As far as electronics go, if you can name it, the SX SE+ probably has it. Launch control, traction control, corner management and an engine brake control are joined by a quick shifter that’ll go up and down the range. Anti-locks come standard, as does the Öhlins electronic steering damper and suspension control. This ride keeps the bar high within the hypersport sector, and puts Kawi in an enviable position if you ask me. At $25,000, I’m confident that you’ll get your money’s worth with this one.
Kawasaki W800 Café
The machine hits its target era of 'somewhere in the '60s' with Kawi's own W1 as its source of inspiration.
Last, but definitely not least, is the W800 Café that carries itself with a café-tastic panache that is right on point. Yeah, I love me some café style, and the W800 has it in spades with a cute little bullet fairing complete with bubble screen to lead the way around a classic round headlight. The bar is of the low-rise variety that pulls the rider forward into a racing posture, and unlike the original homemade bikes, these won’t ding the tank.
A two-up seat uses a two-tone layout that visually detaches the pillion from the pilot’s seat to create a faux tail fairing. The rear fender and mudguard extension is also very classic, and overall, the machine hits its target era of somewhere in the ’60s with Kawi’s own W1 as its source of inspiration.
The 773 cc plant is air-cooled, so there’s no radiator to ugly it up, and the peashooter exhaust plays right into the retro look. We don’t know when it’s going to hit U.S. showrooms, but we do know it will command a $9,799 sticker.
I’ll be hitting all four of these bikes for a full review once the show brouhaha dies down a skosh.
Kawasaki Versys SE LT+
Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
Kawasaki W800 Café
See our review of the Kawasaki W800 Café
Read more Kawasaki news.