Kawasaki’s slow progress on its electric motorcycle

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Words: Nile Bijoux
18 Nov 2019

Kawasaki has gone into some detail about its new electric motorcycle, set to be a middleweight sports machine. It has evidently been under secret development for almost two decades, suggesting exceedingly low priority. With EV motorcycles, timing to market is crucial.

The Kawasaki EV, as the bike is codenamed, will be around the size of a Ninja 650. At the moment, it uses right-side-up suspension from other models and a trellis frame.

It doesn’t make big power currently, with Kawa claiming just 20kW and no supplementing torque figures. Given the bike is still very much in development, expect figures to increase by launch time. Strangely, for an EV, it has a gearbox. A four-speed manual with a clutch, at that, the gears laid out like those of a traditional motorcycle (1-N-2-3-4). Weight is currently sitting around 220kg.

The battery won’t be big, a result of the restricted space, with the company claiming a range of about 100km. Again, these are prototype figures so don’t put too much stock in them. The bike will support CHAdeMO fast-charging though.

There’s no firm release date yet but it will be interesting to see what Kawasaki comes up with for a market-ready version, if the bike makes it that far.

 

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