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Here's What You Need to Know About Kawasaki's Electric Motorcycle

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【Summary】Kawasaki brought a prototype electric bike to EICMA 2019 that the company says has been under development for the last 10 years.

Manish Kharinta    Nov 17, 2019 4:00 PM PT
Here's What You Need to Know About Kawasaki's Electric Motorcycle

At the annual EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Kawasaki's pavilion had some exciting two-wheeled machines on display. As expected, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer's all-new Ninja 1000SX stole the spotlight at the show. 

However, Kawasaki also brought along a prototype electric bike to this year's EICMA bike show that has been under development for the last 10 years. The electric motorcycle uses a Ninja 650 frame and comes equipped with a 4-speed gearbox. 

The powertrain offered in the electric motorcycle was entirely developed by Kawasaki in-house, and it is the first time it was unveiled to the world. The electric motor uses a chain final drive, instead of the more conventional belt driven system, to deliver power to the rear wheel.

Kawasaki's electric motorcycle offers 62 miles of range and weighs 483 lbs. 

According to the company, Kawasaki plans on utilizing the technology showcased in its prototype electric bike to power its future battery-powered projects, alongside the company's signature line of super-charged motorcycles. 

We expected that Kawasaki will showcase a concept that features some level of electrification at EICMA 2019, as the company filed for a patent earlier this year in April for a zero-emission powertrain. 

To develop the electric motorcycle, Kawasaki conducted extensive EV research and used its Autopolis track in Southern Japan to conduct road tests. As of now, the powertrain offered in Kawasaki's electric motorcycle produces 13 horsepower  continuously with 27 hp of peak electric power output.

This EV initiative by Kawasaki is a commendable accomplishment but it is in no way comparable to the standard Ninja 650 which manages to churn out 72.1 bhp of peak power output. 

For comparison, the inexpensive mass-market Zero FXS ZF7.2 electric motorcycle is 190 lbs lighter than the electric Kawasaki and manages to offer a similar range while delivering superior power output.

The SR/F electric streetfighter from electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero manages to outshine the Kawasaki EV by an even wider margin. The Zero SR/F was introduced earlier this year in New York and gets a 110 hp electric powertrain that offers a range of 123 miles.

The Kawasaki EV aloc comes equipped with a thumb brake-activated energy recovery system and gets the company's patented chassis geometry. 

According to Kawasaki, the electric bike was developed using the company's "RIDEOLOGY" rider-centric development philosophy. As the bike is still in its early conceptual stages, we expect that Kawasaki will introduce improvements before signing off on the production-ready model.

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