For 2021, Kawasaki hypes in the press release, “a motorcycle for every rider.”
True this is a bold statement, but one look at this year’s model lineup and I do have to agree. For comparison, have a look at the 2020 Kawasaki lineup.
The Kawasaki 2021 line of motorcycles includes a wide range of options covering hypersport, supersport, sport, naked, adventure, touring, dual-purpose, and cruiser models. It goes beyond the normal categories as well, into the realm of the dirt road… or perhaps, no road at all.
If you had been saving your pennies with hopes of ordering a Ninja H2, Carbon, or R, I hate to crush that dream, but Kawasaki notes on the website “Ordering period has closed.” I have hope that you can find one in a dealer showroom.
Key changes for the 2021 Kawasaki lineup:
The Ninja ZX-10R and 10RR, receive small technical changes and a major facelift
All new KLX300 Dual Sport and KLX300SM Supermoto
All new KX-250 and KX-250X
Major update to the KX-450 and KX450X
We’re making it our mission to help riders make informed decisions about their next bike. If you’re looking at buying a new motorcycle, and you want that machine to be a brand-new Kawasaki, have a look at the breakdown of their 2021 lineup – there’s a lot here to like.
2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 R
The Ninja H2-R is the exclamation point for the entire Kawasaki lineup. The world’s only limited production supercharged hypersport model represents the unbridled pinnacle of Kawasaki engineering, with astonishing acceleration and mind-bending top speed, only suitable for the track.
Featuring a 998cc inline four-cylinder engine, proprietary supercharger, lightweight trellis frame, compact superbike dimensions, carbon fiber aerodynamic devices, fully adjustable high-performance racing suspension and a rigid single-sided swingarm. This track-only motorcycle also features Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, Öhlins rear shock, highly durable self-healing paint and sits at the head of the class in advanced electronics and technological development.
The 2021 H2 and H2 Carbon carry forward from 2020 basically unchanged. The order window is closed for these limited run street versions of the H2 R. Packed with 228 HP from the supercharged 998cc engine, and every high tech goodie a flagship HyperSport bike should have, Kawasaki still keeps the weight low at 528lbs fully fueled.
In need of a bit more comfort? Wanting to devour touring miles with hardly a sacrifice from a full hypersport bike? This is the niche the H2 SX SE+ fills. Sharing the 998 cc, Supercharged engine from the H2 family with a sport touring riding position.
Optional KQR 28 liter hard saddlebags are available.
The 2021 Ninja ZX-10 R receives a major facelift. The aggressive new look incorporates integrated winglets. Kawasaki claims a 17-percent improvement in downforce compared to the 2020 model. The windscreen is taller, and the fairing improves the heat dissipation with larger openings.
2021 NINJA ZX -10R HIGHLIGHTS
NEW Updated Engine and Air-cooled Oil Cooler
NEW Light Handling Chassis
NEW Suspension Settings
NEW Next Generation Aerodynamic Ninja Styling featuring Integrated Winglets
NEW Aerodynamic Riding Position
NEW Advanced Electronics
High-Performance Brembo Brake System
The list of technology features includes Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Bosch IMU, Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Ohlins Electronic Steering Damper and Power Modes. New for 2021 are Integrated Riding Modes, Electronic Cruise Control, TFT Color Instrumentation, and Smartphone Connectivity.
Chassis changes include an 8mm longer swingarm, a 10mm longer wheelbase, a new lower triple clamp, and revised front fork and shock settings.
Ergonomic changes include a taller windscreen and a revised handlebar position, set farther forward and straighter.
The 2021 Ninja ZX-10R is available with color options of Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Carbon Gray and the KRT Edition in Lime Green/Ebony/Pearl Blizzard White.
The 2021 Ninja 650 is unchanged from 2020, continuing to be an excellent daily rider. A sporty 649 cc engine tuned for low/midrange power delivery, matched with an upright riding position for exciting daily commutes.
For 2021, the Ninja 650 is available in Metallic Graphite Gray / Metallic Spark Black, Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Imperial Red and Metallic Spark Black / Pearl Nightshade Teal.
Unchanged from last year, the 2021 Ninja 1000SX continues to be a silky smooth, powerful sport machine. Loaded with comfort and technology, Kawasaki provides far more than one might expect for the dollars asked.
Color options for 2021 are Metallic Carbon Gray / Metallic Diablo Black, and Metallic Moondust Gray / Metallic Diablo Black.
No changes are noted for the 2021 Z125 Pro. None are really needed for the fun little hooligan machine. Powered by a four speed 125cc air-cooled single, and riding on grippy 12” tires, the Z125 is perfect for carving up urban areas.
Available in 2 color choices for 2021, Metallic Flat Spark Black, and Pearl Nightshade Teal.
A fiercely authentic supernaked, the 2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS exudes fresh street style and is immediately recognizable in a crowd with its compact chassis and aggressive styling. Comfortable, balanced and capable, the Z400 ABS offers a visceral riding experience that’s sure to turn heads.
For 2021, the Z400 ABS is available in Pearl Nightshade Teal / Metallic Flat Spark Black and Candy Cardinal Red / Metallic Flat Spark Black.
The 2021 Z900 ABS contains a host of advanced features and epitomizes Kawasaki’s belief of what the ideal supernaked should be. At 948cc with an ultra-lightweight chassis, every ride is met with exceptional power, responsiveness and excitement.
The 2021 Z900 ABS features a 948cc liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder engine, strengthened frame, improved front and rear suspension settings, Sugomi -inspired Z styling, Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Power Mode and Integrated Riding Modes selection, Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP, TFT Color Instrumentation, and a LED headlamp.
For 2021, the Z900 is available in Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Flat Spark Black or Pearl Blizzard White / Metallic Spark Black.
Unchanged from 2020, the flagship model of the Kawasaki Z line of naked motorcycles, features a 998cc liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder balanced supercharged engine, effortless dog-ring transmission, and specifically designed lightweight trellis frame.
The 2021 Z H2 is loaded with advanced technology including Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP.
For 2021, the Z H2 comes in Metallic Diablo Black / Metallic Flat Spark Black.
Kawasaki’s flagship model of the Z line of naked motorcycles just got better as the 2021 Z H2 SE adds a smoother ride and more stopping power to the already innovative Z H2 package.
NEW Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension with Skyhook EERA Technology
NEW Brembo Stylema Monobloc Brake Calipers and Brembo Front Brake Master Cylinder
While retaining the ultimate combination of outright power and controllability, the new 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE comes equipped with Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS). The new electronic suspension also features Showa’s Skyhook technology, delivering a smoother ride, which contributes to increased comfort and enjoyment. Complementing the high-tech suspension are premium Brembo front brake components, which add to even greater stopping power and control.
The 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE motorcycle is available in Golden Blazed Green/ Metallic Diablo Black.
The 2021 W800 features a 773cc air-cooled vertical twin engine, Assist & Slipper Clutch, traditional exhaust system, authentic W1 inspired styling, disc brakes with ABS, chrome-plated steel fenders, large round turn signals, a standard handlebar, large 19″ front wheel and 18″ back wheel, a relaxed riding position, silver alumite rims, tuck & roll seat, and a Kawasaki Advanced Dynamic Analysis Designed Frame.
No changes are noted from the 2020 model. It does not appear a Cafe version is available in 2021.
For 2021 the W800 is available in Metallic Ocean Blue.
Unchanged from 2020. The 2021 Versys-X 300 features a Ninja -derived 296cc twin cylinder, DOHC, DFI engine, lightweight chassis, a low seat height, front cowling and tall windshield, and a convenient rear carrier.
The 2021 Versys-X 300 ABS is available in Metallic Graphite Gray / Metallic Spark Black.
No significant change from the 2020 Model. The 2021 Versys 650 LT and ABS models provide a comfortable adventure bike platform. Featuring a compact 649cc parallel-twin engine, slim upright riding position, windscreen with two inches of tool-free adjustment.
The Versys 650 LT is equipped with hard saddlebags featuring Kawasakis KQR mounting system, and hand guards for increased wind protection.
The 2021 Versys 650 comes in Metallic Moondust Gray / Metallic Spark Black.
The largest of the Versys lineup, the 2021 1000 SE LT+ sees little change from last year’s model.
The 2021 Versys 1000 SE LT+ features a 1043cc in-line four-cylinder engine, upright riding position, Integrated Riding Modes, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), all-LED lighting including cornering lights, multi-function TFT color LCD screen, Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP, Electronic Cruise Control and heated grips. For 2021, the Versys 1000 SE LT+ benefits from an update to its KECS (Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension) to incorporate Showa’s Skyhook EERA (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment) technology.
The color for 2021 is Pearl Storm Gray / Metallic Diablo Black / Metallic Flat Spark Black.
Versys 1000 SE LT+ MSRP: $18,199 USD / $20,099 CAD
Unchanged for 2021, the Concours 14 ABS rolls along. I wonder how much longer this bike will remain in the lineup. It still provides a comfortable and powerful platform for Sport Touring, but is lacking the technology customers expect in this type of motorcycle.
It remains the most comfortable 2 up sport touring offering for Kawasaki, silky smooth and well proven.
Mechanically unchanged from 2020, the 2021 Vulcan S and Vulcan S Cafe continue as an excellent urban cruiser choice.
Both models are powered by the same 649cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin engine, and each one also offers the trick Ergo-Fit system, which allows for up to 18 adjustments just by moving the seat, footpegs, and handlebar into different positions.
The 2021 Vulcan S is available in Metallic Flat Raw Graystone, and Pearl Blizzard White.
The 2021 Vulcan S Cafe is available in Pearl Storm Gray / Ebony.
Kawasaki Vulcan S MSRP: $7,599 USD / $8,499 CAD
Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe MSRP: $8,199 USD / $8,899 CAD
Mechanically unchanged from 2020, the 2021 Vulcan 900 Classic, Custom and Classic LT feature a 903cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, V-twin engine. The 900 Vulcans offer the looks and feel of big cruisers while keeping an affordable price.
Vulcan 900 Classic is available in Pearl Storm Gray / Pearl Blizzard White.
Vulcan 900 Classic LT is available in Pearl Meteor Gray / Metallic Spark Black.
Vulcan 900 Custom is available in Candy Steel Furnace Orange / Metallic Spark Black.
Unchanged from 2020. The 2021 Vulcan Voyager ABS is the king of Kawasaki cruisers, featuring a 1,700cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 52-degree V-twin engine, stylish frame-mounted fairing, intercom headset compatible audio system, and integrated luggage.
For 2021 the Vulcan Voyager ABS is available in Pearl Meteor Gray / Metallic Spark Black.
The KLX 110R is a great motorcycle for a new rider who is looking to experience off-road for the first time. A high-tensile steel frame, 30mm telescopic fork, and single rear shock provide easy handling and maximum longevity. It also incorporates an automatic centrifugal clutch system that allows easy take off and shifting through the gears, helping the rider maintain focus on the terrain and to make the most of the 112cc single-cylinder, four stroke engine. The larger KLX 110R L motorcycle has a taller seat height (28.7” compared to 26.8” for the KLX110R), longer suspension travel, an extra 1.9” of ground clearance and a four-speed transmission with a manual clutch.
The KLX 140R motorcycle is available in two model variations and is designed to provide a natural terrain experience with memories to last a lifetime. The powerful 144cc, four-stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder engine features an electric starter and keyless ignition. Its broad and smooth high-revving 144cc engine utilizes a manual clutch and five-speed transmission to offer an efficient and user-friendly feel. The KLX140R uses a 17” front and 14” rear wheel, while the mid-sized KLX 140R L motorcycle is equipped with a 19” front and 16” rear wheels to accommodate taller riders, providing extra ground clearance.
The KLX 140R F motorcycle is the third variation of the KLX 140 models and is designed to provide a natural terrain experience with memories to last a lifetime. The powerful 144cc, four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine features an electric starter and keyless ignition. Its broad and smooth high-revving 144cc engine utilizes a manual clutch and five-speed transmission to offer an efficient and user-friendly feel. The KLX 140R F comes equipped with full-size off-road wheels and tires, using a 21” front and 18” rear.
The KLX 230R off-road motorcycle has been purpose-built for serious fun in the dirt; with priority placed on both its engine and frame design. It was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for a broad range of riders. A powerful 233cc fuel-injected, air-cooled four-stroke engine utilizes an electric starter and keyless ignition, and has been paired with a reliable, easy-to-use smooth-shifting six-speed transmission and manual clutch. The KLX230R comes equipped with full-size off-road wheels and tires, using a 21” front and 18” rear, and long travel suspension for optimal ground clearance.
The KLX 300R off-road motorcycle bridges the gap between a weekend play bike and a full race bike. As the flagship of the KLX lineup, the KLX300R combines the best of both engine and chassis performance to create the ultimate lightweight, fun offroad machine. The powerful 292cc fuel-injected, liquid cooled four-stroke engine features an electric starter and keyless ignition. It has a user-friendly smoothshifting six-speed transmission and manual clutch. The KLX300R comes equipped with full-size off-road wheels and tires, using a 21” front and 18” rear, and long travel suspension for optimal ground clearance.
In 2018, the legendary KLR 650 was axed from the Kawasaki line-up as the bike failed to comply with emissions regulations, and it left a hole in the industry. Luckily, Kawasaki hasn’t wasted any time in filling that hole. Enter the 2022 KLR 650 ABS: an updated version of the Kawasaki classic, complete with all the necessary bits and pieces to drag it into the 21st century.
Built around a redesigned fuel-injected 652 cc single-cylinder engine, the all-new KLR 650 features brand new bodywork, ABS, new instrumentation, and a number of other exciting upgrades that make it a marked improvement over the last iteration. For 2021, the KLR 650 ABS is available in three versions: the KLR 650 ABS, KLR 650 Traveler, and KLR 650 Adventure. We’re glad to see the KLR come back. It truly has been missed.
Joining the new KLR 650 ABS is the very handsome KLR 650 Traveler. This all-new model is the latest addition to the KLR story and features the same drivetrain and chassis as the rest of the KLR line. The most important of these is the bike’s newly Euro5 compliant fuel-injected 652 cc single-cylinder engine, but there are enough differences to warrant paying a touch extra for the Traveler model.
The Traveler features a number of exciting extras, with the most significant being the addition of a factory-installed top case from the Kawasaki Genuine Accessories catalog, a 12v power outlet, USB socket, and a unique Pearl Lava Orange color option.
The top-spec model in the new Kawasaki KLR 650 line-up is the range-topping KLR 650 Adventure. It’s built on top of the same chassis and drivetrain as the other two models in the range, but with a few tasty extras. As you can probably guess, the KLR 650 Adventure uses a newly-configured Euro5 compliant fuel-injected 652 cc single-cylinder engine that delivers ample power for both on and off-road pursuits, just like the other models.
However, the Adventure packs a few extra surprises. As standard, it ships with factory-installed Kawasaki Genuine Accessories side cases, an LED auxiliary light arrangement, a tank pad, a 12v power outlet, a USB socket, and a cool tank pad too. It’s also available in an exclusive Cypher Camo Gray color option too.
The KLX 230 dual-purpose motorcycle is built to take riders to new places. Taking cues from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this street legal, dual-purpose motorcycle has been designed to enable riders to get out of town and enjoy the trails with confidence.
A smooth and reliable powerful, 233cc fuel-injected, aircooled engine has been paired with an easy-to-use smooth-shifting six-speed transmission and manual clutch, and a compact steel perimeter frame, which were all designed with trail riding in mind. Full-size wheels, long travel suspension, and ample ground clearance contribute to the off-road capability of the KLX230 motorcycle.
Front and rear disc brakes supported by Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS provide sure stopping power when riding on trails as well as on-road.
Powerful fuel-injected 292 cc liquid cooled four stroke engine
Convenient electric start
Dual-sport tuned long-travel suspension
On-road dual-sport versatility
The new KLX300 dual-sport is powered by an enduro-inspired 292 cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine with a rewarding spread of power across the rev range. The engine features cam profiles sourced from the KLX 300R off-road model.
Several updates to the radiator deliver superior cooling efficiency, including the use of dual radiators and slimmer radiator sizing. An innovative radiator fan cover directs hot air down and away from the rider, significantly increasing comfort when stuck in heavy traffic or operating in warm riding conditions.
The KLX300 features a box-and-tubular-section high-tensile steel perimeter frame that creates a slim, lightweight package, which offers maneuverability and excellent handling on- or off-road. A 26.7- degree caster angle and short wheelbase provide quick handling characteristics, while the high rigidity frame ensures a composed ride. The lightweight, highly rigid aluminum D-section swingarm also contributes to low unsprung weight.
An all-digital instrument panel offers the rider valuable information at a glance. The instrument panel features a digital speedometer, bar-type tachometer, clock, dual trip meters, and a range of warning/indicator lamps.
The 2021 KLX300SM was developed alongside the KLX 300 dual-sport and features similar DNA, including many shared engine and chassis components. Where the models differ is overall styling and intended use. While the KLX300 dual-sport is equal parts on-road and dirt, the KLX300SM receives a host of supermoto inspired componentry. This includes 17-inch front and rear wheels paired with street tires, supermoto tuned suspension, and aggressive styling. These differences establish the KLX300SM as the ultimate lightweight supermoto.
The 2021 KLX300SM supermoto model comes in the Lime Green/Ebony and the Oriental Blue/Ebony.
The 2021 KX 65 is the most compact bike in the Kawasaki KX lineup, built to serve as the machine of choice for aspiring motocross racers driven to follow in Kawasaki’s championship footsteps. The durability and reliability the KX models are known for creating a dependable platform for starting off in racing. Featuring a six-speed transmission, race-ready engine, strong stopping power, and superb handling, the KX65 grooms champions. Its liquid-cooled, two-stroke 65cc engine and light weight chassis delivers strong controllable power and exceptional handling that results in the ultimate recipe for winning races. The 33mm front forks and four-way adjustable rebound damping are capable of performing at the highest level in aggressive terrain, while the rear is fitted with Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak single-shock system with adjustable rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload.
The 2021 KX 85 motorcycle defines a “big bike in a small package” and has been strategically developed to meet the standards of youth racers searching for the upper hand over the competition. Embedded with the performance and winning technology of the KX lineup, the KX85 relies on its instantaneous power, nimble handling, and factory-race inspired styling to reach the checkered flag first. The two-stroke, single cylinder 85cc engine is equipped with the highly advanced KIPS power valve system that generates an easy-to-use wide-spread powerband. Championship performance requires power and reliability, which is exactly why the KX85 stands above the competition.
Despite its smaller stature, the powerful 99cc two-stroke engine in the 2021 KX 100 motorcycle resembles the jaw dropping “big bike” look of its larger KX counterparts, while maintaining its ability to outperform the competition. Designed using the same championship winning technology as Kawasaki’s full-size motocross models, an adjustable ERGO-FIT handlebar mounting system allows for riders to place themselves in the best ride position. Backed by winning performance from Kawasaki Team Green, the KX100 has been a natural step for the riders who are looking to make the transition from the 85cc class to a full size motocross bike
The Kawasaki KX 250 motorcycle has more AMA motocross and supercross championships combined than any other manufacturer in its class and returns for 2021 with a list of enhancements that are designed to continue its winning history by keeping it the best performing bike on track. The 2021 model builds on the engine changes from the previous year to deliver even more power and make it the most powerful KX250 to date.
Highlights of the 2021 KX250
NEW More powerful engine
NEW Electric start
NEW Coned disk-spring hydraulic clutch
NEW Lightweight aluminum perimeter frame
NEW Fine-tuned race-ready suspension and brake components
NEW Slim, ergonomic bodywork
NEW Engine with increased peak power
NEW Processing for intake and exhaust ports
NEW Exhaust cam timing
NEW Stiffer valve springs
NEW Combustion chamber design and flatter piston crown
The Kawasaki KX 450 motorcycle returns as the flagship model in the Kawasaki KX lineup for 2021 and boasts several new updates to maintain its edge as the leader in its class. Tuned to best suit race-experienced riders, the 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine with improved engine power, slim aluminum perimeter frame, Showa A-KIT technology suspension, redesigned hydraulic clutch and electric start are the ultimate combination of a championship winning package.
The KX450 is built with race-winning components to help Kawasaki riders get to the top step of the podium. For 2021 the KX450 receives engine updates for increased performance, a new coned disk-spring hydraulic clutch, and a new 1-1/8” Renthal Fatbar handlebar. From the showroom to the racetrack, the performance of Kawasaki’s KX family of motorcycles is proof of its engineering pedigree. It truly is The Bike That Builds Champions
The championship-proven technology of KX race machines has now been purposely tuned for off-road competition. Kawasaki is proud to announce all-new off-road competition KX models with the all-new 2021 KX 250X and KX 450X models.
The KX250X and KX450X share many winning traits with their motocross counterparts including the engine, frame, chassis, and styling, paired with unique cross-country tuning and settings such as suspension settings, gearing, off-road 21”/18” wheel combination, Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires, brake components, skid plate, and kickstand. The softer suspension settings and shorter gearing ratio help to create the optimal handling package for the race ready off-road KX lineup.
Highlights of the 2021 Off-Road Competition KX Lineup
ALL-NEW Off-road optimized engine and suspension settings