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Will Kawasaki Ninja 300 go electric?

Kawasaki Z300 ABS - electric motorcycle

Just as we have taken delivery of a special edition Kawasaki Ninja 300 for review, it appears the Japanese company may be planning an electric version.

In March, we reported on online rumours that Kawasaki had filed patents in the US for as many as 10 electric motorcycle designs.

Now images of the patented design have surfaced and it looks just like a Ninja 300, but with a big battery and electric motor.

The images show a conventional looking bike with a traditional telescopic fork and single brake disc although the rear part of the chassis looks unusual and there doesn’t seem to be a rear shock.

The green machine has also registered the trademarks Ninja E2 and E2R which sounds like appropriate names for an electric bike.  Kawasaki Z300 ABS - electric motorcycle

If Kawasaki does go electric, it would follow other traditional motorcycle manufacturers such as Yamaha, Harley-Davidson, Victory and BMW.

As battery technology continues to gather pace, more and more traditional motorcycle manufacturers are likely to come on board.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for our review of the updated Ninja 300 with slipper clutch and special livery.

  • What would it take to convince you to buy an electric motorcycle? Is it performance, range, recharging times, looks or economics?

  1. What would it take to convince me to buy an electric motorcycle? A big reduction in price, that’s what. I would buy one right now but currently they are about twice the price of what they are worth to me. The short range and long charge-time means that I couldn’t have one as my only bike, but as an extra bike for local running around they would be great. And please don’t use the term ‘range anxiety’. We live in Australia and here it is range reality!

    What is not usually talked about is battery life. A few years back I read about an electric bike on which the cost of replacing the battery was more than half the cost of the new bike. Sometimes a number of cycles is mentioned but batteries usually deteriorate with age. If the bike was not used very often the battery could expire before the bike had travelled many kilometres. If you bought an electric bike second-hand you could be in for a nasty surprise if the battery was near the end of its life. Could the cost of replacing batteries negate much of the savings in fuel?

  2. So what would make me want to buy an E/ninja ? Maybe the price, if it’s not going to cost me both my arms and legs then I might buy one, but after looking at some of the other E/bikes I would think that a $120,000 is a bit much, if it was cheaper for sure but it will not be a cheap buy, they need to make the bikes cheaper or they won’t sell many unless the buyer is super rich and has the money to throw away

  3. Compressed air makes more sense for bikes.
    A medium sized bike would have room for five or more scuba sized tanks
    The air powered motors could be part of both front and rear hubs and could use regenerative braking, there would be room for a small electric compressor.
    Air tanks last for up to ten years or more and cost far less to manufacture than batteries both in fiscal and environmental terms.
    The control gear is a bunk of simple valves not complex electronics.
    And rapid charging would take an hour or less if liquid air was used.
    The range of five scuba tanks would be about five hundred kilometres depending on the efficiency of the motors and level of regen and of course how lead wristed the rider.

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