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Kawasaki’s Upcoming Hybrid Motorcycle

What We Know, and What to Expect from the Ninja HEV

A view of Kawasaki's Ninja HEV. Media sourced from CycleWorld.
A view of Kawasaki's Ninja HEV. Media sourced from CycleWorld.

Kawasaki’s electric “Ninja e-1” and “Z e-1” have already been peeked to the public ahead of their EICMA, but what about that hybrid-electric motorcycle that Team Green has been cooking up in the lab

Good question.

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Here’s what we know so far about Kawasaki’s Ninja HEV, complete with sources:

  1. The Ninja HEV’s production model will be revealed in 2024 (CycleWorld).
  2. Model names include “HEV Ninja” and “Ninja HEV,” the last being the preferred title (Kawasaki’s original press release).
  3. We’ve known about the HEV since 2020 (The Autopian).
  4. The hybrid powertrain is comprised of a battery married to a twin-cylinder engine (Ultimate Motorcycling).
  5. Kawi’s installed a push-button-operated, semi-auto transmission for seamless go-between (CycleWorld).
  6. Multiple ride modes will include an electric-only “walk” option for riding at slower speeds, a gas-only option for cruises / longer trips, and a hybrid mode for max power called “eBoost” (CycleWorld).
  7. Batteries will be slowly replenished while the Ninja HEV is in full gas mode.
  8. Componentry includes “a traditional fork, conventionally mounted Nissin brake calipers, and Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires” (Ultimate Motorcycling).
  9. “Other features include… a switch that moves the transmission into a fully-automatic setting” (CycleWorld).

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There’s hefty potential for multiple hybrid models with this powertrain, given that this system is so convenient, it can be “used on virtually any bike with a conventional transverse combustion engine.” Kawasaki is also “the first of Japan’s big four… to show off near-production-ready machines powered by alternate fuel sources,” so we’re looking forward to a bit of extra sparkle on the day of the big reveal.

Since the Ninja HEV is set for a 2024 due date, we are expecting this hybrid to be a MY2025 machine and an eligible contender for EICMA 2024, with the Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 likely claiming a spot in EICMA 2023.

*Media sourced from CycleWorld, as well as The Autopian and Ultimate Motorcycling*