New 2017 Kawasaki Models
Already part way down the path of introducing no less than twelve new models in the coming seasons, Kawasaki unveiled four more significant additions to its range at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany on 4 October.
Unveiled by honoured guest, Mr Kenji Tomida, President of the Motorcycle and Engine Company of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, each machine reflected Kawasaki’s stated approach to meet the demands of discerning European customers and to react positively to a complex and ever-changing market place.
Reinforcing this philosophy, the new Ninja 650 saw its European debut and, for the first time, the media and public could witness the new trellis style frame, twin-cylinder water-cooled engine tuned for low and mid-range power and distinct Ninja style. As a stylish and practical answer to the needs of a growing European audience of those new to two wheels or moving from either a smaller or larger capacity machine, the Ninja 650 offers both sporting performance and weekday in-town versatility.
Moving to litre class high-performance machines the company unveiled a third machine in its highly commended line of Supercharged motorcycles, the Ninja H2 Carbon as well as updates for the road focussed Ninja H2 and track-only Ninja H2R.
The Carbon edition, which is limited to 120 units world-wide, features a carbon fibre upper cowl, a new paint treatment and – like its H2 and H2R stablemates for the 2017 season – an IMU measuring 6 degrees of machine attitude and a raft of electronic rider aids such as Kawasaki’s innovative cornering management function. In addition, each machine in the new three bike range is now equipped with a bank angle display that records and displays lean angle when riding.
Maintaining the litre supersport theme, a new racing focused machine was shown for the first time. The Ninja ZX-10RR will number a maximum of 500 units in Europe and has special features focussed on the racing paddock and podium success. With a modified cylinder head ready to accept racing camshafts, a new crankcase arrangement made more durable for racing rigours and the kit part accessory option of adjustable head pipe and rear pivot point, the ZX-10RR is predicted to sell well to numerous Superstock and Superbike teams.
With the addition of specially commissioned Marchesini lightweight forged aluminium wheels and the impressive Brembo M50 calipers and braking package, plus a down as well as up facility of the electronic quick shifter, the ZX-10RR will attract discerning “must-have” road riders as well as racers looking for an extra competitive edge.
The Ninja influence was maintained with the introduction of a third machine, that being the much anticipated new iteration of the Z1000SX. Another example of a machine which has at a stroke created and then gone on to dominate a new class of motorcycling, the machine that is equally adept at hard sports riding as it is as a weekend tourer is further refined for 2017.
Working hard to increase both its sporting and touring credentials, Kawasaki have examined the SX package in detail and produced a new machine with silky smooth power delivery, more rider protection thanks to a wider cowling and higher screen plus plusher seating for both rider and passenger.
Revised suspension settings and such additions as LED headlamps and an adjustable gear shift light enhance the sporting prowess of the SX, while the assist and slipper clutch and easily adjustable rear pre-load mean that all day riding either alone or with passenger is simplicity itself. With the addition of clean mount panniers, the SX is transformed into a consummate weekend tourer able to cross continents and yet ready for sporting fun upon arrival.
Mr Tomida underpinned Kawasaki’s commitment to the European market at Intermot and also tabled the prospect of the company exploring a new departure for two wheeled transport, that of AI or artificial intelligence.
“We are investigating the possibility of motorcycles that have what you might term a personality and can grow along with the rider. Using an Emotion Generation Engine and a Natural Language Dialogue System, this AI-controlled system can understand and interpret the rider’s intent and emotional state.
Enabling rider and motorcycle to communicate and share an understanding of purpose will open the door to a new world of unprecedented riding experiences. Eventually both rider and motorcycle will be able to improve and grow, offering an all-new kind of riding enjoyment.”