Two curious things happened today: an EPA certification document outed details on the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and Kawasaki USA announced the “global debut of its 2013 line of iconic Ninja motorcycles in New York’s Times Square.” Add in to the mix that the EPA documents also make mention of Kawasaki Ninja 300 & Kawasaki Ninja 400R models, along with the recently updated Kawasaki Ninja 250R, and Team Green could very well be dropping the news about three or four brand new models for the US market.
Of course what is really interesting about this news is how Kawasaki could do a two-fold offer of 300cc & 400cc bikes in the US market, and how those two models would fit alongside the Ninja 250R, which we can only assume will be updated in the United States to the model that was debuted in Indonesia earlier this month. Or will it?
Often touted as the best-selling sport bike in the US market, the Kawasaki Ninja 250(R) has always been a bit unloved in the United States, despite its global popularity. When the model got fuel-injection in 2008 for the global market, Americans had to make do with the same old carbureted motor. With Kawasaki giving yet another update to the 250R earlier this month, the presumption was that America would finally get on the same page as the rest of the world, and use the fuel-injected model with its ZX-10R inspired bodywork.
A quick look at the EPA documents though, and we see that the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R will be a carbureted model, though interestingly enough the Kawasaki Ninja 300 listed is a fuel-injected model (as is the Kawasaki Ninja 400R, but we already knew that from our friends to the north). So how does Kawasaki reconcile three motorcycles that are within a 150cc spread in the American market? That last part is the real kicker, huh? A little educated conjecture might have that answer for us.
Let us assume that America gets the shaft yet again on a fuel-injected Kawasaki 250R, and the model even maintains its street-standard look instead of the hip new sport-bike-inspired bodywork that everyone seemed to enjoy just a few weeks ago. With the Kawasaki Ninja 250R listed as making just under 23hp, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 with its extra 47cc of displacement, puts out a stout 39hp according to the EPA.
What if Kawasaki is making an early move, and casting its hat into the budding 300cc sport bike market here in the US, and the real new addition to the learner-bike category is a 300cc sport bike?
That statement is just our conjecture, but such a model would make some sense along side more less-powerful, upright, and modestly styled 250cc & 400cc models. With KTM set to bring out a 350cc sport bike in 2014 to the United States, and other manufacturers making similar overtures with their model line-ups, Kawasaki may actually be just one of many brands to try and develop a small-displacement sport bike offering here in the USA.