You have to hand it to Team Green, because out of the four Japanese motorcycle brands, it seems only Kawasaki is truly willing to innovate and take risks in the motorcycle industry.
Abandoning the rat race of MotoGP, Kawasaki has won six out of ten WorldSBK Championships in the past decade. They have released a lineup of supercharged sport bikes, with the Kawasaki Ninja H2 R making over 300hp.
Kawasaki has dominated the small-displacement category with its Ninja 250, Ninja 300, and now Ninja 400 offerings, and the company is about to shock the system again, with the 250cc four-cylinder Ninja ZX-25R.
So, it shouldn’t surprise us that Kawasaki is also the first Japanese OEM to show-off a full-sized electric motorcycle project (that’s assuming you believe Honda’s party line that it had no hand in the Mugen electric superbike at the Isle of Man TT).
We got our first glimpse of Kawasaki’s electric sport bike at EICMA last year, with the machine wrapped in Ninja 650 bodywork.
The bike’s debut was a showcasing of nearly a decade’s worth of work that the Japanese OEM has performed while looking at various EV platforms and options.
Built with a four-speed gearbox (a surprise in its own right), the bike is rather…mature…in its development, and despite those many years of work, Kawasaki has finally released the name of this machine: Endeavor. The bike has been featuring heavily on Kawasaki’s YouTube channel, as well.
If rumored specs are to be believed though, the electrical motorcycle isn’t destined for a showroom near you, and that is perhaps a good thing.
This is because we are talking about a 485 lbs (225kg) motorcycle, which makes a peak 27hp (20 kW) from its brushless DC motor. Range is said to be about 60 miles (100 km). These are not exactly astounding performance figures.
Considering that this falls well short of what parity looks like with petrol-powered motorcycles, not to mention what is available on the market from established electric motorcycle brands, it is a relief that Kawasaki isn’t set on commercialization with the Endeavor, as Ben Purvis reports for Cycle World.
Still, the Kawasaki Endeavor shows that Team Green is taking a long look at the electric space. What conclusions Kawasaki could have about electric motorcycles is hard to gauge though.
With such a lackluster creation, one could suspect that Kawasaki was looking for a reason not to create an electric model, and that the Endeavor was intended to confirm a conclusion already decided.
Then again, if we had to bet on which motorcycle brand from across the Pacific was going to surprise us with an innovative powertrain design, Kawasaki would surely be our pick.
As such, it will be interesting to see where the future takes us. Stay tuned!
Source: Cycle World