The internet is rife right now with rumors of a Kawasaki Ninja 700 in the works, to compete better in the budding middleweight-twin class.
According to the rumors, the bike would be an evolution of the current Kawasaki Ninja 650, with an obvious displacement bump to help it compete against the likes of the Yamaha MT-07 and even the higher-spec Aprilia RS 660.
The veracity of this rumor is up for grabs, but there is some logic to the idea – should it pan out to be true.
The middleweight-twin category has long been a forgotten segment for the motorcycle industry, ruled by the Suzuki SV650, which has seen only modest changes in its 20+ years of service.
When the Yamaha MT-07 came on the scene, it added another potent option for budget-focused riders, siphoning off some of the Suzuki sales into the Yamaha camp, but one can hardly say that the MT-07 has pushed the segment forward.
The Aprilia RS 660 has changed things considerably though, with the Italian brand adding more features (and more price tag) into what has traditionally been a value segment for brands.
With the RS 660 and the Tuono 660, Aprilia has continued to offer models that bring a lot of bang for the buck, but they’ve done this with considerably more appeal on the spec sheet.
Units sales will tell the story if riders in the middleweight-twin are up for the added price increases, but so far the augers bode well.
This brings us to Kawasaki, which at this point is surely feeling left out from the party.
There was a point in time that the Ninja 650 was the go-to choice for Lightweight racers (especially at the Isle of Man TT), but those days have mostly faded.
Similarly, the 650cc displacement for the class has given way to 700cc (and more, in racing circles), but only leaves the Kawasaki Ninja 650 more in the eyes of enthusiasts.
Given the popularity in the class, Kawasaki could stand to have a more attractive offering, which is where this rumor gets its roots.
Will Team Green keep things budget-focused like the SV650 and MT-07? Or, will the Japanese brand follow the Europeans down a more feature-packed path? There are a lot of “if’s” here, but as always, time will tell.
Source: Motorrad Online