EICMA and Intermot have come and gone and the question on most American consumers’ minds is which of the wonderful new models will be making their way to the U.S.? Today, Kawasaki answered their part of the question, confirming the ZX-10RR, Ninja 1000, Ninja 650, Z900, Z650 and the Versys-X 300 for the U.S. market.
We’ve previously written about each of these models during their Intermot or EICMA launches and you can read more detailed information on the links below but here is a brief run-through of each model.
One trend we’ve seen in recent years is for manufacturers to release a higher-spec version of its superbike and Kawasaki has now joined the bandwagon. And why shouldn’t Kawi, when Team Green’s Ninja ZX-10R has won three of the last four World Superbike Championships?
The new ZX-10RR features technology developed by its winning racing program. Though designed for track use, it still retains the minimum requirements to keep it street legal. The cylinder head was updated to accommodate a race kit’s high-lift cams while the crankcase was reinforced to increase durability.
Other upgrades include a Bosch five-axis IMU (plus yaw rate calculations by the EMU for a sixth axis), quickshifter, forged Marchesini aluminum seven-spoke wheels and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires.
The ZX-10RR will be offered in a flat black Winter Testing livery.
The 2017 Ninja 1000 received a number of updates to improve both sides of the sport-touring hyphen. The most notable update is a new Bosch six-axis IMU which gives the Ninja the Kawasaki Cornering Management Function and Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake system to go along with the previously available Kawasaki Traction Control.
For improved comfort, Kawasaki added a lower, wider seat and five-way adjustable clutch lever. Kawasaki also added a wider fairing and taller double-bubble windshield and wider mirrors for better visibility.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 will be available in either Candy Lime Green or Metallic Spark Black, both with contrasted with a Metallic Graphite Gray.
The mid-sized Ninja received a more substantial update, most notably getting a new steel trellis frame that trims about 40 pounds off the Ninja 650’s weight. The engine remains the same proven 649cc Twin but Kawasaki added an assist and slipper clutch and a short under-engine exhaust.
Other updates include a more upright seating position, lower seat height, adjustable windscreen and digital display with gear position indicator.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 will be available in four colors: Metallic Spark Black, Pearl Blizzard White, Candy Burnt Orange and a premium Lime Gree/Ebony KRT Edition option. Pricing starts at $7,399 for the basic color options with ABS adding $400 to the price. The KRT Edition is priced at $7,999.
Offering a new 948cc inline-Four claiming 123.6 hp and a steel trellis frame, the Z900 offers more power than the outgoing Z800 while weighing significantly less.
Other highlights include an assist and slipper clutch, rebound damping and spring preload adjustable fork, adjustable horizontal-backed link rear shock and optional ABS.
The 2017 Kawasaki Z900 will be offered in two color schemes: Pearl Mystic Gray with Metallic Flat Spark Black or Metallic Flat Spark Black with Metallic Spark Black. Retail price is $8,399 with ABS adding another $400.
The Z650 does fill in the lightweight naked streetfighter gap in Kawasaki’s U.S. lineup left vacant since the ER-6n last graced these shores. The Z650 shares many similarities with its faired sibling the Ninja 650 including the 649cc Twin engine and lightweight steel trellis frame. Without the fairing, however, the Z650 is even lighter, with a claimed curb weight of 412 pounds.
Highlights include a low seat height with high handlebars, LCD display with gear position indicator and a tachometer with user-adjustable shift light. A Bosch 9.1M ABS is available.
The 2017 Z650 will be offered in two colors: Pearl Flat Stardust White or Metallic Flat Spark Black, both paired with a Metallic Spark Black. MSRP is $6,999 or $7,399 with ABS.
One of the surprises out of EICMA was the suddenly burgeoning crop of low-displacement ADV bikes. Kawasaki’s entry is the Versys-X 300, powered by the 296cc Twin from its Ninja 300. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and an assist and slipper clutch.
Long-stroke suspension, wire-spoke wheels and rugged styling mark make the 300 look even more of an ADV than its larger Versys siblings. Kawasaki will offer a number of accessories to make it even more ADV-worthy including crash bars, handguards and auxiliary lighting.
Here at MO, we’re excited about this new crop of mini-ADV bikes and we look forward to seeing how the Versys-X 300 compares with its competition.
The 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 will be offered in Candy Lime Green with Metallic Graphite Gray or Metallic Graphite Gray with Flat Ebony. Pricing starts at $5,399 with ABS-equipped models coming in at $5,699.