Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid and Z7 Hybrid Are Coming to America for 2024

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Faired and naked hybrids each priced at $12,499


Kawasaki announced it is bringing its Ninja 7 and Z7 Hybrid models to the U.S., bringing the world’s first mass-produced “strong hybrid” motorcycles to America. Both models are available immediately at American Kawasaki dealerships, each priced at $12,499.


That’s a pretty hefty price tag for models that claim a level of performance similar to a 700cc-ish motorcycle; Kawasaki’s own Ninja 650 clocks in at $8,299 while the Z650 is priced at $8,149 and the retro-flavored Z650RS carries a $9,599 price tag. But perhaps that’s part of the process bringing a brand new technology to market, and future iterations will come down in price. We also wouldn't say no to a future Versys version, but for now, we have the sportbike and naked models.



In his review of the Ninja 7 Hybrid, Troy Siahaan said it offers a clever solution for European riders, especially those in urban centers that may be introducing strict vehicle emissions regulations. He was less confident about how it would play in the U.S., but we’ll soon find out.


Both the Z 7 Hybrid and Ninja 7 Hybrid are powered by the same powertrain, a combination of an electric motor and a version of the 451cc Parallel-Twin that Kawasaki introduced on the Eliminator, and now on the new Ninja 500 and Z500. An evolution of the engine that powered Kawasaki’s 400 and 300 models, the gas-sipping component has a well-established track record. Besides the larger displacement, the engine also receives a new integrated starter generator (ISG), combining both a starter and generator into a single component.


The gas engine is paired with an electric motor rated at 7.0 kW (sustained, with a peak of 9.0 kW). The motor works with the engine to produce three modes: Sport-Hybrid, Eco-Hybrid, and EV mode.



In Sport-Hybrid mode, the engine does the bulk of the work, with the motor providing some assistance. In Eco-Hybrid, the engine turns off when stationary to conserve fuel; when you set out again, the electric motor starts things off, with the gas-powered engine kicking in as you gain speed. In EV mode, the engine remains off, leaving the electric motor to provide traction.


The motor also provides an E-Boost feature to give an extra bit of power and torque in Sport-Hybrid mode for five seconds, almost like hitting a power-up in a video game. The motor also allows for a low-speed Walk Mode which helps with maneuvering in tight spaces in both forward and reverse directions.


Kawasaki developed an electronically controlled six-speed transmission for the Hybrids. The system can work automatically, with gear shifts prioritizing fuel economy, or manually with shifts initiated via buttons on the left handlebar. There’s no clutch lever, so the hydraulic clutch is controlled by the ECU, engaging or disengaging as needed.



Compared to the powertrain, the chassis for both models is fairly conventional. The trellis frame is new, designed to package the engine, motor and 48V lithium-ion battery. The 41 mm telescopic fork and preload-adjustable rear shock are similar to the ones on the Ninja 400, though the shock is attached via a new linkage design.


The brakes consist of dual 300 mm front discs with dual-piston calipers, and a rear 220 mm disc with a single-piston caliper. ABS comes standard.



Other features include LED lighting, a 4.3-inch TFT display, and smartphone connectivity. The Z7 Hybrid has a claimed curb weight (including the battery) of 498.3 pounds, while the Ninja 7 Hybrid claims 502.7 pounds. Both models come in a Metallic Bright Silver/Metallic Matte Lime Green/Ebony colorway.

Specifications

Ninja 7 Hybrid

Z7 Hybrid

Engine

4-stroke, Parallel Twin, DOHC, liquid-cooled

4-stroke, Parallel Twin, DOHC, liquid-cooled

Displacement

451cc

451cc

Bore x Stroke

70.0 x 58.6mm

70.0 x 58.6mm

Compression Ratio

11.7:1

11.7:1

Fuel System

EFI with dual 36mm throttle bodies

EFI with dual 36mm throttle bodies

Ignition

TCBI

TCBI

Traction Motor

Liquid-cooled, interior permanent magnet synchronous motor

Liquid-cooled, interior permanent magnet synchronous motor

Motor Drive Battery Type

48 V lithium-ion battery

48 V lithium-ion battery

Transmission

6-speed Automated Manual

6-speed Automated Manual

Shifter Mechanism

Push button

Push button

Final Drive Ratio

3.071 (14/43)

3.071 (14/43)

Final Drive

Chain

Chain

Power Modes

3 Modes (SPORT-HYBRID/ ECO-HYBRID/EV) plus e-boost

3 Modes (SPORT-HYBRID/ ECO-HYBRID/EV) plus e-boost

Torque

44.2 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm (claimed)

44.2 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm (claimed)

Electronic Rider Aids

Automatic Launch Position Finder (ALPF) in MT, WALK Mode (with Reverse), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

Automatic Launch Position Finder (ALPF) in MT, WALK Mode (with Reverse), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

Frame Type

Trellis, high-tensile steel

Trellis, high-tensile steel

Front Suspension/Wheel Travel

41mm telescopic fork/4.7 in

41mm telescopic fork/4.7 in

Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel

Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with single gas-charged shock, adjustable spring preload/4.5 in

Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with single gas-charged shock, adjustable spring preload/4.5 in

Front Tire

120/70-17

120/70-17

Rear Tire

160/60-17

160/60-17

Front Brakes

Dual 300mm discs with 2-piston calipers and ABS

Dual 300mm discs with 2-piston calipers and ABS

Rear Brakes

Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper and ABS

Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper and ABS

Rake & Trail

25°/4.1 in

25°/4.1 in

Overall Length

84.4 in

84.4 in

Overall Width

29.5 in

31.7 in

Overall Height

44.7 in

42.5 in

Ground Clearance

5.1 in

5.1 in

Seat Height

31.3 in

31.3 in

Fuel Capacity

3.7 gal

3.7 gal

Wheelbase

60.4 in

60.4 in

Curb Weight

502.7 lb (incl. battery, claimed)

498.3 lb* (incl. battery, claimed)

Special Features

e-boost, Idling Stop Function, Regenerative System, TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP

e-boost, Idling Stop Function, Regenerative System, TFT Color Instrumentation with Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP

Color Choices

Metallic Bright Silver/Metallic Matte Lime Green/Ebony

Metallic Bright Silver/Metallic Matte Lime Green/Ebony

Warranty

12 Month Limited Warranty

12 Month Limited Warranty

Kawasaki Protection Plus (optional)

12, 24, 36 or 48 months

12, 24, 36 or 48 months



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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

More by Dennis Chung

Comments
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2 of 7 comments
  • Marty Marty on Jan 26, 2024

    Why are most Kawasakis so ugly? Has the KTM stylist been working there?

  • Bear Bear on Jan 31, 2024

    Hurts my eyes, too expensive, wimpy electric motor. 7hp? Why bother?

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