Kawasaki Launches Electric Ninjas

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Kawasaki unveiled the all-electric Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 at EICMA 2022, though they kept most of the powertrain specifics hidden then. The company has now disclosed the specifications of these two introductory e-bikes, and they match up with some of the high-performance e-scooters available in India.

Powertrain Insights: Kawasaki’s Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 models have twin removable lithium-ion battery packs, each boasting a 1.5kWh capacity. Although a single pack takes approximately 3.7 hours to charge, using separate chargers for both can optimize the charging process. Powering these bikes is a motor continuously delivering 9kW at its peak and 5kW. The Ninja e-1’s top speed is roughly 52mph in Road mode, whereas the Z e-1 maxes at about 49mph. However, in Eco mode, the speeds slightly dip to around 37mph for the Ninja and 35mph for the Z.

Additionally, the bikes come with an e-boost feature, perfect for instances requiring a burst of speed. When utilized in Road mode, the Ninja’s speed can escalate to around 65mph, and Eco mode, about 45mph. The Z model has similar capabilities, reaching roughly 65mph in road mode and 42mph in eco mode. Once the State of Charge (SOC) descends below 35%, the bikes automatically transition to Eco mode, and the e-boost feature becomes unavailable.

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Chassis and Cycle Components: Drawing inspiration from the internal combustion engine (ICE) models, the Ninja 400 & Z400, both the Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 are built on identical platforms but flaunt unique body designs. The battery packs are strategically placed within a robust tubular steel frame supported by a 41mm telescopic fork and a mono-shock system.

For braking, there’s a 290mm front disc and a 220mm rear disc; both bikes have dual-channel ABS as standard. The bikes sport a 100/80-17 front tyre and a 130/70-17 rear tyre, ensuring a comfortable ride with an accessible seat height of 790mm. The fully-enclosed Ninja e-1 has a weight of 140kg, while the stripped-down Z e-1 is lighter at 135kg.

Features Galore: Both models are packed with a plethora of features. A highlight is the colour TFT dashboard that offers Bluetooth connectivity, facilitating navigation and timely notification alerts. Unique to these bikes is the walk mode, which allows users to push the bike forward or backwards at a slow pace of 3kph. Replacing the conventional fuel tank spot in gasoline-powered bikes, these electric variants offer a nifty 5-litre storage compartment, reminiscent of the Tork Kratos R design.

India Launch Speculations: While Kawasaki has yet to confirm the arrival of these bikes in India, the company’s history of introducing its premier bike range in the Indian market keeps hope alive. The recent Indian debut of the upscale Ninja ZX-4R suggests that Kawasaki might consider bringing these electric models to India. However, a deciding factor will undoubtedly be the pricing strategy Kawasaki adopts.

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