At the EICMA in Milan at the beginning of November 2019, Yuji Horiuchi - President of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Motorcycle & Engine Company - presented six new machines for the 2020 model year as well as the concept study for an electric motorcycle. Horiuchi said that Kawasaki has been researching EV (Electric Vehicle) mobility for many years. KHI studies are based on a mid-range machine that works with more “driver-related features” than the e-motorcycles currently on the market. The EV project named by Kawasaki provides a capacity of the equivalent of 20 kW for acceleration and 10 kW for slower speeds. The machine has been extensively tested on Kawasaki's own Autopolis racetrack in southwest Japan and in urban areas.
Electric motor with manual transmission
Horiuchi continued: "We focused on the driving experience during on-road testing by combining an electric motor with a manual transmission. This offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of torque and power output. The result is a machine that provides a good driving experience in line with our rideology philosophy.“Ranging on the level of a Ninja 650 in terms of dimensions, the compact EV bike uses typical mid-range components for suspension elements, brakes and frames (here truss tubes), as used in many models of the Ninja and Z families. The heart of the 219 kilogram vehicle is a battery that can be charged using a CHAdeMo-style quick charging system or a conventional household socket with 100 to 240 volts.
Range is around 100 kilometers
The range is around 100 kilometers. The EV project also has features similar to conventional motorcycles, such as a clutch and a four-speed gearbox, in order to be attractive to current Kawasaki riders and at the same time to follow the Kawasaki Rideology philosophy. According to KHI, this vehicle is purely a research project. There are no plans to add an electric motorcycle to the portfolio in the near future. Horiuchi ended his speech with the promise that Kawasaki "will find many ways to further increase the appeal of two-wheeled locomotion."
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