December 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm #10916EddiebKeymaster
Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter
- Town/City: Tauranga
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
There were strong indications that Kawasaki were working on an electric motorcycle back in 2012, but AMCN has gathered new images that show the Japanese manufacturer may actually be a lot closer than we thought to releasing a full blown electric bike. And it looks like Kawasaki’s first electric bike will be a ‘beginner’ sports bike.
The patent image shows a bike that strongly resembles the current Ninja 300 and even though it’s not required, comes with a clutch and gearbox, perhaps to keep the traditionalists somewhat appeased. Other components that are shared with the Ninja 300 include wheels and suspension.
While this certainly wouldn’t be the first electric sports bike to make it to the market, it’s certainly the first to be aimed at the entry level rider. And it’s possibly not a bad idea – the current electric bikes have phenomenal performance characteristics with full power available from the go. But with this comes the current limitations of the technology – limited range.
A potentially ‘slower’ electric bike may be able to trade off that performance for longer range. This is obviously chief in mind for Kawasaki, as the patent images also show the ability to swap batteries in and out. It’s not a simple looking process though, with the entire left hand side of the frame designed to be slid out using a trolley. That may also indicate Kawasaki is looking at an electric bike series.
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