Surfing on the crest of a wave of new model releases in recent years, the Akashi based manufacturer chose the famous Cologne based Intermot event to unveil significant updates and upgrades to the Ninja range as well as the first public sighting of two very important entry level machines developed exclusively for the European market.
Having achieved a new world speed record at the 2018 Bonneville “Speed Week” with the Team 38 Ninja H2, Kawasaki’s first unveiling highlighted significant updates to the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2 Carbon. The new Supercharged emblem on each machine opened the door to a series of updates including highly durable paint on certain panel areas susceptible to abrasion, the fitment of a new TFT meter panel and OE adoption of Bridgestone RS11 tyres.
Electronic rider aids are becoming a Kawasaki benchmark and for the Ninja H2 and H2 Carbon, the already high specification is now augmented by smartphone connectivity via the Kawasaki Rideology app allowing direct communication between rider and machine with logs and updates such as a riding log displayed on the smartphone screen.
Expanding the theme of Performance Promise, both road going supercharged machines benefit from a breathtaking increase in power for 2019 with a stratospheric 231PS peak power rating for each machine that is further enhanced by Kawasaki’s trademark Ram-Air technology. Bringing all that potential acceleration and performance to a halt, each machine is fitted with the latest Brembo Stylema brake calipers boasting incredible braking as well as superior cooling characteristics seamlessly matched to the cutting edge style of these Supercharged machines that only Kawasaki could create in-house.
For WorldSBK fans there is also news regarding updates to the Ninja ZX-10R range of machines. For all there is now a “power up” with the ZX-10R and ZX-10R SE rated at 203PS for the coming season and the race focused Ninja ZX-10RR making 204PS thanks to new internal engine changes.
All models of Ninja ZX-10R now come fitted with Kawasaki’s highly praised up and down KQS quick shifter a standard plus a new red coating for the camshaft cover accenting the performance credentials of machines that are as close to a World Championship winning KRT Superbike as it is possible within the production arena. That performance – especially in the mid to upper rev ranges - is now even stronger thanks to the adoption of finger follower valve technology allowing more aggressive camshaft profiles plus the universal use of a cylinder head ready for the fitment of high lift camshafts. For the RR model the spec sheet is even longer with the first time use by Kawasaki of Pankl titanium connecting rods for 2019. Each rod is some 102g lighter than the standard production part adding 600rpm to the upper rev limit and an extra horsepower gain over the standard ZX-10R.
Such is the exclusivity of the new ZX-10RR, the production run has been set at 500 units with each machine bearing a unique, numbered top yoke identification plate. Aspirational as they are, the top of range Ninja machines are certainly not for beginners; for them Kawasaki unveiled not one but two entry level machines at Intermot, one in the Ninja family and the other an entry level Z.
Created exclusively for the European market, and the result of extensive customer focus groups and research across the European continent, the Ninja 125 and its Z sibling have trellis style chassis and 11kw (15PS) peak power engines each with a maximum torque of 11.7Nm. Entirely suitable for those new to powered two wheels, the A1 compliant machines feature independent front and rear ABS braking, digital meters and six speed transmissions. While the Ninja 125 exhibits lines and accents akin to Jonathan Rea’s KRT machine, the Z boasts Kawasaki’s unique Sugomi design philosophy at its core; a facet it shares with every other model in the 2019 Z range.
Summing up the mouth-watering offering for the 2019 season, Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Europe, Mr Kenji Nagahara also made a bold promise for the years ahead at Kawasaki’s media event commenting: “My Performance Promise to you today is that Kawasaki Motors Europe will continue to play a major role in the development of machines destined for our market that deliver the ultimate riding experience for those that seek the thrill of control.”