The Z1000 gets a once over resulting in styling changes, and a whole whack of electronics headlined by a new "Cornering Management Function". The flagship ZX-10R gets an RR model with a few extras to make it even more track capable. The over the top H2 see several improvements including a cornering electronics like the Z1000. The Ninja 650 gets an overhaul focusing on the chassis. And a whole new bike in the form of the Versys-X 300, which looks rather like a mini KLR.
2017 Kawasaki ZX-10RR
The Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R motorcycle has solidly dominated the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) with overall championship wins in 2013, 2015 and 2016. With the unveiling of the all-new Ninja® ZX™-10R supersport motorcycle in 2016, Kawasaki was able to bring riders even closer to the championship-winning race machine found on the WSBK racetracks. Now sharing more engineering advancements from this world-class racing team, Kawasaki is able to trickle down technology to produce and even faster, stronger and more race-focused model—introducing the track-ready 2017 Ninja ZX™-10RR sportbike, getting riders closer.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR:
- NEW race ready engine upgrades featuring increased engine case strength, increased cam clearance, and DLC coated tappets to reduce mechanical power loss in race tuned engines
- NEW 7-spoke multi-directional forged aluminum Marchesini® wheels
- NEW updated KQS ( Kawasaki Quick Shifter) now allows for clutchless downshifting
Designed to give racers a competitive edge, the Ninja ZX-10RR has dropped any equipment unnecessary to quick lap times; however, the machine is also suited for street use. The Ninja ZX-10RR meets emissions regulations and featuring proper street lighting, and features an engine tune that’s suitable for street riding.
The Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a purpose-built machine, the purpose, even faster lap times. The Ninja ZX-10RR is designed as a single-seat model, keeping with its race-ready priority. Lack of passenger footpeg mounts and a rear seat, along with a lightweight exhaust mount, contribute to weight savings. The single-seat cover, which comes standard, also contributes to the bike’s racy image. The KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) Winter Test snowflake logo on the cover matches the one on the windscreen.
Every model will feature a “RR” logo stamped/engraved into the side cover to further distinguish the Ninja ZX-10RR from the standard model. The ignition key is also adorned with a “RR” logo, adding another special touch. The 2017 Ninja ZX-10RR comes standard with ABS.
- Powerful 998cc in-line four-cylinder 16-valve engine
- Lightweight crankshaft allows for quick revving and great low-mid-range power
- Computer-controlled electronic throttle valve delivers precise control
- NEW Engine enhancements to create a motorcycle even closer to its WorldSBK-winning counterpart
- NEW Stronger, reinforced engine cases
Using the potent 2016 engine as the starting point, the Ninja ZX-10RR sportbike features added improvements, creating an even stronger performing platform. Changes offer enhanced reliability under racing conditions, the results of feedback from Kawasaki’s racing efforts in the Superbike World Championship.
The Ninja ZX-10RR is a true race machine, keeping the performance features of its standard sibling, but with enhanced features true racers will appreciate. For instance, the cylinder head is redesigned to give clearance for race-kit high-lift cams, also the crankcase has high rigidity reinforcements.
Another engineering development derived from Kawasaki’s WSBK racing efforts includes DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating on valve tappets, which facilitates mid/long-distance engine break-in, and offers reduced mechanical loss and increased performance for a race-tuned engine (i.e. tuned for high performance).
The architecture of the proven 998cc engine retains its 16-valve, DOHC, inline four-cylinder layout and its over-square 76 x 55mm bore and stroke dimensions.
The Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle features a lightweight crankshaft, which allows for quick revving and great throttle response and acceleration. It also has ideal low- and mid-range power output, which is appreciated when exiting a corner on the racetrack or on a favorite stretch of blacktop. Another advantage of the reduced reciprocating mass is better cornering turn-in and easier side-to-side transitions.
The cylinder head design incorporates additional clearances for the accessory race-kit larger cams, as well as large coolant passageways like on the standard model, to help provide engine reliability. Long-reach spark plugs are another part of the package, helping to boost ignition efficiency.
Electronic throttle valves allow precise control of the intake airflow, contributing to efficient power delivery and seamless integration of the electronic aids such as the Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), the new Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (KEBC).
The titanium-alloy exhaust system helps with weight reduction and mass centralization as well as the power to weight ratio by removing significant weight from the bike.
Titanium-alloy headers use a special heat-resistant alloy, which is unique to Kawasaki in a motorcycle application and feature a connector pipe joining headers three and four to help smooth the engine response. The heat handling capacity contributes to durability, while the alloy also allows thinner pipes thickness, reducing weight even more.
- NEW Clutchless downshifts via KQS quickshifter
The Ninja ZX-10RR features the same great cassette-type, close-ratio transmission as the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle. The gear ratios are idealized for circuit riding. Short ratios for second through sixth gear deliver strong corner exit acceleration. The close ratios also give stable downshifts and works with a slipper clutch.
Formerly, the Ninja ZX-10R allowed clutchless, auto-blip downshifts only through fitment of race kit parts; now the Ninja ZX-10RR provides that as a standard feature. This allows quick upshifts and downshifts without the need of a clutch, nor does the rider need to match RPMs. This results in a more enjoyable experience and quicker lap times.
KAWASAKI ELECTRONICS SYSTEMS
The 2017 Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle uses a full complement of electronics that allow the rider to fully explore its performance on the track. The Kawasaki electronic system uses a proprietary algorithm that optimizes the electronic stability systems. The Kawasaki system uses a Bosch five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with software developed in-house, drawing on the KRT World Superbike experience, making this application unique. For example, it takes the pitch and roll rate data measured by the IMU, and the ECU calculates the yaw rate, resulting in six-axis operation. It provides an additional layer of precision to the already high-level electronics package, giving riders greater confidence on the track by allowing them to explore limits within the parameters controlled by the on-board computer.
Specifically, the IMU is able to measure longitudinal acceleration and braking, transverse or lateral forces when cornering, vertical acceleration such as when cresting a hill at steady speed, rotational roll rate (or lean angle) as well as the pitch rate such as during a wheelie or under hard braking. The Kawasaki software adds the sixth axis with yaw rate calculations, such as experienced during a powerslide where the rear wheel is out of line with the front.
The IMU input into the ECU works in conjunction with wheel speed, brake pressure, throttle position, engine RPM and throttle opening sensors. This high level of chassis orientation awareness means the ECU can adapt to changes in tires and even road camber. This gives the Kawasaki system an advantage because the S-KTRC, KLCM, Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS) and Cornering Management Function can respond to real-world conditions in real time, rather than relying solely on pre-set limits like other systems.
S-KTRC Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control
The Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control system has five modes of intervention. Modes one and two are designed for an expert racer on the track who prefers some degree of slip control, albeit with minimal intrusion. Mode three is designed for a dry circuit with high-grip tires. Mode four is intended for dry canyon roads or commuting, while mode five is programmed to suit wet circuit or street use. Full power and full slip can be attained by simply switching the TC “OFF’ for those victory lane burnouts!
The inclusion of the IMU means that S-KTRC changes from being a purely predictive system to one that also offers feedback. This predictive/feedback system offers even more precise management to help riders push harder on the racetrack by maximizing acceleration.
The highly sophisticated traction control system is based on racing technology and acknowledges that in order to accomplish the quickest acceleration, a certain amount of tire slip is required. In order to optimize traction, S-KTRC varies slip according to the prevailing conditions, taking information from a number of parameters to get a real-time image of what is happening. As such, it looks at front and rear wheel speed (slippage), engine RPM, throttle position, acceleration, etc. The system also looks at the chassis’ orientation relative to the track surface, rather than simply in the horizontal plane. Therefore, it is able to account for camber, gradient, etc. and adjust accordingly. It is also able to adjust for tire wear, tire profile, tire compound and numerous other factors.
Acting before the slippage surpasses the limit of adhesion, the ECU is able to minimize engine power reductions, resulting in ultra-smooth operation and maximum forward acceleration on the track.
KIBS Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System
The Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System is fitted on the Ninja ZX-10RR sportbike as standard equipment. The multi-sensing brake management system uses high-precision control to modulate brake pressure during sport riding.
Cornering Management Function
Using the five-axis IMU and Kawasaki’s original chassis attitude software, the Cornering Management Function helps distribute optimum hydraulic pressure to the calipers based on the motorcycle’s lean/pitch angle. The result is reduction of the motorcycle’s tendency to stand up when applying the brakes in a turn on the track. Instead, the Ninja ZX-10RR ABS motorcycle is better able to follow the rider’s intended line while slowing down for a difficult turn, rather than having the tendency to run wide. Corner Management Function is only available on models with ABS.
KLCM Kawasaki Launch Control Mode
The Kawasaki Launch Control Mode has three modes, which vary the level of intrusion via the ignition and intake air (throttle valves). Mode one offers less intrusion from the system but requires the rider to operate the clutch and throttle with greater sensitivity. Mode three allows the electronics to do more of the work while the rider simply drops the clutch with the throttle wide open. Mode two gives a setting between the first and third.
The Kawasaki Launch Control assists racers by optimizing acceleration from a stop by controlling engine output to prevent wheelspin and minimize font-end lift when leaving the starting line.
Using an indicator on the digital instrument display, the rider selects KLCM with the Power Mode also on FULL.
Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
The Kawasaki Engine Brake Control was first seen on the Ninja H2™R motorcycle to work when the rider snaps the throttle shut. The rider can adjust the level of engine braking or turn the system off completely, via handlebar controls. This feature is intended for circuit use only and contributes to smoother braking and corner entry when used.
The available levels are Full, Middle (80%) or Low (60%). These reduce power by the stated amount for street riding and are easily selected via the rocker switch on the left handlebar, allowing riders to select the power delivery to suit their preference.
The front section of the main frame has been internally profiled to reduce induction noise, effectively using the interior as a resonator chamber. This has the effect of allowing the exhaust to be liberated, freeing significant horsepower from the engine.
Giving the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle a distinct advantage over its competition is the Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF). This is the first mass-production motorcycle application for the fork that was jointly developed with Showa in World Superbike competition. The 2017 Ninja ZX-10RR features revised front and rear suspension settings to match the single-seat configuration and new wheels and tires, and ensure smooth weight transfer during both deceleration and acceleration.
The main feature of the Showa BFF is that the design of the hydraulic system eliminates the pressure balance fluctuations typically found in conventional forks. With the BFF, the damping valves are located in one place – outside the fork legs in the damping force chamber. This allows the entire surface of the fork pistons to push the hydraulic fluid toward the valves in the damping force chamber, with nitrogen gas in the compression chamber pushing back against the oil, helping to maintain the balanced pressure inside the fork tube.
Compression and rebound damping are generated (and adjusted) completely independently from one another by the compression and rebound adjuster screws on the damping force chamber at the bottom of each leg. Locating the adjustment in this single place has resulted in a more focused design that greatly improves responsiveness. Spring preload adjustment is located on the top of each fork leg.
Other advantages of this system include better traction, improved low-speed comfort and increased frontend feel. When combined with the benefits in braking, frontend feel and comfort, riders will truly appreciate these forks on the racetrack.
The rear shock absorber is a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) unit that also resulted from joint development in World Superbike competition. Just like the forks, the rear shock has a separate damping force chamber that houses the compression and rebound damping adjusters. By separating them, it again allows the entire damping piston to focus on hydraulic fluid movement. There is also external spring preload adjustment. The result is increased traction and superior shock absorption.
WHEELS, TIRES AND BRAKES
- NEW Seven-spoke forged Marchesini® aluminum wheels
- NEW Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires
The Ninja ZX-10RR features seven-spoke, multi-directional forged aluminium wheels, which were jointly developed with Marchesini. These wheels contribute to lighter handling – especially when changing direction. They offer a balance of high rigidity and a significantly reduced moment of inertia (thanks to a design that centralises mass at the hubs). Their machined finish also contributes to their high-quality appearance.
These Marchesini wheels can also be fit on standard Ninja ZX-10R models. Parts necessary for compatibility, such as front brake discs and speed sensor ring, will be made available as Kawasaki Genuine Accessories.
The Ninja ZX-10RR is outfitted with premium Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires, which greatly contribute to quicker lap times with additional grip feeling.
As another direct influence of Kawasaki’s World Superbike involvement, the Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle has been fitted with a Brembo® front braking system. This includes the very high specification M50 aluminium monobloc four-piston front calipers (with 30mm opposed pistons) and Brembo front rotors. The rotors are cross-drilled and have a circumferential groove in the outer edge to aid heat dissipation.
The Brembo components offer strong initial bite for circuit use and great feel through the lever. Each part is inspected and adjusted by Brembo to eliminate any ineffective (idle) stroke, providing strong braking force from the initial lever stroke. As a further measure to help provide excellent brake action, race-quality stainless steel braided lines have been fitted front and rear to help ensure direct feel when the brakes are applied.
- NEW Single seat
- NEW Rear aerodynamic seat cover
- NEW Special RR designation
Aiding in the ZX-10RR’s race-driven look is the paint scheme: Kawasaki Racing Team: Winter Test Edition. The Ninja ZX-10RR sportbike will be offered in the same paint scheme that the Kawasaki WorldSBK team uses for their off season test sessions, giving the vehicle a performance look very similar to its racing brother. The imposing flat black scheme features minimal white graphics, including a snowflake with the Japanese symbol for “winter” inside. Used for development test sessions only, once sponsorships are secured the livery changes to Kawasaki Racing Team colors and full promotional sponsor logos for race events.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR features the same wind tunnel proven body work as its Ninja ZX-10R brother, but with more race-focused touches. The Ninja ZX-10RR includes special RR designations throughout the bike. The rear seat is replaced with an aerodynamic seat cover. The RR designation is stamped on the side engine cover as well as the ignition key, for little added touches of refinement.
COCKPIT AND CONTROLS
The main instruments on the Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle’s LCD portion include the option to change the background color from black to white. There is also an IMU indicator, as well as Launch Control, Quick Shift and Engine Braking activation, plus gear position indicator, Power Modes, S-KTRC modes (and Off), low fuel level, Economic Riding Indicator, intake air temperature, odometer, dual trip meters, average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption and a host of indicator lamps.
To select these functions, a rocker switch is located on the left handlebar that incorporates a “select” button to allow the rider to scroll through the functions.
A wide variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories will be available for purchase through Kawasaki’s nationwide dealership network. These include Kawasaki Genuine Accessories Race Kit parts, to get your Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR even closer.
2017 Kawasaki ZX-10RR ABS - $18,899
2017 Kawasaki Z1000
The roar of a pack of superbikes echoes through the rolling hills of Northern California. The world famous Laguna Seca Race Track is alive with another race weekend. The lead group climbs the backstretch headed for the corkscrew. Atop the adjacent hill is a lone sportbike parked overlooking, watching as the laps tick away with lightening speed. The checkered flag waves signaling the end of the race, but the beginning of your adventure.
The kickstand snaps up, as you roll onto a two-lane twisty road. You head west, towards the coast. You’re many miles from home, but you still decide to take the long way back. You’re a racer at heart, but you’re not on the track—at least not today—instead, you’re riding many miles to watch the race up close. Now, it’s time for you to have your fun.
Introducing the 2017 Ninja® 1000 ABS, infused with Ninja sportbike spirit, speed-minded technology and engineering, but with the comfort of a touring motorcycle.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle:
- NEW enhanced chassis orientation awareness technology featuring Bosch IMU
- NEW Kawasaki Cornering Management Function
- NEW Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-Lock Brake System (KIBS)
- NEW Windshield and fairings
- NEW Lower more ergonomically comfortable seat
- NEW ECU tuning
Kawasaki’s flagship, open-class sport touring bike with power and comfort, the Ninja 1000 ABS returns for 2017 with added electronics, normally reserved for race models. Built for riders wanting sporty handling and smooth, powerful acceleration, the Ninja 1000 ABS has all of that, but in a relaxed, comfortable riding position—creating a motorcycle with liter-bike performance, but a level of comfort and versatility that allows the miles to roll on with ease. Now, with the added electronics, the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS will give riders increased confidence on their next ride.
New for 2017 are wider fairings, a new double-bubble windscreen, 5-way adjustable clutch lever and seat, all aiding in increased rider comfort, making the 2017 Ninja 1000 even more enjoyable. Hard, KQR™ color-matched saddle bags may be selected from among a variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories, further enhancing the touring comfort of the Ninja 1000 ABS.
New A Bosch IMU with 6-axis of measurements
New Kawasaki Cornering Management Function
New Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS)
Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC)
Power mode selection
Utilizing technology previously reserved for the Ninja® ZX™-10R sportbike, the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle features a 6-axis Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that includes electronic rider aids such as: Kawasaki Cornering Management Function, Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC) , and Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS).
The system uses minimal hardware but complex Kawasaki proprietary software. The strength of Kawasaki’s cutting-edge electronics has always been the highly sophisticated programming that gives the ECU an accurate real-time picture of what the chassis is doing. Kawasaki’s proprietary dynamic modeling program makes skillful use of its formula as it examines changes in multiple parameters, enabling it to take into account changing road and tire conditions.
The new Bosch IMU enables inertia along five DOF (degrees of freedom) to be monitored: acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus roll rate and pitch rate. While the sixth axis, yaw rate, is calculated by the ECU using Kawasaki original software. Bosch’s latest IMU is compact and very lightweight, weighing only 40 g.
Using the latest evolution of this advanced modeling software, KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – modulating brake force and engine power to facilitate smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner.
Three modes cover a wide range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence. Modes 1 and 2 prioritize maximum forward acceleration, while Mode 3 provides rider reassurance by facilitating smooth riding on slippery surfaces. Riders may also elect to turn the system off.
In Modes 1 and 2, highly sophisticated programming allows a degree of slip – a certain amount of slip is required to maximize acceleration. The ideal slip ratio varies according to conditions. The system looks at a number of parameters to get an accurate real-time picture of what is going on: front and rear wheel speed (slippage) and various engine, machine and rider input parameters are monitored. The IMU-enhanced feedback allows even more precise management than on the previous model.
KIBS AND BRAKING
KIBS is a multi-sensing system, using the input from numerous sources, to provide the best braking possible. In addition to front and rear wheel speed sensors (standard for any ABS system), KIBS also monitors front caliper hydraulic pressure and various information from the engine ECU (throttle position, engine speed, clutch actuation and gear position). High-precision brake pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance due to excessive pressure drops, allows lever feel to be maintained when KIBS is active, and helps ABS pulses feel smoother (not heavy).
High-precision brake pressure control also offers a number of sport riding benefits: less rear lift under hard braking, minimal kickback during operation and accounting for back-torque. With the addition of the new KIBS systems comes improved rear brake pad material and optimized spring.
NEW Wider fairings and taller double-bubble windshield
NEW 5-way adjustable clutch lever
NEW Mirrors for increased visibility
NEW Lower, wider and comfortable seat for rider and passenger
The relatively upright position—compared to supersport models—offers both control and comfort for riders. Separate, raised clip-ons are mounted on top of the forks, for relaxed arm position, while maintaining a sporty and comfortable riding position.
A new 5-way adjustable clutch lever can be set to suit the size of the rider’s hands, aiding in rider comfort. Mirrors are positioned 20mm farther outward and have a greater range of movement, offering easier adjustability.
Both rider and passenger seats deliver increased comfort. The redesigned rider seat has a wider seat area, offering greater support, and enabling longer stretches without having to stop due to discomfort.
The passenger seat is longer with thicker urethane padding and a design that swells at the front, resulting in a larger seat area that keeps passengers from sliding forward. Dampers on the underside of the seat also help reduce vibration. Ergonomically sculpted passenger grips are easy to hold and naturally positioned, contributing to even more passenger comfort.
The fairing design also covers part of the frame, contributing to a good ergonomic fit and helping to protect the rider from engine heat for added comfort.
NEW Headlight design for a sporty look and increased visibility
Supersport-style full-fairing bodywork gives the Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle a distinct, head-turning look. The sleek styling also offers a good measure of wind protection, aiding to reduce rider fatigue. Front cowl design is much sharper, giving the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS a much sportier appearance and greatly increasing its Ninja family resemblance. Chin spoilers similar to those on the Ninja H2™ and Ninja ZX-10R motorcycles strengthen the resemblance.
Turn signals are built into to the fairings to aid in the slim profile and sporty look. Supersport-style front fender contributes to both aerodynamics and racy looks.
Exhilarating power from the 1000cc, inline 4-cylinder engine
New ECU settings for smoother power delivery and functionality with the Kawasaki Corner Management
Powerful 1,043cm3 liquid-cooled, 4-stroke in-line four-cylinder engine pulls strongly from all rpm. Adding to rider exhilaration, the engine delivers superb engine response, a strong mid-range hit and an intoxicating intake howl. Revised engine settings offer even smoother power delivery, facilitating control and contributing to rider comfort and confidence.
Downdraft throttle bodies allow for the shortest path to the engine, helping for ideal low-mid range power. The throttle bodies are oval sub-throttles allowing for a slim profile of the engine as well.
The Ninja 1000 ABS features many enhancements that allow for a smoother engine feeling and less vibration to the rider. One major feature is the secondary balancer on the engine crankshaft, which eliminates excessive vibration.
Highly rigid aluminum frame
Combination of solid and rubber engine mounts for reduced vibration and excellent handling characteristics
Thanks to a rigid, lightweight aluminum frame and compact engine design, the weight is not only low and centered inside the motorcycle, but the overall profile is also slim. This centralization allows for sharp handling, neutral steering and a light turn-in. Lightweight and highly rigid, the frame uses the engine as a stressed member.
The frame is a 5-piece cast aluminum construction, consisting of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The front part of the rear frame is an example of form and function combined, allowing the side covers to be eliminated. This also allows the width under the seat to be narrower, offering riders a shorter reach to the ground.
41mm front inverted forks
Front and rear adjustability
Up front you’ll find 41mm inverted front forks with stepless compression and rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. Settings offer both sporty performance (contributing to light handling on the street and in the hills) and comfort.
Rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm, allowing for greater mass centralization. The rear shock features rebound and preload adjustability, with a remote preload adjuster facilitating setting changes to suit tandem riding, luggage or rider preference. This is ideal for quick, on-the-go adjustability when traveling.
NEW Instrument panel
NEW LCD screen
NEW Gear position indicator
NEW Shift light
An all-new instrument panel layout features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other. The LCD screen features a negative-lit display, adding to the instrument cluster’s sporty, modern appearance. Gear position indicator increases shifting precision and confidence, while also lending to the Ninja 1000 ABS’s sporty image.
Complementing the gear indicator is a new shift light, the tachometer’s needle changes color (from white to pink to red) to indicate the rider-selectable shift-up timing. During normal operation the shift indicator lamp is off, and the tachometer needle is white. When engine speed is within 500 rpm of the selected shift-up timing, the shift indicator lamp flashes, and the tachometer needle turns pink. When the pre-chosen rpm is reached, the shift indicator lamp flashes rapidly, and the tachometer needle turns red. Riders can set the shift-up timing between 5,000 and 11,000 rpm in 250 rpm increments. The shift indicator function can also be turned off completely.
In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, remaining fuel range, current and average fuel consumption, external temperature (new for 2017), coolant temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator.
Candy Lime Green / Metallic Graphite Gray
Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Graphite Gray
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 - $12,199
The 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle will be in dealerships starting March, 2017. Check with your local dealership for availability.
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650
A lone sportbike is heard gliding through the turns of a two-lane mountain road. A casual Sunday, with the sun falling behind the peaks, and the light fading. Through one corner and onto the next, each mile bringing a new adventure. Carving out your own line, you daydream of the racetrack. The race may be on TV, but at home your couch is empty. Instead, you replay the race in your head as you roll into the next corner and out to a long straight. You blast past the local biker-hangout café. The parking lot is full, riders stand and talk in their full-race leathers. But you have no time for standing.
Your bike isn’t meant for a parking lot.
Riding through the canyons on the weekend or to work on Monday, introducing the new, easy-going sportbike, the Ninja® 650 motorcycle.
The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650:
- NEW Stronger, lighter frame
- NEW Rear suspension and redesigned gull-arm swingarm
- UPDATED Parallel twin 650cc engine
- NEW Sportbike cowling, headlight and design elements.
With improved styling resembling that of its bigger siblings, the stylish 2017 Ninja 650 features new components. Built for the street rider who wants the performance of the Ninja family, but with more street-focused ergonomics and control, the Ninja 650 is new with a twin-spar frame and the redesigned, race-proven 650cc parallel twin.
The mid-sized member in the Ninja lineup, the Ninja 650 is built to satisfy the needs of riders who want to step up from a Ninja® 300, but don’t want the high technology, cost and high performance of the Ninja® ZX™-6R.
The Ninja 650 is truly a member of the Ninja family, with a new front cowling that takes styling cues from the Ninja ZX™-10R motorcycle, but with comfortable ergonomics so riders can enjoy this ride for more miles. The Ninja 650 will also be available without ABS.
Racing inspired fairing and bodywork style
NEW Sporty front cowling
NEW X-pattern LED taillight
NEW Trellis frame and centrally positioned rear shock
The Ninja 650’s new upper cowling fits with the Ninja family identity. The chin spoiler below the headlight emulates the design theme from the Ninja® ZX™-10R. Accompanying the new front cowling is a sharply redesigned headlight.
New mirrors contribute to the stylish look and enhance visibility. Further adding to the sporty look is a X-shaped LED taillight.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Modern, parallel-twin cylinder 649cc engine
Smooth and responsive performance with improved low-to-mid range for easy starts and stronger acceleration on the street
NEW Assist and slipper clutch for lighter clutch pull and reduced wheel hop during downshifts
NEW Short under-engine exhaust contributes to mass centralization and light handling
Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel twin has been a winner on the race track in the AMA PRO Flat Track series, and is also a proven street engine. Designed with a steady and smooth torque curve and progressive clutch, the power plant for the Ninja 650 is great for riders of all experience levels, making for a fun and easy ride for riders gaining experience and for those with thousands of miles under their belts.
The engine of the 2017 Ninja 650 features a new, slimmer intake and throttle body ports which allow for finer atomization of fuel and improved engine air-flow. These changes result in improved, smoother power down-low. Camshafts also now feature reduced overlap and less duration. The exhaust pipe length has also been shortened.
These changes result in an engine that’s smooth and progressive with better low-to-mid range power. The engine retains its smooth off-throttle power delivery, with a steady climb to max output. The torque curve is now smoother and more consistent to redline. Along with more performance and better emissions the 650cc engine also has improved fuel consumption.
A new assist and slipper clutch allows for a lighter clutch pull and reduces rear-wheel hop during downshifting. This is ideal for new riders learning and for those wanting a carefree ride.
NEW lighter weight
NEW slimmer and lighter frame
NEW lighter and more stylish gull-arm design swingarm
NEW Horizontal back-link rear suspension for improved traction, response and ride comfort
An new high-tensile steel, trellis frame uses the engine as a stress-member, bringing engineering development from performance bikes like the Ninja H2™ to a lightweight, entry-level platform. Minimized bends cut down on stress-points in the frame and result in a lighter overall weight by nearly 40 pounds. The rear section of the frame is twin-tube, for added rigidity and improved carrying capacity.
The new gull-arm swingarm provides space for the central mounted exhaust, while creating a strong mount from the frame pivot point to axle. The new horizontal back-link suspension design features a linkage with progressive ratio, creating better suspension action and improves the rider’s feel of the road.
NEW Upright riding position has been adjusted to be more relaxed yet sporty
NEW Slightly reduced seat height for lower center of gravity and stable foot placement
NEW Adjustable windscreen provides improved wind protection and facilitates highway riding/touring
NEW Digital display meter adds a gear position indicator and improved visibility
The Ninja 650 tows the line between racy sportbike and comfortable commuter. New top-mount clip-on handlebars further showcase its sportbike heritage, but the slightly higher positioning, combined with the new, lower seat height, allows the rider to sit upright with relaxed hand positioning. The grips are mounted slightly forward, to aid in the slightly aggressive stance, making the Ninja 650 a great motorcycle on the weekend canyon ride or on the Monday commute.
This year the Ninja 650 seat height has been lowered 15mm, for a more stable foot placement when stopped and lower center of gravity. This year features a newly designed adjustable windscreen for added wind protection.
WHEELS, TIRES AND BRAKES
NEW Nissin brake calipers for improved braking feel
NEW Brakes and 5-spoke wheels are lighter (3.96 pounds) contributing to light handling
Ninja 650 - Metallic Spark Black
Ninja 650 - Pearl Blizzard White
Ninja 650 - Candy Burnt Orange
Ninja 650 - Lime Green/Ebony (KRT Edition)
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 – $7,399
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS – $7,799
2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 KRT Edition – $7,999
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
The setting sun and crashing waves paint a picture of bliss as you sit roadside enjoying the view. Your motorcycle is the key to adventure and adventure knows no bounds. It has no limitations or deadline, no cubical or conference calls. Where you’re going now, well that’s yet to be determined. Just man and machine, enjoying the limitless world.
The Kawasaki Versys® motorcycle family is designed for adventure-style touring. Introducing the new, nimble, easy to maneuver and low-investment, the 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS.
Versatile, capable and comfortable, the Versys-X 300 motorcycle is the new entry-level model in the award-winning lineup and Kawasaki is excited to encourage a new generation of motorcyclists set on making their own adventures.
The 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300:
- A unique combination of long-travel suspension capability and Ninja® sportbike power
- Upright riding comfort, versatile suspension, agile handling and plenty of power to tackle the freeways
- Low seat height
At 296cc, the Versys-X 300 is the smallest-displacement model in the adventure-touring category. It offers the best comfort and convenience of any sub-300cc model, as you’d expect from a bike designed to be the ideal travel partner.
Not only is it light and nimble, but with the narrow chassis and low seat height, it’s an ideal motorcycle for new riders—The Versys-X 300 offers easy access to motorcycle adventuring. With a relaxed upright seating position, front fairing and windscreen, sporty and nimble handling, it’s also an ideal motorcycle for a variety of riding conditions. From the rough paved roads, to the morning commute, the Versys-X 300 is an easy-to-ride motorcycle that makes adventure-style motorcycling more accessible than ever before.
A unique package, the adventure-style Versys-X 300 motorcycle
offers convenience and comfort as the first touring capable machine in its displacement category. The Versys-X 300 is categorized as a “Multi Purpose Adventure Touring on Road” bike and is the entry model to the Versys family.
The Versys-X 300, while the youngest in the family of Versys motorcycles, sets itself apart from the rest in many ways. It’s not only a lightweight, capable machine, but it also features a rough-road adventure style and rugged look.
The front cowling is long and tall with a chin spoiler in the bottom section. This design is meant to be equal parts functional and stylish, aiding in the adventure look, while maintaining ample wind protection. Air ducts positioned under headlights also reduce hot air buildup inside the cowl, a simple engineering design that increases comfort and helps reduce riding temperature. Large side openings in the side panels offer an efficient place for hot air to be released from the radiator.
The 4.5-gallon fuel tank contributes to the adventure-style image and function while maintaining a slim design. The Versys-X 300 features a 19-inch front aluminum rim and a 17-inch rear aluminum rim, both with steel spokes.
The large two-up seat features excellent comfort and load-bearing qualities with a seat cover carefully stitched from multiple pieces, creating a premium feel on par with more expensive models.
It wouldn’t be a Versys without a rear carrier with easy to use grips and strap hooks for adding luggage. A wide variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories will be offered to take the Versys-X 300 even further, and to help riders create a personalized motorcycle that meets their needs.
The 296cc parallel-twin engine offers strong low-to mid-range acceleration and high rpm power
The Versys-X 300 motorcycle utilizes the proven performance of its liquid-cooled 296cc parallel-twin engine, which is tuned to deliver strong low- and mid-range torque for crisp throttle response, as well as excellent power on the open road. Much of its prowess can be attributed to its advanced digital fuel injection, which helps manage cold starting while providing excellent throttle response. The Versys-X 300 features a unique slim exhaust design that keeps the header pipes close to the engine, for added protection against the elements. The exhaust piping is also unique to the Versys-X 300 motorcycle, helping to produce low and mid-range torque characteristics best suited for an adventure-style touring model. It also means easy-to-manage power delivery and added ground clearance. Further aiding in the adventure styling and capability is a right-side mounted muffler that helps keep heat away from the passenger.
The radiator features a unique fan cover that helps direct hot air out and under the motorcycle, reducing heat to the rider and passenger. An optimal air cleaner box shape and intake duct layout are designed based on Kawasaki engineers’ airflow analysis. This produces great low- to mid-range power and reduces noise
CLUTCH AND TRANSMISSION
- Assist & Slipper clutch
- Closed gear ratios
The six-speed sequential transmission features a positive neutral finder, making it a cinch to select neutral when stopped. A premium FCC clutch with assist and slipper functions reduces lever effort. The Versys-X 300 motorcycle features revised friction area for the assist and slipper clutch spring rate and lever ratio. This expands clutch control range, and facilitates moving off from a start, resulting in a clutch with a light pull and easy feel.
The Versys-X 300 features gear ratios ideal for adventure-style riding with a shorter final reduction ratio. This produces optimized balance between fuel consumption and power feeling and improved low-mid range feel and response.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
The high-tensile, highly rigid backbone pipe frame, with great capability to handle rough paved roads, was built to handle high stress, but the construction plays an important role in simultaneously producing a lightweight motorcycle. The frame features a simplified construction with thin brackets and lightening holes. Another major engineering target was a capable front-end feeling, which contributes to rider confidence
The engine is used as a stress member of the frame further increasing the strength while keeping it low weight.
Out back is a long-stroke, bottom-linkage Uni-Trak® suspension with gas-charged mono-shock and adjustable preload. This helps ensure handling stability and allows riders to touch down with ease, increasing comfort.
The rear shock mount and rear section of the frame were built with increased amounts of bracketing and surface area, in order to increase the rigidity. This allows for more durability and increased suspension action.
Up front you’ll find long-travel 41mm Showa forks. The forks aid in great front-end feel and provide comfort on various roads. A major bonus for the Versys-X 300 is its wide steering angle which assists in low speed maneuverability and overall usability. When designing the Versys-X 300, the front suspension was an important part in terms of form and function, with great care taken into making the front suspension fit the adventure look from handlebar to axle.
The 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 motorcycle is available with and without ABS.
Colors: Candy Lime Green/Metallic Graphite Gray or Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony
Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300: $5,399
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS: $5,699
2017 Kawasaki Ninja H2
The Kawasaki Ninja H2™ R hypersport motorcycle once again returns as a class leader and one of the most sought-after motorcycle on the planet. The subject of multiple awards from US leading publications, a current fixture in museums such as Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, and drawing contagious attraction in all videos in which it is featured, the supercharged Kawasaki superbike continuously proves that it is the people’s choice in the two-wheeled motorcycle world.
Kawasaki set out to create a factory-built motorcycle, where Kawasaki engineers were able to pursue unadulterated performance without the limitations of street or racing homologation. The first four-stroke, supercharged motorcycle from a major manufacturer, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R produces once unheard of power for a factory-built motorcycle. It’s truly Built Beyond Belief.
In order to create a version that was not only street legal, but also street capable, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 sportbike was born, using engineering shared from the Ninja H2R. The Ninja H2 was developed using the technology from the Ninja H2R model, but worked within the street-legal and street-capable parameters, creating a motorcycle that’s also Built Beyond Belief.
This incredible duo shares many of the technologically advanced components, including the 998cc inline four-cylinder engine, proprietary supercharger, trellis frame, compact superbike dimensions, aerodynamic bodywork, single-sided swingarm, powerful Brembo® brakes and much more. For the 2017 model year, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) will be offering another order period for customers who are anxious to own one of these exclusive machines.
Adding to the amazing pair of motorcycle is the new 2017 Ninja H2 Carbon, a special, limited edition model that features a beautiful carbon-fiber front body work and special insignia.
Highlights of the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja H2R, Ninja H2 Carbon and Ninja H2 sportbikes:
- NEW Bosch compact Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) allows for additional feedback and layer of precision for management control
- NEW Multi-mode traction control
- Launch control, engine braking control, ABS and a quick shifter
- NEW Instrument features include bank angle display and max bank angle recording function
- NEW Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-lock Brake System (KIBS) corner braking control, with feedback from IMU, increases cornering capabilities
- NEW Contactless-type quick shifter that now allows for quicker shifts for seamless acceleration and quick and easy deceleration (downshifting capability new for 2017)
- NEW Öhlins® TTX fully adjustable, concentric twin tube design rear shock
- NEW Remote preload adjuster simplifies adjustment without tools for rider preference
- NEW Updated rear shock linkage ratios contribute to firmer, more stable feeling
330mm front discs with four-piston Brembo monobloc calipers
- NEW Aerodynamic Brembo brake and clutch levers are shorter with rounded edges
- NEW High-quality emblem adds racy and edgy look to the upper cowl
- 998cc four-cylinder engine fitted with a special designed Kawasaki supercharger for intense acceleration
Supercharger uses planetary gears, spins at up to 130,000 rpm and develops up to 20.5 psi boost pressure
MotoGP™-style dog-ring transmission allows fast shifting and works with standard quick shifter
Bodywork developed with Kawasaki Aerospace Company to generate downforce
Iconic Kawasaki River Mark used to indicate combined Kawasaki Group technology
Trellis frame used for first time on a Kawasaki motorcycle to provide strength, controlled flex and air circulation
Single-sided swingarm used for first time by Kawasaki and mounted to the engine
Assist & Slipper clutch function gives lighter clutch operation and overcomes wheel hop on downshifts
Ninja H2 is fully street-legal, Ninja H2R is designed for closed-circuit use on the racetrack. The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R sportbikes receives a new Ohlins TTX shock, a quick shifter that allows for quick auto-blip down shifts and the Bosch 5-axis IMU. Thanks to the Kawasaki proprietary software that works with the IMU, the Kawasaki Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R feature a six axis of measurement creating the most advanced electronics package. The stylish appearance of the standard Ninja H2 is available in Mirror Coated Spark Black.
2017 Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon edition
- NEW Highly rigid, lightweight CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforcement polymer) upper cowl
- NEW Silver-mirror paint featuring a matte element
- NEW Each of the 120 limited edition models are individually numbered and feature a serial number stamped into the supercharger plate (Carbon model)
Kawasaki introduces the 2017 Ninja H2 Carbon motorcycle, a limited edition, limited production Ninja H2 model with special features. As one of only 120 units produced worldwide, each Ninja H2 Carbon is individually numbered and features a serial number stamped into the supercharger plate on the right side of the engine.
Further enhancing its classy look and high quality, the Ninja H2 Carbon features a beautifully constructed carbon fiber upper cowl. This front section of the motorcycle is built in highly rigid, lightweight CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforced polymer). The upper cowl instantly distinguishes the Limited Edition from the standard Ninja H2. Creating an image similar to that of the Ninja H2R, the carbon-fiber piece gives the Ninja H2 Carbon enhanced presence. Further distinguishing the Ninja H2 Carbon model is a new variation of Kawasaki’s silver-mirror paint featuring a matte element. The new paint is the same as on the closed-course Ninja H2R model.
With the addition of the new Ninja H2 Carbon, and the new components of the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2, these three supercharged sportbikes remain the most exciting motorcycles available, and their limited availability ensures exclusivity for their owners.
The Ninja H2 Carbon is a beautiful piece of machinery and to set it even further apart from the pack, it features Mirror Coated Matte Spark Black paint, further aiding in the unique design.
Bosch 5-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit):
- NEW Bosch 5-axis IMU
- NEW Kawasaki proprietary software allows for a sixth axis of measurement
- NEW Kawasaki Cornering Management Function
- NEW Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS)
The use of Bosch’s compact IMU is new for 2017 and allows an additional layer of precision to be added to the already high-level components. The system uses minimal hardware but complex Kawasaki proprietary software. IMU enables inertia along 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) to be monitored. Acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus toll rate and pitch rate are measured. The sixth axis, Yaw rate, is calculated by the ECU using Kawasaki original proprietary software developed through World Superbike racing experience. Additional feedback from the IMU gives an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, and is uniquely predictive as it combines chassis orientation information with real time monitoring of the rider’s intentions to enable the control systems to maximize forward acceleration, right up to (but not over) the limit.
KTRC (KAWASAKI TRACTION CONTROL)
NEW 9 mode KTRC (Kawasaki Traction Control)
The KTRC system used on the Ninja H2 and H2R sportbikes combines the best elements of earlier Kawasaki TRaction Control Systems. Multi-level modes offer riders a greater number of settings to choose from, with each mode providing a different level of intrusion to suit riding conditions and rider preference. And all modes are designed to manage output if wheel slip occurs. The system offers both enhanced sport riding performance and the peace of mind to negotiate surfaces with confidence.
Riders can choose from nine modes, each offering a progressively greater level of intrusion (previous years offered 3 rider modes). Riders may also elect to turn the system off.
Modes 1-6 are tailored for circuit riding, while Mode 7-9 settings were optimized for street-like conditions. The KTRC system combines the logic and control of Kawasaki’s earlier traction control systems (S-KTRC, KTRC) in each mode. Primary operation is similar to S-KTRC, which prioritizes maximum forward acceleration. But should excessive rear wheel speed be detected while operating in any mode, engine output is reduced to a level where grip can be regained, facilitating smooth riding.
Highly sophisticated programming allows a degree of slip—a certain amount of slip is required to maximize acceleration. The ideal slip ratio varies according to conditions, so the system looks at a number of parameters to get an accurate real-time picture of what is going on: front and rear wheel speed (slippage) and various engine, machine and rider input parameters are monitored.
Because the sophisticated software bases its dynamic analysis on the chassis’ orientation relative to the track surface (rather than relative to a horizontal plane), it is able to take into account corner camber, gradient, etc., and adapt accordingly. It also automatically adjusts for tire wear, different tire profiles, high-grip tires, and numerous other factors that setting-type systems treat as fixed parameters.
Using complex analysis, the system is able to adjust for unfavorable traction conditions. By acting before slippage exceeds the range for optimum traction, drops in power can be minimized, resulting in ultra-smooth operation.
KLCM (KAWASAKI LAUNCH CONTROL MODE)
Designed to assist the rider by optimizing acceleration from a stop, KLCM electronically controls engine output to prevent wheelspin and control wheel lift when launching. Riders can choose from three modes, each offering a progressively greater level of intrusion. Each mode allows the rider to launch from a stop with the throttle held wide open.
KIBS (KAWASAKI INTELLIGENT ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM)
Kawasaki’s supersport-style ABS is standard equipment on the Ninja H2 and H2R motorcycles. This is based on the same system used on the Ninja® ZX™-10R sportbike, with programming and settings revised to suit the performance parameters of the Ninja H2 and H2R. High-precision brake pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance due to excessive pressure drops, allows lever feel to be maintained when KIBS is active, and helps ensure ABS pulses feel smooth (not heavy).
KQS (KAWASAKI QUICK SHIFTER)
Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 were the first Kawasaki motorcycles to be fitted with a standard quick shifter. Complementing the engine’s strong power and the dog-ring transmission, a contactless-type quick shifter enables rapid upshifts for seamless acceleration.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
A great deal of work was done to ensure the engines in both the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 cope with the supercharger application. The combustion chamber design, for example, is complemented by durable flat piston crowns. The shape was inspired by the pistons used in the Green® Gas Engine developed by Kawasaki’s Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, contributing to the engine’s anti-knock performance. The Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 were the first motorcycles to include a knock sensor, for increased protection of the engine in extreme conditions. The intake valves are stainless steel, while the exhaust valves are formed from two materials – Inconel and heat-resistant steel – that are friction-welded at the center. This design is able to withstand the high exhaust temperatures produced under hard acceleration.
The supercharger was designed in-house by several companies within Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., thus allowing the opportunity to perfectly match the engine characteristics of the Ninja H2 and H2R. The supercharger’s high efficiency and minimal heat gain meant an intercooler was unnecessary, allowing savings in both weight and space. The supercharger is located centrally, behind the cylinder bank, in the best position to evenly distribute the compressed air to all four cylinders.
The supercharger is driven by a planetary gear train, which runs off the crankshaft. The gear train increases the impeller speed up to 9.2x the crank speed (1.15x step gear with an 8x planetary gear). This means at a maximum engine speed of approximately 14,000 rpm, the impeller shaft is spinning at almost 130,000 rpm.
To facilitate smooth, quick shifting, a dog-ring-type transmission was selected. This is similar to the kind commonly found in MotoGP™ racing vehicles and was developed with the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT). The dog-rings are lighter than conventional transmission gears, this type of transmission offers significantly lighter shift effort, facilitating quicker acceleration.
A high-quality clutch with assist and slipper function that can be found in the Ninja H2’s transmission. The clutch results in a 40% lighter pull and stronger clamping force during clutch engagement. The previous Brembo parts are used for both the clutch lever’s radial-pump master cylinder and clutch release mechanism, giving superb linearity and smooth actuation. Additionally, the back-torque limiting Slipper function of the clutch contributes to stability by helping to prevent wheel hop during aggressive downshifts.
A trellis frame for the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 motorcycles offers an elegant, lightweight solution to meet the performance requirements of the street version Ninja H2 and closed-course Ninja H2R. Able to harness the power of the engine, it has a balance of stiffness and flexibility that contributes to performance while being able to handle external disturbances at high speed. Its open design also helps to dissipate heat generated by the supercharged engine.
The Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R feature the first Kawasaki production single-sided swingarm. Having a single-sided swingarm allows the exhaust pipe to be mounted closer to the bike’s centerline, providing a high bank angle for sporty cornering.
The KYB AOS-II (Air-Oil-Separate) 43mm front fork on these innovative motorcycles is designed for low friction, with a smooth initial action followed by strong damping at the end of the stroke.
A fully adjustable Öhlins TTX rear suspension offers superb stability, which contributes to enhanced cornering performance. TTX shock features a patented concept with a unique concentric twin tube design. Also contributing to the shocks minimal friction loss, the 36mm main piston, inner and outer cylinders are all made from lightweight, highly rigid aluminium alloy. The top of the rear shock mounts to the swingarm mounting plate, doing away with the need for frame cross members.
The bottom of the rear shock is mounted via a Uni-Trak® linkage that offers excellent feedback for rear tire grip and has updated ratios for 2017. The linkage, situated below the swingarm, also mounts to the swingarm mounting plate.
Given the high-speed potential of the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R sportbikes, the brakes were carefully chosen. A front Brembo radial-pump master cylinder and reservoir receive extra examination and adjustment before being shipped to Kawasaki.
A pair of massive 330mm Brembo semi-floating front discs, with a thickness of 5.5mm, deliver excellent braking force. Dual radial-mount Brembo M50 cast monobloc calipers grip the front discs. The rigid, opposed four-piston calipers with 30mm pistons contribute to the braking power of the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R.
A large 250mm disc generates strong braking force at the rear as well.
ÖHLINS® ELECTRONIC STEERING DAMPER
Unlike a mechanical steering damper – in which the settings, once fixed, must cover all riding conditions and speeds – the damping characteristics are changed electronically, according to vehicle speed and the degree of acceleration or deceleration.
At low speeds, the settings were chosen so that damping does not interfere with the bike’s intrinsic lightweight handling. At high speeds, damping increases to provide enhanced stability. Kawasaki’s electronic steering damper was developed in conjunction with Öhlins, one of the most popular and respected steering damper manufacturers. The electronic steering damper provides just the right amount of damping based on what the bike is doing. Using input from the rear wheel speed sensor (provided via the engine ECU), the electronic steering damper’s ECU determines the vehicle speed as well as the degree the bike is accelerating or decelerating.
STYLING & CRAFTSMANSHIP
Wanting to ensure a bold design worthy of a model that carries both the “Ninja” and “H2” names, the prime styling concept for the Ninja H2R sportbike was an “Intense Force” design.
As a flagship for the Kawasaki brand, it needed to have presence, and styling that reflects its incredible performance. But the design is much more than cosmetic. While its edgy styling certainly looks the part, the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 also possess a functional beauty: each piece of the bodywork was aerodynamically sculpted to enhance high-speed stability; the cowling design also maximizes cooling performance and heat dissipation, aiding the engine’s incredible output; and the ram air duct is ideally positioned to bring air to the supercharger.
More than any Kawasaki motorcycle to date, the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 showcase craftsmanship, build quality and superb fit and finish – right down to the revised, high-tech silver-mirror paint specially developed for these models.
It is no accident that when viewed from the side, the Ninja H2R and Ninja H2 motorcycles do not have the aggressive forward-leaning rake of most modern supersport motorcycles. While supersport bikes use their front-leaning attitude to aid quick steering, at the speeds for which the closed-course Ninja H2R motorcycle was designed, such a posture would create drag, which would hinder top speed potential.
The Ninja H2R front cowl is formed from lightweight carbon fiber and is designed to afford wind protection at ultra-high speed, with its tall screen designed to help create a wind-free pocket for the rider. Compact side cowls and under cowls were designed to assist with engine heat dissipation. The rear cowl has an extremely compact three-piece design. The center portion is taller, creating an aerodynamic form that helps smooth airflow as it passes the rider. Wind is also able to pass between the center and side pieces, further reducing air resistance.
The Ninja H2 motorcycle uses similar bodywork, although it is not made from carbon fiber. Mindful of its street use, it is equipped with a front headlight, mirrors and turn signals. It is also finished in a revised silver-mirror paint giving a high-quality metallic-style appearance.
The Ninja H2R motorcycle features a number of aerodynamic devices to help ensure the front wheel has strong contact with the ground and to contribute towards the motorcycle’s high-speed performance. The design of the upper cowl incorporates a chin spoiler. Rather than being a cosmetic flourish, it produces downforce that contributes to high-speed performance. Likewise, the Ninja H2R motorcycle features carbon fiber wings mounted on the upper cowl in place of the mirrors. Additional two-blade wings appear on the side cowls featuring winglets and further add to the downforce generated by the chin spoiler and upper wings.
INSTRUMENTATION & CONTROLS
The advanced, high-tech design of the instrumentation conveys the image of piloting a fighter jet. Handlebar control switches put all mode selection and display options at the rider’s fingertips. The new instrumentation design combines a full digital LCD screen with an analog-style tachometer. The LCD screen uses a black / white reverse display (white characters on a black background), contributing to the high-quality image. In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, current mileage, average mileage, fuel consumption, coolant temperature, boost indicator, boost (intake air chamber) temperature, stopwatch (lap timer), clock and the Economical Riding Indicator. New for 2017, bank angle display and max bank angle recording function have been added to the instrument features, thanks to the addition of the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).
The Ninja H2 sportbike is equipped with all the lights needed for street-legal operation. And with the exception of the bulb illuminating the license plate, all lighting equipment on the Ninja H2 uses LEDs. The Ninja H2R has no headlight or indicator but does have a rear brake light.
Unlike a regular mass-production model, the high-precision production of the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R sportbikes requires greater hands-on participation by skilled craftsmen. So each step, from metalworking, treatment, welding and painting to assembly, fine-tuning and inspection is carefully attended to in order to create a product of superior quality. Within the Kawasaki Akashi Factory in Japan, production takes place in an area dedicated exclusively to the Ninja H2R motorcycle.