Kawasaki eMotorcycles

Smaug

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Kawasaki has released a Z-e1 and a Ninja variant. They’re city bikes, due to their range, but I’m sure they will be well-sorted; proper suspension, lighting, fit and finish, etc.

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$7300 seems expensive for its performance level, but right now, it only has competition from Zero and Harley.
 
I don't think it will sell very well. Who really wants one?
*I* want one!

Look at the specs under the POWER heading:
Motor TypeAir-cooled, interior permanent magnet synchronous motor
Power Modes2 Modes (ROAD/ECO) plus e-boost
Max Speed by ModeROAD = 53 mph (63 mph with e-boost), ECO = 40 mph (45 mph with e-boost)
Rated Power5.0 kW (6.8 PS) / 2,800 min-1
Maximum Power9.0 kW (12 PS) / 2,600-4,000 min-1
Maximum Torque29.7 lb-ft @ 500 rpm
Battery TypeLithium-ion battery pack (x2)
Battery Voltage/Capacity50.4 V 30 Ah (x2)
Battery Range41 mi (approximate in ROAD Mode w/o e-boost)
Battery Charge Time3.7 hours (x2)
Transmission TypeSingle reduction gear
Shifter MechanismPush button
Primary Reduction Ratio3.211 (61/19)
Final Reduction Ratio3.867 (58/15)
Final Drive TypeChain
Electronic Rider AidsWALK Mode (with Reverse), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

  • The 53 mph normal top speed is useful in the city or suburbs. Put it in ECO (40 mph) for the inner city.
  • 41 mile range at 53 mph is reasonable, esp. for stop & go commutes.
  • 5 kW normal rating is 6.7 hp.
  • Chain final drive was a BAD decision, though. That holds us to the worst part of old-time motorcycle maintenance. Belt drive was a no-brainer here, but someone decided a little "parts bin engineering" was in order.
  • Note that the batteries can be charged multiple ways, in as few as 3.7 hours.
  • Splitting the battery capacity between two packs was smart; if one doesn't need the full range, one can just battery swap each day.
  • Moving the motor to a central location will improve handling via better weight distribution and ride quality; less unsprung weight in the wheel compared to a big hub motor.
  • Note that they were smart enough to give it bigger power, but market it as e-boost mode, so that people wouldn't think it's sustainable, and the firmware enforces it.
I was about to complain about the $7300 price, but it's the cheapest practical eMoto out there right now; everything else that's not just a hub motor bike starts closer to $12k. Only problem is that a gBike will outperform it for $2k less and not have any worries about battery replacement a few years down the road.
 
My Stealth is 6Kw, has the same top speed, and weighs 200 lbs less. Plus I have pedals, and a smaller physical size that gets lost in the loop hole. What advantage does the Ze1 have over bikes like mine?
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My Stealth is 6Kw, has the same top speed, and weighs 200 lbs less. Plus I have pedals, and a smaller physical size that gets lost in the loop hole. What advantage does the Ze1 have over bikes like mine?View attachment 12244
Not putting down your bike, but since you asked:

  • Better lighting
  • Better range
  • Better (more polished) looks
  • Better brakes, probably
On the minus side, one can’t “ride the loophole” with these Kawasakis, which means a higher cost of ownership through taxes.
 
Not putting down your bike, but since you asked:

  • Better lighting
  • Better range
  • Better (more polished) looks
  • Better brakes, probably
On the minus side, one can’t “ride the loophole” with these Kawasakis, which means a higher cost of ownership through taxes.
This is the kind of conversation I've been thinking about for a long time. I don't think the major motorcycle factory's realize this yet. For a minute lets assume you're a salesman at the Kawasaki shop trying to convince me I need a Ze1, and you just gave me this pitch. My reply would be something like this.

Better lighting? Maybe, maybe not, but I can have any lighting I want for cheap, and I like what I have pretty well. No sale.

Better range? Ze1=41 mi. I get that riding hard, and a lot more most of the time. Still no sale.

Better looks? Looks are subjective, but I'll give you this one, but not by very much, and even that's questionable. I have been known to buy a bike for looks alone, but I've never been a fan of Japanese sport bike looks. Still no sale.

Better brakes? Ze1 has 4 piston F/R with 270/220 rotors, but has to stop close to 300 lbs plus rider. I have 4 piston F, 2 piston R, with 220 rotors F/R, stopping 120 lbs plus rider. I'm pretty sure I can out stop a Ze1.

Other items of note, Ze1 has 41mm forks that have to deal with 300lbs plus rider, while I have Fox 40s holding up 1/3 the weight. Ze1 has a strong, but heavy steel trellis frame. My bike has a strong, but lightweight chromoly, monocoque frame.

Right now the only real advantage I see is price. $7200 vs $10,000, but it's not really a fair comparison, because we're comparing a mega factory to a very small regional one in Australia. If a factory the size of Kawasaki built my bike I think it would probably cost less than this Ze1. Even so, when you factor in the additional freedom the loop hole allows, which means I can ride anywhere, park anywhere, no license, no registration, inspection, or insurance, I think the extra cost is worth it.

Bottom line is the Ze1 weighs 300 lbs, but only has the same power as my 120 lb bike, arguably less overall performance, and less freedom. I don't think the Ze1 would be as much fun as my bike.
 
Well, I think these are pretty nice too

 
This is the kind of conversation I've been thinking about for a long time. I don't think the major motorcycle factory's realize this yet. For a minute lets assume you're a salesman at the Kawasaki shop trying to convince me I need a Ze1, and you just gave me this pitch. My reply would be something like this.

Better lighting? Maybe, maybe not, but I can have any lighting I want for cheap, and I like what I have pretty well. No sale.

Better range? Ze1=41 mi. I get that riding hard, and a lot more most of the time. Still no sale.

Better looks? Looks are subjective, but I'll give you this one, but not by very much, and even that's questionable. I have been known to buy a bike for looks alone, but I've never been a fan of Japanese sport bike looks. Still no sale.

Better brakes? Ze1 has 4 piston F/R with 270/220 rotors, but has to stop close to 300 lbs plus rider. I have 4 piston F, 2 piston R, with 220 rotors F/R, stopping 120 lbs plus rider. I'm pretty sure I can out stop a Ze1.

Other items of note, Ze1 has 41mm forks that have to deal with 300lbs plus rider, while I have Fox 40s holding up 1/3 the weight. Ze1 has a strong, but heavy steel trellis frame. My bike has a strong, but lightweight chromoly, monocoque frame.

Right now the only real advantage I see is price. $7200 vs $10,000, but it's not really a fair comparison, because we're comparing a mega factory to a very small regional one in Australia. If a factory the size of Kawasaki built my bike I think it would probably cost less than this Ze1. Even so, when you factor in the additional freedom the loop hole allows, which means I can ride anywhere, park anywhere, no license, no registration, inspection, or insurance, I think the extra cost is worth it.

Bottom line is the Ze1 weighs 300 lbs, but only has the same power as my 120 lb bike, arguably less overall performance, and less freedom. I don't think the Ze1 would be as much fun as my bike.
OK....what if I throw in a year subscription to our "Jelly of the Month" program........yer gonna love the marionberry!
 
I think it looks great, the range wouldn't work for anything I would need it to do and I'm sure the 41 miles range is not at 53mph either. It does look like it would be a great commuter city bike though. I can see where it would be better than an e-bike for some depending on your commute. Where you have to get in there and mix it up with traffic, need to be a street legal vehicle, and need the tires , handling, braking of a motorcycle.

I'm really surprised that they are able to keep it at only $7,300, I saw a trek full suspension e-mountain bike for almost that much. I guess since the batteries are easily changed out you could extend your range with more batteries.

I know some people go 50 miles an hour on an e-bike but not me, If I'm going to over thirty mph I want a motorcycle not a bicycle.

I guess the weight and scale of ev cars just works better than motorcycles do, it's just hard to carry enough batteries to come close to the range and performance of a gas bike.
 
It is funny that because the English term for bicycle and motorcycle, at least in common parlance, coincides with “bike,” when you guys talk about e-bike the two categories are confused. In many other languages a separate term is used. In Italian for example “bicicletta” (or “bici”), and motocicletta (or “moto”). The same happens in Spanish, and in French ("veló" vs "moto"), although speaking of two-wheeled electric vehicles, the English term "ebike" is spreading in some countries like Italy. But we still keep the two concepts completely separate when we talk about them.

I suspect that this purely semantic distinction has also influenced the way we orient our marketing choices and the legislation on the subject on the two sides of the Atlantic.
 
Even a Honda Navi at 2k will outperform.
In terms of what, touring range? Yes, certainly.
Top speed is similar (Kawasaki at 51 mph, Navi at 53 mph)
Acceleration? No, the Z e-1 will certainly be quicker.

Also an eahora is half the price and you can load up on batteries with the other half of money. Although not a street bike performance.
Yes, certainly not 51 mph sustained, (might get 35 on the Eahora?) so this is not a good comparison.

No doubt the Kawasaki quality is superior, but it may not be a whole lot depending on what exactly is put into an eahora as well as what you can replace.
You can even get a Honda small street bike at 4k and you'd be happier.
Yeah, ADV 160 is the one I want:

I don't think ebikes will be competitive enough for the general population until they normalize longer range and we're only seeing 8A and faster charging. We're going to need to see brand names the manufacture the entire bike and that's why someone with a salaried level income would buy that Kawasaki to be less annoying and just get to work in the city.
Yes, and the only maintenance will be tires, brakes and chains; very little compared to combustion.

One killer of these bikes is having to go through the stealership. They tack on SO many fees the out-the-door price doesn't even resemble the advertised price. I asked a local dealer for an OTD price on the ADV 160 and it was over $6k. (It's advertised as a $4500 bike)

With an eBike, we have sales tax and shipping, and many times shipping is included in the price. That's a huge advantage to an eBike, if an eBike will get the job done.
 
It's only money. I'd have to have the money to already have done that
Build slowly while riding another cheap slow bike.

You want a bike that does 58mph?
I have one i made that you can buy but you dont have money you say....you have the bike, you can make a 58mph ebike for around
$2k .... It all costs money my friend, how much are you willing to suffer to get something worth while...

What, realistically, would you do with a 58mph ebike? Get tickets? Get jobs? Get hurt?

Yur spending monies on other things you could potentially do without to get/build an ebike that you want.

Good luck friend! :)
 
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