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H2-Eco | Kawasaki could stay true to heritage with supercharged hybrid model

A Kawasaki supercharger-equipped hybrid motorcycle could be the answer to those reluctant at the impending shift to electric motorcycling

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We’re in little doubt there will be some growing pains as the motorcycle industry begins its somewhat reluctant shift towards a more sustainable model of power but it seems Kawasaki will at least attempt to soften the impact by staying true to its engineering roots.

Indeed, it’s common knowledge that Kawasaki is among the manufacturers fairly far down the road towards bringing a more eco-friendly motorcycle to the market using engine tech branded E-BOOST.

However, while the teaser of the Endeavour - a midi-sportsbike similar in size to the Ninja 400 - shows electric is indeed on its agenda, the firm will be keeping its options very open in an effort to appease a large and steadfast audience base who aren’t sold on motorcycles powered by volts.

Indeed, Kawasaki is exploring the option of Hybrid technology that will marry a smaller electric motor for urban riding together with a more conventional unit for those higher speed jaunts. 

It’s a strategy that has worked well in the car industry and has provided a stepping stone towards the impending full shift towards electric vehicles.

However, Kawasaki does have one ace up its sleeve in its experience optimising supercharging technology for its range of high-performance models - the H2 and Z H2 - and could subsequently be adapted to provide extra zip in a future Kawasaki hybrid.

This is important because while electric power has obvious benefits, even a small battery significantly increases the weight, which coupled to a secondary motor raises it further... and we all know a heavy bike is a rider’s enemy.

The supercharger would free up space and when coupled with an electric motor should ensure some skin-peeling acceleration from a standstill.

Patents come and go with only a modest number making it to production so such a model may never even exist, but from our standpoint if Kawasaki can make the Hybrid light enough to not feel like a barge in corners, then it really could be an interesting stepping stone for those unconvinced by an electric future.