YESTERDAY we revealed Kawasaki was on the verge of launching its first scooter for the European market – but we didn’t expect it to come quite this soon.
The firm has revealed the first official pictures of its new J300 maxi-scooter (or perhaps that should be ‘midi-scooter’, given how big some rivals are these days). Just as we expected, it’s identical to a Kymco Downtown 300i under the all-new, Kawasaki-styled exterior.
As you might expect, the decision to get in on the scooter game after steadfastly ignoring it for the last 57 years comes as a result of the simple fact that there’s money to be made.
Here’s Kawasaki’s official take on the new machine, which unsurprisingly pushes the Kawasaki elements of the bike while Kymco gets a passing mention: 'In a move to increase its prominence in the popular urban and sub-urban personal transport market, Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki is embarking on an ambitious plan to introduce its first ever scooter to the European market.
'Styled entirely in-house by a dedicated Kawasaki design team, the new J300 scooter features exciting Kawasaki visual cues that Mr Fukumoto, head of KHI’s Styling Department comments: “It was of great importance that our first step into the European scooter market should be with a machine that embodied Kawasaki’s cutting edge design, we are happy that we have achieved this with the styling features of the new J300”.
'Regarding the guiding principles of the design philosophy Mr Fukumoto added “J stands for Jyounetsu which means passion in Japanese. We approached the styling and design of the J300 with the same passion as for our other significant new models for the 2014 season”.
'Recognising a Europe-wide demand for stylish, easy to ride and reliable scooters, Kawasaki has reacted to an obvious gap in its product offering. The J300 compliments other successful urban families such as the popular ER series of machines and the versatile city charm of the Versys.
'With the core drive train and additional chassis elements provided by strategic vehicle partner, Kymco, the development, styling and final product engineering approach has been conducted exclusively by the design and engineering team at Kawasaki’s factory in Akashi, Japan and Kawasaki’s European R&D Department.
'Available from franchised dealers in late 2013, the J300 is set to appeal to Kawasaki enthusiasts in need of a smart commuter and to attract new riders to Kawasaki enabling yet another segment of potential customers to enjoy the unique Kawasaki brand experience.
'The J300 will be unveiled to the press and public at the Eicma show on November 5th 2013.'