Kawasaki ramp up electric bike development

A series of videos from Kawasaki seem to show that their electric motorcycle project’s development is starting to near completion

Kawasaki Endeavor

KAWASAKI has been known to be developing an electric motorcycle for some time now. Indeed, it was at EICMA last year that Kawasaki’s UK PR man was keen to show the new bike to me, although getting him to confirm on what it would be in finished form and when it would land was more difficult!

It’s still without official confirmation of the timeline for launch but, looking at some videos posted by Kawasaki, the bike is coming together very nicely indeed.

It’s going to be a bit of an oddity in the electric bike arena too - if it lands in finished form as it looks in these videos. While an electric sports bike is nothing new, an electric sports bike with a sub-30bhp output and 4-speed manual gearbox is not something we’re used to seeing.

There’s also one clue that the bike is a keeper in terms of a future model, Kawasaki has named the machine – Endeavor. And as anyone who has taken in a stray cat or dog knows; once you name it, you generally end up keeping it!

The bike is a mixture of parts from the Z400 and Z650 but draped in a sports bike fairing that looks part Ninja 400 part Ninja 1000SX. Looks aside, the bike does include some fairly standard details, familiar to most electric bikes. A large proportion of the space normally used by the engine is now used to store the batteries, with the electronics and inbuilt charging system sitting on top. The motor is a low-slung brushless item, putting out a reported 26bhp. The frame too is fairly standard looking in that it’s a trellis item, not dissimilar to that of the Z650 naked we rode last year.

Kawasaki Endeavor details and tech

From their though, the Endeavor starts to forge its own path, opting for a chain driver over the more universally (in electric bikes) used belt drive. It also features something that is rarely seen on an electric bike, a proper manual gearbox that looks like it’s equipped with a quickshifter system. It’s a four-speed system only, not six like most bikes. The thinking is that with the torque on offer a smaller and lighter four-speed can be used while the bike runs a slightly taller final driver ratio. We’re guessing at a quickshifter-equipped box as there is no clutch on the bike in the pics, just a very small thumb brake on the left handlebar.

Now, we still have to sit on our excitement of this model as Kawasaki are keeping tight-lipped as to what it will be in road trim or when it will appear. But a lightweight sportsbike along the lines of the ZX-25R but with a bazillion ft-lb of torque sounds alright by me!