Kawasaki Z7 and Ninja 7 Hybrid Release Postponed in Japan

Despite the Z7 and Ninja 7 hybrids being on sale in the UK, Europe and the USA, Japanese riders will not be able to sample either model yet

Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid - riding

It was 2020 when we first began reporting on the news that Kawasaki was beginning work on a revolutionary hybrid motorcycle project. 

The bike looked to lean on the positives of petrol-powered motorcycles, and the low-emissions and ‘green’ image of traditional fully electrically powered motorbikes. It wasn’t until August 2022 when we saw the actual machine though, and another year later before the official images and specifications of the bike were revealed.

Last year was the first chance the press got to ride the bike, with the European launch event taking place in Barcelona while I was out there to review the LiveWire S2 Del Mar. We actually crossed paths with the Kawasaki launch, and it was an interesting experience to see these electric bikes whooshing by and then switching to internal combustion power as the speed increased. 

Watching the bikes and reading the reports of them, which were mostly very positive, it seemed like there was little standing in the way of Kawasaki’s best-of-both hybrid offerings. While that might be true in the UK, Europe and America, the same can’t be said in Kawasaki’s native Japan, as the brand has this week announced the postponement of the two models launch in the country.

There isn’t much reason given in the press release as to why this has happened, although it vaguely cites ‘various circumstances’. The two bikes were scheduled for release on 15 June, and at the time of writing, there is no information as to when the release will be rescheduled for.

The full announcement from Kawasaki reads:

‘We would like to inform you that the scheduled release date of "Ninja 7 Hybrid/Z7 Hybrid" on June 15, 2024, has been postponed due to various circumstances.

‘We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our customers who have been looking forward to it. We will notify you once the release date has been decided again.

‘We will continue to do our best to deliver products that meet our customers' expectations, and we appreciate your understanding.’

One theory around the postponement in Japan centres around the size of the Japanese market, in comparison to the combined size of the markets in which the bikes are already available, and a lack of proper infrastructure in the region. Some theories for the postponement include a dwindling demand in the region for a hybrid bike of this size, as well as spare parts and accessory supply chain problems in the Far East.