Kawasaki’s hybrid-electric motorcycle project dates back to November, 2020. The brand’s all-electric prototype is even longer in the tooth, debuting at EICMA 2019. After rationing breadcrumbs to the public for nearly three years, Team Green surprised the crowd at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit by rolling out near-production versions of both electric platforms.
Highlighting the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, the two prototypes hit the track’s home straight, giving fans a look and listen of the all-electric and electric-aided powertrains. The smaller standard bike featured Kawasaki’s electric-only motor and Z range styling, while the hybrid EV (HEV) project bore full fairings modeled after the firm’s Ninja series.
The diminutive, all-electric naked emerged first, whizzing past the pits with an audible electric hum. Shortly after, the HEV arrived, measuring considerably larger than its electric counterpart thanks in part to its dual-mill configuration.
If the HEV logo along the side panel didn’t give away the hybrid powerplant, the sound issuing from the mid-size sport bike certainly did. As the concept ambled out of pit lane, the faint whir of the electric motor hinted at Kawasaki’s hand. The HEV laid all its cards on the table when the rider pinned the throttle, kicking the internal combustion engine into gear as the bike zipped past the stands.
While Kawasaki happily demonstrated its progress with both projects, they, unfortunately, didn’t accompany the sneak peek with actual specs. However, recently uncovered VIN decoder information suggests that the entry-level, all-electric model could produce up to 14.8 horsepower. Should Kawasaki move the project into production, that would position the model as an urban commuter option between the Z125 and Z250.
Gallery: Kawasaki Electric and Hybrid-Electric Prototypes
On the other hand, we couldn’t locate details surrounding the HEV’s production prospects just yet. Still, we doubt Kawasaki would parade the prototype down the legendary Suzuka Circuit if it didn’t plan to bring the HEV to the market. Yes, we’ve waited nearly three years for Kawi to produce its electric and hybrid models, but it looks like we’ll have to hold tight for just a little longer.