For at least the past few years (and probably longer), Kawasaki has been hard at work developing hybrid engine technology for use in upcoming motorcycles. Back in 2022, the well-established OEM first showed off a hybrid prototype machine at the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race in August. 

At the time, of course, both it and the electric bike that Kawasaki also rolled out before the assembled crowd were but concepts, not full production bikes. And as you probably know if you've been paying attention to bikes for more than a few minutes, not all concepts necessarily make it into production down the line.

The Hybrids, though? Those, Kawasaki decided, needed to cross the finish line and start rolling out to customers in multiple markets. By October 2023, Team Green had formally announced the Ninja 7 Hybrid's impending release in both Europe and the UK

Just one month later, in November 2023, EICMA 2023 hit the international motorcycle scene in Milan, Italy. It's a place where many an OEM that sells internationally likes to break out the big guns, often introducing and showcasing new models that everyone can look forward to rolling out in their markets in the coming months. 

Unsurprisingly, that's where Kawasaki officially introduced the Z7 Hybrid for the first time. Sure enough, by January 2024, Team Green had announced both of its middleweight hybrids for the US market.

But now, it appears there's a snag. 

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On May 20, 2024, Kawasaki Motors Japan formally announced that both the Ninja 7 Hybrid and Z7 Hybrid have been postponed "due to various circumstances" for the Japanese market. 

They were originally scheduled for release on June 15, 2024, which is less than a month away at the time of writing on May 21, 2024.

A new release date has not yet been announced, although Kawasaki says that it looks forward to providing that information once it has been decided. It also offered apologies to fans and interested parties in the Japanese market for any inconvenience caused.

What, if anything, does this mean for the hybrids in other markets?

Unless you're a small custom shop that works on one-off or very small-batch creations, motorcycle manufacturing doesn't exist in a bubble in 2024.

It's not clear exactly what effect, if any, Kawasaki Motors Japan's delay announcement could have on its Hybrid releases in other markets. RideApart has reached out to Kawasaki Motors USA to ask for further information about our market, but has yet to receive a response at the time of writing.

We will update this piece if and when we hear back.

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