Kawasaki is adding a high-revving lightweight sportbike to its lineup for 2022, along with two electric motorcycles, according to government documents filed in the US. That paperwork confirms the ZX-4R is coming to North America, and two battery bikes that appear to be aimed at the mini market.
Wait—you said US market paperwork? Yeah, Motorcycle.com found documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that indicate the ZX-4R would arrive in the States in 2023, and two street-legal electric motorcycles as well. Presumably, that means we’ll see them in Canada, but that’s no guarantee.
For many readers, the news of those street-legal electric motorcycles is probably very exciting, if you remember Kawasaki’s much-teased electric sportbike project. Alas, it seems these machines are not intended to carry the Ninja name forward into the battery bike age. Instead, they’re apparently in the same range as the Z125 minibike. It’s definitely easier to build a small electric motorcycle than a big one, so this makes sense. We’re sure we’ll see an electric Ninja in the years to come.
Remember that these bikes will actually not be Kawasaki’s first electric motorcycles in the market—that honour belongs to the Elektrode balance bike. However, that bike was intended for kids, and these new machines (a naked bike and a fully-faired bike, the filings suggest) are presumably for adults, if they’re street-legal.
And what about that ZX-4R? It’s basically a big-bored ZX-25R, far as we know. The ZX-25R hit the Asian market in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, revving all the way to 17,000 rpm and making 50 horsepower from its parallel twin engine (see our writeup from 2020 here). Expect at least 70 horsepower from the ZX-4R, if it comes to Canada (and we sure hope it does!).