Kawasaki is blazing a trail to an electrifying future by becoming the first Japanese OEM to introduce battery bikes to Canada. For 2024, the Kawasaki Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 are both confirmed for our market, at an MSRP under $10,000.
Kawasaki Ninja e-1
Although Kawasaki has traditionally used the Ninja name for its high-performance sportbikes, the new Ninja e-1 is decidedly more sensible than the race machines that gave the series its notoriety.
The Ninja e-1 is based around a 9 kW brushless electric motor with twist-and-go operation. It’s powered by two removable batteries. The batteries weigh 11.5 kg apiece so it’s easy to take them out of the bike and into your house or apartment for charging. Kawasaki says the batteries are good for a range of up to 72 kilometres. They recharge from a 110V household outlet, and will go from 0-100 percent in 3.7 hours. A charge from 20-85 percent only takes 1.6 hours. The bikes come with regenerative braking that will put power back into your batteries in stop-and-go traffic.
To help keep the batteries from excessive depletion, there are two power modes—Road and Eco—that help you match your bike’s muscle to its surroundings. In Eco mode, top speed is 64 km/h, increasing to 75 km/h for a short burst if you activate the E-boost function. E-boost provides extra power for 15 seconds, giving you passing power when needed, but otherwise allowing your motor and battery to avoid excess wear.
In Road mode, top speed is 88 km/h, which boosts to 99 km/h with help from E-boost.
Along with the easy clutchless operation, the bikes also come with Walk mode, including a reverse gear, that allows you to slowly move the bike around your parkade or other tight quarters.
The Ninja e-1 has a $9,499 MSRP for 2024.
Both of these bikes are built off the same motor and frame, so the only real difference between the naked Z e-1 and the Ninja is the Z’s naked bike looks and lack of bodywork. It’s also slightly slower in Road and Eco mode, but top speed in Road mode with the E-boost is 99 km/h, same as the Ninja. The Z e-1 has a $9,199 MSRP for 2024.
More to come?
Although Kawasaki has only committed to bringing these machines to Canada for 2024, note that we’ve seen hydrogen-fueled machines from Kawi in recent months, as well as a gas/electric hybrid. While the Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 may be only modest commuter machines, they are a sign of more machines to come as the industry adopts electric motorcycles to meet updated emissions standards.
For more info on the new e-series electrics, visit Kawasaki’s Canadian website here.