Kawasaki may have taken its sweet time to get into the electric motorcycle game, but the company appears to be making up for lost years. New VIN filings in the US point to two electric motorcycles that could be unveiled later this year.
The VIN filings list two previously unseen models with VIN codes that generally refer to Kawasaki’s sportbikes and roadsters.
More information available with the filings, which were uncovered by Motorcycle.com, shed light on the powertrain used in the two models.
Both models are listed as having zero engine displacement, zero strokes, and zero cylinders (which are the giveaways for their electric status), and both are listed as producing a claimed output of 11 kW (15 hp).
That power is likely to put the bikes somewhere in the 125cc to 250cc equivalent range. The horsepower may be lower than ICE-powered motorcycles in this class, but electric motorcycles offer better performance with lower horsepower figures due to how they deliver that power.
Kawasaki sure has some catching up to do if it expects to stick to its electric motorcycle promises.
The company claimed that it would unveil three electric motorcycle models by the end of 2022. So far we’ve only seen one, and that one barely counted. It was a kids’ balance bike with an electric motor, making it more of a child’s toy than an electric motorcycle.
If Kawasaki follows through with its promise for three electric two-wheelers this year, then it is likely that the company will choose the EICMA 2022 Milan Motorcycle Show for the debut.
The light electric motorcycle market in the US has begun heating up significantly lately.
The Kollter ES1 has already been on the road for over a year, offering speeds of around 70 mph (112 km/h) with an 11 kW (15 hp) motor.
The SONDORS Metacycle just started making deliveries this month, offering 80 mph (130 km/h) top speeds from its 8 kW (11 hp) nominal and 14.5 kW (19.4 kW) peak rear hub motor. The removable 4,000 Wh battery is rated for a range of 80 miles (130 km).
The Ryvid Anthem was recently announced, claiming a 75 mph (121 km/h) top speed. It comes with a motor power rating of 7.5 kW (10 hp) continuous and 13.5 kW (18 hp) peak.
Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle sub-brand debuted a lower power model known as the Del Mar, though the bike is considerably more powerful with a 60 kW (80 hp) motor. The Del Mar is also more expensive, priced at closer to $16,000. That puts it at over twice the price of the Kollter ES1, Ryvid Anthem, and SONDORS Metacycle.
If Kawasaki were to enter the light electric motorcycle market with two offerings in the same power class as bikes like the Metacycle, the Japanese bike maker could offer some serious competition. The manufacturing might of Kawasaki combined with potential inclusion of a consortium-developed standard for swappable batteries that Kawasaki joined could create stiff competition for newer US-based electric motorcycle startups.
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