Kawasaki first announced its official intentions to develop a Kawasaki electric motorcycle last year during the 2019 EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show. We were in attendance and had the chance to see the original prototype in person.
Patent applications had hinted at an upcoming Kawasaki electric motorcycle, but nothing was officially confirmed until the announcement at EICMA 2019.
The state of the prototype indicated that the project had been under way for some time, and we even got to see a video of the bike doing a few hot laps shortly after the initial EV announcement.
Now the Japanese-based electric motorcycle manufacturer has released a series of short videos showing clips of the new electric bike in action.
And in the latest indication that the bike will actually be headed to market eventually, they’ve even given it an official name. The bike is now known as the Kawasaki EV Endeavor.
The videos show us a bit more about the vehicle, including some close-ups of the electric motor and the 4-speed gearbox.
Yes, that’s right — Kawasaki is outfitting the bike with a manual transmission. Shunning the precedent set by major manufacturers such as Zero, Energica, and Harley, Kawasaki has decided for forgo the single-speed transmission commonly found on electric motorcycles.
Instead, they’ll take a page out of the book of a few concept bikes and obscure electric motorcycles to outfit the bike with a manual transmission.
The motor itself looks a bit small compared to some of the beefier options we’ve seen lately, such as the ZF75-10 electric motor on the Zero SR/F and SR/S, or to the H-D Revelation electric motor found on the LiveWire.
Physical size alone isn’t always a fair comparison when it comes to electric motors, though, and the addition of a multi-gear transmission will certainly allow the Kawasaki EV endeavor to produce more torque from a smaller motor.
The videos also discuss Kawasaki’s design philosophy for the electric bike and show off a rider taking the Kawasaki EV Endeavor around a racetrack.
Unlike a similar video released by Segway demonstrating their Apex electric motorcycle on the track, this rider at least seems to know how to corner.
We don’t have any more specs on the bike yet, which is a shame, considering the few details we’ve received so far were a bit of a disappointment.
However, these incremental updates at least demonstrate that Kawasaki is making progress toward finally rolling out an electric motorcycle.
Along with the other members of the Japanese Big Four (Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki), Kawasaki has been relatively late to the electric motorcycle party. Italian, American, and Chinese electric motorcycle manufacturers have been selling slick-looking, high-performance electric motorcycles for years while Japanese brands have largely remained indifferent.
However, a consortium between the Big Four last year saw the companies agree to work together on battery development for electric motorcycles, meaning they might have an edge now that they’ve begun to seriously focus on e-bikes.
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