Dropping surprises is becoming a theme at bike launches. Earlier this year, KTM got in the Duke 250 as part of its new 2017 line-up, and now, Kawasaki has dropped a bomb on us by launching a slew of offerings. These include the new Z900 and the Z650 nakeds, the new Ninja 650 and the updated Ninja 300 sport bikes.
Kawasaki Z900: Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
At Rs 9 lakh, this successor to the impressive Z800 naked is Rs 1.5 lakh costlier than the model it replaces. But what extra do you get for the heavier price tag?
The Z900 draws power from a 948cc, in-line, four-cylinder engine that’s a downsized version of the Z1000’s motor. It makes 125hp and 100Nm of peak power and torque that is channeled to the rear wheel via a slipper-clutch equipped six-speed gearbox.
The bike ditches its predecessor’s cast-alloy backbone chassis for a lighter, tubular steel trellis frame that uses the engine as a stress member. Overall, the Z900 is a good 20kg lighter than the 231kg Z800.
Stopping power for all that mass comes from dual 300mm petal disc rotors with four-piston calipers at the front, while the rear gets a 250mm petal disc chomped down by a single-piston caliper; ABS comes as standard. Like the Z800, it’s suspended on 41mm upside-down front forks (adjustability for rebound damping as well as spring preload) and a horizontally mounted linked monoshock at the rear.
Want to find out how the Z900 betters the Z800? We tell you all you need to know about the Z900 here. You'll get to know more about the bike once we put it on the road.
Kawasaki Z650: Rs 5.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The middleweight Z650 slots between the entry-level Z250 and the Z900 in Kawasaki’s range of naked street bikes.
A successor to the ER-6n, it is powered by a 649cc, parallel-twin engine that makes 68hp and 65.7Nm of torque. It's paired with a six-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. Like the bigger Z900, this bike uses a tubular-steel trellis frame. However, the bigger bike uses upside-down front forks, whereas the Z650 is suspended on conventional telescopic forks up front. It weighs 184kg, which makes it a full 20kg lighter than the ER6n. ABS comes as standard on the bike.
Kawasaki Ninja 650: Rs 5.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
New Kawasaki Ninja 650
The Ninja 650 was already on sale in India but the 2017 model gets a few major updates. It continues with the older bike's 649cc, parallel-twin engine that's been upgraded for BS-IV (same engine as the Z650), and the 41mm telescopic front forks, but that's about all that's similar.
The new Ninja 650 looks a lot sharper. The front fairing is all new, and its design is clearly inspired from the bigger Ninja ZX-10R. Around the rear, the side-mounted monoshock has been ditched for a centrally mounted shock absorber. The rear swingarm is all new too. The bike sports a new light-weight, trellis frame, and lighter alloy wheels, all of which have resulted in a 22kg weight loss; the new bike weighs 193kg.
The seating on the bike has been revised for better ergonomics, there's a new clip-on handlebar, and the seat height has also been reduced for a lower centre of gravity. This, of course, will also make it better suited for shorter riders. New features also include ABS, brake calipers from Nissin, an adjustable visor, and a gear-position indicator for the digital instrument cluster.
Kawasaki Ninja 300: Rs 3.64 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawi's entry-level, fully faired sports bike has been upgraded for the BS-IV norms that will come into effect on April 1, 2017.
It continues to be powered by a 39hp, 296cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin that's mated to a six-speed gearbox. As before, the gearbox gets a slipper-clutch. While there isn't any major change to the bike's spec-sheet, at 174kg, the bike weighs 2kg more. The bump in weight is possibly because of the BS-IV upgrades.
The Ninja is a rival to bikes like the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the KTM RC 390.