Note: This article summarizes each of the five motorcycles Kawasaki has just unveiled. If you would like more specific information, click over to our individual coverage on each model found elsewhere on the front page.
Kawasaki has taken the covers off four new bikes for 2021. That’s a lot of hardware. Since Kawasaki’s selection of new machines covers a wide band of disciplines, this article will tell you a bit about each. If we’ve piqued your interest, click over to our separate and more in-depth articles. So let’s get started, shall we?
Starting with the “adventure” side of Kawasaki’s newest releases is the KLX300. Kawasaki’s small dual-sport gets a new larger liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 292cc engine and “dual-sport tuned long-travel suspension.”
Kawasaki says the new powerplant has an easy to use powerband that provides more pull at higher revs than its predecessor. So if Kawasaki’s KLX 1/4 liter sized bikes didn’t have enough power for you, the new KLX should address the issue.
The new machine features a box and tubular section high tensile steel perimeter frame. The setup provides a slim, lightweight package, which is said to provide good handling and maneuverability on or off-road.
The suspension has been upgraded with a 43mm inverted cartridge-style fork. It is adjustable for compression damping. You’ll find a Uni-Trak® rear suspension that uses a gas-charged shock with preload and rebound damping adjustability at the rear. The KLX300 also comes with electric start.
The bike’s MSRP depends on the color you choose; $5,599 for “Lime Green” and $5,799 for “Fragment Camo Gray.”
Next up is another KLX. This time it’s the KLX300SM supermoto. It too carries Kawasaki’s 292cc single-cylinder engine. As you can imagine, many of its engine and chassis components are shared with the KLX300. But the KLX300SM’s mission is quite different.
The KLX300SM is a street only machine, built to allow its rider to hold tight lines around corners. To do this, the KLX-300SM features spoked 17-inch front and rear wheels and different gear ratios. It also features front and rear petal disc brakes with a twin-piston caliper gripping a 300mm semi-floating disc up front. At the rear is a single-piston caliper that grasps a 240mm disc.
The KLX300SM is available in “Lime Green” and “Oriental Blue/Ebony colorways and has an MSRP of $5,999.
Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R and Ninja® ZX™-10RR
Moving over to the supersport segment, Kawasaki is revealing 3 more bikes. First up is the Ninja® ZX™-10R series that includes the Ninja® ZX™-10R (10R) and the Ninja® ZX™-10RR (10RR).
Both are similarly equipped. The bikes have fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder 998cc engines that provide their maximum torque of 83.9 lb.-ft @ 11,300 rpm. Horsepower figures have not been provided.
Both the Ninja ZX-10R and the ZX-10RR use Showa suspension. At the front is an inverted 43mm Showa Balance Free Fork (BFF) that is adjustable for rebound and compression damping. At the back of the machine is a “Horizontal Back-Link” suspension with a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) rear shock that is adjustable for preload, rebound, and compression damping.
There are also a host of electronics, including Kawasaki’s dynamic modeling software that interprets the IMU and other sensor readings “for quicker lap times on the track.” You’ll also find Kawasaki’s S-KTRC traction control system and cruise control.
Both machines have new bodywork with integrated winglets providing more of an aero advantage.
Pricing depends on the model chosen and whether you opt for ABS. The MSRPs for Kawasaki’s ZX-10 variants are as follows:
- $16,399 – ZX-10R,
- $16,699 – KRT Edition,
- $17,399 – ZX-10R ABS,
- $17,699 – KRT Edition ABS,
- $28,999 – ZX-10RR
ZX-10R and ZX10RR Differences
If you are wondering about the differences between the two machines, they are pretty similar. However, the 10RR comes with titanium connecting rods and Marchesini forged wheels. Its electronics are also more adjustable and feature more settings than found on the 10R. The 10RR also has Pirelli’s SC SP tires versus the Bridgestone RS10 mounted to the 10R.
Kawasaki Z H2 SE
Kawasaki’s supercharged green monster is back with upgrades to its suspension and new Brembo brakes. The new machine features KECS, Kawasaki’s semi-active electronic suspension system. Kawasaki says it “…adapts to road and riding conditions in real-time, providing the ideal amount of damping by combining high-level mechanical components with the latest electronic control technology.” According to Kawasaki, “KECS balances suppleness for daily commuting with firm damping to facilitate more sporty riding.”
Another feature is Showa’s Skyhook EERA (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment) technology to provide a more composed ride. EERA electronically adjusts damping to suit the bike’s speed and suspension stroke speed. The system takes deceleration into account to manage the pitching of the bike under braking.
And when braking becomes necessary, a “premium spec” Brembo front brake package handles the chores. The package includes Stylema monobloc calipers, a Brembo front master cylinder, and steel braided lines. Kawasaki says the setup offers stronger braking performance and enhanced control.
The wheelset features 17-inch wheels both front and rear. Those wheels have Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires with a 120/70ZR17 front and a 190/55ZR17 at the rear.
The Z H2 SE comes in Golden Blazed Green and Metallic Diablo Black. Kawasaki has set the bike’s MSRP at $19,700.