Kawasaki @ EICMA 2016: Kawasaki spearheads the Japanese brigade’s efforts after debuting new Versys-X250/300 model.
Not just a show reserved for the big players from Europe, EICMA 2016 also plays hosts to the mighty Japanese brigade and we’ll start with perhaps one of the mightiest of them all – Team Green. Here’s our round up of Kawasaki @ EICMA 2016.
In the midst of all its new and heavily updated models for 2017, Kawasaki also took the opportunity at surprising journos with the debut of its Versys-X 250/300 model. Yes, this is the mini adv-styled Versys you’ve been waiting for.
The very latest addition into the Versys dual-purpose line up comes powered by a Ninja 300-derived 296cc parallel-twin heart in its Versys-X 300 form for the EU market. The mill is encased within an all-new chassis and an all-new adventure-styled bodywork as well – complete with spoked wheels and high-travel suzzies.
Headlining figures here stand at roughly 38hp and approximately 170kg with riders seated 800mm above the ground. Furthermore, the powertrain also boasts an assist and slipper clutch primed in its transmission, with ABS offered as standard and two digital LCD instrument displays to boot as well.
The high-travel suspension consists of long-travel 41mm telescopic units primed up front and a uni-trak gas-charged unit for the rear. The wheels, on the other hand, measure in at 19-inches up front and 17-inches at the rear – typical of most adv-styled bikes indeed.
While the seat looks plus, it is the tall windscreen and wide handlebars that makes this one touring-friendly mini dual-sport, and we reckon it’ll give the rivalling new BMW G310 GS a run for its money in most markets.
Of course, as you may have guessed, Kawasaki will likely offer a Versys-X 250 version for certain markets that favour the quarter-litre displacements – ours included. Kawasaki will also prepare a plethora of accessories for this model including panniers, engine guard, centre-stand and more.
Z650, Z900 and Z1000 R Edition
Also on display alongside the new Versys-X 250/300 were a number of other new Kawasaki models for 2017, and we’ll start with the three new Z-series naked bikes.
First up comes the new Z650, which is essentially a replacement for the current Kawasaki ER-6n. As you may have read from our previous report, the Kawasaki Z650 features an updated Euro 4-compliant 649cc parallel-twin plus a smarter and neater new styling to boot.
Together with the Ninja 650 model that bowed in INTERMOT 2016 last month, the full model change to the ER-6 series are complete. And having seen it in the flesh, we can safely say that riding an entry-level Kawasaki naked couldn’t look any better than this.
Next up comes the Z900 model that replaces the existing Z800 naked middleweight. As previously reported, it features a downsized 948cc version of the Z1000’s 1,043cc four-cylinder mill and healthily develops 126hp.
Its accompanying transmission is primed with a slipper clutch, and there’s uprated suzzies and brakes too. In the flesh, the Z900’s mild facelift over its Z800 predecessor is much more apparent to the naked eye. Depending on which side of the fence you’re on, things don’t look too bad as well for this revised middleweight naked.
Lastly comes the new and racier Z1000 R Edition model for 2017. As previously reported, its 1,043cc mill now meets Euro 4 standard and gains with new ECU mappings too. Supplementing that are the upgraded Öhlins S46DR1S rear shock and dual 310mm Brembo discs with M50 calipers setup as well.
Welcoming changes include the new instrument display panel with adjustable up-shift light that illuminates the rev counter. And though mild, the visual changes are tasty to say the least, but you be the judge of this by viewing it in our gallery below.
Ninja 650, Ninja ZX-10RR and more
Also on display in Milan were a sleuth of updated-for-2017 Ninja sport models. We’ve selected our two favourites and we’ll start with the new Ninja 650. As previously reported, this is the replacement of the ER-6f and not the Ninja ZX-6R’s successor sadly – we’ll have to wait a little longer for that.
Like its Z650 sibling, it gets a new Euro 4-compliant 649cc parallel-twin powertrain encased in a sharper and neater new design. As far as we’re concerned, riding this entry-level sport-standard for 2017 is a pretty exciting prospect indeed, especially when it looks this good in the flesh.
Also on display here was the 2017 Ninja ZX-10RR homologation special. Like we’ve reported previously, this is a limited-run model that’s specced up with various parts from the Kawasaki race parts bin to meet WSBK’s homologation rules. Click here to know more about this race-spec special.
Other models on display here included the lightly updated Ninja H2 supercharged hyperbike, as well as the modestly revised Z1000 SX (Ninja 1000) sport tourer. As far as we can observe, Team Green’s 2017 line up is shaping to be one of its most formidable yet.
Check out more images in the gallery we’ve prepared below.
Kawasaki @ EICMA 2016