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Kawasaki introduces 2017 street motorcycles

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

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Kawasaki’s flagship, open-class sport touring bike with power and comfort, the Ninja 1000 ABS returns for 2017 with added electronics, normally reserved for race models. Built for riders wanting sporty handling and smooth, powerful acceleration, the Ninja 1000 ABS has all of that, but in a relaxed, comfortable riding position—creating a motorcycle with liter-bike performance, but a level of comfort and versatility that allows the miles to roll on with ease. Now, with the added electronics, the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS will give riders increased confidence on their next ride.

New for 2017 are wider fairings, a new double-bubble windscreen, 5-way adjustable clutch lever and seat, all aiding in increased rider comfort, making the 2017 Ninja 1000 even more enjoyable. Hard, KQR color-matched saddlebags may be selected from among a variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories, further enhancing the touring comfort of the Ninja 1000 ABS.

ELECTRONICS

Utilizing technology previously reserved for the Ninja ZX-10R sportbike, the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle features a 6-axis Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that includes electronic rider aids such as: Kawasaki Cornering Management Function, Kawasaki TRaction Control (KTRC), and Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS).

The system uses minimal hardware but complex Kawasaki proprietary software. The strength of Kawasaki’s cutting-edge electronics has always been the highly sophisticated programming that gives the ECU an accurate real-time picture of what the chassis is doing. Kawasaki’s proprietary dynamic modeling program makes skillful use of its formula as it examines changes in multiple parameters, enabling it to take into account changing road and tire conditions.

The new Bosch IMU enables inertia along five DOF (degrees of freedom) to be monitored: acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus roll rate and pitch rate. While the sixth axis, yaw rate, is calculated by the ECU using Kawasaki original software. Bosch’s latest IMU is compact and very lightweight, weighing only 40 grams.

Using the latest evolution of this advanced modeling software, KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – modulating brake force and engine power to facilitate smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner.

Three modes cover a wide range of riding conditions, offering either enhanced sport riding performance or the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence. Modes 1 and 2 prioritize maximum forward acceleration, while Mode 3 provides rider reassurance by facilitating smooth riding on slippery surfaces. Riders may also elect to turn the system off.

In Modes 1 and 2, highly sophisticated programming allows a degree of slip – a certain amount of slip is required to maximize acceleration. The ideal slip ratio varies according to conditions. The system looks at a number of parameters to get an accurate real-time picture of what is going on: front and rear wheel speed (slippage) and various engine, machine and rider input parameters are monitored. The IMU-enhanced feedback allows even more precise management than on the previous model.

KIBS AND BRAKING

KIBS is a multi-sensing system, using the input from numerous sources, to provide the best braking possible. In addition to front and rear wheel speed sensors (standard for any ABS system), KIBS also monitors front caliper hydraulic pressure and various information from the engine ECU (throttle position, engine speed, clutch actuation and gear position). High-precision brake pressure control enables the system to avoid reduced brake performance due to excessive pressure drops, allows lever feel to be maintained when KIBS is active, and helps ABS pulses feel smoother (not heavy).

High-precision brake pressure control also offers a number of sport riding benefits: less rear lift under hard braking, minimal kickback during operation and accounting for back-torque. With the addition of the new KIBS systems comes improved rear brake pad material and optimized spring.

 ERGONOMICS

The relatively upright position—compared to supersport models—offers both control and comfort for riders. Separate, raised clip-ons are mounted on top of the forks, for relaxed arm position, while maintaining a sporty and comfortable riding position.

A new 5-way adjustable clutch lever can be set to suit the size of the rider’s hands, aiding in rider comfort. Mirrors are positioned 20mm farther outward and have a greater range of movement, offering easier adjustability.

Both rider and passenger seats deliver increased comfort. The redesigned rider seat has a wider seat area, offering greater support, and enabling longer stretches without having to stop due to discomfort.

The passenger seat is longer with thicker urethane padding and a design that swells at the front, resulting in a larger seat area that keeps passengers from sliding forward. Dampers on the underside of the seat also help reduce vibration. Ergonomically sculpted passenger grips are easy to hold and naturally positioned, contributing to even more passenger comfort.

The fairing design also covers part of the frame, contributing to a good ergonomic fit and helping to protect the rider from engine heat for added comfort.

STYLING

Supersport-style full-fairing bodywork gives the Ninja 1000 ABS motorcycle a distinct, head-turning look. The sleek styling also offers a good measure of wind protection, aiding to reduce rider fatigue. Front cowl design is much sharper, giving the 2017 Ninja 1000 ABS a much sportier appearance and greatly increasing its Ninja family resemblance. Chin spoilers similar to those on the Ninja H2 and Ninja ZX-10R motorcycles strengthen the resemblance.

Turn signals are built into to the fairings to aid in the slim profile and sporty look. Supersport-style front fender contributes to both aerodynamics and racy looks.

ENGINE

Powerful 1,043cm3 liquid-cooled, 4-stroke in-line four-cylinder engine pulls strongly from all rpm. Adding to rider exhilaration, the engine delivers superb engine response, a strong mid-range hit and an intoxicating intake howl. Revised engine settings offer even smoother power delivery, facilitating control and contributing to rider comfort and confidence.

Downdraft throttle bodies allow for the shortest path to the engine, helping for ideal low-mid range power. The throttle bodies are oval sub-throttles allowing for a slim profile of the engine as well.

The Ninja 1000 ABS features many enhancements that allow for a smoother engine feeling and less vibration to the rider. One major feature is the secondary balancer on the engine crankshaft, which eliminates excessive vibration.

CHASSIS

Thanks to a rigid, lightweight aluminum frame and compact engine design, the weight is not only low and centered inside the motorcycle, but the overall profile is also slim. This centralization allows for sharp handling, neutral steering and a light turn-in. Lightweight and highly rigid, the frame uses the engine as a stressed member.

The frame is a 5-piece cast aluminum construction, consisting of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The front part of the rear frame is an example of form and function combined, allowing the side covers to be eliminated. This also allows the width under the seat to be narrower, offering riders a shorter reach to the ground.

SUSPENSION

Up front you’ll find 41mm inverted front forks with stepless compression and rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. Settings offer both sporty performance (contributing to light handling on the street and in the hills) and comfort.

Rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm, allowing for greater mass centralization. The rear shock features rebound and preload adjustability, with a remote preload adjuster facilitating setting changes to suit tandem riding, luggage or rider preference. This is ideal for quick, on-the-go adjustability when traveling. 

INSTRUMENTATION

An all-new instrument panel layout features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other. The LCD screen features a negative-lit display, adding to the instrument cluster’s sporty, modern appearance. Gear position indicator increases shifting precision and confidence, while also lending to the Ninja 1000 ABS’s sporty image.

Complementing the gear indicator is a new shift light, the tachometer’s needle changes color (from white to pink to red) to indicate the rider-selectable shift-up timing. During normal operation the shift indicator lamp is off, and the tachometer needle is white. When engine speed is within 500 rpm of the selected shift-up timing, the shift indicator lamp flashes, and the tachometer needle turns pink. When the pre-chosen rpm is reached, the shift indicator lamp flashes rapidly, and the tachometer needle turns red. Riders can set the shift-up timing between 5,000 and 11,000 rpm in 250 rpm increments. The shift indicator function can also be turned off completely.

In addition to the digital speedometer and gear position indicator, display functions include: odometer, dual trip meters, remaining fuel range, current and average fuel consumption, external temperature (new for 2017), coolant temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator. 

Colors:

Candy Lime Green / Metallic Graphite Gray

Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Graphite Gray

MSRP:

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 - $12,199

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2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS KRT Edition

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With improved styling resembling that of its bigger siblings, the stylish 2017 Ninja 650 features new components. Built for the street rider who wants the performance of the Ninja family, but with more street-focused ergonomics and control, the Ninja 650 is new with a twin-spar frame and the redesigned, race-proven 650cc parallel twin.

The mid-sized member in the Ninja lineup, the Ninja 650 is built to satisfy the needs of riders who want to step up from a Ninja 300, but don’t want the high technology, cost and high performance of the Ninja ZX-6R.

The Ninja 650 is truly a member of the Ninja family, with a new front cowling that takes styling cues from the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle, but with comfortable ergonomics so riders can enjoy this ride for more miles. The Ninja 650 will also be available without ABS.

STYLE

The Ninja 650’s new upper cowling fits with the Ninja family identity. The chin spoiler below the headlight emulates the design theme from the Ninja ZX-10R. Accompanying the new front cowling is a sharply redesigned headlight.

New mirrors contribute to the stylish look and enhance visibility. Further adding to the sporty look is a X-shaped LED taillight.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel twin has been a winner on the race track in the AMA PRO Flat Track series, and is also a proven street engine. Designed with a steady and smooth torque curve and progressive clutch, the power plant for the Ninja 650 is great for riders of all experience levels, making for a fun and easy ride for riders gaining experience and for those with thousands of miles under their belts.

The engine of the 2017 Ninja 650 features a new, slimmer intake and throttle body ports which allow for finer atomization of fuel and improved engine air-flow. These changes result in improved, smoother power down-low. Camshafts also now feature reduced overlap and less duration. The exhaust pipe length has also been shortened.

These changes result in an engine that’s smooth and progressive with better low-to-mid range power. The engine retains its smooth off-throttle power delivery, with a steady climb to max output. The torque curve is now smoother and more consistent to redline. Along with more performance and better emissions the 650cc engine also has improved fuel consumption.

A new assist and slipper clutch allows for a lighter clutch pull and reduces rear-wheel hop during downshifting. This is ideal for new riders learning and for those wanting a carefree ride.

CHASSIS

A new high-tensile steel, trellis frame uses the engine as a stress-member, bringing engineering development from performance bikes like the Ninja H2 to a lightweight, entry-level platform. Minimized bends cut down on stress-points in the frame and result in a lighter overall weight by nearly 40 pounds. The rear section of the frame is twin-tube, for added rigidity and improved carrying capacity.

The new gull-arm swingarm provides space for the central mounted exhaust, while creating a strong mount from the frame pivot point to axle. The new horizontal back-link suspension design features a linkage with progressive ratio, creating better suspension action and improves the rider’s feel of the road.

ERGONOMICS

The Ninja 650 tows the line between racy sportbike and comfortable commuter. New top-mount clip-on handlebars further showcase its sportbike heritage, but the slightly higher positioning, combined with the new, lower seat height, allows the rider to sit upright with relaxed hand positioning. The grips are mounted slightly forward, to aid in the slightly aggressive stance, making the Ninja 650 a great motorcycle on the weekend canyon ride or on the Monday commute.

This year the Ninja 650 seat height has been lowered 15mm, for a more stable foot placement when stopped and lower center of gravity. This year features a newly designed adjustable windscreen for added wind protection.

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Colors:

Ninja 650 - Metallic Spark Black

Ninja 650 - Pearl Blizzard White

Ninja 650 - Candy Burnt Orange

Ninja 650 - Lime Green/Ebony (KRT Edition)

MSRP:

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 – $7,399

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS – $7,799

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 KRT Edition – $7,999

2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

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Designed for maximum riding pleasure, the new Z900 mounts a 948cc in-line, 4-cylinder engine into a new, ultra-lightweight, trellis frame. Sugomi is a Japanese word that describes the intense aura and energy of an object that is felt in those viewing it. The new Kawasaki Z900 is designed to evoke the thrill of motorcycling in those who see it up close.

The purposeful choice of a 900cc-class in-line-four was intended to reward the rider with crisp, smooth response and exhilarating acceleration at every twist of the throttle. The engine becomes more exciting the higher the revs climb, its smooth power delivery aids control. The lightweight chassis responds quickly to rider input; the nimble handling lends itself to spirited sports riding.

Like many legendary Kawasaki 900cc-class in-line four machines before the Z900 (Z1, Ninja/GPz900R, Ninja ZX-9R), the Z900 motorcycle’s package delivers a sublime balance of power and handling – ideal for a supernaked model.

The 948cc engine delivers the exhilarating excitement of power and freedom to the rider with every release of the clutch. This is a lightweight, nimble supernaked meant to redesign the large-displacement naked bike market. The crisp response of the Z900’s in-line-four cylinder engine is perfectly balanced by its light, agile handling. Exhilarating without being overly intimidating, the combination is simply sublime.

ENGINE

The new liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve 948cc inline four-cylinder engine offers impressive power and strong torque. Designed to complement the new chassis, with a lightweight, strong engine with plenty of torque, the 73.4 x 56.0 mm bore and stroke were chosen to create an engine design that exemplifies the thrill of acceleration.

Silky smooth response from mid-high rpm provides excellent driveability, with hard-hitting power delivery above 6,000 rpm. Good over-rev characteristics mean that power does not drop off suddenly at high rpm.

Four individual 36mm throttle bodies offer ideal mid-range power and the sub-throttles ensure smooth, sensitive throttle response. The downdraft throttle body layout creates the shortest distance possible for the fuel-air mixture, contributing to performance.

The manufacturing process used for the pistons on the Z900 motorcycle take a lesson from Kawasaki’s premiere supercharged sportbikes, the Ninja H2 and Ninja H2R. Lightweight and rigid, the pistons are formed using a unique casting process (similar to a forging process) that scrapes unnecessary material to achieve the ideal thickness. This enables a lightweight piston, on par with forged pistons.

The Z900 uses “sound research” in creating the intake layout. This results in a mix of performance techniques and enhanced intake noise. Inside of the upward mounted airbox are varying length intake runners, with the two outside cylinders being longer than the inside two. This results in a tuning that helps both low and top end power output and provides an exhilarating intake noise during large amounts of throttle input. Twist the throttle and all of the rider’s senses are activated.

The exhaust system features a four-into-one-pre-chamber-into-silencer layout, with joint pipes linking the exhaust headers (headers 1-4, 2-3 are linked) contributing to stronger mid-range torque for improved feeling. Silencer’s dual-chamber internal construction contributes to performance as well as the exhaust note, while ensuring noise regulations are met.

Use of stainless steel material on the end-cap and silencer cover adds a high-quality feel, while contributing to a stylish design that looks compact and light.

TRANSMISSION AND CLUTCH

Short gear ratios for first through fifth gears contribute to the Z900 motorcycle’s strong acceleration in the rpm range used in everyday riding, while sixth gear is a true overdrive gear.

The Assist and Slipper clutch on the Z900 borrows from engineering knowledge learned on the race track and with models like the Ninja H2R and Ninja ZX-10R is. The clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam).

When the engine is operating at normal rpm the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever pull when operating the clutch.

When excessive engine braking occurs the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding during quick deceleration.

CHASSIS

It’s noticeable as soon as you snap the kickstand up, just how lightweight the Z900 really is. Starting with the chassis, which is a new, high-tensile steel, twin-spar, trellis frame, this design contributes significantly to the bike’s light, nimble handling.

The approach to have the fewest bends and most straight lines in the frame allowed for a chassis that disperses stress extremely well. The frame design also trims all unnecessary material, helping cut down on weight.

The engine is rigid-mounted in five points on the engine, aiding in the nimble handling. Twin-tube type rear frame contributes to the bike’s low seat height with easy reach to the ground.

Up front is a pair of 41mm inverted front forks which feature stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. Adjustment is via the conveniently located fork top caps.

Horizontal-backed linked rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the lightweight aluminum swing arm. This arrangement contributes to mass centralization, while ensuring that the suspension is located far enough from the exhaust that operation is not affected by heat. The rear shock is also adjustable, featuring rebound and preload adjustability. Settings offer both sporty performance (contributing to light handling on the street and in the hills) and comfort. 

COLORS

Z900 ABS – Pearl Mystic Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black

Z900 ABS – Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black

Z900 – Pearl Mystic Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black

Z900 – Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black 

MSRP

2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS - $8,799

2017 Kawasaki Z900 - $8,399

2017 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

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The Kawasaki Z650 motorcycle is designed to engage your senses: your sights with its raw and refined look; your touch with the chassis’ feedback to the rider; and your hearing with the specially engineered tune of the exhaust and intake. The open cockpit design allows you to experience your surroundings, hear the sounds of the city or country road and feel the wind.

The stripped down body work, slim lines and exposed engine and suspension components resonate the bike’s raw theme, where only the necessary parts remain. It’s a purpose-built motorcycle with tight body work and a light curb weight. There’s beauty in its simplicity.

The 2017 Kawasaki Z650 is the performance bike made for everyday riding. While influences from the generations of KZ and Z models have made this Z650 what it is today, it’s still very much its own model, a new-school performance motorcycle for the all-around rider. This motorcycle suits a range of motorcyclists, whether they’re looking for a real performance motorcycle that’s comfortable and capable of lightweight handling, or a smooth, lightweight streetfighter, that’s fun and easy to ride.

ENGINE

Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel-twin engine design has been a proven performer on the track. The new 650cc found in the Z650 however, is purposely tuned for street motorcycles to give the motorcycle a more even and steady torque curve.

The engine features a slim intake and throttle body ports, which allow for finer atomization of fuel and improved engine airflow. Camshafts have reduced overlap and less duration, allowing for better mid-range power. The engine ultimately has a smooth off-throttle power delivery, with a steady climb to max output.

CHASSIS

The high-tensile steel trellis frame uses the engine as a stress member, bringing engineering development from performance bikes to a lightweight, entry-level platform. Minimized bends in the frame cut down on stress-points and result in a lighter chassis. The rear section of the frame is a twin-tube, carried from the backbone of the frame, for added rigidity and improved carrying capacity.

Kawasaki engineers developed a new gull-arm swingarm with a pivot width similar to the wheel axle, creating a straight line from pivot point to axle, increasing leverage and strength of the rear suspension. Utilizing a horizontal back-linked rear shock with linkage makes for easy tuning, improved comfort and a progressive character.

ERGONOMICS

The naked bike ergonomics feature the best of both worlds, in terms of a comfortable and an aggressive stance. The seating position and foot placement is low and forward, but with upright handlebars which allow for comfortable riding. The handlebars also increase leverage for adept, precise handling.

Much thought was placed into the positioning and angle of the handlebars and grips. The Z650 grips are placed for a natural position for the rider’s wrist, aiding in comfort and control. The narrow handlebars increase confidence and ease of use when making slow-speed corners.

The Z650 motorcycle features a comfortable passenger seat and comes standard with passenger pegs, for easy two-up riding.

INSTRUMENTATION

The instrumentation features an LCD display, a major plus for performance-conscious riders is the tachometer/shift light that flashes when reaching a user-selected rpm.

The instrumentation also includes a digital sweeping LCD tachometer, and gear position indicator. Riders can pick their favorite rpm display from a selection. A carbon-fiber appearance panel wraps the complete look of the instrumentation, for a clean and tight package. 

COLORS

Z650 ABS – Pearl Flat Stardust White / Metallic Spark Black

Z650 ABS – Metallic Flat Spark Black / Metallic Spark Black

MSRP

2017 Kawasaki Z650 ABS $7,399

2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS

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At 296cc, the Versys-X 300 is the smallest-displacement model in the adventure-touring category. It offers the best comfort and convenience of any sub-300cc model, as you’d expect from a bike designed to be the ideal travel partner.

Not only is it light and nimble, but with the narrow chassis and low seat height, it’s an ideal motorcycle for new riders—The Versys-X 300 offers easy access to motorcycle adventuring. With a relaxed upright seating position, front fairing and windscreen, sporty and nimble handling, it’s also an ideal motorcycle for a variety of riding conditions. From the rough paved roads, to the morning commute, the Versys-X 300 is an easy-to-ride motorcycle that makes adventure-style motorcycling more accessible than ever before.

A unique package, the adventure-style Versys-X 300 motorcycle
offers convenience and comfort as the first touring capable machine in its displacement category. The Versys-X 300 is categorized as a “Multi Purpose Adventure Touring on Road” bike and is the entry model to the Versys family. 

STYLE

The Versys-X 300, while the youngest in the family of Versys motorcycles, sets itself apart from the rest in many ways. It’s not only a lightweight, capable machine, but it also features a rough-road adventure style and rugged look.

The front cowling is long and tall with a chin spoiler in the bottom section. This design is meant to be equal parts functional and stylish, aiding in the adventure look, while maintaining ample wind protection. Air ducts positioned under headlights also reduce hot air buildup inside the cowl, a simple engineering design that increases comfort and helps reduce riding temperature. Large side openings in the side panels offer an efficient place for hot air to be released from the radiator.

The 4.5-gallon fuel tank contributes to the adventure-style image and function while maintaining a slim design. The Versys-X 300 features a 19-inch front aluminum rim and a 17-inch rear aluminum rim, both with steel spokes.

The large two-up seat features excellent comfort and load-bearing qualities with a seat cover carefully stitched from multiple pieces, creating a premium feel on par with more expensive models.

It wouldn’t be a Versys without a rear carrier with easy to use grips and strap hooks for adding luggage. A wide variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories will be offered to take the Versys-X 300 even further, and to help riders create a personalized motorcycle that meets their needs.

ENGINE

The Versys-X 300 motorcycle utilizes the proven performance of its liquid-cooled 296cc parallel-twin engine, which is tuned to deliver strong low- and mid-range torque for crisp throttle response, as well as excellent power on the open road. Much of its prowess can be attributed to its advanced digital fuel injection, which helps manage cold starting while providing excellent throttle response. The Versys-X 300 features a unique slim exhaust design that keeps the header pipes close to the engine, for added protection against the elements. The exhaust piping is also unique to the Versys-X 300 motorcycle, helping to produce low and mid-range torque characteristics best suited for an adventure-style touring model. It also means easy-to-manage power delivery and added ground clearance. Further aiding in the adventure styling and capability is a right-side mounted muffler that helps keep heat away from the passenger.

The radiator features a unique fan cover that helps direct hot air out and under the motorcycle, reducing heat to the rider and passenger. An optimal air cleaner box shape and intake duct layout are designed based on Kawasaki engineers’ airflow analysis. This produces great low- to mid-range power and reduces noise.

CLUTCH AND TRANSMISSION

The six-speed sequential transmission features a positive neutral finder, making it a cinch to select neutral when stopped. A premium FCC clutch with assist and slipper functions reduces lever effort. The Versys-X 300 motorcycle features revised friction area for the assist and slipper clutch spring rate and lever ratio. This expands clutch control range, and facilitates moving off from a start, resulting in a clutch with a light pull and easy feel.

The Versys-X 300 features gear ratios ideal for adventure-style riding with a shorter final reduction ratio. This produces optimized balance between fuel consumption and power feeling and improved low-mid range feel and response.

CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION

The high-tensile, highly rigid backbone pipe frame, with great capability to handle rough paved roads, was built to handle high stress, but the construction plays an important role in simultaneously producing a lightweight motorcycle. The frame features a simplified construction with thin brackets and lightening holes. Another major engineering target was a capable front-end feeling, which contributes to rider confidence.

The engine is used as a stress member of the frame further increasing the strength while keeping it low weight.

Out back is a long-stroke, bottom-linkage Uni-Trak suspension with gas-charged mono-shock and adjustable preload. This helps ensure handling stability and allows riders to touch down with ease, increasing comfort.

The rear shock mount and rear section of the frame were built with increased amounts of bracketing and surface area, in order to increase the rigidity. This allows for more durability and increased suspension action.

Up front you’ll find long-travel 41mm Showa forks. The forks aid in great front-end feel and provide comfort on various roads. A major bonus for the Versys-X 300 is its wide steering angle, which assists in low speed maneuverability and overall usability. When designing the Versys-X 300, the front suspension was an important part in terms of form and function, with great care taken into making the front suspension fit the adventure look from handlebar to axle.

The 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 motorcycle is available with and without ABS. 

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Colors:

Candy Lime Green/Metallic Graphite Gray or Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony

Metallic Graphite Gray/Flat Ebony

MSRP:

2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300: TBD

2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS: TBD

2017 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

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Designed to give racers a competitive edge, the Ninja ZX-10RR has dropped any equipment unnecessary to quick lap times; however, the machine is also suited for street use. The Ninja ZX-10RR meets emissions regulations and featuring proper street lighting, and features an engine tune that’s suitable for street riding.

The Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a purpose-built machine, the purpose, even faster lap times. The Ninja ZX-10RR is designed as a single-seat model, keeping with its race-ready priority. Lack of passenger footpeg mounts and a rear seat, along with a lightweight exhaust mount, contribute to weight savings. The single-seat cover, which comes standard, also contributes to the bike’s racy image. The KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) Winter Test snowflake logo on the cover matches the one on the windscreen.

Every model will feature a “RR” logo stamped/engraved into the side cover to further distinguish the Ninja ZX-10RR from the standard model. The ignition key is also adorned with a “RR” logo, adding another special touch. The 2017 Ninja ZX-10RR comes standard with ABS.

ENGINE

Using the potent 2016 engine as the starting point, the Ninja ZX-10RR sportbike features added improvements, creating an even stronger performing platform. Changes offer enhanced reliability under racing conditions, the results of feedback from Kawasaki’s racing efforts in the Superbike World Championship.

The Ninja ZX-10RR is a true race machine, keeping the performance features of its standard sibling, but with enhanced features true racers will appreciate. For instance, the cylinder head is redesigned to give clearance for race-kit high-lift cams, also the crankcase has high rigidity reinforcements.

Another engineering development derived from Kawasaki’s WSBK racing efforts includes DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating on valve tappets, which facilitates mid/long-distance engine break-in, and offers reduced mechanical loss and increased performance for a race-tuned engine (i.e. tuned for high performance).

The architecture of the proven 998cc engine retains its 16-valve, DOHC, inline four-cylinder layout and its over-square 76 x 55mm bore and stroke dimensions.

The Ninja ZX-10RR motorcycle features a lightweight crankshaft, which allows for quick revving and great throttle response and acceleration. It also has ideal low- and mid-range power output, which is appreciated when exiting a corner on the racetrack or on a favorite stretch of blacktop. Another advantage of the reduced reciprocating mass is better cornering turn-in and easier side-to-side transitions.

The cylinder head design incorporates additional clearances for the accessory race-kit larger cams, as well as large coolant passageways like on the standard model, to help provide engine reliability. Long-reach spark plugs are another part of the package, helping to boost ignition efficiency.

Electronic throttle valves allow precise control of the intake airflow, contributing to efficient power delivery and seamless integration of the electronic aids such as the Sport-Kawasaki TRaction Control (S-KTRC), the new Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM) and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (KEBC).

The titanium-alloy exhaust system helps with weight reduction and mass centralization as well as the power to weight ratio by removing significant weight from the bike.

Titanium-alloy headers use a special heat-resistant alloy, which is unique to Kawasaki in a motorcycle application and feature a connector pipe joining headers three and four to help smooth the engine response. The heat handling capacity contributes to durability, while the alloy also allows thinner pipes thickness, reducing weight even more.

TRANSMISSION

The Ninja ZX-10RR features the same great cassette-type, close-ratio transmission as the Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle. The gear ratios are idealized for circuit riding. Short ratios for second through sixth gear deliver strong corner exit acceleration. The close ratios also give stable downshifts and works with a slipper clutch.

Formerly, the Ninja ZX-10R allowed clutchless, auto-blip downshifts only through fitment of race kit parts; now the Ninja ZX-10RR provides that as a standard feature. This allows quick upshifts and downshifts without the need of a clutch, nor does the rider need to match RPMs. This results in a more enjoyable experience and quicker lap times. 

BODYWORK

Aiding in the ZX-10RR’s race-driven look is the paint scheme: Kawasaki Racing Team: Winter Test Edition. The Ninja ZX-10RR sportbike will be offered in the same paint scheme that the Kawasaki WorldSBK team uses for their off season test sessions, giving the vehicle a performance look very similar to its racing brother. The imposing flat black scheme features minimal white graphics, including a snowflake with the Japanese symbol for “winter” inside. Used for development test sessions only, once sponsorships are secured the livery changes to Kawasaki Racing Team colors and full promotional sponsor logos for race events.

The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR features the same wind tunnel proven body work as its Ninja ZX-10R brother, but with more race-focused touches. The Ninja ZX-10RR includes special RR designations throughout the bike. The rear seat is replaced with an aerodynamic seat cover. The RR designation is stamped on the side engine cover as well as the ignition key, for little added touches of refinement.

MSRP:

2017 Kawasaki ZX-10RR ABS - $18,899

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