ZX-9R to power new musclebike

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KAWASAKI is planning to launch a naked musclebike using a retuned version of the ZX-9R’s 144bhp engine.

The 899cc four-cylinder engine could be tweaked to make more torque than the ZX-9R’s formidable 72lb.ft, at the expense of around 5bhp of top end power.

It will compete with Yamaha’s R1-powered Fazer 1000, which makes 143bhp, and Honda’s 2002 FireBlade-powered CB900F Hornet, which is expected to make more than 130bhp.

Sources say Kawasaki could put the bike into production this year to address a current shortage of new models in its range – the firm is the smallest of all major Japanese manufacturers and could soon be eclipsed by upcoming firms such as Aprilia.

At the latest, the new naked Kawasaki should be unveiled to the public at the Milan show this September.

A prototype already exists and was revealed by Kawasaki to a selection of existing owners in January at a ‘customer clinic’ in Paris. They were asked to give their views, to help set designers on the right path to come up with a final model.

The new Kawasaki is likely to come with a price tag of between £7000 and £8000.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff