Battery-powered electric Kawasaki duo to arrive in the UK in October 2023

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Following a string of teasers and press conferences spanning more than a year, Kawasaki have finally released the details on their 125 rivalling electric motorcycle range, which is set to arrive in the UK in October 2023.

The line-up will consist of a naked Z e-1 and faired Ninja e-1, which will sit alongside the firm’s combustion engined £4699 Kawasaki Ninja 125 and £4299 Kawasaki Z125, with both new machines sharing the same brushless electric motor producing a claimed peak power output of 12.1bhp, housed in a trellis frame.

Like almost all electric two wheelers, the Ninja and Zed will be twist and go, with both a ‘Road’ and ‘Eco’ riding mode available – as well as a reverse gear to help with tight inner city parking.

A side view of the Kawasaki Ninja e-1

The maximum power output can be accessed for short periods via an ‘e-boost’ option, which also helps to deliver a claimed top speed of 61.5mph. The motor is rated at a more sedate 6.7bhp during regular use – far below its combustion engined counterparts.

Charging the bikes is achieved by removing the twin lithium-ion batteries and using a dock or by clicking a cable in under the seat. Kawasaki say the batteries have been wired in parallel to one another for a more efficient use of their charge but, despite these claims, the Japanese firm haven’t revealed any range figures at this stage – making it difficult to compare with rivals.

Being the first electric motorcycles to come from the major Japanese and European manufacturers, the competition will likely include machines include the British-built Maeving RM1S, which claims a top speed of 65mph from its own twin battery and hub motor set-up, promising a peak power of 14.1bhp.

Riding the Kawasaki Z e-1 naked

We first caught a proper glimpse of a naked 125 equivalent electric from Kawasaki at the 2022 Intermot trade show in Cologne. This followed demonstrations of two prototype models – one electric and one hybrid – before the start of the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race earlier in the year.

Speaking in a press conference Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Europe, Mr Masaya Tsuruno said: “These are prototypes of actual motorcycles we will produce.

“We are actively developing EV and hybrid motorcycles to bring to market. Today, I am delighted to preview a unique chance to view Kawasaki’s first-ever EV prototype production motorcycle.

Riding the Kawasaki Ninja e-1

“Now, another big topic, carbon neutrality,” he continued. “The international community demands tough action. At Kawasaki we have invested in this demand – not only with EVs but also all other potential options. We will also continue to develop and produce innovative models with internal combustion engines.”

The bikes themselves will be finished in metallic silver and matt lime green, with neat features including a TFT dash with smartphone connectivity – displaying information like range, boost availability, your riding mode, and more.