The Kawasaki Ninja has been around in one form or another since 1984 and has spanned various engine sizes, cylinder formats and bike categories in that time; from a 125cc single to a 1200cc four and onto the supercharged madness of the Ninja H2 variants.
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With so much variety on offer, MCN thought we’d take a look at some of the ways you can own a piece of the Ninja name for yourself.
- Introduced – 1984
- Engine – 908cc four cylinder
- This one - £3,995, 22,631 miles
The Kawasaki GPZ900 is where the Ninja brand all began. The 115bhp, 155mph GPZ was the fastest bike in the world at the time it was launched and set the standard for what a sportsbike should be.
With a liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, four-stroke engine providing the power and genuinely good brakes and handling to back it up, the GPZ was coveted by every teenage biker of the era.
- Introduced – 1994
- Engine – 899cc four cylinder
- This one - £2,495, 21,753
Fast forward a decade from the GPZ900 and you get to the Kawasaki ZX-9R. Advances in technology mean that although its engine is now marginally smaller, it generates 143bhp and is capable of pushing the bike above 175mph.
Although the Kawasaki ZX-9R couldn’t quite compete with faster competition in the form of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 or Yamaha R1, it is still a quick bike and its softer temperament makes it an excellent sports-tourer.
- Introduced – 2017
- Engine – 649cc parallel-twin
- This one - £4,795, 7,180
In 2017, the successful, middleweight sports-touring Kawasaki ER-6F was replaced by a new version of the Ninja using the same 649cc parallel-twin engine, the Kawasaki Ninja 650.
The engine was revised from the version which had proved so successful in mini-twin racing, the ER-range and the lightweight cruiser Kawasaki Vulcan S, to be less revvy and smoother with more mid-range power.
While GPZ900 was the fastest bike in the world at release and the ZX-9R had sporting pretensions (even if they were never realised), the Ninja 650 was designed to be a budget, entry level bike and that is precisely what it is.
- Introduced – 2004
- Engine – 998cc four cylinder
- This one - £5,250, 12,532 miles
The world of flagship sportsbikes is a competitive one. So many blisteringly fast motorbikes have gained reputations for being slow due to the baffling performance figures of their competition.
This was certainly not the case for the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R which marked a return to the unfettered lunacy of the original 2004 iteration but with much improved handling and controllability.
- Introduced – 2015
- Engine – 998cc supercharged, four cylinder
- This one - £18,995, 5,499 miles
If you were to pick one word to describe the Kawasaki Ninja H2, it wouldn’t be ‘cheap’. But you get a truly astonishing motorbike for your money.
210bhp is lathered onto the rear tyre by a silky-smooth supercharged engine, achieving the sorts of stats that Top Trumps players get misty-eyed over.
On top of that, you get a smorgasbord of electronic wizardry to keep you from meeting an untimely end, including launch control and one of the better traction control packages on the market.