A new patent application, courtesy cycleworld.com, has revealed an innovative production process for the Kawasaki EV Endeavour, the first Kawasaki electric bike. Kawasaki plans to manufacture the battery and electronics at a separate establishment and put together the chassis, suspension, wheels, brakes and the body panels at another factory. It will ship these two packages to the dealer, who will conduct the final assembly before delivering the bike to customers. The company has designed its first electric bike such that in the final assembly, one can install the remaining components from the top.
This production process would allow Kawasaki to save significantly on shipping costs. A typical production process involves shipping the components from a supplier to the manufacturer and then indirectly reshipping them to the customers in the end-product. Here, Kawasaki won’t need to double-ship many of the components.
Kawasaki rolled out teasers of its new electric motorcycle in June confirming that it is gearing-up for the era of electric vehicles. Kawasaki’s battery-powered bike, as it’s from a mainstream company, is one that has everyone’s curiosity in the motorcycling community, but is the least-talked-about due to the dearth of information. While Kawasaki is dropping hints with each video, we have to admit that not much is known about the project.
The recent update confirms the presence of a reverse gear, which maybe interesting and practical when pulling the bike out of a tight parking space, but it is hardly a feature that motorcycle fans have been clamouring for. The Kawasaki electric bike will feature a manual gearbox, which sets it apart from other offerings in the market, and will appeal to the biker who has a conservative motorcycle and wants an experience close to a gas-powered bike and a balance of acceleration and top speed. Kawasaki has also confirmed regenerative braking and that the bike is compatible with AC charging and DC fast-charging.
Considering the socioeconomic state of the world, a halo motorcycle from Kawasaki would not be headline news, but when it does arrive, it will grab attention for being the first battery-powered motorcycle from Japan.
Kawasaki electric bike testing
After showcasing the prototype at the 2019 EICMA, Kawasaki began testing its first electric motorcycle, which it has named Kawasaki EV Endeavor, in early-2020.
Kawasaki released videos of the new electric bike being tested on the racetrack, showing the fully-faired model in action and some of its finer details too. Diverging from the norm, Kawasaki has opted for a 4-speed manual gearbox instead of a single-speed unit used by almost all other major electric vehicle manufacturers. The multi-speed transmission will allow the motor to produce more torque from a smaller size and achieve a balance of acceleration and top speed.
The EV Endeavor is built on a frame that is similar to Ninja models and is comparable to the Ninja 650 in size. Suspension too is seemed to be shared with the middleweight Ninja bike. Though there is no information about the battery size, Kawasaki earlier said that electric motorcycle had a range of up to 100 km in a single charge. This is expected to be improved upon when the product is launched as 100 km is not an impressive figure by any measure in 2021.
While official details are yet to be released on the power and torque figures, Kawasaki has equipped the electric bike with CHAdeMO fast-charging system and can be charged with a 100-240V power supply. Some reports have suggested that the electric motorcycle produces a power equivalent to 27 hp.
Electric motorcycles are not as popular as electric scooters and the choice is pretty limited globally. The scooter’s form makes it easy to store the battery either beneath the battery floor or under the seat and thus lowering the centre of gravity for more stability. In motorcycles, this becomes a harder task as the battery’s location is either in place of the fuel tank or below. Motorcycles are also heavier, which affects the range to a great extent, and unlike scooters customers expect them to serve long-distance trips.
Kawasaki won’t be the first to enter the electric two-wheeler segment among the established brands but now that development has progressed well, we can expect more news before the end of the year.
When will the Kawasaki electric bike launch?
Kawasaki has no plans for an electric bike in the near future. It is developing a prototype & manufacturing capabilities to stay future-ready.