As far as EICMA went for Kawasaki this year, it was very quiet. Not only did the not show a single new bike, they didn’t even bring any concepts either. The best they could muster was some renders of what they’re calling the ‘SC-02 Soul Charger’ – an image of a supercharged motorcycle that was probably mocked up in a few hours. But good things come to those who wait and hopefully there’s some big things coming from team green…
Despite the lackluster showing at Milan, Kawasaki Motorcycle President Kenji Tomida gave us a glimpse of the near future, and it will feature 12 brand new bikes over the next two years. Of those, there’s no doubt that some of those will be supercharged motorcycles – successors to the Ninja H2.
The Soul Charger concept is an example of Kawasaki’s supercharger technology but in a downsized form. That means we’ll hopefully see supercharged bike(s) from Kawasaki that shed some of the excess weight of the Ninja H2 and potentially in machines with capacities between 600 and 800cc.
Trawling through patent filings, Kawasaki continues to register more designs for their superchargers, so we wouldn’t be surprised if more than one of those 12 new bikes features forced induction.
But at the same time, a lot of Kawasaki’s lineup is in need of upgrade. The Ninja ER-6 platform is now heavily out-muscled by competitors. Other than the Vulcan S, Kawasaki hasn’t released anything new cruiser wise for a long time. And while the W800 is an underrated bike, it’s a complete sales failure and Kawasaki desperately needs something to capitalise on the retro/scrambler craze happening at the moment.
The new 2016 ZX-10R Ninja is a start, so let’s hope they can keep up the momentum.