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Kawasaki & Buell Announce Electrics

Electric motorcycle sales may have languished in the UK so far this year, but the situation worldwide looks more bullish, with Kawasaki close to launching its 125cc-equivalent e-bikes, and Erik Buell’s long-awaited Fuell now available on pre-order.

Kawasaki hasn’t officially revealed much about the upcoming Ninja EV and Z EV (faired and naked versions respectively) but the 125-equivalents have recently been approved for sale in Australia, with the paperwork revealing some of the key specifications. The biggest surprise is that both will use a pair of small batteries with a combined capacity of 3kwh, and that these will be removeable for easier charging. At around 12 kilos each, the batteries should be light enough for many riders to carry indoors. The Coventry-built Maeving uses a similar system. Kawasaki and the other Japanese manufacturers are already working on a joint project for battery swapping stations, with all bikes using compatible batteries.

The specs also reveal power of 9Kw (just under the A1 licence limit of 11Kw), though electric power is measured in both continuous and maximum power – the Kawasaki’s 9Kw is continuous, so the Ninja EV and Z EV will be capable of significantly more for short periods.

So, Kawasaki’s A1-class electric looks like a useful commuter, but Erik Buell has revived his Fuell Fllow electric motorcycle project, which was first revealed back in 2021. The Fllow is no superbike, with a 35Kw motor, 10kwh battery and 85mph top speed, but at $10,495 (£8257) on pre-order, it promises to offer a cheaper alternative to the mid-size Zeros. Buell claims the bike will recharge in as little as 30 minutes, thanks to rapid CCS DC charging.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “Both Kawasaki’s and the Buell sound interesting, in different parts of the market, that battery system idea, which we’ve reported on previously, has the potential to be a game changer, as does the CCS DC charging on the Buell. Charging is turning into the Achilles heel for Evs, with recent reports of motorway services installing charge points, but then being unable to run electricity supplies to them, as the power companies are having trouble meeting the demand, via our creaking national grid. EV s are part of a system, not a stand-alone product. Something that the BMF were drawing attention to 5 years ago.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Buell

In article image courtesy of Kawasaki & Buell