Alan Dowds has been in Spain, where he’s been running the rule over Kawasaki’s new Ninja 7 Hybrid. Here’s what he has to say!
I’m just back from the Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid launch in Barcelona, and it’s fair to say that I’m pretty impressed. It’s an extremely interesting bike with a lot of new technology and very usable real-world performance. It has a 59bhp 451cc petrol parallel twin engine with a 9.5bhp electric motor integrated into the transmission, after the computer-controlled clutch. So the ECU can connect and disconnect the petrol and electric sides of the drive whenever it fancies, letting it work as a pure EV bike, with 60kph top speed and limited-but-usable range for town use. In the ‘Eco mode, you get an automatic gearbox (plus manual override) with electric assistance when pulling away, and the engine stops when you come to a halt – it’s very like a hybrid car setup.
Finally, there’s a sport mode which is manual gearchange only, with the petrol motor on all the time, and the EV side helping out. You also have an ‘E-boost’ button in sport mode, which really does work like a little electric nitrous button. It drops the full 9.5bhp and hefty torque from the electric motor into the drive and really peps up the acceleration. The fuel consumption is claimed to be less than that of a Ninja 250, and with a 14-litre tank, the range will be well over 200 miles.
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Away from the powertrain, the new Ninja is much like a Ninja 400 or 650: a slightly soft road sports bike with fairly standard chassis kit. It’s more than up to the performance, though, and you don’t notice the 227kg wet weight too much either.
More on the new bike from Dowds in the next issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure Magazine!
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