Japanese bike brand Kawasaki could be considering electrifying the Ninja of the future.
Over the past few months, Kawasaki has suddenly been making quite a stir in the EV news space. In February, we first saw the company patent a unique ram air-style cooling method for an electric powerplant. Then a report emerged about how Kawasaki had joined hands with other Japanese companies like Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha regarding unification of standards for electric bikes. And now, patents images of what appears to be an electric Ninja 300 and a battery swapping tech for it have emerged.
Interestingly, the document reveals that Kawasaki had filled for these patents all the way back in 2013! And here we thought everyone was only just waking up to the electric future that lies ahead. Before we go any further and get your hopes up, let us warn you that the Ninja 300 could only be in these patents to illustrate the electric tech being used; it is most likely the electric components that Kawasaki is patenting. The first image reveals that the bike is equipped with a large, upside-down, L-shaped battery pack that sits where the engine would. The motorcycle’s electric motor, meanwhile, sits where a gearbox would on a conventional bike.
The second image, on the other hand shows a dolly that appears to be designed to swap the battery pack. Swappable battery packs are gaining popularity, as motorcycle-friendly sized lithium-ion batteries of today don’t have the juice required to enable them to cover long distances. Still, the fact that a dolly has to be used suggests that this battery pack isn’t exactly featherweight. Another thing to consider is that the frame on the left hand side of the motorcycle will probably need to be unbolted in order to swap the battery packs. This is all going to make the process seriously tedious and there’s probably something here that we’re missing, or the patent images aren’t revealing. While we don’t have any specifications of the battery or the motor in the images, they do reveal that Kawasaki is definitely headed the electric way.