Kawasaki Z7 Hybrid: A Naked Bike with a Dual Powertrain

Kawasaki has unveiled a new model for 2024 that combines the features of a naked bike and a hybrid motorcycle. The Z7 Hybrid is based on the Ninja 7 Hybrid, which was revealed earlier this year as the world’s first production “strong hybrid” motorcycle. This means that the Z7 Hybrid can run on either electric or gasoline power, or both, depending on the mode and the situation.

A strong hybrid motorcycle is a type of hybrid vehicle that can operate on electric power alone, unlike a mild hybrid that only uses electric assist. The Z7 Hybrid, like the Ninja 7 Hybrid, has a 451cc parallel-twin engine that is connected to an electric motor/generator via an automated manual transmission. The transmission can be controlled by push-buttons on the handlebar, or set to a fully automatic mode.

Kawasaki Z7 Hybrid: A Naked Bike with a Dual Powertrain
Kawasaki Z7 Hybrid: A Naked Bike with a Dual Powertrain

The electric motor/generator can provide up to 10.5 hp of power and 18.4 lb-ft of torque, while the gasoline engine can produce up to 58 hp at 10,500 rpm and 31.7 lb-ft of torque at 8,000 rpm. The combined peak power of the two powertrains is 68.5 hp, which can be accessed for up to five seconds in the “e-boost” function. The electric motor/generator also acts as a starter and a regenerative braking system, which helps recharge the 1.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.

How Does the Z7 Hybrid Work?

The Z7 Hybrid has three main modes of operation: Sport, Eco, and EV. In Sport mode, the bike uses both powertrains for maximum performance and responsiveness, and activates the e-boost function when needed. In Eco mode, the bike prioritizes fuel efficiency and emissions reduction, and uses the electric motor/generator to pull away before switching to the gasoline engine. Eco mode also features an idle-stop system that shuts off the engine when the bike is stationary, and restarts it when the throttle is twisted. In EV mode, the bike runs purely on electric power, but only at low speeds and for a limited range of about 3 miles.

The Z7 Hybrid also has a 4.3-inch TFT display that shows various information about the hybrid system, such as the battery level, the power output, the mode selection, and the fuel consumption. The display also has a smartphone connectivity feature that allows the rider to access additional functions and settings via an app.

What are the Differences Between the Z7 Hybrid and the Ninja 7 Hybrid?

The Z7 Hybrid is essentially a naked version of the Ninja 7 Hybrid, with some minor changes to the styling and the ergonomics. The Z7 Hybrid has less fairing and more exposed parts, giving it a more aggressive and muscular look. The Z7 Hybrid also has a higher and wider handlebar, which offers a more upright and relaxed riding position. The footpeg positions, however, are unchanged from the Ninja 7 Hybrid.

The rest of the bike is identical to the Ninja 7 Hybrid, including the steel-trellis frame, the 41mm inverted fork, the horizontal back-link shock, the dual 300mm front discs with four-piston calipers, the single 220mm rear disc with single-piston caliper, the 17-inch wheels, and the 4.5-gallon fuel tank. The Z7 Hybrid weighs 474 pounds, which is only 4 pounds more than the Ninja 7 Hybrid.

When and Where Will the Z7 Hybrid Be Available?

Kawasaki has not announced the price and the availability of the Z7 Hybrid yet, but it is expected to be launched in 2024, following the Ninja 7 Hybrid. The Z7 Hybrid will be available in two colors: Metallic Spark Black and Candy Lime Green. The Z7 Hybrid is part of Kawasaki’s vision to create a range of alternative-fuel motorcycles, including electric and hydrogen models, that will meet the diverse needs and preferences of riders around the world.

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