Is This A Patent For A Battery Powered Kawasaki Ninja?

Could this be a battery operated Kawasaki Ninja 400? And if so, is it a real plan or just rumor mill fodder?

Updated November 28, 2017

Some are calling it the Kawasaki BATTERY ZX-10R – but if that’s a ZX-10R, I will eat a Harley Davidson. After a short examination, we can see that it’s more like a Ninja 400 than anything else, thanks to the narrow looking swingarm, high set clip ons, and of course, the single disc at the front. But who cares what model it is, because the patents show off something even more intriguing: a removable power unit that can be hinged out and swapped for another.

The Battery Powered Kawasaki Ninja: With A Removable Power Unit

We’ve seen battery cells that you can just swap over at the drop of a hat, but this idea from Kawasaki is a little bit more advanced. It involves “opening” a part of the frame via a hinge, and sliding out the entire power unit. We’re saying “power unit” because it looks like the whole engine and battery unit is a fixed one piece unit. It’s not a terrible idea either.

It’s an innovative way to easily remove an engine for fast maintenance. Or, it’s a very fast and easy way to replace empty batteries, and insert a new, fully charged module. We know nothing about the technology that accompanies the drawings, but it’s quite clear to see that these patents are mainly focused on the “hinge” element of the frame.

In the larger drawings, you can see how it all works. The hinged side of the frame opens up like a door, and the power unit/engine part simply slides out on to a stand, allowing a technician to get right to the heart of the problem without having to waste time dissembling this or disconnecting that. Our guess is that the hinge-frame is what’s really being discussed here, rather than any type of electro-wizardry.

However, if you’re a sucker for electric innovation, it seems like this battery powered Kawasaki Ninja comes with a self-contained, single unit battery-motor that connects to a gearbox and a conventional chain drive system.

Again, we think it’s the frame that’s the real meat of this patent, rather than the electric apparatus that powers it. If this was a true patent for a practical electric motorcycle, then it comes with a few faults. Sure, electric charging stations are going to become more and more commonplace, but we don’t think fully enclosed engine and battery packs are going to be available on every street corner. Because that’s just ridiculous.

What’s The Battery Powered Kawasaki Ninja For?

In all honesty, and if we had to take a real guess as to what this could be for, we’d put our money on it being a racing machine. As electric technology gets better and better, the larger manufacturers are going to need to race them to sell them to the likes of you and me. Hell, even the MotoGP is adding an electric race to the roster in the near future.

We’re guessing that this is something for racing. Something for fast engine swaps, power replenishment, and quick maintenance. It seems unlikely that you’re going to find the a gas station that stocks fully charged electric motors, or even a engine lift that just happens to be the right height and dimension for a Kawasaki motorcycle engine.

The hinging frame is interesting…but whether it will benefit the everyday rider – that remains to be seen… Take a look at the patent drawings and tell us what conclusions you’re drawing from this interesting battery powered Kawasaki Ninja…thing. If we’re honest, we prefer the ZX-10R Hybrid idea instead…


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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