In a double move, Kawasaki today launched two new street bikes – the Z250 and the ER-6n. BIKE India reports from ground zero.
Confirming what was being speculated in automotive circles over the last two weeks, India Kawasaki Motors today launched two motorcycles, aiming for a larger slice of the premium Indian two-wheeler market. The two motorcycles in question were the Kawasaki ER-6n and, more significantly, for Kawasaki’s Indian hopes, the Z250. While the latter has been priced at Rs 2.99 lakh, the former carries a sticker of Rs 4.78 lakh, both ex-showroom Delhi. Both bikes will be retailed via Bajaj’s Pro-biking showrooms.
Both bikes are essentially street versions of two other well-known Kawasaki products that are already available for Indian consumers. The Z250 carries the same styling as the much larger Z1000 and Z800 but underneath the skin, it’s the same as the Ninja 250 that the company had launched in October 2009. The bike, which has nearly as much presence as its distant larger cousins, uses the same 249cc, four-stroke parallel twin that powered the Ninja version. Mated to a 6-speed constant mesh transmission, the Z250 puts out 32 PS at 11,000 RPM and has a peak torque rating of 21 Nm at 10,000 RPM. It uses a tube diamond type steel frame with 37mm front telescopic forks while at the rear is the familiar bottom link Uni-Trak gas charged monoshock, which is 5-way adjustable for preload. Braking duties are taken care of by a single 290mm petal disc with a single balanced actuation dual piston up front and a single 220mm petal disc with dual-piston calipers at the rear.
The Z250 sports a fairly high degree of localization with 40 per cent of its parts being produced locally in India. The bikes are also being assembled out of CKD kits here in India with Kawasaki hoping to sell 200 units per annum. Yet the product’s pricing seems to be on the higher side with competitors having either launched products that are more affordable or having reduced prices of newly launched products post receiving a lukewarm response from potential customers.
The ER-6n, meanwhile, is the street version of the Ninja 650 and sports the same liquid-cooled 72.1 PS 64 Nm 649cc four-stroke parallel twin that powers the faired version of the bike. Transmission is again via a 6-speed constant mesh gearbox. The bike uses a perimeter frame made of high-tensile steel with 41 mm telescopic front forks and an offset laydown monoshock that is adjustable for preload. At the front it gets a pair of semi-floating 300mm petal discs with dual piston calipers and a single 220 mm petal disc with a single pot caliper at the rear.
Despite having a lower localization level of 25 to 30 per cent (as compared to the Z250’s 40 per cent), the ER-6n seems to sport a more sensible price tag with Kawasaki hoping to sell 200 units of this bike annually as well.
At the launch, Yoshitaka Tamura, MD, IKM, said, “The Indian premium motorcycle market offers tremendous growth opportunities. We had launched five of our superbikes and received impressive response for these models. To further strengthen our presence in the country, we are now launching two more globally renowned but more affordable models.”
Story: Aninda Sardar
Photography: Rommel Albuquerque