As part of its campaign to regain lost market share from 2016, Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMM) yesterday launched four new models – the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 and Z650 naked sports bike, the Ninja 650 sports bike and Versys-X 250 dual purpose. The Z900 is priced at less than RM58,000, while the Ninja 650 and Z650 go for less than RM38,000 and RM37,000, respectively, and the quarter-litre Versys-X 250 will have a retail price of less than RM25,000.

The event was graced by Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, deputy minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Sri Nadzri Siron, director-general of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and Ahmad Faez Yahaya, executive chairman of KMM. Also in attendance was Takeshi Asano, vice president of Kawasaki Heavy Industries motorcycle and engine division, Wee Hong, chairman of the Malaysia Motorcycle and Scooter Dealers association and Datin Katrina Abdullah, a KMM director.

During his speech, Datuk Jeffrey Lim, general manager and director of KMM, said final pricing of the four new Kawasaki models is pending approval by the authorities, but will be below the stated prices. The new models – the Z900, Z650 and Ninja 650 – will have their market launch in March and April, while the launch for the Versys-X 250 will be confirmed later in the year.

Replacing the Kawasaki Z800 naked sports, the Z900 is an all-new machine, which shares little with its predecessor except for general styling. The Z900 carries a 948 cc liquid-cooled, inline-four engine that puts out 124 hp at 9,500 rpm 98.6 Nm of torque at 7,700 rpm – 13 more hp than the Z800.

New for the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 is a slipper clutch that disengages the rear wheel from the drivetrain during hard downshifts, preventing wheel hop and chatter. An LCD screen serves as the instrument panel, featuring three rider-selectable display modes, and the tachometer does double-duty as a shift light, and ABS is standard.

There are two versions of the Z900 on offer – the base model comes in Grey, while the Special Edition is available in Blue. The Special Edition Z900 comes equipped with a single seat cover, meter cover, DC outlet, radiator screen, sliders, engine covers, front-ale sliders and special graphics.

In the middle-weight section, Kawasaki has two new offerings for the Malaysian market. These are Ninja 650 full-fairing sports bike and the Z650 naked sports. Both models carry the same engine – a 649 cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin that puts out 67.3 hp at 8,000 rpm and 65.7 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm.

Bosch 9.1M ABS is now standard for this pair of Kawasaki middle-weights, a welcome inclusion to the spec-sheet, as is a slipper clutch. Both machines also have a low seat height of 790 mm, making them easy to ride and accessible for all rider types.

Riders can choose between two colour options for the Ninja 650 – Lime Green or Orange. Meanwhile the Z650 comes with two colour schemes, Lime Green or Titanium.

Forging a new market direction for Kawasaki is the Versys-X 250, a dual-purpose styled quarter-litre machine. Coming with a 249 cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin, the baby Versys puts out 33.1 hp at 11,500 rpm and 21.7 NM of torque at 10,000 rpm.

No ABS is offered, but a slipper clutch is standard, as is an LCD instrument panel and there is only one colour option – Lime Green – with a full range of accessories available from the Kawasaki catalogue. Long travel suspension, combined with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear spoked wheels, allows the Versys-X 250 to handle both urban and unpaved roads.

So, what do you think about Kawasaki’s new line-up for the 2017 model year? Which one would be your motorcycle of choice. Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.


GALLERY: 2017 Kawasaki Z900
GALLERY: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650
GALLERY: 2017 Kawasaki Z650
GALLERY: 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 250