Kawasaki recently launched two new motorcycles in India namely the Z1000 street-fighter and the faired Ninja 1000, priced at Rs. 12.5 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). The company has been launching new products at regular intervals in India and currently, it has three litre class bikes from three different categories on sale in our country. Kawasaki plans to introduce cruisers and adventure bikes in the next couple of years. The list of cruisers include the Vulcan 900 Classic, Vulcan 1700 Nomad, Vulcan 1700 Voyager and the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero while the KLR650 and KX450F will be the adventure bikes likely to be offered in India.
The 2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic sports a 903cc 4-stoke, V-Twin liquid-cooled engine producing 79 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. This bike will have various comfort features as well as mechanically advanced features such as Kevlar-reinforced belt drive and liquid and air-cooling. The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad sports a 1700cc 4-stroke, V-Twin liquid-cooled engine producing 148 Nm of torque at 2750 RPM. This bike will also feature cruise control, touring seats and windscreen, electronic fuel injection, electronic throttle valve system, ABS, etc.
The Vulcan 1700 Voyager and the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero bikes are propelled by the same engine. However, the design and characteristic features of the individual bikes are incorporated such that they appeal to different customer bases. Clearly Kawasaki wants to show Harley-Davidson who is the boss in the cruiser segment.
Kawasaki could also launch the latest version of the adventure bike KLR650. This has been a long-standing model in Kawasaki’s lineup. This bike has a 651cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke liquid-cooled engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The Kawasaki KX450F adventure bike is powered by a 449cc 4-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. It features high performance multi-map ECU and also launch control feature amongst other specifications.
Bikes under the 800cc category will have to undergo homologation whereas the motorcycles over 800cc will be brought in through the CBU route thus saving homologation costs. Kawasaki will contemplate doing assembly of its high capacity bikes in India only if it sells more than 200 units of the model every year. The company will also need skilled technicians for the same and the entire CKD operation will not be viable unless the company sells minimum quantity of units.
The quarter litre class and above is expected to grow at 25-30 percent annually and Kawasaki will look to capture at least 20 percent market share by the end of 2015. The next immediate bike to be launched by the Japanese company will be the Kawasaki Z800 which is expected to be priced at around Rs. 8.5 lakhs (ex-showroom). It is raining Kawasaki bikes in the Indian market at the moment.