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Kawasaki Introduces 2017 Z125 Pro

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Kawasaki announced this morning the street-legal Z125 Pro. A small, light (225 pound curb weight) and inexpensive ($2,999 MSRP) model that appears to be directly aimed at Honda’s Grom.

Powered by a 125 cc single and featuring 12″ wheels, like the Grom, the Z125 Pro won’t be setting any performance records. It may, however, draw a significant number of young people into motorcycling, and create brand affinity for Kawasaki.

Here is the press release from Kawasaki, followed by full specifications for the new Z125 Pro:

The 2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro is the bike to conquer the city, regardless of your riding experience or how much gas money you have in your pocket. Built with an emphasis on fun, the Z125 Pro is designed to amplify the thrill of riding.

The Z125 Pro is a visually striking motorcycle with styling that’s a little on the dark side. It not only has edgy looks, but it’s also a blast to ride. It fits into that perfect package for those desiring a small, pressure-free motorcycle with plenty of capabilities, low price and great gas mileage. Ideal for someone looking for a real motorcycle, but without the high pressure and costs associated with a larger bike. Thanks to the performance-oriented suspension, easy maneuverability and high fun level, it’s also a motorcycle you won’t soon outgrow. The Z125 Pro was built for the pureness of the riding experience.

The Kawasaki Z125 Pro:

  • Compact size and light weight (224.8 lbs wet) makes for easy maneuverability
  • Large 2-gallon tank
  • Low seat height (30.7 inches)
  • Performance suspension suitable for comfortable and sporty riding
  • Capable for two-up riding

The Z125 Pro, the newest member of the Kawasaki Z family, is unique in that it was designed for two seemingly opposing targets in the motorcycling market: both beginner riders and veterans alike. The Z125 Pro is great for beginner riders who want a real motorcycle without the intimidation, high seat heights or expense. The Z125 Pro is also great for those experienced, fun-loving, thrill-seeking riders who want a second bike to ride around town or through the pits at the local racetrack. It’s the dark side of fun.

With a user-friendly seat height of 30.7 inches and a low weight of 224.8 pounds, the Z125 Pro is one of the lightest and nimblest road bikes you’ll ever own. Its light weight and low seat height also makes it easy for almost any rider to maneuver. The Z125 Pro’s chassis is designed to accommodate two-up riding and with the large 2-gallon fuel tank, it’ll keep you on the road longer between fuel stops.

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Design:

  • Sporty instrumentation with a race-themed analogue tachometer and fully-featured LCD digital display that includes a fuel level gauge, clock, trip meter and gear indicator
  • Fierce multi-reflective headlight
  • Under-engine muffler allows for a more compact package
  • Stylish LED taillight
  • Roomy, but aggressive ergonomic bodywork design

The Z125 Pro is the youngest and smallest member of the Z family. As the younger brother, it features many of the fun characteristics of the US Z lineup, which consists of the Z800 ABS and Z1000 ABS. Features include a stylish headlight design along with user-friendly but aggressive bodywork that make for a dark side attitude. That sporty, single headlamp design also contributes to its slim image.

The multi-reflector headlamp throws a clear beam of light, facilitating night-time illumination. Compact engine shrouds contribute to the bike’s hourglass figure as well as its overall aggressive design. The side shrouds also offer a degree of wind and road protection.

The ignition switch is located, à la Z, at the front of the tank, adding to the bikes’ sporty, image and a tidy cockpit design.

Engine

  • 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 125cc air-cooled SOHC engine
  • Digital fuel injection
  • 56mm x 50.6mm; bore x stroke
  • Tuned for responsive acceleration
  • Pulls through rev range for a fun feeling while riding

The new Z125 Pro’s single-cylinder, 4-stroke SOHC engine displaces 125cc thanks to its oversquare bore 56.0 x 50.6mm bore and stroke. The 125cc engine is tuned for street riding with an exciting and sporty, yet easy to ride power delivery. Unlike most small-displacement engines, the Z125 Pro features digital fuel injection with a 24mm throttle body, for smooth operation and quick starts every time.

The 2.6 liter air box is positioned above and forward of the cylinder head, contributing to the sporty power feeling and helping to minimize intake noise. Cam profiles and intake port design also contribute to the smooth, quick-revving engine character, as well as stable idling.

The Z125 Pro has easy, consistent starts thanks to its electric start, digital fuel injection and the Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR), which utilizes the exhaust valve to release cylinder pressure during starting.

The engine is mounted low and forward in the frame, making for the best weight distribution possible, and adding to its already nimble handling. The intake is mounted high and the stainless steel exhaust mounted low, while both are fixed in the center of the chassis, adding to the compact design and balanced weight distribution.

Clutch & Transmission

The Z125 Pro uses a traditional four-speed transmission with a manual clutch and traditional clutch lever. It has a very easy, light clutch-lever feel and positive engagement. Shifting comes through a link-type shifter lever very similar to that of a full size sportbike, only that the Z125 Pro’s shift lever requires little load pressure to engage, another major plus for first time riders.

Chassis & Suspension

The compact chassis, along with sporty suspension and tires, enable riders to enjoy the light, nimble handling one would expect from a Kawasaki Z.

Up front are the aggressive 30mm inverted front forks, which shows you it means business. The forks feature 100mm of stroke and excellent rigidity while keeping unsprung weight low for sporty riding. Up top is a lightweight aluminum upper triple clamp.

The single shock rear suspension is offset for a compact package and sporty handling. The shock’s mounting angle is optimized for the Z125 Pro to ensure superb shock action and great ride comfort. The rear shock has 4-way preload adjustability, allowing for riders to set the preload for their weight or to accommodate a passenger.

Contributing to the sporty characteristics and looks are the 12-inch cast aluminum wheels, which cut down on unsprung weight and are wrapped in 100/90 and 120/70 tires front and rear. The tires sizes and tread pattern were chosen to optimize the Z125 Pro’s light and nimble riding characteristics.

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The Z125 Pro is built on an all-new, high-tensile, steel backbone frame with tube diameter that ensures sufficient strength to enable two-up riding. The frame backbone measures 48.6mm in diameter and is supported by 25.4mm lateral tubes. The rear frame tubes are 22.2mm in diameter. The Z125 Pro also features a highly rigid box-section swingarm.

Brakes  

The Z125 Pro features hydraulic disc brakes front and rear with Nissin calipers. Up front is a 200mm petal-style disc and a 184mm petal-style disc on the rear wheel.

Color Availability

The Z125 Pro will be available in two colors:

  • Candy Lime Green
  • Metallic Graphite Grey

The American Kawasaki Z Family

            Includes:

  • Z1000 ABS
  • Z800 ABS
  • Z125

With the introduction of the Kawasaki Z125 Pro, Kawasaki continues to provide offerings for riders of a variety of ages, budgets and experience levels. The Kawasaki Z family features a variety of great, fun and exciting to ride urban motorcycles.

2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro Specifications*

Engine: 4-stroke, 1 cylinder, SOHC, 2-valve, air-cooled
Displacement: 125cc
Bore x stroke: 56.0 x 50.6mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Fuel system: DFI® with 24mm throttle body
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: 4-speed, return shift
Final drive: Sealed chain
Rake / trail: 26.0 degrees / 2.7 in.
Front tire: 100/90-12
Rear tire: 120/70-12
Wheelbase: 46.3 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: Inverted telescopic fork/3.9 in
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Swingarm, single shock/4.1 in
Front brakes: Single 200mm petal-style disc
Rear brakes: Single 184mm petal-style disc
Overall length: 66.9 in
Overall width: 29.5 in.
Overall height: 39.6 in.
Seat height: 31.7 in.
Curb weight: 224.8 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 2.0 gal.
Color choices: Candy Lime Green
Metallic Graphite Grey 
MSRP: $2,999
Limited Warranty: 12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.

P.O. Box 25252

Santa Ana, CA 92799-5252

949-770-0400

www.kawasaki.com

 


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55 Comments

  1. Tommy D says:

    I sat on one at Daytona at the Kawi tent. Having a Grom I could immediately notice improvement Kawi made to the seat. It’s a bit higher and has decent foam in it that is 100% better than the stock Grom seat which is super hard. I talked to the Kawi Rep and he mentioned that the bike has a better rider triangle for the US market which is probably a thicker seat and maybe a higher bar. Plus he mentioned that the Mini-Z pulls better than the Grom. It’s a shootout waiting to happen.

  2. Hot Dog says:

    So many experts, who’ve not placed an arse cheek on one of these small machines. Ignorance is bliss, ain’t it? I think they’re really cool.

    • SeTh says:

      Can’t it take 16″ or 17″ wheels? Need a normal 3rd world 125 like the Yam MT-125, not a toy.

  3. Take my money NOW! This looks even more well done then the Grom. Adjustable suspension is a must, even on a bike this small. Because rider weight differences are even more apparent then on a larger bike. You can’t do a “One size fits all” setup without hurting a coupe demographics. Of course if all American’s where like skinny little Asians…..

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

  4. Benji says:

    Some of you guys need to ride these before you knock them. My Grom will cruise at about 60 all day long if I need it too I have no problem hitting up 55mph roads. You sit about as high up as a normal motorcycle as the seat height at almost 30″ and bar height is very similar. The thing is, this isn’t like riding a normal motorcycle. It’s incredibly easy to operate to the point where I’d rather ride one of these than my 100 hp standard to and from work. The clutch is light, the gas is light , the bike is light. Everything about it is effortless. Not to mention even on 55 mph roads in still typically the fastest accelerating vehicle. Sure cars could out accelerate me, but think about how most people drive.

  5. LarryC says:

    Funny how people’s psychology works. If it’s got 12″ wheels and a four-speed, it “looks like a blast to ride” and it’s “cute.” But add larger diameter wheels and a six-speed so it’s actually more practical. Then it’s “meh, only a 125” and “not very useful,” “too slow,” or “needs 300cc, then I’m in for sure, dude.”

    Weird.

    • Benji says:

      That’s because those bikes weigh close to 400 lbs. so they’re a bit like riding a regular bike with no power. At 225 lbs these bikes are something totally different, you instantly forget about the low power to to the agility that comes from that weight. Sure I’d rather have a 70hp,200 lbs bike, but those don’t exactly exist.

      These bikes provide a level of fun that you just can’t get on the 300s. I would go as far as saying these 125s are not beginners bikes at all, as they’re far more sensitive to handlebar inputs than the 300s.

  6. Bill says:

    Bikes(not scooters) too small for the freeway are the future of motorcycling. They are the perfect beginner bike and each bike can teach multiple riders as they are sold and resold. In the 60’s when there were 50’s,65’s,80’s,90’s,100’s, and 125’s I bought a small Honda from a friend who had bought it from a friend of his; I sold it to a friend of mine who later sold it to a friend of his. Being not freeway legal kept the mileage down as they were all surface street miles. The small displacement bikes also had really low insurance costs.

    • Dave says:

      That was a time before urban sprawl. Unless gas gets above $5/ gal. and stays there, small bikes are a tough sale for Americans. People are picking up on it but it’s still a minor novelty. Americans are still very comfortable with commute distances (and freeways) that most other countries would call crazy.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I think the Grom and this little Kawasaki are really cool bikes. But you are right: it would be pure novelty for me. In fact, I probably couldn’t even leave my neighborhood which feeds onto a 50mph four-lane road (60 mph flow of traffic.) The world just isn’t the same as it was back in the 60’s and 70’s when a 15-yo kid could jump on a Trail 70 and cruise the town.

        Anyway, in my area at least, the small dirt bikes that provided fun transport in my youth to those of us not yet to driving age have been replaced by golf carts and and $18K side x sides. That’s what the kids are riding around here. Not Groms or dirt bikes.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “That was a time before urban sprawl…”

        …and a time before man perfected the “better mousetrap”.

        here in the 21st Century “Das Auto” is now an EXPONENTIALLY mature conveyance. 1960…? not so much.

    • tony says:

      the bikes from the 60’s all had much larger wheels, made a big difference.

  7. Silver says:

    Why don’t thay just call it the Z-Grom? Jeez…

  8. Kagato says:

    I wish I wish I wish they had an auto trans available. What I REALLY want is a Rokon 340 for the 21st Century. I’ve read some anecdotes about the 340 that have endeared it to me, especially the one where the fellas were walking one down a stairwell and it got away from them and proceeded to run amok and basically destroy everything in it’s path as it spun around and around at WOT : – )~ LOL they were very very tough and intimidating, with their big ol’ Sachs engines and magnesium wheels. : – )

  9. Tommy D says:

    Why are these bikes so much fun? I’m a Honda Grom owner that is past 50 years old. This bike was purchased as a pit scooter and campground bike it was a great 3rd or 4th bike in the garage. Perfect for those short run out on the streets to pick up items at the convenience store. There are two sides to this bike. One side is stock and super quiet and stealthy. The other is fully modded and built up with mods easily surpassing the original cost of the bike. The difference between the stock and modded bike are not that monumental. But there is tremendous fun in tweaking the little thing to make it go faster and handle better. The aftermarket for the Grom is amazingly deep. I hope they do the same for the little Mini-Z and develop the same depth of aftermarket for it. BTW The dark side is the guys stunting these at sane speeds in small lots. Hooning with one of these is much more fun than doing the same on a full on street bike.

  10. beasty says:

    This and the Grom are neat looking bikes. I don’t understand their utility. ??? I think I’d rather put that $$$ down on a bike that’s more useful. Sorry, I just see very limited use and therefor very limited sales.

  11. EZMark says:

    If it was a 250, me and my wife would be interested.
    If it was a dual clutch, we would be even more interested.
    We don’t ride around town and a 125 is useless on the highway.

    • Cycleruss says:

      Look at the Suzuki TU250X. Retro standard with normal foot placement,30 inch seat height with 18″ wheels. Fuel injected, 328 pounds (wet)
      My wife has 29″ inseam and it fits her fine. I enjoy the heck out of it, total fun riding it around. Geared so low that I changed the front sprocket up one tooth, and it cruises all day at 65 easily and smooth, with more throttle to spare. And get around 80 mpg. average.

  12. Stuki Moi says:

    This one looks awesome! Hope they bring in enough, so that they aren’t all gone before they hit dealers, Grom style.

  13. Toadlicker says:

    Check out the KYMCO K-Pipe at only $1999!

  14. Scotty D says:

    My wife wants a Hrom. Why in the world don’t they put a 250cc engine in the thing? It really is worthless at 50 MPH

  15. John says:

    This is why we can’t have a KLX450S dual sport or a KLE500 twin, I guess.

  16. todd says:

    Interesting what they consider “light weight.” I hope Kawasaki realizes that the old Honda CT70/ST90 (spiritual granddad) weighs a good 75 pounds less. 220 lbs is how much my full size KLX300R weighed.

    Imagine some old guy trying to mount this to the back of his RV. Light weight, sheesh…

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      True, but those didn’t have starters or emissions equipment unless I am mistaken. You could also fold them in half with your bare hands.

      • todd says:

        and we rode them around for years – maintenance free – over jumps and through puddles. Never skipped a beat. Have you ever seen the fold-in-half (on purpose) Trail 90s for airplane travel?

        Honda should get serious about these:
        http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/honda-grom-scramblers-are-the-retro-micro-motorcycles-o-1733847091

      • Mick says:

        KTM can put a starter on a open class thumper for seven pounds. Emissions? Really? I learned to ride on a CT70 and pounded the daylights out of one for years. They do NOT fold in half with your bare hands.

        The street bike industry will never bother to break out of this porking the be-geezers out of everything phase if the customers continue to make excuses for them.

        PLEASE hold their feet to the fire in this. I haven’t bought an off the rack street bike in over twenty years BECAUSE they refuse to make them appreciably lighter.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Todd knows I am really just playing devil’s advocate. That said, I don’t consider 220 lbs to be heavy, and the more comparable CT110 probably weighed over 200 lbs which isn’t far off from these new grom-class bikes.

          I think bikes in general could definitely be a good bit lighter, but I don’t think ultra-light weight is a big selling point save for a very small fraction of riders. So no one is ever going to hold their “feet to the fire” as it were unfortunately.

        • Scott says:

          LOL, Mick… I’m not sure what category of street bike you’re interested in, but how light do you need a motorcycle to be before you would buy one?

          I’m pretty sure there’s no one in the motorcycle manufacturing industry who is going to be concerned with the needs of someone who hasn’t bought a bike in 20 years…

  17. Tom S. says:

    Aww, that’s so cute, it looks like it needs a big ol’ hug.

  18. Bob says:

    Wow, do I see right? Redline at 9,800rpm? Awesome!

  19. TexinOhio says:

    Well looks like my Z1000 going to have a baby brother sitting next to it in the the garage soon. Awesome!

    • TexinOhio says:

      Aww skunked again! The Euros will get an orange one, we never get the cool colors here.

  20. Paul says:

    Now we can hope for a new racing class to open up. These bikes are fun!

  21. Marty O says:

    Wish it has an even lower seat for my 5 foot 1 inch wife. The Grom is just a bit too tall for her too. I would love to see mini Ninja’s, CBRs, GSXRs and YZF R’s in the same vane as the YSR 50 from 1988 with these motors.

    • Paul says:

      In Canada we had access to the CBR125R, which was recently dropped. I still have my 2008 and its still a ball to ride, super reliable, too.

    • Scotty D says:

      I agree, my wife is vertically challenged as well. Put a 300 in a smaller frame like this and she’d be beating me to the motorbike shop

  22. Tank says:

    I hope we keep seeing smaller bikes.

  23. Vrooom says:

    Wow, the marketing department was sure given no restrictions in the press release. It looks fun, but adding the word “pro” seems cheap. Then there’s the “large” 2 gallon tank, I realize you don’t want to tour on this thing, but adequate 2 gallon tank comes to mind, however doesn’t have the same ring. This thing has a dark side like a My Little Pony convention, not one you want to think about. Not saying it wouldn’t be fun to tear around town on, but a dark side?

    • Alex says:

      I laughed at that ‘dark’ thing as well. Like all the outlaw bikers will be riding these bikes cause they’re so dark and edgy, or maybe just the most hardcore of outlaw bikers, like a status thing.

      Seems like a decent enough ride if you’re just screwing around, or just want to use it as neighborhood commuter, maybe you live close to your job.

    • The Spaceman says:

      I believe they added “Pro” to the name to differentiate this new model, with a 4-speed manual transmission and clutch, from the initial bike, which has an automatic. As for the tank size; I’ll wager it’ll get 150+ miles between fill-ups, which seems like more than enough for an around-town bike.

    • stone916 says:

      Pro is because of the manual clutch vs. the semiauto clutch unit available in other markets. The “large” comes from the gas tank being larger than the Grom, which is only 1.5gallons (approx.), so in comparison 2 gallons is large. These are nothing more than fun little bikes, meant to be easy to ride for the beginners but still fun for the experienced. For those who don’t see the utility of a fun bike and consequently don’t think it well do well just ask Honda how it has done with the Grom. Kawasaki will sell a bucket load of these.

  24. pacer says:

    When I was a kid I always wanted something like this. Problem is that by the time I could get my license I already wanted a full size bike.

  25. Buckwheat says:

    Only obvious differences I can see vis-a-vis the Grom are a significantly larger tank, a slightly taller seat, and a slightly cheaper price. Let’s see a head to head on these pocket bikes, Dirck!

    • Scott says:

      I’m sure any self-respecting motojournalist will be counting the minutes until they can do a Z vs. Grom shootout! 🏁