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Kawasaki Takes the Wraps Off Five 2021 Models

After a lengthy tease, Kawasaki took the wraps off five 2021 models, some of which are a bit more exciting than others. Kawasaki is introducing two KLX300 models, including street legal dual-sport and supermoto versions. Still displacing 292cc, the engines in these bikes seem to relate back to the same displacement KLX300 we tested in 2000. Of course, Kawasaki already has a dirt-only KLX300R in its line-up.

Also introduced is the 2021 Z H2 SE Hypernaked, which is a special edition featuring electronic suspension and upgraded brakes.

Finally, there are two revised versions of Kawasaki’s superbike, the 2021 ZX-10R and ZX-10RR. A highlight of these new models is a new fairing design with downforce wings, but they also include several other changes.

What follows is a brief summary of each new model by Kawasaki, which contains a link to full, detailed press releases for each bike.

ALL-NEW 2021 KLX®300 Dual-Sport Motorcycle
Get Out and Play
The all-new 2021 Kawasaki KLX®300 motorcycle is designed to provide unlimited on- and off-road fun for riders of all skill levels. Staying true to its roots, the all-new KLX300 lightweight dual-sport motorcycle comes ready with all the tools necessary to deliver an exciting riding experience, taking on paved streets, back roads, wooded trails and beyond.  The new engine on the KLX300 features an easy to use powerband that provides unmatched rider comfort and delivers an exhilarating pull at higher revs. Fitted with a 21-inch front wheel, off-road tires and upgraded suspension, the KLX300 is equally at home navigating city traffic or traversing wooded trails.
You can read the full, detailed press release for this new model below:

ALL-NEW 2021 KLX®300SM Supermoto Motorcycle
Get Out and Play
The all-new 2021 KLX®300SM takes the fun to the streets in full supermoto style. Staying true to its roots, the all-new KLX300SM street-focused lightweight supermoto motorcycle comes ready with all the tools necessary to deliver an exciting riding experience. Smooth power delivery and crisp throttle response helps riders maneuver through stop-and-go city traffic, navigate country back roads or experience the exhilaration of supermoto racing at their local track. While the KLX300 dual-sport is equal parts on-road and dirt, the KLX300SM receives a host of supermoto inspired componentry. This includes 17-inch front and rear wheels paired with street tires, supermoto tuned suspension, and aggressive styling. These differences establish the KLX300SM as the ultimate lightweight supermoto.
You can read the full, detailed press release for this new model below:

ALL-NEW 2021 Z H2 SE Hypernaked Motorcycle
Supercharged Special Edition

Kawasaki’s flagship model of the Z line of naked motorcycles just got better as the 2021 Z H2 SE adds a smoother ride and more stopping power to the already innovative Z H2 package.  While retaining the ultimate combination of outright power and controllability, the new 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE comes equipped with Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS). The new electronic suspension also features Showa’s Skyhook technology, delivering a smoother ride, which contributes to increased comfort and enjoyment.  Complementing the high-tech suspension are premium Brembo® front brake components, which add to even greater stopping power and control.
You can read the full, detailed press release for this new model below:

NEW 2021 Ninja® ZX™-10R and Ninja® ZX™-10RR Supersport Motorcycles
Face Yourself

Kawasaki’s Ninja® line of liter class superbike motorcycles has been amassing record after record in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), including carrying Kawasaki to seven championship winning performances since 2013, The Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) continues to set the bar high in the pinnacle of road racing around the globe and their unmatched success on the racetrack has allowed Kawasaki to continue delivering the racetrack precision of its sportbikes to the street.
The new 2021 Ninja ZX-10R,  Ninja ZX-10R KRT Edition and Ninja ZX-10RR are built for those who rise to the challenge: all new aerodynamic body with integrated winglets, small and light LED headlights, TFT color instrumentation, and Smartphone Connectivity plus high-tech updates derived right from the KRT. Kawasaki engineers have made several changes to the engine and chassis for 2021
. You can read the full, detailed press release for this new model below:

36 Comments

  1. Bill Stewart says:

    Have been saving $$$ ready to buy a new Versys 400. Available in Japan….why not here?? It would have made a great replacement for my KLR which is just a bit too tall and heavy for this old dude.

    PLEASE bring the Versys 400 to Canada !!!

  2. redbirds says:

    Could these new Kawasakis be made uglier? I guess the drugs haven’t worn off yet.

  3. Kemit T Frog says:

    Fear not, Kawasak says there’s more to come. There may yet be a KLR750 and…?

    🙂

  4. cw says:

    I will say this for the Ninja, it makes that inverse-delta notch at the front visually tolerable to me – though it seems the easiest way to make the bike more aerodynamic would be to NOT have a weird cut-out across the leading edge of the fairing.

    • TimC says:

      There’s more about aerodynamics than just poking a hole

      • Selecter says:

        Working in a company that deals in a large part with aerodynamics over the last 18 years, TimC speaks the truth. Aerodynamics are a LOT less intuitive than most people tend to think.

        If I had an extra $45,000 or so, we could have our model shop guys make us a scale model and throw it in a tunnel… I bet they’d get a kick out if it!

  5. AL LEMAS says:

    I HAVE AN ORIGINAL 2015 H2 & I LOVE THE ENGINE. IT SCARES YOU AS SOON AS YOU GET ON THE GAS IN ANY GEAR, HOWEVER, I WISH IT HAD A MORE RELAXING SITTING POSITION. HOPING FOR THAT I PURCHASED A 2018 H2 SX SE, HOWEVER, THE ENGINE IS “DETUNED”. IT DOESN’T HAVE THE SAME SCAREY FEELING WHEN YOU GET ON THE GAS. I FOUND OUT THE H2 SX ENGINE IS NOT THE H2 ENGINE FOR PERFORMANCE.

    I WAS GOING TO PURCHASE THE Z-H2 UNTIL I FOUND OUT IT WAS GOING TO HAVE THE H2 SX ENGINE & NOT THE H2, BESIDES BE SADDLED WITH THAT UGLY SUGOMI STYLING.

    WHY CAN’T KAWASAKI DO LIKE DUCATI WITH THE 2020 STREETFIGHTER (I HAVE ONE). TAKE THE CURRENT H2 & JUST ADJUST THE FRONT END SO IT CAN HAVE HIGH BARS. THEY WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE TO MAKE IT A COMPLETLY NAKED BIKE. IN FACT I DON’T THINK IT LOOKS TOO GREAT AS A NAKED BIKE PRIMARILY DUE TO THE RAM AIR DUCTING. (COULD BE WITH PARTIAL FARINGS LIKE AN APRILIA TUONO.
    THE H2 ENGINE(AS LEAST MY 2015) HAS AWESOME TORQUE IN EVERY GEAR SO THEY WOULD HAVE TO TOUCH THE ENGINE.

    JUST INCLUDE IN THE NINJA AREA WITH THEIR STYLING WHICH I LOVE. WHY DO ALL “Z” (NAKED) MODELS HAVE TO HAVE THAT UGLY SUGOMI STYLING.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yawnfest. Zzzzzz.

  7. Roadrash1 says:

    I LOVE the idea of ELECTRONIC CRUISE CONTROL on a sport bike. Or…any bike really!

  8. cagefree says:

    So they bring out a new bike in a class thats all but dead(super moto) and ignore(at least so far) the hottest market Dualsport- ADV. Good call Kawi.

    • Advmike says:

      I agree, what a big disappointment, was hoping for a new klr7-800 along the lines of the tenere7 but got a klx300 instead… yawn. At least now I know what I won’t be buying lol.

  9. Grover says:

    I don’t think an extra 50cc is going to turn the KLX into a rocket ship. The 250 is a dog on the highway and has a difficult time even lighting up the rear tire in the dirt! They really should have offered the KLX in 400-450cc displacement.

  10. Neil Devine says:

    I like the ZXRR but it should have street ergos too. They should just offer their own street, triple clamp swap. Otherwise I rode the 2004 and it was a beast.

  11. RyYYZ says:

    Man, I just bought a KLX250 this year. Fortunately, for resale value, the extra 50ish CCs seems to be about the only difference. I’d sure love to have those extra 50 CCs, though.

    What I’ve really discovered is that I love the narrow, lightweight design. But I don’t really care about off road (too few opportunities around here), and I’d like more power. So for my next bike, I’d like… I’m not sure, but something comparably light, but with about twice the power.

    OTOH, the price is up quite a fair bit, I think. My 2020 model had a Canadian MSRP of $5999. The ’21 KLX 250 is USD$5,599.
    Ah, now CAD$6,499 in Canada.

    • mickey says:

      ” I’m not sure, but something comparably light, but with about twice the power.”

      That’s what I feel like whenever I ride my a CB 500X

  12. motomike says:

    Yes Todd I did a bunch of mods to my KLX including a 330 big bore kit which,at 12.5:1 comp ratio made it a bitch to start especially when hot. When I stalled it doing really well at one race, I wanted to light it on fire like in On Any Sunday! That sucker would rev to the moon and keep pulling! Good times. Looks like more SXS BS to come from KMC, Zzzzzz

  13. Lynchenstein says:

    Hypernaked”…I don’t know what to think about that name…

  14. cycleboy45 says:

    ZX25R Please?

  15. randy says:

    I guess the GPZ900 rumor going around is not based on reality. Another disappointment from Kawasaki. All I can say positively, is the KLX bikes are reasonably priced compared to DRZ’s, but the performance will not be equal.

    • Ed says:

      My DRZ400SM didn’t have enough power so I don’t know what to say about this 300. Maybe if it was a 2 smoke it’d be fun.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        The KLX SM is, or at least the last one was, _much_ lighter (and feels ever more lighterer…) than the DRZ. The DRZ rides like a light motorbike. The KLX almost like an electric mountainbike on slicks.

      • todd says:

        The previous KLX300R of the late 90s had almost as much power as the DRZ400 (33 vs 39) but was nearly 80 pounds lighter. My KLX wasn’t stock but it felt much quicker/punchier than the DRZ400 I tried. I think, stock vs stock, they are probably very similar performance.

  16. Sparky says:

    Total disappointment!

  17. todder says:

    I’ve lost faith waiting for a KLR to compete with Yamaha T7. Based on the Jan26th teaser, betting they just update the Versys 300 electronics and put spoked rims on the Versys 650.

  18. motomike says:

    Yea, not very exciting stuff. The ZX10 is a bad a$$ mammajamma. The KLX is a fine machine but the same as the previous 250 version. I rode and raced a ’99 KLX300 in the desert for 10 years and have fond memories of a solid (heavy) motorcycle. Where is the KLR replacement?

    • todd says:

      I had a ‘97 KLX300R. I remember it being pretty light, around 230 pounds without gas. I also remember it being pretty quick once I confirmed 36 hp at the wheel on a dyno run (no, not stock but not highly modified either). I Also had a Baja Designs kit on it so I could register it for the street. It would accelerate twice as hard as my buddies (purple and green!) KLR650 and looked so much better. It ended up making a decent commuter, God forbid you stalled it at a light. Restarting the thing took 36 kicks when hot…

  19. Neal says:

    That green RR at the top looks great. It looks like Kawasaki is starting to simplify its bodywork.

  20. TheUsual says:

    Darn, still no ZZR-636.

    • ChrisB says:

      With the poor 600 sales, who knows if we will ever see any more 600 super sport bikes. Yamaha just announced they are discontinuing the R6, which makes me sad as I am a bit of a R6 fan boy (although far too old to fit the stereotype). 🙁

    • Dave says:

      I just read the Yamaha R6 is discontinued for 2021 so I wouldn’t hold your breath. Sport bikes are struggling on the sales floor.

      • fred says:

        A ZZR-636 would be a sport-touring bike, rather than a sport bike. You are correct that the bottom has fallen out of the 600cc sport bike class, but the 600-650cc sport-touring class is doing okay. Aprilia just introduced the RS660. A ZZR-636 would be a terrific answer to the RS660, and would likely come in $2-3k under the RS’s price.
        #GiveThanks

        • Dave says:

          I don’t think there’s enough volume opportunity for Kawasaki to run two variants of the 636. Honda is still playing the strategy with the 600rr along with the CBR650r (their assortment is actually pretty extensive). Here’s hoping.

  21. mickey says:

    Yep, they look like Kawasaki’s. Nothing in there to interest me.