2015 Kawasaki Sportbike First Looks

September 10, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Kawasaki has confirmed several returning models to its 2015 Sportbike lineup, including its Ninja 650, Ninja 300 and ZX-14R, as well as the Z1000 streetfighter. Most models in Kawi’s sport range receive bold-new-graphics treatment for 2015, with the blockbuster update slated for later this month in the form of the H2 Ninja.

The Japanese marque is coming off a string of years which saw more extensive refinements in this segment, the Ninja 1000 ABS and Z1000 ABS getting a notable refresh in 2014 and the Ninja 300 making its debut in 2013. In 2012 the ZX-14R was significantly upgraded with engine modifications and chassis tweaks. The Ninja 650 was also revamped in 2012, getting a redesigned exhaust system, frame updates and aesthetic refinements.

Starting from the top in what Kawasaki defines as its Supersport line (which also includes the racy ZX-10R and ZX-6R, both coming in commemorative 30th Anniversary editions in 2015), the ZX-14R will be available in a Golden Blazed Green/Metallic Spark Black coloway or Metallic Matte Carbon Gray/Golden Blazed Green. There will be a 30th Anniversary ZX-14R as well, which will be limited to only 300 units and dressed in a Firecracker Red/Metallic Graystone, paying homage to the 1984 Ninja 900. The standard ZX-14R will start at $14,999 while the 30th Anniversary Edition prices at $15,899.

The 2015 Ninja 1000 ABS retains the modifications introduced the previous year, which include a revised subframe to accommodate the optional Kawasaki Quick Release hard saddlebags. The engine changes, KTRC traction control, brake upgrades and power modes introduced on the 2014 model helped propel the Ninja 1000 to the top of the list in our 2014 Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout. In 2015, riders can choose from a Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black coloway or Metallic Carbon Gray/Metallic Spark Black. MSRP is set at $11,999, the same price point as the previous year.


 
The 2015 Ninja 650 is available with or without ABS and features three color options: Candy Lime Green/Metallic Flat Spark Black, Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black and Pearl Flat Stardust White/Metallic Flat Spark Black. Pricing is set at $7199 for the non-ABS version, while the ABS-equipped Ninja 650 can be had for an additional $400.

 

Like the 650, the 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 300 comes in ABS and non-ABS versions, and will be available in two colors – Lime Green or Pearl Stardust White. Kawasaki has also opted to swap out the standard tires on its smallest sport mount, dropping the IRC/Kawasaki-developed tires used in previous model years for a set of Dunlop TT900 GPs. Additionally, there will be a Special Edition Ninja 300 in 2015, also available with or without ABS, available in a Metallic Moondust Gray/Ebony colorway. The MSRP breakdown for all four available Ninja 300s runs like this: Ninja 300 – $4999; Ninja 300 ABS – $5299; Ninja SE – $5199; Ninja ABS SE – $5499.

And last but certainly not least, the 2015 Kawasaki Z1000 will be dressed in a Golden Blazed Green with Metallic Black Spark color scheme. Its price is set at $11,999, carrying over the same MSRP as 2014.