Early-Release 2013 Kawasakis – First Look
July 26, 2012
Filed under Kawasaki Motorcycle Road Tests: Reviews on Kawasaki Motorcycles & Sportbikes, Latest News, Top Stories
Confident that neither the Mayan calendar nor the contentious presidential election will bring the world to a grinding halt later this year, Kawasaki is celebrating the new year ahead of schedule with six early-release 2013 models.
Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R was completely overhauled for 2011 with new styling, standard traction control, optional ABS, Showa Big Piston Fork and much more. It returns unchanged except for a new electronic steering damper that replaces the previous mechanical one. Jointly developed with Öhlins, the damper is controlled by a dedicated ECU located under the gas tank cover and reacts to the rate of acceleration or deceleration, as well as rear wheel speed, to provide the ideal amount of damping force. The result is said to be light and nimble steering feel at low speed, and superior damping at higher speeds or during extreme acceleration/deceleration. The anodized damper unit uses Öhlins’ patented twin-tube design and is mounted horizontally at the front of the fuel tank. It requires very few additional components and adds very little weight. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is available in Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black or Pearl Flat White/Metallic Spark Black for $14,299, or $15,299 for the ABS model.
One level down on the sportbike pyramid is the Kawasaki Ninja 650, extensively updated for 2012 with new styling, a broader powerband, less vibration, better suspension and more comfort (read our 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 review). One wouldn’t expect changes so soon, and there aren’t any to the base-model machine. But Kawasaki has expanded its lineup with an ABS version. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 is available in Pearl Stardust White, Candy Thunder Blue or Metallic Flat Spark Black for $7,599. Add $500 for ABS.
Kawasaki’s two dual-sport models, the KLR650 and KLX250S, are the two top-selling on/off-road bikes in America, and they return unchanged except for new colors, graphics and prices. The 2013 Kawasaki KLR650 is available in Ebony, Pearl Solar Yellow or Candy Lime Green/Ebony for $6,499 (read our comparison of the KLR650 and the BMW G 650 GS Sertão). The 2013 Kawasaki KLX250S is available in Lime Green or Bright White for $5,099.
For more information, visit kawasaki.com