Kawasaki’s legendary Ninja sports bike goes electric, so you can now ride without the licence faff

Sporty Ninja Z e-1 and stripped-back Ninja e-1 promise twist-and-go thrills without the emissions

Kawasaki Ninja Z e-1
(Image credit: Kawasaki)

Kawasaki's Ninja is a revered name in the sports bike world, with its ferocious ZX-10R offering the closest experience to riding a fully-fledged World Super Bike machine on the road. It’s yours for £17,499.

But what if you don’t have that kind of money? And what if you really can’t be bothered with the faff of the full A1 motorcycle licence required to throw a leg over such a beastly creature?

Kawasaki might just have the answer. It says it will an bring all-electric version of its Ninja to UK shores "soon". Like, next month soon. 

Listen, before you start ferociously emailing with the subject line: "That’s not a real Kawasaki Ninja!", we will admit that the proposed Ninja Z e-1 and Ninja e-1 do look a little, erm, weedy. 

Kawasaki Ninja Z e-1

(Image credit: Kawasaki)

That's because they pack brushless motors that deliver just 5kW of constant power, or a max power boost of 9kW, thanks to a special e-boost button on the handlebars.

To put that into perspective, it equates to a maximum top speed of 99km/h - or just over 60mph in real money - so long as the rider hasn’t eaten a big lunch, is wearing aerodynamic underwear and has a long stretch of straight road ahead.

So, where the aforementioned ZX-10R can smash almost 186mph, these little electric equivalents will feel a tad sedate. However, the upside is that you can ride one on a CBT in the UK, which requires minimal training and financial commitment.

Kawasaki Ninja Z e-1

(Image credit: Kawasaki)

According to Kawasaki, the Ninja Z e-1 and more stripped-back Ninja e-1 are also dead easy to live with, seeing as they both have a twin removable battery system for simple charging on or off the bike. They also sport an idiot-proof, clutch-less twist-and-go riding experience and even a handy walking mode (with forward and reverse gears) for assistance in manoeuvring the machines in and out of parking spaces.

The bikes will come in Metallic Bright Silver and Metallic Matte Lime Green, bespoke to Kawasaki EV models, and will feature modern touches, such as a TFT display with smartphone connectivity, a number of riding modes to eke out battery life, and ABS brakes lifted from the the more powerful 400cc class.

Both bikes are said to arrive in UK showrooms some time in October 2023, although pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.