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Kawasaki sparks debate after revealing specs of its first-ever electric motorcycle: 'This is a joke…'

"I had high hopes."

"I had high hopes."

Photo Credit: Kawasaki

Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki has released some details about its first-ever electric motorcycles, eliciting quite a reaction from commenters on the internet — although it probably isn't quite the reaction the brand was hoping for.

The electric motorcycles, named the Kawasaki Ninja e-1 and Z e-1, are about to be launched in the United States, Canada, and the UK. 

However, these vehicles' specs make it clear that they are nowhere close in performance to Kawasaki's gas-powered motorcycles. The range of the bikes is under 40 miles, and their top speeds are around 55 miles per hour, making them "purely urban-oriented motorcycles," according to Electrek.

While the prices are fairly competitive, starting at $7,599 and $7,299, respectively, in the U.S., the overall package certainly did not impress Electrek's commenters, many of whom were left in disbelief.

"This is a joke," wrote one commenter. "It's a $7,500 electric bicycle without pedals. Absolutely no one should buy this, not only because it's a terrible product and complete waste of money, but to send a message. A message that a company can't just release a terrible product and people will buy it anyway just because of the name on the side."

"Ya I had high hopes for this bike but it is less powerful, heavier, and slightly faster than my $3,800 Talaria xXx supermoto which is more ebike than emoto so I can ride it anywhere a bike goes," wrote another.

"Some way to go before the battery tech becomes viable for motorcycles. Have to be patient," a third commenter contributed.

Luckily for those commenters and anyone else hoping to buy a real electric motorcycle in the near future, some other companies have them in development and may be closer to meeting the market than Kawasaki currently is. 

Those include the Verge TS from Verge Motorcycles (which can reportedly go 233 miles on a single charge at a significantly higher price point), and a Kenyan company called Roam that has plans to produce 50,000 electric motorcycles per year.

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