Kawasaki's Hydrogen-Powered Motorcycle Prototype

It’s not a coincidence if Kawasaki has been demonstrating its advancement in producing alternatively-powered cars at a record rate lately.

The HySE-X1, an innovative four-wheeled hydrogen-powered experimental vehicle, was unveiled back in October 2023. It will participate in the Mission 1000 program at the 2024 Dakar Rally. HySE, the collaborative team formed by Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Toyota, and Yamaha to develop hydrogen engines, unveiled this vehicle as their first project.

It is now mid-December 2023, which indicates that the 2024 Dakar Rally will begin soon. Although we’re curious to follow the HySE-X1’s progress, we would naturally be even more intrigued if it were, for example, a motorcycle powered by a hydrogen engine.

We are fortunate that Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a large, multi-sector company. These segments all periodically hold group meetings to share progress reports on how each segment is doing in reaching the group’s carbon neutrality goals, since they are currently working toward those goals in different ways.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries held its Group Vision 2030 Progress Report Meeting on December 12, 2023. It also kindly uploaded the full event to its YouTube channel, though it’s entirely in Japanese, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The agenda included updates from senior managing executive officers of Aerospace Systems Company, Energy Solutions and Marine Engineering Company, Yasuhiko Hashimoto, president and CEO of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited, and Hiroshi Ito, president and CEO of Kawasaki Motors Company Limited.

It stands to reason that the update from Hiroshi Ito, president and CEO of Kawasaki Motor Co., would pique our curiosity the most. In the course of his talk, he provided updates on the recent launches of the battery-electric Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 motorcycles as well as the recently announced Ninja 7 HEV and Z 7 HEV.

The major four motorcycle companies in Japan comprised four of the five companies involved in HySE, so it was only a matter of time until a motorcycle powered by a hydrogen engine made an appearance. During this Kawasaki presentation on December 12, 2023, we got our first look at it.

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX is the basis, according to President Ito. The prototype design deviates from Team Green’s customary colorways by sticking with muted blue tones. The HySE-X1 car that will compete in Dakar 2024 and the HySE logo both feature those.

Specifics or hard data were not provided in great quantities. There isn’t even a brief startup video in the video, which is unfortunate given that it features a test rider demonstrating the walk function of the Ninja 7 Hybrid and the first public display of the hybrid engine motorcycle prototype.

The reason a startup wasn’t tried while the cameras were rolling is probably because President Ito continued by saying that testing with this prototype would soon start.

Is HySE’s investigation into a possible motorcycle with a hydrogen engine intriguing to you? If there was a system in place to dependable provide you with fuel when you needed it, would you be willing to ride one? Please tell us in the comments!

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