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The Kawasaki “ZX-HR Hybrid” Concept by Lee Thompson

The idea of a hybrid Kawasaki is not beyond the bounds of possibility, but the question is this: is the world ready for it? We cover a lot of interesting electric motorcycles here, both real and conceptual, but they always seem to receive a lukewarm reaction. Some riders are very interested in instant power delivery and the inevitable future of motorcycling, while others are more critical of the newer technologies. Both sides have great arguments both for and against, but for the time being, it seems like the appeal of going electric is somewhat limited. But what about a hybrid? Would a bit of compromise be enough to sway you?

That’s what British designer Lee Thompson has been wondering too. If you’re not familiar with Lee’s concept ideas, we’ve covered a fair few of them in the past, and they almost always get the seal of approval from our readers..but how about this one? It certainly is bridges the gap between electric motor technology and the old faithful internal combustion engine, and the aesthetic is grounded within the realm of realism too. Could this be a Kawasaki from the near future?

Dubbed the ZX-HR, with the “H” obviously standing for “hybrid,” the bike comes with a supercharged 800cc engine that boasts an intimidating 180 bhp, and top speeds around the 180 mph marker. The supercharged engine isn’t the real highlight though, since the ZX-HR comes equipped with a battery pack and two wheel mounted electric motors. These motors are mounted on the rimless and hubless wheels, and can be switched on at the touch of a button, and deliver 75% of the power to the rear wheel, and 25% to the front. Both the front and the rear come with hydraulic brakes.

Despite the fact that it has been designed as a next generation sports package, Thompson has also added a touch of versatility. The ZX-HR would also come with hard touring panniers for decent storage, fold away pillion foot plates for passenger comfort, and a cool adjustable aerodynamic front end with winglets for ultimate rider comfort. Lee has also factored in a cool drive and brake adjustability setting, as well as a steering assist function too.

It’s outlandish, but it definitely comes with the best of both worlds. Is it an effective bridge between the electric and internal combustion engine camps? Or is it just too ambitious to be taken seriously? Either way, it’s a great thought experiment and hopefully it will provoke some much needed debate about the future of motorcycling. Are the days of conventional petrol powered motors numbered? Let us know your thoughts…

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…