Kawasaki’s First Hydrogen Engine Motorcycle Prototype
December 15, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Automotive News
It’s true that Kawasaki has been showcasing its advancements in producing alternatively-powered cars at a record rate in recent months.
The HySE-X1, a brand-new four-wheeled hydrogen-powered experimental vehicle that will compete in the Mission 1000 competition in the 2024 Dakar Rally, was first shown back in October 2023. HySE, the collaborative hydrogen engine development organization that was previously founded by Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Toyota, and Yamaha, unveiled this car as its debut project.
Clearly, Team HySE Has Been Quite Busy
The start of the 2024 Dakar Rally is not too far off, since it is already mid-December 2023. Although we’re eager to follow the HySE-X1’s progress, our curiosity would naturally grow if it were, for example, a motorbike powered by a hydrogen engine.
Fortunately, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a huge corporation operating in several different industries. Those segments all presently strive toward group carbon neutrality objectives, but they do it in various ways, so every now and then they have group meetings where they report on how each segment is doing.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries held its Group Vision 2030 Progress Report Meeting on December 12, 2023. It also kindly uploaded the complete event on its YouTube account, however 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.
Kawasaki Hydrogen Motorcycle
Of course, the one that piques our curiosity the most is the update from Hiroshi Ito, president and CEO of Kawasaki Motor Co. He provided updates throughout his section 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.
It was just a matter of time until a motorbike powered by a hydrogen engine made its appearance, given four of the five businesses engaged in HySE are the major four motorcycle makers in Japan. We saw it for the first time during this Kawasaki presentation on December 12, 2023.
President Ito claims that the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX serves as its basis. The prototype design stays true to several tones of soothing blue instead of the regular hues used by Team Green. In addition, such may be seen on the HySE-X1 car that will compete in Dakar 2024 and in the HySE logo.
There was a dearth of specifics or hard data provided. Sadly, not even a brief starter footage is included in the film, despite the fact that a test rider demonstrates both the Ninja 7 Hybrid’s walk function and the first-ever public display of the hybrid engine motorcycle prototype.
President Ito continued by stating that this prototype will shortly undergo testing, which is probably why a startup attempt was not made while the cameras were filming.
Do you find HySE’s study on a possible motorbike with a hydrogen engine intriguing? If there was infrastructure in place to ensure that you could always get fuel when you needed it, would you be willing to ride one?