Kawasaki reveals world's first road-going hydrogen motorcycle

TOKYO: Meet the world's first street-legal hydrogen-powered motorcycle - a Kawasaki with bulbous, pannier-style fuel tanks and an H-shaped front headlamp which stands for hydrogen.

The ready-to-ride Ninja H2 HyS prototype was revealed during the firm's Group Vision 2030 conference earlier this month but it will be a while before the two-wheeler can be seen on public roads.

The bike was first showcased as a concept at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy last year.

It comes after Kawasaki has already electrified two of its most popular models - the Ninja and the Z.

Whether and how the first hydrogen engine ever goes into series production depends on the supply of hydrogen as a fuel, said Kawasaki.

The hydrogen-powered motorbike is based on the petrol-driven Ninja H2 SX, and the Japanese maker said it aims to showcase the feasibility and potential of hydrogen as a motorcycle fuel source.

The Ninja H2 HyS is finished in blue in what is a departure from the company's traditional green outfit for its models.

Development has been in progress for several years and the supercharged, four-cylinder engine is expected to turn out some 200 hp. Exact details regarding the operation with hydrogen have not been disclosed.

Kawasaki has stressed its commitment to green mobility although the motorbike will only be friendly to the environment if the hydrogen used comes from renewable sources.

Kawasaki has been exploring hydrogen applications in other vehicles, including off-road buggies and aircraft.

Together with Yamaha it also worked with Toyota on the carmaker's hydrogen project, namely a hydrogen-fuelled Toyota Corolla at the Fuji 24 Hour endurance race.
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