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Old 12-04-2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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Top 10 bestselling Kawasakis so far this year

These were Kawasakis top 10 biggest sellers in the first half of 2015

OF the Japanese manufacturers, Kawasaki is something of an oddity. While others bolster their ranges with scores of scooters and 125cc learner bikes, Kawasaki has little to offer learners or commuters and instead focusses on the big-bike end of the market.

But which of its bikes does best? Is the ZX-10R reaping the rewards of its WSB title? Are little machines like the Ninja 300 proving to be big sellers? We’ve scoured the latest official Government registration figures for the first half of 2015 to find out exactly which models are selling and which aren’t.

And there are a couple of surprises here, not least in terms of the strong demand for non-ABS versions of bikes that can also be had with anti-lock brakes. Since we’re approaching the last year when it will be legal for manufacturers to offer big bikes without anti-lock, that the price of ABS is coming down and that the systems’ effectiveness is constantly improving, it’s an eye-opener to see how many people still, given the choice, opt to avoid it.

Oh, and you’ll notice the ZX-10R is missing. That seems to be down to the breakdown of special versions, ABS and non-ABS models etc. All combined, there are something over 200 ZX-10R registrations so far this year, enough for a top-three position in this list, but the highest individual version – as specified on its reg document, which is how this list is broken down – has only 72 registrations between January and June 2015, so doesn’t quite make it.

This list breaks it down pretty clearly.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the H2 doesn’t make the top 10. It’s closer to it than you might have imagined, though, coming in as Kawasaki’s 19th best seller, with 52 registrations in the first 6 months of the year. Of course, track-only H2Rs can’t be registered, and it’s likely that a number of H2s have also gone unregistered to speculators hoping their value will increase.

10. EX650 FFF ABS (90 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

“EX 650 FFF” is the name you’ll find on the registration document of a 2015 Kawasaki ER-6f with ABS, and as you can see, only 90 people have opted for one in the first half of the year. That’s still enough to grab it 10th place on the list of Kawasaki best-sellers, though. But read on to see how many more people have ridden away on the same bike, minus anti-lock brakes…

9. ZX1400 FFFA ABS Performance S (110 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

This is the £14,099 ‘Performance Sport’ version of the bike we usually call the ZZR1400 in this country (it’s the ZX-14R in many others), and although few things can offer as much power for the price that’s quite a premium over the base model’s £11,699 RRP. Having said that, even the latest generation of whizz-bang superbikes will struggle match the ageing ZZR for flat-out pace and straight-line acceleration, and they certainly won’t do it with the same level of comfort. Just don’t expect 2015-style superbike handling.

8. ZX1400 FFF ABS (111 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Just one more registration for the base version of the ZZR1400 puts it a place ahead of the ‘Performance Sport’ model. Combined, the sales figures for the two near-identical machines would be enough for third place in the list.

7. ER650 EFF (132 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

As the name hints, this is the basic, naked ER-6n, with no anti-lock brakes (the ER650 FFF ABS version comes in 24th on the list, with only 48 registered in the first 6 months of the year). It’s an example where, despite the fact that many riders now accept anti-lock with open arms, more seem to have been happy to save the £400 difference in price and accept the non-ABS model. Kawasaki’s website now lists the more expensive ABS-equipped model for 2016, though.

6. ZX 1000 LFF (146 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Kawasaki’s tricky naming policy when it comes to registrations means there’s a host of different models all going under the ‘ZX1000’ tag, ranging from the ZX-10R to the Z1000, but the ‘LFF’ is the non-ABS version of the Z1000SX sports-tourer. Funnily enough, this bike proves a complete contrast to the previous ER-6n, in that far more buyers have opted for the ABS-equipped version…

5. EN650 BFF ABS (157 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

This one had us scrambling to work out exactly which model the ‘EN650 BFF’ is, and it turns out it’s the codename for the new Vulcan S cruiser. It’s actually a pretty impressive sales performance for a bike that’s a spin-off from the ER-6, since it’s out-performed several other versions of that model.

4. EX650 EFF (179 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Here’s the non-ABS version of the ER-6f – with nearly double the registrations of the anti-lock-equipped machine. Here in Visordown Towers, that comes as something of a surprise in an era when ABS is fast becoming standard equipment on even the most basic of machines. There’s clearly a large group of people out there with enough confidence in their own braking to think they’re better off saving the £400 price difference.

3. KLE650 FFF ABS (180 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

In contrast to the minimalist, non-ABS ER-6f in fourth place, just one place higher in the list – and with one more registration – is a machine from the opposite end of that range, the Versys 650. The most expensive model in Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel twin family, it only comes with ABS, and at £6749 it’s £1350 more than the entry-level ER-6n model. And yet it’s the best-selling variant of that entire line.

2. KLZ1000 BFF (235 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

That name translates to ‘Versys 1000’ and it’s Kawasaki’s second-best-seller, showing that even though the firm isn’t getting the same sort of sales success from its ‘adventure’ (in inverted commas because it’s not really a GS-rival) model as some of its rivals enjoy, there are still plenty of takers. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this one only comes with anti-lock, so there’s no chance to see how well a non-ABS version might have sold.

1. ZX1000 MFF ABS (334 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Storming away at the head of the pack, it’s the ZX1000 MFF. What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? To its friends, it’s better known as the ABS-equipped version of the Z1000SX. Here, the registrations of the ABS version are more than double those of the non-anti-lock machine (in sixth place with 146 registrations.) Another one of those unsung hero bikes, the Z1000SX is arguably the pick of Kawasaki’s range at the moment, offering a combination of near-superbike performance, touring comfort and modern technology like traction control, all while staying under the £10k mark.

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