Kawasaki motorcycles are manufactured by the Motorcycle & Engine division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
The Kawasaki Company was founded in 1896 by Shozo Kawasaki as a shipyard meant for building oceangoing steel ships. At the beginning they constructed marine steam turbines, locomotives, freight cars, passenger carriages and bridge girders. In 1918 the Aircraft Department is established and after prolonged research Kawasaki succeeds in building Japan's first metal aircraft. Then came 1949 and they turned towards the motorcycles industry by making engines suited for motorcycles.
Kawasaki Aircraft initially manufactured motorcycles under the Meguro name, having bought out an ailing motorcycle manufacturer called Meguro Manufacturing Co. Ltd with whom they had been in partnership earlier, but later formed Kawasaki Motor Sales. Some early motorcycles display an emblem with "Kawasaki Aircraft" on the fuel tank. Kawasaki motorcycles from 1962 through 1967 used an emblem which can be described as a flag within a wing.
Kawasaki came out with their first bike in 1954, called Meihatsu. This bike had Kawasaki's own KB-5 engine. An improved model of the Meihatsu, called Meihatsu 125 Deluxe, was introduced in 1956.
Kawasaki was producing bikes for a while without much popularity, but technically progressing. Kawasaki started to be noticed as a big player on the motorcycles market due to the release of the 500cc H1 model (also known as Mach III). In 1973 Kawasaki introduced their first superbike, the Z1 which had a 903cc engine.
One of the most notable bikes in Kawasaki history, the GPZ900R came in 1983. This was the first model ever produced by Kawasaki to have a liquid-cooled engine and to reach 250 km/h. A year later they started to sell this bike in the US and they renamed it Ninja, thing which proved to be very benefactor, registering huge sales.
Their first ever motorsports victories were obtained by Dave Simmons in the FIM World Road Racing 125cc Championship. He won the West German and the Isle of Mann TT races and the series championship riding a KR-1. Then came 1981 and Kawasaki won the manufacturer's title in the FIM World Road Racing 250cc Championship, courtesy of A. Mang who was riding the KR250. Kawasaki's most notable win in their motorsports history was the Le mans 24-Hour Race back in 1983. The model which participated in that race was the ZXR-7.
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700
The following is from a Monster Energy Kawasaki press release. Monster Energy Kawasaki is excited to continue its legendary form into the 2015 season aboard the championship proven Kawasaki KX lineup. Following nine major championships in the United States, Kawasaki announced that Ryan Villopoto will look to capture another prestigious title by contesting the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2015.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Four-time consecutive AMA Superbike Champion Ryan Villopoto is ready to move on to the next stage of his career, signing on to represent Kawasaki in the World Motocross Championship in 2015. Villopoto will race in the newly- christened MXGP class. Formerly known as the MX1 class, MXGP allows 450cc four-stroke machines and 250cc two-strokes.
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
In this, Kawasaki’s seventh teaser video for its much-hyped Ninja H2, we get a short (really short) history of Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ history and experience building industrial gas turbines. Why does this matter? Because it’s this extensive background that went in to designing and building the centrifugal supercharger for the H2.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Say what you will about the depleted state of the American roadracing scene, it shouldn’t diminish the fact Hayes put in the effort and beat some formidable challengers to the title. Here, the AMA congratulates Josh Hayes on his accomplishment. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes entered the 2013 AMA Pro SuperBike season on the heels of the most dominant campaign in the history of the series and with his primary threat no longer in the paddock.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
In Kawasaki’s latest H2 video teaser the company is associating the forthcoming H2 with its predecessor from the early ’70s. The original H2 Mach IV was a 750cc, two-stroke, inline-Triple. The original H2 was renowned in its day for its incredibly quick acceleration.
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Apparent from the latest video teaser in the Ninja H2 miniseries, Kawasaki is reaching into the company’s past and reintroducing the River Mark logo on its forthcoming H2. Vintage bike enthusiasts will recognize the Rivermark emblem from models introduced in the early to mid-sixties era. The River Mark emblem has been associated with various products from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
The Kawasaki Z1000 is nothing if not attention-grabbing, and for 2015 it will be back in Kawasaki’s lineup of motorcycles. Team Green calls it “Sugomi” styling, which combines its sculpted shape – invoking a crouching predator – with painstaking details like its special “Z” ignition key, machined aluminum steering stem bolt and the intricate “Z” motif seat cover. This is wrapped in a new color scheme for 2015 that combines Golden Blazed Green with Metallic Spark Black to create a dramatic motorcycle.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Pirelli’s relationship with the World Superbike Championship started in 2004 and will carry on through 2018, as the Italian company will continue to supply tires for every class of the championship. What follows is the official Pirelli press release. Pirelli has been confirmed as the Official Tire Supplier for all classes of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship having won the tender organized by Dorna, promoter and organizer of the World Championship, in agreement with the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
One of Kawasaki’s most popular sellers, the go-anywhere, do-anything KLR650 will once again be a staple of Kawasaki’s 2015 lineup. Preferring to run on either dirt or asphalt, the dual-purpose bike is very versatile, able to take riders almost anywhere they wish to go on- and off-road. The 651cc Single may not be the most inspiring engine in the world, but it gets the job done.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
While we await full details on Kawasaki’s forthcoming Ninja H2, Team Green has announced the rest of its 2015 Ninja line up. Changes to these models are mainly comprised of minor styling tweaks or, as industry folk say, bold new graphics, but nonetheless, below are the returning 2015 Ninjas Kawasaki has announced so far. 2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS
The all-conquering ZX-14R is back again for 2015.