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.
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Michael Dunlop won a historic Dainese Superbike race to kick off the 2014 Isle of Man TT week. Riding the S1000RR, Dunlop secured BMW its first win on the Isle of Man since Georg Meier won on a Type 255 Kompressor in 1939. After catching early leader James Hillier of the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team on the opening lap, Dunlop continued to set an impressive first lap time of 17:11.107, which translates to a record average speed of 131.730 mph on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700
It was a long time coming, but sidecar racer Conrad Harrison can add one accomplishment to his resume: Isle of Man TT winner. Harrison, along with passenger Mike Aylott won the first of two Sure Sidecar TT races. The win was the first for Harrison since he made his Isle of Man TT debut 21 years ago in 1993.
Fri, 30 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season resumes this weekend with the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and all eyes will be on 21-year-old AMA Pro SuperBike rookie Cameron Beaubier on the No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1. Beaubier may be the new kid on the block, but he entered the season opener at Daytona International Speedway with high expectations.
Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Jeremy Toye from San Diego, California is no rookie to professional road racing. His accomplishments include setting the fastest lap for a newcomer at the Isle of Man TT in 2006, a third place at the Macau GP, and multiple top-five finishes in AMA Pro Racing competition. Race veteran Toye will compete in the Open Class Division on a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, which will be modified to meet the extreme demands of racing a 12.42-mile course ending at the mountain-top finish.
Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Tom Sykes and Loris Baz captured a pair of one-two finishes for Kawasaki at England’s Donington Park. The first race saw the reigning World Superbike champion fight his way up from 11th place for the win while Race 2 offered a three-way battle between the two Kawasaki riders and Aprilia‘s Sylvain Guintoli. Race One
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Normally a strong starter, Sykes had a nearly disastrous beginning in Race One, while up front, Suzuki‘s Alex Lowes battled with Guintoli and Baz.
Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Bryan Smith edged out Kenny Coolbeth Jr. by a mere 0.041 seconds to win the AMA Pro Flat Track Experts Twins race at the Springfield Mile. The ten laps of the race saw Smith and his Kawasaki battling for the lead with Coolbeth and Jake Johnson and Jared Mees sitting close behind waiting for an opening.
Wed, 21 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
With the Supercross season over, and Motocross season now beginning, Thursday, May 22, will be a media day leading up to the Red Bull Glen Helen National. This event is open to all journalists — no credential necessary.
The day kicks off at 1pm, with a press conference featuring former 450 Class Champions: Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed. The floor will be open for media Q&A.
Tue, 20 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
HeliBars, one of the leaders in replacement motorcycle handlebars and riser systems, is pleased to announce that installation labor of its innovative, patented products will be just $100–half price–during the Americade rally, in Lake George, New York from June 2nd to 6th. Americade attendees will have their new HeliBars installed and custom-tailored during the rally by factory certified HeliBars installer, Sportline Power Products, in nearby Queensbury. The shop will have on hand a wide selection of Heli comfort kits, headlined by the just-released Luxury Sport Touring Horizon handlebars for Honda Goldwings and F6Bs.
Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Alastair Seeley took a double in the Ballymoney Borough council Supersport and Pirtek Superstock events at the start of racing at the Vauxhall International North West 200 this evening, what many “real” road racers refer to as the precursor to the Isle Of Man TT. In the Supersport race, the ‘Wee Wizard’ survived being caught up in a first lap crash at York hairpin that left him languishing in 16th to come through and win the opening race of the night on his Mar-Train Yamaha R6. Lee Johnston was the rider who went down in the first lap crash, causing Seeley to take evasive action to avoid going down himself.
Thu, 15 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Three rounds of the 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship will feature a special rookies class led by none other than Destry Abbott. These one-hour, on-track instructional sessions will take place on the Friday nights before the Sacramento, Atlanta and Salt Lake City events. So the first one is scheduled for Friday, June 20th prior to the Sacramento event.