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, 17 Jan 2022
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Z-Series, the Greens have prepared colorways for two families of motorcycles that replicate the look and feel of the legendary Kawasaki Z1 from 1972. At the same time, the color and graphic schemes of the neo-retro motorcycles - Z900RS and Z650RS - will be as close as possible to those of the historical Z1 model, and the Z900 and Z650 street will receive a creatively redesigned coloring, referring, nevertheless, to the roots of the Z-series.
Wed, 05 Aug 2020
It seemed that the glorious times of the tiny "fours" - 250cc sportbikes with boosted engines to almost 50 hp are long gone. But the Indonesian branch of the Kawasaki enterprise resurrected this breed! The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R sportbike with a 51hp at 15,500 rpm four-cylinder engine is entering the local market, as well as the markets of some other countries of the Far East, including Japan.
Mon, 02 Sep 2019
Now the Ninja 650 is stylistically similar to the Ninja 400, the ZX-6R, and the 'one-liter' Versys. The optics are LED, the visor is narrower and higher. The second upgrade is a new 4.3-inch TFT instrument panel that can connect to a smartphone via the Rideology app.
Thu, 29 Nov 2018
In addition to the upgraded basic version, the SE version with semi-active suspension is presented. For the 2019 model year, the asphalt tourer, built around a 1,043cc (120 hp and 102 Nm) inline-four, received an electronic throttle, cruise control, KTRC traction control, and Sport, Road, Rain and Rider power modes to choose from. Moreover, the introduction of the IMU inertial sensor, according to Japanese designers, made the electronics work more delicately than before.
Thu, 11 Oct 2018
The quotation marks are not accidental - the old ZX-6R is hidden under another dress. However, there are still some innovations. The first thing the 2019 sportbike differs from its predecessor, which debuted in 2013, has completely different lining and LED optics in the spirit of the younger Ninja 400.
Tue, 25 Sep 2018
The fight, worthy of being called the drag duel of the year, took place on the territory of the new airfield in Istanbul as part of the Teknofest aviation and space technology festival. The extreme compressor monster, which does not have access to public roads, has shown that the F-16 fighter jet and the Bombardier Challenger 600 business class aircraft on the earth's surface are not competitors to it. Slightly behind the two-wheeled rocket and the championship car Red Bull RB8 2012.
Sun, 25 Dec 2016
The small sportbike was last updated in 2013, but the next update is just around the corner. The Japanese magazine Young Machine has published a hypothetical (or, who knows, very likely) image of the new generation Kawasaki Ninja 250, which will appear at the end of next year or in 2018. The render is intriguing: according to it, the younger “ninja” can get a “birdcage” frame and a “changeling” fork.
Mon, 28 Dec 2015
Jesse Bassett from the GasBox workshop became a contender for the title of Kawasaki designer. As part of the Breaking Boundaries Build-Off program, the evergreen brand offered him and five other designers to try their hand at tuning the Vulcan S. Without hesitation, Bassett cut the rear fender, installed a new seat, a long shock absorber and wheels.
Tue, 03 Mar 2015
Starting from April this year, every new Kawasaki motorcycle will be equipped with a branded USB flash drive, which will store the entire service history of the motorcycle and other data about it. The so-called History Key will go in addition to the regular service book, as well as the element confirming membership in the free community of Kawasaki Riders Club.
Wed, 15 Oct 2014
Kawasaki revealed a new cruiser model equipped with the 649cc parallel-Twin engine from the Ninja 650. The result is an entry-level cruiser with sportbike-derived power retailing for $6999 ($7399 with ABS). The fuel-injected engine is tuned for smooth power delivery, with revised camshaft profiles, intake funnel length, throttle body spacer and air intake for better low- and mid-range power delivery.