Brief history of Kawasaki motorcycles




Brief history of Kawasaki motorcycles

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, July 29, 2021 / – Brief history of Kawasaki motorcycles
Known as one of the “Big Four” of the motorcycle industry, Kawasaki has grown from a small shipping company to a large Japanese conglomerate recognized worldwide for its high-end manufacturing. But how familiar are you with the 140-year-old company that produces the fastest bikes in the world, or what they did before they started making motorcycles? This article is here to give you the history of Kawasaki motorcycles.

Humble beginnings
Founded by Shozo Kawasaki in 1878, Kawasaki Heavy Industries started out as a small shipping company before joining the Japanese shipbuilding industry. The company then expanded to manufacture locomotives and train cars before building the first Japanese submarine during the Russo-Japanese War. In the early 1910s, Kawasaki was making a large percentage of the Japanese naval fleet and even built the Japanese military aircraft in 1922 after WWI. From building ships, locomotives, submarines, airplanes, helicopters and industrial equipment, Kawasaki has ventured into manufacturing robots. and created Japan’s first industrial robot in 1969.
In 1960 Kawasaki bought out Meguro motorcycles, a major player and the only Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to produce a 500cc motorcycle. This opened a new era for the company as they produced their first B8 125cc two-stroke motorcycle models in 1961. In 1962 Kawasaki released their second series of two-stroke models ranging from 50cc to 250cc and the same year. , its 250cc disc-valve “Samurai” began to gain motorcycle attention in the United States

Early success
4 years later Kawasaki released the 650WI inspired by the BSA A10 in 1966 and this model became the largest Japanese-made motorcycle of that year. Following the huge acceptance of 650WI, the company released the first Kawasaki HI to the public in 1969. Also known as the Mach III, the bike was powered by a triple two-stroke 500cc Mach III engine which created a great reputation for the brand in the United States as one of the fastest bikes. In the same year, Kawasaki ditched the larger and smaller version of the H1 – an H2 motorcycle powered by a triple two-stroke 750cc and S1 (250cc) engine, which became a huge hit on and off the tracks. race.

In 1973, the company released its first ZI 900cc four-stroke motorcycle. The monstrous bike offered riders more power, performance and overhead cams. Over the following years, the 900 Z1 was continually redesigned to deliver more performance and was later renamed the Z-1000. Kawasaki released another impressive motorcycle in 1978, the KZ1300 motorcycle which had water cooling and shaft drive. The racing world has not been left out in the emerging dominance of Kawasaki as they have won a total of 7 titles over a period of 3 years, thus bringing greater recognition to the brand.

Increased recognition
Good things continued to happen to the main motorcycle manufacturing company as they released their first Z1100 GP supersport in 1980 and also won the constructor’s title in the 150cc class ELM road racing world championship for the fourth consecutive time in 1981.
In 1982, Kawasaki diversified its commercial activity by selling the Z400 GP and Z1000R to the Japanese and American markets. The company’s most notable and first liquid-cooled engine, the GPZ 900R was produced in 1983. The motorcycle achieved the feat of 250 km / h and was later renamed the Ninja in 1984 to increase sales of the society.
Kawasaki’s fastest production bike for 5 years, the ZZR-110 was released in 1990. The ZZR-110 came with a 1052cc engine, a solid frame and a decent suspension belt. which made it endearing to cyclists. Other notable models like the GPz 1100, ABS and the Super Supra off-roader were also introduced by the company in the late 90s.

Global success
The turn of the millennium came with a bang following the increase in sales of the Ninja ZX-12R in the United States in 2000. This mighty beast had a maximum output of 178 hp, a 1200 cc engine and a monocoque frame in aluminum which made it a beauty to see. In 2003, Kawasaki released three more models in the lineup: the Ninja ZX 6RR, a Z1000 street bike, and the Ninja ZX-6R. The ZX 6RR and ZX 6R were designed to be the fastest circuit bikes in their class and over the following years they became the most powerful middleweights in the racing industry due to their increased performance. .
2004 marked the 20th anniversary of Kawasaki’s most famous motorcycle, the GPR 900R, and to commemorate the event, the motorcycle was transformed into the ZX-10R. This supersport model has won the title of “Master Bike” twice and has also won other series of races around the world. In 2006, Kawasaki built its most powerful engine ever, the Ninja ZX-14 with an aerodynamic aluminum unibody chassis that provided stunning performance on track events.
From 2007 to 2014, the company made a comeback for all of its motorcycle lines adding more features, faster engines and improvements in style, design and performance. In 2015, Kawasaki built the Ninja H2 to celebrate its 50th anniversary in the motorcycle manufacturing industry. The Ninja H2 was a supercharged 1000cc inline-four motorcycle that has become the star of countless racing series around the world due to its outstanding performance and blazing 249 mph speed. The H2R motorcycle was then redesigned for sports racing in the form of the H2 SX in 2016. Today, Kawasaki has 34 production models, 17 discontinued models and more than one million motorcycles produced worldwide.

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