By Anna Brown
Introduced in 1954, Kawasaki motorcycles have made quite a name for themselves in high performance motorcycles. After manufacturing motorcycle engines for years, Kawasaki decided to get into the motorcycle business.
They bought out Megero Motorcycles in 1960 after making the decision that they would be a leader in the market. With that goal in mind, the company decided to offer every type of motorcycle at the same time. Using this strategy would make or break them. With the new company under their belt, they were able to sell everything from a 50cc model up to the powerful twin 650CC and anything in between.
Many of the Kawasaki models were designed for dirt bike racing. These are powerful yet lightweight, giving the rider an edge over the competition. Kawasaki bikes are also known for their sturdy frame, great suspension, and affordable price tags. Manufacturing the engines for years gave them the first-hand knowledge that would help them with decisions about what to build and how to build it.
Kawasaki choose to always be a leader in the developments taking place in the motorcycle industry. This single decision has given them a marketing edge over their competition.
The original Kawasaki test in the American market was a four-stroke motorcycle intended to compete in the growing market. It was rejected for a lack of power. Then, in 1968, the Kawasaki H1 Mach III was introduced. This new model along with several enduro-styled motorcycles that were designed to compete in the market with Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda increased the sales of Kawasaki motorcycles in the American market.
The Z1 was a groundbreaking model when it was introduced in 1972 because it combined many different elements into one performance package. These elements had been used in previous motorcycles, but not in this combination.
Today, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R may be one of the better known motorcycles marketed by Kawasaki. Introduced for the 2004 model year, it was compact, with a short wheelbase and a high power-to-weight ratio.
This power-to-weight ratio helped with the handling and has given the Ninja model the abilities that have dubbed it as the “crotch-rocket”. This is not real surprise when you remember that a large number of the Kawasaki models were designed for racing.
The Vulcan, introduced worldwide in 1984 was Kawasaki’s first cruiser and first V-twin engine. Tariff restrictions in the US limited the initial US spec model to 699 cc. These bikes are versatile, long lasting, and easy to maneuver. They also come in a variety of sizes with many different power ranges. It is a comfortable touring bike with the power of a racing bike.
Kawasaki motorcycles continue to be some of the best on the market today. They offer a variety of features, great quality and power at reasonable prices.