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AR 125 1982-83
AR 125 1984-85
AR 125 1986-87
AR 125 1988
BJ 250 Estrella 1992-93
BJ 250 Estrella 1994-95
BJ 250 Estrella Custom 1995-99
BJ 250 Estrella RS 2001-04
BJ 250 Estrella 1996-99
BJ 250 Estrella RS 2001-04
BJ 250 Estrella 2000-
BJ 250 Estrella Custom 2000-03
BJ 250 Estrella Custom 2004-
BJ 250 Estrella RS 2001-04
BJ 250 Estrella RS 2005-
BJ 250 Estrella 2007-09
BJ 250 Estrella 2010
CS 250 1985
EL 125 Eliminator 1997-98
EL 125 Eliminator 1999-00
EL 125 Eliminator 2001-02
EL 125 Eliminator 2003-04
EL 125 Eliminator 2005-06
EL 125 Eliminator 2007-08
EL 125 Eliminator 2009-
EL 250 Eliminator 1987-88
EL 250 Eliminator 1989-90
EL 250E Eliminator 1991
EL 252 Eliminator 1991
EL 252 Eliminator 1995-
EN 250 Vulcan 1995
EN 400 Vulcan 1986-87
EN 400 Vulcan 1988-90
EN 400 Vulcan 1991
EN 500 Vulcan 1987-89
EN 500 Vulcan 1990
EN 500 Vulcan Classic 1996-98
EN 500 Vulcan Classic 1999-01
EN 500 Vulcan Classic 2002-
ER-4n 2011
ER-4n 2012
ER-4n 2013
ER-5 Twister 1997-99
ER-5 Twister 2000-02
ER-5 Twister 2003-
ER-6n 2006
ER-6n 2007
ER-6n 2008
ER-6n 2009
ER-6n 2010
ER-6n 2011
ER-6n 2012
ER-6n 2013
ER-6n 2014
ER-6f 2006
ER-6f 2007
ER-6f 2008
ER-6f 2009
ER-6f 2010
ER-6f 2011
ER-6f 2012
ER-6f 2013
ER-6f 2014

 

EX 250 Ninja 1987-88
EX 250 Ninja 1989-91
EX 250 Ninja 1992-94
EX 250 Ninja 1995-98
EX 250 Ninja 1999-02
EX 250 Ninja 2003-05
EX 250R Ninja 2006-07
EX 250R Ninja 2008
EX 250R Ninja 2009
EX 250R Ninja SE 2008
EX 250R Ninja Limited Edition 2009
EX 250R Ninja 2010
EX 250R Ninja 2011
EX 250 Ninja 2012
EX 250R Ninja 2012
EX 250R Ninja Special Edition 2012
EX 400R 1994-
EX 500R Ninja 1987-89
EX 500R Ninja 1990-92
EX 500R Ninja 1993-95
EX 500R Ninja 1996-97
EX 500R Ninja 1998-99
EX 500R Ninja 2000-02
EX 500R Ninja 2003-05
EX 500R Ninja 2006-07
EX 500R Ninja 2008-09
EX 500R Ninja 2010-11
FX 400R 1985-86
FX 400R 1987-88
FX 400R 1989-90
GPX 250R  1986-88
GPX 250R  1989-91
GPX 250R  1992-94
GPX 250R  1995-98
GPX 250R  1999-00
GPX 250R Ninja 2003-05
GPX 250R Ninja 2006-07
GPX 400R 1987-
GPX 400R 1994
GPX 500R Ninja 2006-
GPX 600R Ninja 1985-86
GPX 600R Ninja 1987-88
GPX 600RZ Ninja Limited Edition 1987
GPX 600R Ninja 1989
GPX 650R Ninja 2006-08
GPX 650R Ninja 2009
GPX 750R 1986
GPX 750R 1987
GPX 750R 1988
GPX 750R 1989
GPX 750R 1990
GPz 250 1983
GPz 250 1984
GPz 250R 1985
GPz 250R 1986
GPz 250R 1987
GPz 305 Belt Drive 1983
GPz 400 1982
GPz 400 1983
GPz 400F 1983
GPz 400F 1984-85
GPz 400F-II 1984
GPz 400R 1985
GPz 400R 1986
GPz 400R 1987
GPz 400R 1988
GPz 400R 1989
GPz 400S 1986-87
GPz 400S 1988
GPz 500S 1987-88
GPz 500S 1989-90
GPz 500S 1991-92
GPz 500S 1993-94
GPz 500S 1995-96
GPz 500S 1997-99
GPz 500S 2000-02
GPz 500S 2003-04
GPz 550 1982
GPz 550 1983
GPz 550 1984
GPz 600R Ninja 1985
GPz 600R Ninja 1986
GPz 600R Ninja 1987-88
GPz 600R Ninja 1989-90
GPz 750 1981
GPz 750 1982
GPz 750 1983
GPz 750 Turbo Prototype 1981
GPz 750 Turbo 1983-85
GPz 750F 1984
GPz 750F 1985
GPz 750R 1984
GPz 750R 1985
GPz 750R 1986
GPz 900R Ninja 1984-85
GPz 900R Ninja 1986-88
GPz 900R Ninja 1989-90
GPz 900R Ninja 1991-
GPz 900R Ninja 1997-98
GPz 900R Ninja 1999
GPz 1000RX 1986
GPz 1000RX 1987
GPz 1000RX 1988
GPz 1100 1981
GPz 1100 1982
GPz 1100 1983
GPz 1100 1984-85
GPz 1100 ABS 1995-96
GPz 1100 ABS 1997-98
GPz 1100 ABS 1999
GT 550 1983
GT 750 1984
GTO 125  
GTR 1000 1986-87
GTR 1000 1988-89
GTR 1000 1990-93
GTR 1000 1994-96
GTR 1000 1997-99
GTR 1000 2000-04
GTR 1400 Concours 2007
GTR 1400 Concours 2008
GTR 1400 Concours 2009
GTR 1400 Concours 2010
GTR 1400 Concours Grand Tour Edition 2010
GTR 1400 Concours 2011
GTR 1400 Concours Grand Tour Edition 2011
GTR 1400 Concours Police 2011
GTR 1400 Concours 2012
GTR 1400 Concours 2013
GTR 1400 Concours 2014
G3-SS 1969
H1 500 Mach III 1969
H1 500 Mach III 1970-71
H1 500 Mach III 1972
H1 500 Mach III 1973
H1 500 Mach III 1974=75
H1R Street Racer  
H2 750 Mach IV 1971
H2 750 Mach IV 1972
H2 750 Mach IV 1973
H2 750 Mach IV 1974
H2 750 Mach IV 1975
J 300 2014
KDX 125 1990-91
KDX 125 1992
KDX 125SR 1993-94
KDX 125SR 1995-96
KDX 125SR 1997
KDX 125R 1998-99
KDX 125R 2002-03
KDX 175 1980
KDX 200 1981-82
KDX 200 1983
KDX 200 1984-85
KDX 200 1986
KDX 200 1987-88
KDX 200SR 1989-90
KDX 200SR 1991-92
KDX 200SR 1993-94
KDX 200R 1995-96
KDX 200R 1997-98
KDX 200R 1999-00
KDX 200R 2001-02
KDX 200R 2003-04
KDX 200R 2005-
KDX 220R 1994
KDX 220R 1995
KDX 220R 2003-
KDX 250 1981-82
KDX 250 1983-84
KDX 250 1985-
KDX 250R 1990-91
KDX 250R 1992-93
KDX 400 1979
KDX 450 1980
KE 125 1975-76
KE 125 1977-78
KE 125 1979-80
KE 125 1981-82
KE 175 1978-79
KE 175 1978-79
KE 175 1980-
KH 125 1977
KH 125 1978-79
KH 125 1980-81
KH 125FX 1982-
KH 250 1973
KH 250 1976
KH 250 1977
KH 250 1978
KH 250 1979
KH 400 1975
KH 400 1976
KH 400 1977
KH 400 1978-79
KH 500 1976
KH 500 1977
KLE 250 1993-
KLE 250 1999-
KLE 400 1991
KLE 500 1991-92
KLE 500 1993-95
KLE 500 1996-98
KLE 500 1999-00
KLE 500 2001-02
KLE 500 2003-04
KLE 500 2005-06
KLE 650 Versus 2007
KLE 650 Versus 2008-09
KLE 650 Versus 2010-11
KLE 650 Versus 2012
KLE 650 Versus 2013
KLE 650 Versus 2014
KL 250 1974-75
KL 250 1976-77
KL 250 1978-79
KL 250 1980-81
KL 250 1982-83
KL 250 1984-
KL 250 Super Sherpa 1999-02
KL 250 Super Sherpa 2003-06
KL 250 Super Sherpa 2007-
KLR 250 1984-85
KLR 250 1986-87
KLR 250 1988-89
KLR 250 1990-91
KLR 250 1992-93
KLR 250 1994-97
KLR 250 1998-01
KLR 250 2002-03
KLR 250 2004-05
KLR 600 1984
KLR 600 1985
KLR 600 1986
KLR 570 1987
KLR 650  1987-88
KLR 650 1989
KLR 650 Tengai  1989
KLR 650 1990
KLR 650 1991
KLR 650 1992
KLR 650 1993-94
KLR 650 1995-96
KLR 650 1997-99
KLR 650 2000-01
KLR 650 2002-03
KLR 650 2004-05
KLR 650 2006-07
KLR 650 2008
KLR 650 2009
KLR 650 2010
KLR 650 2011
KLR 650 2012
KLR 650 2013
KLR 650 2014
KLR 650 New Edition 2014
KLV 1000 2004
KLX 125D-Tracker 2010
KLX 250D-Tracker 1997-99
KLX 250D-Tracker 2000-03
KLX 250D-Tracker 2004-05
KLX 250D-Tracker 2006-07
KLX 250D-Tracker 2008-
KLX 250R 1993-94
KLX 250R 1995-96
KLX 250R 1997-99
KLX 250R 2000-03
KLX 250R 2004-05
KLX 250S 2006-07
KLX 250S 2008-09
KLX 250S 2010
KLX 250S 2011
KLX 250S 2012-13
KLX 250SF 2009-10
KLX 250SF Black Special Edition 2009
KLX 250SF 2011-12
KLX 300R 1997-99
KLX 300R 2000-03
KLX 300R 2004-06
KLX 300R 2007-
KLX 400R 2004-05
KLX 400R 2006-07
KLX 450R 2008
KLX 450R 2009
KLX 450R Africa 2009
KLX 450R 2010
KLX 450R 2011
KLX 650R 1993-94
KLX 650R 1995-96
KLX 650R 1997
KMX 125 1986
KMX 125 1987
KMX 125 1988
KMX 125 1989-91
KMX 125 1991-92
KMX 125 1993-96
KMX 125 1997-02
KMX 125 2003
KMX 200 1987
KMX 200 1988-89
KR 250 1984
KR 250 1985
KR 250 1986
KR-1 1988
KR-1 1989
KR-1S 1990
KRR ZX-150 2012
KSR110 Pro 2014
Ninja 250R 2008
Ninja 250R Special Edition 2008
Ninja 250R 2009
Ninja 250R Limited Edition 2009
Ninja 250R 2010
Ninja 250R 2011
Ninja 250 2012
Ninja 250R 2012
Ninja 250R Special Edition 2012
Ninja 250R 2013
Ninja 250RR Mono  (250 SL) 2014
Ninja 300 2013
Ninja 300 2014
Ninja 300 Special Edition 2014
Ninja 300 30th Anniversery Special Edition 2014
Ninja 400R 2010
Ninja 400R 2011
Ninja 400R 2012
Ninja 500R 2006-07
Ninja 500R 2008-09
Ninja 500R 2010-11
Ninja 650R 2006-07
Ninja 650R 2008-09
Ninja 650R 2010-11
Ninja 650R 2012
Ninja 650R 2013
Ninja 650R 2014
Ninja 1000 2011
Ninja 1000 2012
Ninja 1000 2013
Ninja 1000 2014
S1 250SS 1972
S1 250SS 1973
S1 250SS 1974
S2 350SS 1971-72
S2 350SS 1973
S3 400SS 1974
S3 400SS 1975

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History of Kawasakiby Staff Writer

The story of Kawasaki Company goes back to 1924, at that time involved into metallurgy and the aircraft industry. In 1949, they decided to enter the motorcycle industry producing engines that could be adapted to motorcycles.

In their line, you could find a 60cc two-stroke, as well as a 150cc and a 250cc four-stroke engines developed with technology from BMW, company with whom they had had relationships since their beginnings in the aeronautical industry. It was not until 1954 that Kawasaki Motorcycles produced their first complete motorcycle under the name of Meihatsu (a subsidiary of Kawasaki Aircraft Co.). Almost at the same time, they also tried to introduce their own line of scooters to the market, but they soon realized they could not compete against the two giants of the scooters industry for those days: the Fuji Rabbit and the Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon.

But we cannot talk about Kawasaki without mentioning another make that will definitely help Kawasaki become as well as Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha one of the big players in the Japanese Motorcycles scene: Meguro Motorcycles, better know in that time as the "senior make and the king of four strokes".

Meguro entered the motorcycle industry in 1937. Having a good relationship with the government, the people at Meguro took advantage of the army orders. Their first motorcycle was the Z97: a 500cc rocker-valve motorcycle influenced by the Swiss Motosacoche. It is worth mentioning that this model was a success for the factory and the Z97 was in production until the fifties.

Along the years, Meguro produced some very nice 250cc and 350cc rocker-valve, single cylinder models as well as high performance twins. All of them had a very strong British influence. And thanks to the commercial success they were living, they also launched a rocker-valve 125cc for their low end range and a twin cylinder 650cc to accompany the already existing 500cc.

But it was in 1958, when Meguro tried to get rid of their British influence that things started to go wrong. Based on a winning prototype of Mount Asama (one of the biggest races that time), Meguro Motorcycles produced three nice and elegant machines with overhead camshaft—the 125cc E3, the 250cc F and the 350cc YA. Unfortunately, these bikes turned out to be too heavy and did not get the buyers' attention.

Meguro will soon return to rocker valve models. Meguro Motorcycles remained as one of the top 10 manufacturers until 1960, but due to some bad decisions, as the ones mentioned above, the company started to decline and was soon bought by Kawasaki. In 1960, Meguro signed an initial agreement with Kawasaki Motorcycles, and in 1962, they had completely disappeared. And this brings us back to Kawasaki Motorcycles.

In 1960, the company decides to give a serious push to the motorcycle division of Kawasaki Aircrafts. They take out of the market the Meihatsu brand; they build their own plant of low end and low powered machines and buy Meguro. In same year, their first motorcycle rolled off the line, a 125cc two stroke.

Helped by the knowledge of the Meguro company which Kawasaki had taken over (Meguro was the oldest motorcycle company in Japan), the company moved into the production of big bikes around 1966. The model was called the W1 (650cc).

The W1 was not such a success because all the rival bikes were still faster, lighter and provided better steering. So, Kawasaki developed two lighter versions A1 Samurai (250cc) and the A7 Avenger (350cc). These bikes ended up being a little more successful.

In 1969, Kawasaki started to develop a name for itself with bikes with very high performance, the start was the H1 model (500cc) also known as the Mach III. The H1 was excellent for wheelies due to its backward weight layout. It gulped a lot of fuel and had a hard core reputation. Two smaller versions were also released, the S1 (250cc) and the S2 (350cc). In 1972, a bigger version of the original was produced called H2 or Mach IV (748cc). The production stopped when emission rules got too strict in the mid 70’s.

 

Even if the H models did not handle well, Kawasaki developed a super bike which no other manufacturer could compete with at the time. The Z1 from 1973 was a 903cc engine but it was first planned as a 750cc engine. However, Kawasaki waited and improved the engine because of the Honda CB750 introduction in 1968. Z1 had a great reputation and was very popular due to the price and performance ratio. The name “king” was its alias. In 1976, the Z1 became the Z900 and the engine was improved. Later, the Z1000 was launched because of more engine power.

Towards the end of the 1970’s, Kawasaki developed a few smaller “zed” bikes like the Z650 which was introduced in 1977. And a big “zed” Z1300 which was also partly engineered as to out-perform the other Japanese companies with a bigger, stronger and heavier bike. But Japan still had to learn that bigger was not always better and the Z1300 was not a big success to the company.

Kawasaki built a nicely full fairing bike with a strong engine and an outrageous performance called the GPZ900R (908cc). It was very popular both on the race track and on the road. And it was a comfort to ride.

In the beginning of the 1990’s, all the Japanese manufacturers were competing very hard in the super bike models and any advantage above the other would bring credit and success. Kawasaki stepped right up and took that credit with the development of the ZZR-1100 (1052cc) which was launched in 1990 and became the fastest production bike for 5 years.

The ZZR-1100 was popular not only for its speed and power but also the strong frame and good suspension made it a good tour motorcycle. Also, it was very fast. In 2002, Kawasaki replaced it with the ZZR-1200, which was designed for more middle end power and better handling. And a smaller ZZR 600 had also joined the lineup of ZZR’s earlier on in the production.

In 2000, Kawasaki had already launched an ultra super bike called the ZX-12R (1199cc). Its pure weight, unique frame and 176 bhp was enough to blast most bikes away.

Kawasaki had lost some of the reputation for performance by 2000 but Kawasaki President Shinichi Morita had promised that Kawasaki would be back and indeed, with the arrival of the ZX-12R and the ZX-6R, Kawasaki did make a nice comeback.

The ZX-6R was already launched in 1995 but the 2003 new ZX-6R (636cc) had been truly redesigned and engineered into a new aggressive fast racing machine. Kawasaki has taken many aspects from the racing technology and integrated it into this new bike. In 2003, Kawasaki also launched a street bike model called the Z1000 with a funky styling and a flexible powerful engine. Kawasaki was and is winning its power name back.

Today, from the class leading Ninja sportbikes and thundering Vulcan cruisers to the rugged Brute Force ATVs, Mule utility vehicles and JET SKI watercraft, Kawasaki products lead the powersports industry around the globe. The secret of Kawasaki's success is in designing and manufacturing products that offer balanced performance, high quality, reliability and excellent fit and finish. So take a look at what Kawasaki has to offer you in the way of Leading Edge products!

 

 

 

 

NOTE: Any correction or more information on these motorcycles will kindly be appreciated, Some country's motorcycle specifications can be different to motorcyclespecs.co.za. Confirm with your motorcycle dealer before ordering any parts or spares. Any objections to articles or photos placed on motorcyclespecs.co.za will be removed upon request.  

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