KAWASAKI Brand History
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 came out with
their first bike in 1954, called Meihatsu. This bike had Kawasaki's own KB-5 engine and an improved model of the Meihatsu was
introduced in 1956. They called it Meihatsu 125 Deluxe but it wasn't until 1956 that the Kawasaki logo was stamped into the engine
side cover. A big part in the development of Kawasaki Motorcycles was played by Meguro Motorcycles, one of leading motorcycles
manufacturing companies in Japan at that time. They had a good run for about 30 years, but finally Meguro was bought by
Kawasaki, fact which strengthened a lot Kawasaki. So, as of 1962 Meguro disappeared and was never heard of since. In 1960
Kawasaki made their own motorcycles manufacturing plant and six years later they came out with their most notable efforst so
far, the 650cc W1 model. This wasn't a great success because the rival bikes were a lot faster at that time, but still a notable effort.
Kawasaki then came out with lighter bikes the 250 cc A1 Samurai and the 350cc A7 Avenger, bikes which had their fair share of
success. But it wasn't until 1969 that Kawasaki started to be noticed as a big player on the motorcycles market. This was due to the
release of the 500cc H1 model (also known as Mach III). Because of its success they released two smaller models derived from the
H1, the 250cc S1 and the 350cc S2. For those who wanted more power, Kawasaki developed a 748cc version, the H2 (Mach IV) in
1972. After this, came 1973 and Kawasaki introduced their first superbike, the Z1 which had a 903cc engine. It had a very good
price and performance ratio so it became very popular. Three years later, the Japanese manufacturer improved the Z1 and turned it
into a more powerful bike called Z900. The Z1000 followed shortly after and this model had even more power. The “Z series"
continued with Z1300 (1978), Z400FX (1979) and the first Japanese mass-produced belt-driven motorcycle, the KZ440LTD, made its
way to the US market the same year. They used the same technology for two of their models for Japan, the Z250LTD and the
Z400LTd, released in 1983. In 1982, Kawasaki started to sell the Z400GP on the Japanese market and the Z1000R in America.
One of the most notable bikes in Kawasaki history, the GPZ900R also 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. The ZZR-110, the fastest production bike for a period of
five years, was launched in 1990. Judging by its capacity (1052cc) you can't be surprised. But it also had a strong frame and a
decent suspension. In the 1990s, Kawasaki had a few notable models like the GPz1100 ABS (1996), the off-road Super Sherpa
(1997). To get back to earlier days, in 2000, the US sales of the Ninja ZX-12R started. This baby had 1200cc and a aluminum
monocoque frame and a maximum output of 178 PS. Three years later, Kawasaki released three more models, the Ninja ZX-
6R, Ninja ZX-6RR and a street bike model called Z1000. Over the years, Kawasaki also did good in motorsports, thing which helped
them sell their bikes. 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.
Kawasaki heavy industries ltd is originally started as ship building company based in Japan.
Beside motorcycle & all terrain vehicles it also produces personal water craft, ships, industrial
plants, tractors, trains, small engines and aerospace. Kawasaki’s motorcycle division is very small
compare to its other divisions. But the fact that major brand recognition has come from
Kawasaki motorcycle division. Kawasaki rolled its first motorcycle of 125 cc in 1960.
In 1966 it produce W1 (650CC motorcycle) then after the company started producing sports
high performance motorcycle. The secret of Kawasaki’s success is in designing and
manufacturing products that offer balanced performance, high quality, reliability and excellent
fit and finish. Kawasaki motorcycle division has produced some class leading motorcycles such
as Ninja, Kawasaki Z series, Vulcan. Its main focus is to develop high performance motorcycles.
Bajaj Auto came into existence on November 29, 1945 as M/s Bachraj Trading Corporation
Private Limited. Bajaj Auto rolled out its first motorcycle in 1986 named KB100 in collaboration
with Kawasaki followed by KB125. In 2001 it produce its first all indigenous motorcycle pulsar
followed by Discover in 2004. Today it produces Boxer, Platina, Pulsar, Discover and Avenger in
Bajaj has technical tie up with Kawasaki since 1986. Bajaj has very cordial relation with
Kawasaki till the date. In fact the design of Platina (wind 125), boxer and Avenger (Eliminator)
is originally of Kawasaki and Bajaj still pays a minor royalty to Kawasaki for Platina and Boxer.
Bajaj also sells its motorcycles through Kawasaki distribution network in many exporting
countries. For example in whole Philippines where Bajaj sells 1,00,000 numbers a year, sold
through Kawasaki network. Kawasaki also sells its Ninja through Bajaj networks in India.
The big Japanese, Kawasaki, which has enjoyed a strong partnership with Bajaj Auto for decades released
two of its finest motorcycles in the country and is now planning to launch some more models. Known for
their quality of parts and perforomance, Kawasaki products are truly world class.
The next is the brand equity and its legacy. The Ninja brand name is pretty darn strong. Say Ninja
in a biker’s meetup and everyone sees green and fast bikes. In retrospect, It’s unbelievable how
bold a move it must have been to give a bike named Ninja the flagship color of lime green. I am
sure it wasn’t by design, but destiny. Much like the success of our own Pulsar here. Kawasaki is
also a reputed company, plus Ninja 250R has been there for a long enough time and has proved
its mettle in India.
Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki have finally launched the 2012 Ninja 650R. The new Ninja is priced at
Rs 4,99,834 (Ex Delhi),
Overview of Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Kawasaki has launched the grown up version of Ninja in India - Ninja 650R. This 650cc bike will
be fighting with other full fairing sports bikes like Hyosung GT650R. Let’s try to know about the
surprising elements of this bike.
Kawasaki Ninja 650R Exterior
Kawasaki has paid special attention to the styling details of Ninja 650R. They have made sure
that the bike carries the unique Ninja characteristics in its styling and looks more like a future
thing. Ninja 650R comes with a trimmed front fender which is very sharp and complements the
design of its front twin disc plates and tire. As you move to the side of this bike, you will notice
the best part of this Ninja. Its full size side fairing has been commendably designed as it has an
aerodynamic design which flaunts big air inlets which gives motion to this bike. Ninja 650R’s up-
raised fuel tank also looks distinct and eye catching in dual colors. Its black colored
engine, under cowl, alloy wheels and split seats gives it a sporty look. Kawasaki has also placed a
unique and stylish muffler in this bike which is placed below the engine. It’s up raised rear cowl
and extended fender helps this bike to get a naked look from the back. Its rear cowl houses its
LED tail light while its fender sports the clear lens indicators. The bike gets a rugged rear look
thanks to its extremely broad tire.
Engine and Gearbox
A 4-stroke, mono cylinder 649cc engine supplies power to this new Ninja. This liquid-cooled,
DOHC engine can generate a maximum power output of 71 bhp at 8500 rpm. Its torque
production arrives at 7000 rpm which is of 65.68 nm. This fuel injected engine is mated with a
six-speed manual gearbox with one gear down and five gears up shift pattern. You can’t
expect good fuel economy from performance oriented bikes and Ninja 650R is no different. It
may return you an overall mileage of around 18 km/ltr.