Motorcycle & Engine History


1953

First motorcycle engine “KE-1” released

Meihatsu Kogyo, domestic sales company, founded in Japan


1957

First general purpose gasoline engine “KF4” released


1960

Business alliance with Meguro Manufacturing Company


1961

Integrated motorcycle production started

First Kawasaki brand motorcycle “B7” released


1963

“Kawasaki B8” took 1st to 6th places in 125cc class motocross race at Aonogahara, Japan


1964

Meguro Manufacturing Company merged into Kawasaki Aircraft Industry

Motorcycle “SG” and “SGT” released with Kawasaki Meguro brand


1965

Motorcycle “W1” released


1966

Domestic sales company changed its name to Kawasaki Autoby Hanbai

American Kawasaki Motorcycle Corp., sales company, founded in U.S.


1967

First appearance in road race World GP, the Singapore GP


1968

US sales company changed its name to Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC)


1969

Motorcycle “H1” released

Iseki Kawasaki Service (IKS), domestic general purpose engine sales company, founded in Japan


1970

Kawasaki Motors N.V., spare parts sales company, founded in the Netherlands


1972

First portable generators, “KG600,” “KG900” and “KG1300” released

KG 600
KG 900
KG 1300

Motorcycle “Z1” released


1973

First JET SKI® watercraft “JS400” released


1974

Kawasaki Motors (UK), Ltd. founded in U.K.

Canadian Kawasaki Motors Inc. founded in Canada

Motorcycle assembly plant launched in Lincoln, Nebraska in U.S.

Kawasaki Motors (Phils.) Corporation founded in the Philippines


1975

Kawasaki Motoren G.m.b.H founded in then-West Germany

Kawasaki Motors Pty. Ltd. founded in Australia


1976

Thai Kawasaki Motors Co., Ltd., manufacturing company, founded in Thailand


1978

Took a stake in Thai sales company, Glory Kawasaki Motors Co., Ltd.

Kork Ballington, who rode KR250 and KR350, won Road Racing World Championship GP250 & GP350 in 1978 and 1979.


1981

First ATV (All-terrain Vehicle) “KLT200” released

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. (KMM) founded as a subsidiary of KHI and separated from KMC


1984

Motorcycle “GPz900R” released

General purpose gasoline engine “FB460V” released


1985

ATV “Bayou 185” released


1986

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI X-2” released


1987

ATV “Tecate 4” released

General purpose gasoline engine “FC150V” released


1988

First Utility Vehicle “MULE 1000” released

Kawasaki Sunrock Sdn. Bhd. founded in Malaysia


1989

Motorcycle “ZEPHYR” released

KMM launched general purpose engine manufacturing plant in Maryville, Missouri in U.S.


1990

Motorcycle “ZZ-R1100” released


1992

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI 750SX” released


1993

Utility Vehicle “MULE 2510” released

Domestic sales company changed its name to Kawasaki Motors Corporation Japan


1994

PT. Kawasaki Motor Indonesia founded in Indonesia

Motorcycle “Ninja ZX-9R” released


1995

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI 900 ZXi” released


1997

Domestic general purpose engine sales company IKS changed its name to K-GES Co., Ltd.

Kawasaki Motors Enterprise (Thailand) Co., Ltd. founded in Thailand


1999

Motorcycle “W650” released

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI Ultra 150” released


2000

Motorcycle “Ninja ZX-12R” released

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI 1100 STX D.I.” released

Kawasaki Motors Europe N.V. founded as an integrated sales subsidiary in Europe


2002

ATV “Prairie 650” released


2003

Participated in Road Racing World Championship MotoGP

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI STX-12F” released


2004

Motorcycle “Ninja ZX-10R” released

Motorcycle “VULCAN 2000” released

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI STX-15F” released


2005

ATV “Brute Force 750 4x4” released

Utility Vehicle “MULE 3010” released


2006

Motorcycle “ZZR1400” released

General purpose gasoline engine “FX1000V” released


2007

JET SKI watercraft “JET SKI ULTRA 250X” released

Motorcycle “1400GTR” released

First Recreation Utility Vehicle “Teryx 750 4x4” released

Kawasaki Motores do Brasil Ltda. (KMB) founded in Brazil


2008

Motorcycle “Ninja 250R” released

Utility Vehicle “MULE 4010” series released

KMB in Brazil started sales of motorcycles

Motorcycle “VULCAN 1700” series released

General purpose gasoline engine “FX730V” released

JET SKI watercraft "JET SKI ULTRA 260X" series released


2009

Suspend MotoGP racing activities

Motorcycle “ZRX1200 DAEG” released

25th Anniversary of the “Ninja” brand

Changzhou Kawasaki and Kwang Yang Engine Co., Ltd. (CK&K) founded as a joint venture company in China for production of general purpose gasoline engines

KMB in Brazil started up motorcycle production plant

Motorcycle “KLX125” and “D-TRACKER 125” released


2010

CK&K in China started up general purpose gasoline engine production plant

Company renamed “Motorcycle & Engine Company” as of April 1

India Kawasaki Motors Pvt. Ltd. founded in India

Motorcycle “Ninja 400R” and “ER-4n” released

Motorcycle “Ninja 1000” released

Motorcycle “VULCAN 1700 VAQUERO” released

Motorcycle “Z750R” released


2011

Motorcycle “W800” released

JET SKI watercraft "JET SKI ULTRA 300X" series released

Motorcycle "Ninja ZX-14R" released

Motorcycle "Versys 1000" released

Recreation Utility Vehicle "Teryx 4 750 4x4 / Teryx 4 750 4x4 EPS / Teryx 4 750 4x4 EPS LE"released


2012

Motorcycle "Z800" released

Motorcycle "Ninja 250 / 300" released

Motorcycle "Ninja ZX-6R" released


2013

Motorcycle "Z250" released

Motorcycle "Pulsar 200NS" under the new Kawasaki Bajaj brand released

KHS in China started up the import/sales business of Motorcycle

Motorcycle "Z1000" released

Scooter Model "J300" released


2014

Motorcycle "Ninja 400" released

KMI in Indonesia started up the second motorcycle production plant

Utility Vehicle "MULE PRO-FXT" series released

Motorcycle "Ninja 250SL" released

Motorcycle "Z250SL" released

Motorcycle "Ninja H2/H2R" released

Motorcycle "Vulcan S" released

General purpose gasoline engine "FS730V EFI" released


2015

General purpose gasoline engine "FJ300D" released

Motorcycle "Z125 PRO" released

Scooter Model "J125" released

General purpose gasoline engine "FX730V EFI" released


2016

Motorcycle "Ninja 650" released

Motorcycle "Z650" released

Motorcycle "VERSYS-X 300/250" released

Motorcycle "Z900" released

General purpose gasoline engine "FX850V/801V EFI" released

50th anniversary of sales company foundation in USA


2017

JET SKI watercraft "JET SKI SX-R" series released

60th anniversary commencement of General purpose gasoline engine sales

Kawasaki Motors (Shanghai), Ltd.(KMSH), newly established in China, took over the import/sales business of Motorcycle from KHS.


2018

Motorcycle "Ninja H2 SX" released

Motorcycle "Ninja 400/250" released

Motorcycle "W175" released

Jonathan Rea, for the first time ever four years in a row became world champion of Superbike World Championship series with the Ninja ZX-10RR, after taking the first place podium at Race 1 of Round 11held in Magny-Cours Circuit (France).

Z900RS, a 2018 new model, was awarded the grand prize in the “Japan Bike Of The Year 2018”, in its very first year.


History of Kawasaki

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