Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kawasaki Motorbikes - History and Tradition

Author: Rakesh Gaikwad

Established as Kawasaki Aircraft Company to primarily produce components and parts from aeroplanes, Kawasaki began their first venture into the world of motorcycles in 1949 with a motorbike engine. Taking three years to develop and complete, it was mass manufactured a year later as a 148cc engine, featuring a four stroke, single cylinder and had a maximum power output of 4 PS.

Twelve months on in 1954, the first fully complete motorbike was manufactured under Meihatsu, a part of the larger Kawasaki Aircraft Company. However, it took six years for the company to build a dedicated company to motorbikes and in 1960, with the opening imminent, the company bought Meguro Motorcycles and began mass producing motorbikes immediately.

Over the years, Kawasaki has entered teams into various racing contests, with their first success coming in 1969 when Dave Simmonds won the 125cc World Championship.

Shadowing over all other motorbike teams throughout the mid-1970's to the mid-1980's, Kawasaki reaped medal upon medal in various classes and firmly established themselves in the racing scene with their world class motorbikes.

After several years of racing with different teams and riders, in 2007 Kawasaki created a subsidiary company of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Motors Racing to take care of all racing activities that Kawasaki are involved in - primarily the MotoGP team.

Only winners of one Superbike World Championship (in 1993), whilst Reg Pridmore and Eddie Lawson are credible mentions, two of Kawasaki's most famous riders are definitely Anton Mang and Kork Ballington. Mang won several World Championships for Kawasaki in the early 1980's in the 250cc and 350cc categories whilst Ballington was Mang's predecessor, winning World Championships in both 1978 and 1979, for both the 250cc and 350cc categories.

Whilst Mang and Ballington are famous for riding Kawasaki motorbikes, Kawasaki's greatest winner and most popular rider is definitely ride Doug Chandler. The American rider raced for Kawasaki throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, winning three AMA Superbike Championship's throughout his time - the first in 1990, the second in 1996 and the final in 1997. One of only four riders to win the AMA Grand Slam - a mile, half-mile, short track, TT and road race - Chandler was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2006.

As well as racing bikes, Kawasaki have produced some fantastic on-road bikes. From the early 1990's KSE500 to the popular KZ900, Kawasaki's most famous bikes are definitely their Ninja range. With just under 20 bikes with the Ninja tag, they are popular amongst all sorts of riders, as there is a bike for all types and competency's of riders. Starting back in the mid 1980's with the Ninja ZXR 750 to the currently massively popular ZZR1400, each bike carries the same, famous Kawasaki characteristics but is individual in its own right. Its also important to mention that due to their very own nature, Kawasaki Motorcycles has always played the role of Maverick in the industry and that a feeling of independence from their main competitors has always been present.

The only issue is finding Kawasaki motorbike insurance - they're so popular and so fast, it's difficult to find a cheap premium to actually get your Kawasaki bike out onto the road.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com


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