View Full Version : Origins of Kawasaki - from Wikipedia
05-03-2008, 04:38 PM
Kawasaki's Aircraft Company began the development of a motorcycle engine in 1949. The development was completed in 1952 and mass production started in 1953. The engine was an air-cooled, 148cc, OHV, 4-stroke single cylinder with a maximum power of 4 PS (3.9 hp/2.9 kW) at 4,000 rpm.
In 1954 the first Kawasaki Motorcycle was produced under the name of Meihatsu, a subsidiary of Kawasaki Aircraft.
In 1960 Kawasaki completed construction of a factory dedicated exclusively to motorcycle production and bought Meguro Motorcycles.
Kawasaki has since then become one of the world's major motorcycle manufacturers.
05-13-2008, 12:01 PM
I've owned 4 past Kawi's so far (1974 KZ900, 1975 KZ400 Twin, 1982 KLR-600, 1980 KZ750E Four). To date I STILL hope to someday own a really nice condition 1987 thru 1999 VN1500 Vulcan A1 thru A13 (always loved this ride), and I'll park it right along side my old Shovelhead and won't have a problem doing so! Nuff' said?! ;) I did drop in at the Lincoln, Nebraska plant in 1980 looking for work. Said they might have a job for me?! Cool. I scoped out an apartment in town and went back that afternoon. Nope, sorry..... said they decided "not to give that job out after all...". :mad: Buggers.........:(
Anyways, I will say this for Kawasaki (USA): they came up (far as I'm concerned) with the BEST commercials (TV, Radio, Magazines) in all of motorcycling! Oh sure, we all loved (and still do) the 'Norton Girls' from the 70's, but surely everyone from that era has never forgotten "Come Out Ahead On A Kawaski...." followed by "Kawasaki Let's The Good Times Roll...." followed by "Taking It To The Limit, Kawasaki..."! :D Sure, there were a few others out there. As far as H-D, dang... I can't remember em'. Most recently the Victory (Polaris) ones are (let's face it??) lame?! :rolleyes: Man, IF I was a MC Manufacturer I'd be chasing down whoever it was Kawi used to handle they're advertising! You betcha'...... :cool:
05-15-2008, 07:37 PM
Interesting facts about Kawasaki.
1)Motorcycles only represent about 15% of the products they build.
2)They also produce gigantic earthmoving equipment. The big diggers that dug the "Chunnel" under the English Channel were either wholly or partially built by Kawasaki.
3)They build big ocean-going tankers for transporting oil
4)You will never see the capital letter "I" as we write it, with the crossbar on the top and bottom, on any model Kawasaki builds. Their JetSkis are ZXi, etc. Apparently our capital "I" is a little too close to some Japanese character meaning bad luck or somesuch. Or so I was told...this is not a fact per se, just something I heard.
07-05-2008, 11:02 PM
"Kawasaki Let's The Good Times Roll...."
I still can't get that out of my head. :o
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