The history of the Kawasaki Company goes all the way back to 1924, which at that time were involved in both metallurgy and the aircraft industry and in 1949, the Kawasaki Company decided to enter the popular motorcycle industry where they began producing engines that could be used on motorcycles.
In the company's earlier history they had engines that they developed using technology from BMW, with which they had relationships, since the Kawasaki Company first started off in the aeronautical industry but it was not until 1954 that they were able to produce their first complete motorcycle which was released to the public under the name of Meihatsu. At almost the same time, the Kawasaki Company had also tried their hands in a line of scooter, but realised that they had no way to compete against the Fuji Rabbit or the Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon.
It is not possible to talk about Kawasaki without also talking about a company that not only helped Kawasaki but also the other major Japanese motorcycle companies as well including Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. This particular company I am talking about is Meguro Motorcycles who were known by all at the time as the "senior maker and the king of four strokes".
In 1937, Meguro entered the motorcycle industry and having an extremely good relationship with the Japanese government, Meguro was able to take full advantage of the army orders.
In 1958, Meguro attempted to rid themselves of their British influence but that caused things to go wrong for their company and by 1960, Meguro decided to give serious thought to the motorcycle division of Kawasaki Aircrafts. The Kawasaki Company ceased production of their Meihatsu, and with the help of Meguro, they soon released several new, high efficiency and low costing motorcycles which led the way to their 1966 release of their first big motorcycle which was a 650 cc called the W1.
Since their rivals motorcycles were lighter, faster and had a much improved steering capabilities, the W1 did not succeed, so the Kawasaki Company developed two new models that would be able to compete.
The Kawasaki Company started to develop a positive name for itself by 1969 and was able to release the soon to become famous line from Kawasaki, the Z line. This included the Z1, Z900 and the Z1000. This famous line, in case you don't know is the Ninja line and by the late 1960's Kawasaki released the big boy, the Z1300.
Today the Kawasaki Motorcycle Company is known around the world for their Ninjas and their ability to offer high performance and well balanced sport bikes.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 05/06/2008