Kawasaki began in 1878, when Shozo Kawasaki started the Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard at Tokyo, Japan. New technological innovations were then created for the shipping business.
Kawasaki was only able to get into the motorcycle industry in the 1960s. In 1962, it produced its first bike. It soon merged the Meguro Manufacturing Co. and formed Kawasaki Motorcycle Co., Ltd.
Kawasaki has been a household name since then. The company has produced a variety motorcycles. The relationship developed between the brand Kawasaki and Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, which led to the creation K-Tech specialized instruction program.
Continue reading for information on the history of Kawasaki’s bikes and MMI’s training opportunities.
Shozo was a keen observer of the marine industry, and he wanted to help create modern innovations in Japan’s shipping business. After struggling for some time, his first order with his business was placed in 1878.
In 1886, the business relocated to Hyogo, where it was renamed Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd., as its growth continued and shipping demand rose. Kawasaki’s product line grew beyond shipping in 1906. The company would eventually produce components in the automotive, railway, and aviation sectors.
After Meguro Manufacturing began producing bikes in 1935, Kawasaki Aircraft’s division got involved in the bike industry. Kawasaki Meguro was created in 1962 when the two companies came together.
The B8 was the first Kawasaki bicycle, which they produced in the same year. It featured an air-cooled single-cylinder, two stroke, single-cylinder engine. Kawasaki Motorcycle Co., Ltd., took complete control in 1963.
Timeline Kawasaki Motorcycle
We have put together a Kawasaki motorcycle time line to display some of the models produced over the decades.
1960s Kawasaki Motorcycles
1963 HTML8M: Originally designed for competition in motocross events, the B8M was also known by the “Red Tank”, Kawasaki.
1967-A1: It was a 250cc bike with a parallel twin, air-cooled engine.
1969 Kawasaki H1 Mach III American cyclists were looking for more power, so Kawasaki produced the H1 Mach III. A 500cc, two-stroke, sport bike. Its combination of high horsepower and affordability made it very popular here in the USA. It was for a time the most powerful production-motorcycle in the entire world.
1970s Kawasaki Motorcycles
Z1 in 1972: Z1s were first exported from Japan in 1972. Domestic models followed in 1973. The Z1 was a DOHC-in-line four, air-cooled engine. It was code-named, “New York Steak”, during its five years of development.
1977 Z1R The Z1R is a first-ever Japanese cafe runner and was renowned for its stylish exterior that has been exported to many countries.
1980s Kawasaki Motorcycles
1982 GPz1100 – A sport touring motorcycle with digital fuel injection (DFI), Uni-Trak front suspension, and an in-line 4-stroke, liquid-cooled four-stroke engine.
1984 GPz900R Known locally as the Ninja by the U.S., the GPz900R is a “Bike of the YEAR” in many publications worldwide. The first liquid-cooled DOHC four-cylinder engine (16-valve), was featured in the model. It also boasted a distinctive design that made it stand out from other bikes.
Kawasaki Motorcycles, 1990s
1990 ZZR1100 Also known in North America as the Ninja ZX-11, this bike had high maximum power output.
1997 Super Sherpa The Super Sherpa came out as a dual-sport machine and had a 249cc engine. It was a popular bike due to its multi-purpose off-road performance.
2000s Kawasaki Motorcycles
2000 Ninja ZX-12R With the introduction of an aluminum monocoque frame, the new Ninja became the brand’s flagship model.
2006 ZZR1400 Previously known as Ninja ZX-14 North America. The Kawasaki sport bike is considered to be the most powerful ever built. The bike achieved 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It also balanced performance and handling.
Kawasaki Motorcycles of 2010
2011 Ninja ZX-10R It was the first complete redesign to the ZX-10R ZX-10R in its history, since its 2004 release. The ZX-10R featured an upgraded engine and frame.
2014 Z1000 With a brand new design, the fourth generation Z1000 debuts with a new look. The new SFFBP front suspension was added and the direct response of the engine to the chassis was increased.
These are just a small selection of Kawasaki’s many motorcycles. The brand continues producing high-quality bikes, which students get the chance to work on in the manufacturer-specific training course at MMI.
Kawasaki Ktech Program at MMI
The Kawasaki K-Tech program was endorsed by Kawasaki Motors Corp. in 1989, giving MMI students the opportunity to expand their training by enrolling in the manufacturer-specific course.27
Once students have completed MMI’s Basic Motorcycle Technician Training program they are eligible to apply to the 12-week Ktech program. It is divided up into four modules.
- Module 2: Students will be familiarized with the brand’s electric and fuel-injection systems. They work on fuel-injection components, including ignition, charging, charging, and starting.
- 2: This second module covers suspension and brakes on motorcycles.
- Module3: Students focus on Teryx models, ATVs, and Vtwins. They also learn about Mule utility trucks and how to service them.
- Modul 4: The last module covers watercraft theory, design and construction. Students also learn how to make electric systems for Jet Skis.
KTech offers unique features to students interested in working with one of today’s most prominent names within the motorcycle business.
- Updated Curriculum. Kawasaki, who works with MMI, provides ongoing training to instructors to ensure that students are exposed the latest in the field.
- The certificate is awarded to students after graduation. This certification, which has been approved by Kawasaki, can be used as a reference on a resume.
- Training beyond motorcycles: Students are able to work with Kawasaki brand ATVs as well personal watercraft and gas and diesel Mules.