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Kawasaki Motorcycle Road Tests
& Reviews

Kawasaki Motorcycle Guide

The Kawasaki Motorcycle & Engine Division has been manufacturing motorcycles since 1954. The trademarked names of some of Kawasaki's powersports machines–from Kawasaki Ninja sportbikes to Kawasaki Vulcan cruisers to Kawasaki Jet Ski personal watercraft–have become household names.

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S / ABS – First Look Review

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS

Mark Tuttle
October 15, 2014

A low seat height, adjustable footpegs and Ergo-Fit optional seats and handlebars will allow the Vulcan S / ABS to fit a wide range of riders. Kawasaki is betting that a large number of cruiser enthusiasts are willing to do without the traditional looks of a V-twin-based machine in exchange for low cost,... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS/LT and Versys 1000 LT – First Look Review

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT

Greg Drevenstedt
October 15, 2014

After a long wait, the Kawasaki Versys 1000 is finally coming to America, with extensive updates and standard hard saddlebags. When the Kawasaki Versys 650 debuted for 2008, it had styling as unusual as its name (a mash-up of “versatility” and “system”). Powered by the 649cc parallel twin from... Read more »

Comparison Test: Honda CBR300R ABS vs. Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS SE

2015 Honda CBR300R ABS, 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS SE

Arden Kysely
October 1, 2014

Although both resemble larger models in their respective lineups, the Honda and Kawasaki are different approaches to the just-under-300cc sportbike. (Photos by Kevin Wing) It was only a matter of time. In the face of Honda’s 2011 CBR250R challenge to its long-lived Ninja 250, Kawasaki embarked on a... Read more »

Retrospective: Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1-R TC (Turbocharged): 1978-1979

Year/Model: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1-R TC; Owner: Daniel Schoenewald, Camarillo, California.

Clement Salvadori
September 4, 2014

Year/Model: 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1-R TC; Owner: Daniel Schoenewald, Camarillo, California. As the old adage goes, when enough is good, more is better. In late 1977, Kawasaki’s new Z1-R, a somewhat sexier version of the KZ1000, was good for a quarter-mile in a hair under 12 seconds at 110 mph. For... Read more »

Kawasaki Teases the Upcoming 2015 Ninja H2

Rider Magazine Staff
September 2, 2014

Kawasaki has announced that it will unveil an all-new addition to its Ninja sportbike line at the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany, which starts on September 30, 2014. The new motorcycle will be named Ninja H2 in honor of Kawasaki’s original 1972 H2, and is being promoted with the tagline... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R LE

Rider Magazine
July 11, 2014

The 2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R LE features special paint reminiscent of the 1984 Ninja 900. Kawasaki is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Ninja with a very limited edition of numbered 2015 ZX-14R ABS motorcycles. Only 300 ZX-14R Limited Editions will be available, all individually numbered and... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and ZX-10R 30th Anniversary Editions – First Look

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS 30th Anniversary Edition

Greg Drevenstedt
May 7, 2014

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS 30th Anniversary Edition Kawasaki is celebrating 30 years of its Ninja sportbike line with two special editions for 2015. The commemorative Ninja ZX-6R/ABS and Ninja ZX-10R/ABS models feature Lime Green/Pearl Stardust White paint and 30th Anniversary badges on the fairing.... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS SE—Review

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS SE

Bill Stermer
May 6, 2014

Vaquero puts the rider relatively upright with a higher handlebar and the feet forward on footboards. Fairing and lowers blunt the wind blast to the torso and legs. (Photos by Kevin Wing) Introduced as a 2011 model, the Vaquero (which means “cowboy” in Spanish) is one of three dressed versions of... Read more »

Comparo: 2014 Honda Gold Wing F6B vs. Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS SE

F6B and Vaquero

Bill Stermer
May 6, 2014

The F6B’s lower center of mass (right) gives it an advantage relative to the Vaquero in the twisties. One of the newest trends in motorcycling is the emergence of tourers, a.k.a. baggers, as the dominant individual street bike category. Riders are discovering that it’s a real plus if your bike not... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition – First Ride Review

Stiffer suspension and a new seat have transformed Kawasaki's venerable KLR650.

Greg Drevenstedt
April 14, 2014

Stiffer suspension and a new seat have transformed Kawasaki’s venerable KLR650. Photography by Alfonse Palaima Kawasaki’s KLR650 has secured a place of honor in the pantheon of great motorcycles. Not because it’s the fastest or the most stylish or the most sophisticated in its class. In fact,... Read more »

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Kawasaki Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Kawasaki motorcycle test drives are only the beginning. The company offers a full range of motorcycles, from cruisers, sport tourers, sportbikes, dirt bikes and the iconic Kawasaki KLR650 dual-sport to ATVs, side-by-sides and personal watercraft.


Kawasaki Motorcycle Standouts

The 1984 Kawasaki GPZ900R helped usher in the modern sportbike era with its liquid-cooled, 16-valve, in-line four engine that was capable of more than 150 mph. It was the first motorcycle marketed under the Ninja name and the subject of many Kawasaki motorcycle reviews. The 1986 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours was powered by a 997cc in-line four with shaft drive, and it had a full fairing, tall windscreen, lockable saddlebags and large fuel capacity, making it one of the first sport tourers (it was replaced by the Concours 14 in 2008). In 1987 Kawasaki motorcycle test drives began to include the KLR650, a 651cc single-cylinder dual-sport motorcycle that stayed in Kawasaki's lineup all but unchanged for 21 years (it was updated for 2008), developed a reputation as an inexpensive, durable adventure bike, helping to launch numerous around-the-world trips and a large aftermarket for accessories.

Kawasaki motorcycle reviews made the Concours 14 Rider's 2008 Motorcycle of the Year because it reinvented the venerable Concours, building a comfortable, well-appointed sport tourer around the Ninja ZX-14 engine, with the addition of Variable Valve Timing for a broader powerband.

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