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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.

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 »

2014 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS—Road Test

Kawasaki Z1000

Greg Drevenstedt
April 4, 2014

The Z1000’s new styling is inspired by sugomi, a Japanese word for “the intense aura given off by an object of greatness,” and is meant to look like a crouching predator ready to pounce on its hapless prey. (Photos by Kevin Wing)   Though called a streetfighter, the Kawasaki Z1000 ABS, which... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition First Look Review

KLR650 New Edition

Greg Drevenstedt
January 31, 2014

2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition in Candy Lime Green/Ebony After chugging along with few changes and a distinctive tweet from its exhaust pipe for 21 years, Kawasaki’s legendary KLR650 dual-sport got a major update for 2008. Engine tweaks, suspension improvements, stronger brakes, new styling... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS First Ride Review

2014-Kawasaki-Z1000-featured

Greg Drevenstedt
December 30, 2013

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 is almost completely new from nose to tail. Knock-down, drag-out streetfighters aren’t supposed to look good. The earliest ones were sportbikes that had been ridden hard and wrecked, their mangled bodywork chucked into the dumpster and their clip-ons replaced with an upright... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki Z1000 First Look Review

14-Kawasaki-Z1000-featured

Greg Drevenstedt
November 5, 2013

Styling of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 uses the “Sugomi” approach to design. What’s the most important letter in Kawasaki’s alphabet? The mighty Z, of course. In 1973, Kawasaki’s Z1, a 903cc four-stroke in-line four capable of speeds up to 130 mph, helped usher in the era of modern era... Read more »

Retrospectve: Kawasaki KLX650: 1993-1996

1994 Kawasaki KLX650

Clement Salvadori
October 4, 2013

If you were in the market for a dual-purpose, big-single sort of ride back in 1993, Kawasaki certainly had the market covered. It offered three different models with the same basic engine. Two were street-legal, the third, called an enduro, had lights and no turn signals—but a cop would have to be... Read more »

New Kawasaki Z1000 to Debut on November 5th

Kawasaki-Z1000-Sugomi-concept

Press Release
October 1, 2013

Kawasaki will unveil the next iteration of the Z1000 naked sportbike on November 5, at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. Reflecting a radical new design philosophy, the Z1000 is a result of Kawasaki’s unique “Sugomi” approach, which the company says has created a machine with the palpable energy... Read more »

2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS – First Look

2014-Kawasaki-Ninja-1000-ABS-featured2

Greg Drevenstedt
September 6, 2013

For 2014, Kawasaki’s entire street lineup returns except for the Vulcan 1700 Classic—only baggers will be in the Vulcan 1700 cruiser lineup. Tweaks to paint and prices will be the extent of changes. For 2014, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS gets engine upgrades, KTRC traction control, Power Modes and... Read more »

2013 Middleweight Metric Cruiser Comparo

These four boys of the boulevard have the sound, look and feel of larger cruisers, but smaller engines and lower prices.

Greg Drevenstedt
June 5, 2013

My favorite comfort foods, heart-warming and artery-clogging classics like mac-and-cheese, buttermilk biscuits and pulled-pork barbecue, are straightforward and uncomplicated, each prepared with a short list of ingredients and easy techniques. But many cooks have been fooled by such simplicity, following... Read more »

2013 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic Review

2013 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic

Greg Drevenstedt
June 5, 2013

In Roman times, Vulcan was the god of fire. In the 1960s, Vulcan came to be known as the home planet of Spock on Star Trek. And in 1984, Kawasaki began using the name Vulcan for its line of cruisers, which over the years have ranged from 399cc up to a ground-pounding 2,053cc. These days, Vulcans come... 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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