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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 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 »

Five Fast Fellows: 2013 Sport-Touring Shootout

Even in the dark cold of winter, it’s well worth it to get up early for sunrise over California’s majestic Sierra Nevada range.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

Sport touring, a hybrid category that blends the performance of sportbikes with the comfort of touring bikes, takes many forms. Some add a taller windscreen, bar risers and soft luggage to their GSX-R, while others bevel the pegs and scrape the belly pan on their Gold Wing. Between these two extremes... Read more »

2013 Kawasaki Concours 14 Review

With its Ferrari-like fins, the Concours looks like the king of horsepower that it is.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

When the Kawasaki Concours 14 sped onto the sport-touring scene for 2008, it easily arm-wrestled the competition into submission. With its liquid-cooled, 1,352cc in-line four derived from the time-warping Ninja ZX-14 sportbike, the mighty Concours puts 144.2 horsepower to the rear wheel—4.4 more than... Read more »

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS Road Test

The Voyager has ample wind protection, with a tall, non-adjustable windscreen that you must look through rather than over.

Greg Drevenstedt
April 2, 2013

My fiancée loves spontaneous adventure, but she’s had it with me proposing last-minute weekend getaways and showing up on a test bike she’s never ridden on before. I figured the 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS, with its ample wind protection, cushy seating and generous luggage capacity, would... Read more »

Rider Comparo: 2013 Honda CRF250L vs. 2013 Kawasaki KLX250S vs. 2013 Yamaha WR250R

Light, nimble and economical to operate, our 250 dual-sports all have plenty of fun on tap, whether your destination is work, school or the wide open spaces.

Arden Kysely
January 31, 2013

The last time Rider corralled a herd of 250 dual-sports (April 2008), we chose the thriftiest models available in the face of rising gas prices. This time we went for best-in-class, grabbing Yamaha’s WR250R, Honda’s new CRF250L and Kawasaki’s KLX250S—the only return contender. The KLX received... 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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