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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.

Rider Comparo: Honda NC700X vs. Kawasaki Versys vs. Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS

Kawasaki Versys, Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS and the Honda NC700X.

Bill Stermer
November 6, 2012

Mid-size bikes make a lot of sense. Not only because they tend to be less expensive and lighter, but also because they have become so competent. Considering competence, this trio of liquid-cooled, 650cc-class twins each has a 6-speed transmission, chain final drive and some gravel-road pretensions (though... Read more »

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS – First Ride

Kawi-Ninja-300-action1

Greg Drevenstedt
October 26, 2012

Like its ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it KLR650 dual-sport, Kawasaki produced the Ninja 250 for more than two decades before giving it a major overhaul for 2008. Styling went from utilitarian to sporty and updates to the engine boosted midrange. The wee Ninja’s monopoly of the quarter-liter sportbike... Read more »

Kawasaki’s Ninja Times Square Takeover Goes Big

The latest Ninja models were unveiled in New York City's Times Square on Thursday.

Heather Reinhart
September 13, 2012

Kawasaki likes to do things big. This time, they went all out. Enormous video billboards in the middle of New York City’s Times Square helped count down the final minutes until Kawasaki unveiled its latest Ninja sportbikes this afternoon. The Pearl Stardust White 2013 Ninja 300 was driven on stage... Read more »

Kawasaki Unveils More 2013 Ninja Sportbikes

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300

Greg Drevenstedt
September 13, 2012

September 13, New York City – Kawasaki has taken over Times Square today, using one of the most high-profile locations in the world to unveil the latest batch of Ninja sportbikes. In July, Kawasaki released information about the 2013 Ninja ZX-10R and Ninja 650/ABS. Today’s unveiling fills out the... Read more »

Early-Release 2013 Kawasakis – First Look

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Greg Drevenstedt
July 26, 2012

Confident that neither the Mayan calendar nor the contentious presidential election will bring the world to a grinding halt later this year, Kawasaki is celebrating the new year ahead of schedule with six early-release 2013 models. Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R was completely overhauled for 2011 with new... Read more »

Retrospective: Kawasaki KZ750-E: 1980 – 1982

1981 Kawasaki KZ750-E.

Clement Salvadori
July 6, 2012

(This Retrospective article was featured in the July 2012 issue of Rider Magazine) Story and photography by Clement Salvadori Year/Model: 1981 Kawasaki KZ750-E Owner: Franco Teti, Los Osos, California Class distinctions by engine size are important, and are often delineated by the numbers on a motorcycle’s... Read more »

2012 BMW ­­G 650 GS Sertão vs. 2012 Kawasaki KLR650 Comparison

These rugged, capable dual-sports will take you and your gear anywhere on the map, gates or snow notwithstanding.

Greg Drevenstedt
June 4, 2012

What would you do with an extra $2,351? Even at today’s high prices, you could fill your gas tank hundreds of times. You could buy new gear from head to toe, a wish list of accessories, or you could fund an open-road odyssey for months. If you’re in the market for a new 650cc dual-sport single, would... Read more »

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Review

The 456-pound Ninja 650 accelerates smoothly, quickly and impressively enough that most solo riders will never long for more motor.

Mark Tuttle
April 2, 2012

Before a burst of technology and specialization in the mid 1980s commenced sharpening our motorcycles into sportbikes, long-distance luxury tourers and cruisers, a street bike was a street bike. In those days you pretty much used the same one for everything: touring, commuting, canyon carving, even dirt... Read more »

Riding Among Giants, A 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS Tour Test

Riding Kawasaki Concours in Rockefeller Forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Greg Drevenstedt
January 26, 2012

Our motivations differed, but our destination was the same. Having fallen under the spell of majestic redwoods several years ago at Muir Woods National Monument, north of San Francisco, she wanted to see big trees. Having fallen under the spell of the Kawasaki Concours 14, winner of our last sport-touring... Read more »

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R – First Ride

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R: The long, wide ZX-14R has a spacious cockpit and comfortable ergonomics.

Greg Drevenstedt
January 23, 2012

At the dawn of the 21th century, as the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12 and Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa duked it out for top-speed bragging rights, motorcycle manufacturers agreed to limit production machines to 186 mph (300 kph), avoiding legislative restrictions then being considered in Europe. Everyone grumbled... 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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