Kawasaki joined the motorcycle business in 1960 and is one of the major players from Japan. From the time it released the B8 125cc motorcycle in 1961, Kawasaki has seemingly never slowed down. Just five years later, Kawasaki produced Japan’s biggest bike – the 650W1. The first Voyageur touring model, based on the liquid-cooled KZ1300, hit dealerships in 1978. In 1981, Kawasaki launched the hugely popular 600cc sportbike class with the GPz550, and just two years later, the GPz900R “Ninja” is introduced to a stunned motorcycle press. The first ZXR-designated motorcycles reach the market in 1989 and are still going strong today. In addition to its vast lineup of street bikes, Kawasaki’s KX lineup of off-road motorcycles cannot be ignored, thanks largely to the racing success of James “Bubba” Stewart.
A large chunk of Kawasaki’s motorcycles includes its Ninja family of sportbikes, which is so big that it has three major branches: Sport, Supersport, and Hypersport. The Sport line consists of the Ninjas 400, 650, and 1000 ABS, while the Supersport subcategory wields the Ninja ZX-6R, Ninja ZX-10R, and Ninja ZX-14R. The Hypersport branch of the Ninja family tree consists of three siblings who represent the only factory supercharged motorcycles currently in production, the Ninjas H2 SX, H2, and H2R. If one of these bikes doesn’t raise your pulse rate, you’re probably dead.
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