Kawasaki motorbike insurance

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Reviewed 24 May 2022

The information on this page was last reviewed on 24 May 2022

Kawasaki motorcycle insurance

Whether your preference is for an off-road Kawasaki or to ride a Kawasaki Ninja through busy city streets, you need to arrange motorbike insurance.

Kawasaki builds motorcycles to suit most riders and you should be able to find a motorbike insurance policy tailored to suit your needs.

And the better you ride your bike, the more affordable your Kawasaki motorcycle insurance costs are likely to be.

This is because the premium you pay will vary depending on factors including:

  • Your riding history
  • Your age
  • The value of your motorbike
  • Your motorbike's engine size

So dirt bike insurance on a low-powered scrambler is likely to be different from the insurance you'd get on another Kawasaki model with a more powerful engine. The more powerful model is also likely to be in a different insurance group category, which can further influence how much you pay.

One of the reasons for this possible increase in price is that, if your Kawasaki bike has a powerful engine and is capable of high speeds, there could be an increased chance of having a motorbike accident. An insurance provider may take this into account when calculating your premium.

Kawasaki history and facts

Similar to BMW, which originally made aeroplane engines rather than bikes or cars, Kawasaki didn’t start out as a motorbike manufacturer.

Founded in Tokyo by Shozo Kawasaki in 1896, the company was officially known as Kawasaki Heavy Industries. This reflected its key areas of activity: shipbuilding, railroad rolling stock and electrical generating plants.

Kawasaki retains an interest in a broad range of sectors to this day, from tunnel boring to helicopter design. But when it came to motorcycles, the big change came in 1960 when Kawasaki took over Meguro Motorcycles, a major (though struggling) Japanese bike manufacturer.

Kawasaki had been producing motorcycle engines from as early as 1949 and came out with its first bike in 1954, named Meihatsu.

The following year it introduced an improved model, the Meihatsu 125 Deluxe. This time the Kawasaki logo was stamped into the engine side cover.

But 1960 represented the true watershed for the company as the Meguro takeover emphasised Kawasaki’s intent to be a big player in motorbike design and manufacture.

In 1961, Kawasaki produced its first complete motorcycle post-Meguro takeover – the B8 125cc 2-stroke.

And the new bikes kept coming. 1962 saw a series of the 2-stroke models from 50cc to 250cc released. The 250cc disc-valve ‘Samurai’ attracted particular attention in the US.

Then, 4 years later in 1966, the 650 W1 was launched, the biggest bike made in Japan at the time.

At the end of the 1960s, Kawasaki began making a serious impact on the race track, too. This was when Dave Simmonds won the 1969 World Championship, in the 125cc motorbike class.

In the same year, the Kawasaki H1 (also known as the Mach III) was unveiled. The 500cc 3-cylinder 2-stroke, powerful for its day, helped establish Kawasaki’s reputation in the US.

Because of the bike’s success, Kawasaki released 2 smaller models based on the H1, the 250cc S1 and the 350cc S2.

And for those who wanted more, not less, power, Kawasaki introduced a 748cc version, the H2 (Mach IV) in 1972.

Prestige for the brand provided by victory on the track continued in the early 1980s.

This was when Eddie Lawson won the 1981 AMA Superbike championship for Kawasaki after an epic battle with Honda’s Freddie Spencer. Lawson achieved the same feat a year later too.

Innovation and new model design continued at pace during the following decades. In 2003, Kawasaki realised that only a small percentage of super-sports motorcycles ever actually raced.

Consequently, Kawasaki upped the capacity of the ZX-6R to 636cc and ‘ordinary riders’ welcomed a noticeable increase in mid-range power.

Kawasaki Z1

In 1972 Kawasaki unveiled Japan’s largest motorcycle of the day – the Kawasaki Z1. The bike featured Kawasaki’s first 4-stroke engine.

Strangely, the Z1 was codenamed the New York Steak in the development stage. It was hugely popular after launch and became a long-term bestseller.

The Z1 became a pioneer of Super-sports models and cemented Kawasaki’s reputation as a producer of quality large motorcycles.

Kawasaki Ninja

One of the most notable bikes in Kawasaki history, the GPZ900R also arrived in 1983.

This was the first model ever produced by Kawasaki to have a liquid-cooled engine and to reach 250 km/h.

A year later it started to sell this bike in the US and renamed it Ninja, a decision that proved to be beneficial, registering huge sales.

The Ninja name stuck and from 1995, Kawasaki was selling Ninja bike models all over the world. In 2003 alone, Kawasaki released 2 models - the Ninja ZX-6R and the Ninja ZX-6RR.

And the Ninja story continues. More recent models such as the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS SE continue to build on the success of the Ninja name.

The powerful 1,441cc engine not only provides speed but the bike is renowned for the ease with which riders can control it. The bike is equipped with 2 power levels and a 3-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) system.

Kawasaki KX

This classic off-road bike first appeared in 1982 and was designed for young racers, with the aim of allowing them to focus on riding technique instead of having to control too much power.

There have been many variations within the KX range since – for instance the Kawasaki KX65 brought out in 2014 with just a 64cc 2-stroke engine. It still incorporated the same technology as its bigger siblings, helping young riders get to grips with the world of motocross early on.

Contrast this with the much more powerful Kawasaki KX450, also unveiled in 2014. Rather than being aimed at newcomers, the classic KX450 was designed to help put seasoned racers on the top step of the podium.

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