Kawasaki motorbike insurance

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Reviewed 01 September 2021

The information on this page was last reviewed on 01 September 2021

Kawasaki motorbike insurance

Whether your preference is for an off-road Kawasaki or to ride a Kawasaki Ninja through busy city streets, you will 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 premiums are likely to be.

This is because the premium you pay will vary depending on factors including your riding history, your age and the value and engine size of your motorbike.

So, for instance, motorcycle insurance on a low-powered dirt bike will likely be different from another Kawasaki model with a powerful engine that’s also in a different insurance group category.

If your Kawasaki bike has a very 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Similar to BMW, which originally made airplane engines rather than bikes or cars, Kawasaki did not start out as a motorbike manufacturer.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. However, 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 an improved model, the Meihatsu 125 Deluxe, was introduced. This time the Kawasaki logo was stamped into the engine side cover.

But 1960 represented a 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 two-stroke.

And the new bikes kept coming. 1962 saw a series of the two-stroke models from 50-250cc released, with the 250cc disc-valve ‘Samurai’ attracting particular attention in the US.

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

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

In the same year the Kawasaki H1 (also known as the Mach III) was unveiled. The 500cc three-cylinder two-stroke, powerful for its day, helped establish Kawasaki’s reputation in the US. Because of the bike’s success, Kawasaki released two 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 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 a 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.

The leading Kawasaki motorbikes

What is notable about Kawasaki is that when it has a winning formula, it sticks with it.

This explains why so many of its bike model names are kept through the decades – for instance the Kawasaki Z (1972 to the present) and the Kawasaki KX (1982 to the present).

Kawasaki Z1

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

For some reason, 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 they started to sell this bike in the US and they renamed it Ninja, a decision that proved to be very 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 two 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 two power levels and a three-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) system.

Kawasaki KX

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

There have been so many variations within the KX range since – for instance the Kawasaki KX65 brought out in 2014 with just a 64cc two-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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