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Kawasaki Heavy Industry history

Discussion in 'Off Topic Section' started by Richard230, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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  2. Mr. 36654

    Mr. 36654 Well-Known Member

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    The histories of the Japanese Big 4 are quite different, but WW-II wartime production was a formative period for all of them.
     
  3. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Great thumbnail sketch on Kawasaki. For those who aren't Aussies, and would not have seen the film "Stone", you should try to get it. The Z1 was the feature bike (although the "hero" rode a Commando). The Zeds also were the main bike in the original Mad Max film.
    The "hero" Kawasakis when I started were the A1 and A7 (Samurai and Avenger). I think the 350 Bridgestone had 44 hp, the A7 about 40 and my YR-5 Yamaha about 33. The "blap, blap, blap" of the Kawasaki let you know how much more power it had (which it did) even at idle. (these were pre-reed valve days for Yamaha).
    I think the Kawasakis had a neutral at the bottom gear box on the A series twins. Their smaller singles had switchable neutral at the bottom or sequential (5th to neutral to 1st) which turned out not to be such a good idea.
    Kawasaki also made production racers, the A1R and the A7R.
    Australia did not, at first, get the H1 with CDI ignition, and the first model (which I think was in common with the USA) had a drum brake. They were blue and white. The second series came out here in orange / red, with the disc brake and the CDI.
    In common with the A1, A7, the H1 tended to "drop in" to tight suburban corners. Also the non-disc brakes were not brilliant - especially on the H1 due to its added urge.
    To give Kawasaki credit, it has always strived to be the most powerful bike in any (road oriented excluding "cruisers") category and has generally got what it is after.
    Just why they call their sports bikes "Ninja" has surprised me, as I thought the word meant "assassin". I guess it is better that "Tedium" for the Yamaha TDM.
     
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  4. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    That prototype fighter aircraft looked the business.
     
  5. Tony101

    Tony101 Active Member

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    I remember the twins with the 012345 gear selection, I couldn't see much wrong with it. I wonder why everybody settled on 102345.
     
  6. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Issue arose when you forgot and ended up in neutral when you were expecting 1st.
    The rotary or selective rotary was worse and I know Brigestone had this, and I think the single cylinder Kawasakis.
    You would go up to 5th, think you missed it with a false neutral and then upshifted into 1st!
     
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  7. Tony101

    Tony101 Active Member

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    Good if you're into head butting speedos! Bridgestones were never big sellers in the UK but their 350 was a beast. I know that spares are like hen's teeth.
     

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