120 Years of innovation, Achievement & Progress

KHI’s rich history has been punctuated with numerous industry
firsts, class-leading innovations, and other remarkable
achievements. The following are a few notable examples.

  1. 1896

    Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. is incorporated. The 727 G.T. cargo-passenger ship Iyomaru, its first ship as a publically traded company, is completed the following year. The beginning of Kawasaki Dockyard can be said to be the beginning of Japan’s modern shipbuilding industry.

    Photo 1986

    1986

    Photo 1986

    Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. is incorporated. The 727 G.T. cargo-passenger ship Iyomaru, its first ship as a publically traded company, is completed the following year. The beginning of Kawasaki Dockyard can be said to be the beginning of Japan’s modern shipbuilding industry.

  2. 1911

    Kawasaki starts manufacturing rolling stock in 1907, and unveils their first steam locomotive to the world four years later.

    Photo 1911

    1911

    Photo 1911

    Kawasaki starts manufacturing rolling stock in 1907, and unveils their first steam locomotive to the world four years later.

  3. 1922

    The Aircraft Department at Hyogo Works is established in 1918. Four years later, the first Kawasaki-made airplane is completed.

    Photo 1922

    1922

    Photo 1922

    The Aircraft Department at Hyogo Works is established in 1918. Four years later, the first Kawasaki-made airplane is completed.

  4. 1952

    The design of the KE-1 (Kawasaki Engine) engine is completed at the Kawasaki Machine Industry, the precursor to the Kawasaki Aircraft Company.

    Photo 1952

    1952

    Photo 1952

    The design of the KE-1 (Kawasaki Engine) engine is completed at the Kawasaki Machine Industry, the precursor to the Kawasaki Aircraft Company.

  5. 1972

    The first mass-production sports bike to feature a DOHC, 4-cylinder engine, the Z1 completely redefines the world of high-performance motorcycling.

    Photo 1972

    1972

    Photo 1972

    The first mass-production sports bike to feature a DOHC, 4-cylinder engine, the Z1 completely redefines the world of high-performance motorcycling.

  6. 1973

    Kawasaki creates a whole new marine sports category with the launch of the first Jet Ski personal watercraft, the limited production WSAA/WSAB.

    Photo 1973

    1973

    Photo 1973

    Kawasaki creates a whole new marine sports category with the launch of the first Jet Ski personal watercraft, the limited production WSAA/WSAB.

  7. 1979

    The maiden flight of the BK117, the first helicopter ever developed in Japan. The BK117 was developed in collaboration with MBB (currently Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) of Germany.

    Photo 1979

    1979

    Photo 1979

    The maiden flight of the BK117, the first helicopter ever developed in Japan. The BK117 was developed in collaboration with MBB (currently Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) of Germany.

  8. 1981

    Kawasaki’s first foray into the world of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), the three-wheeled KLT200 is an instant success and paves the way for a wide range of recreational and utility ATVs.

    Photo 1981

    1981

    Photo 1981

    Kawasaki’s first foray into the world of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), the three-wheeled KLT200 is an instant success and paves the way for a wide range of recreational and utility ATVs.

  9. 1981

    In the age of oil tankers, Kawasaki also conducts R&D activities to develop new frontiers. Working with a Norwegian shipbuilding company, Kawasaki accelerates the development of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carriers, and in 1981 delivers Golar Spirit (93,815 G.T.), the first LNG carrier built in Japan.

    Photo 1981

    1981

    Photo 1981

    In the age of oil tankers, Kawasaki also conducts R&D activities to develop new frontiers. Working with a Norwegian shipbuilding company, Kawasaki accelerates the development of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carriers, and in 1981 delivers Golar Spirit (93,815 G.T.), the first LNG carrier built in Japan.

  10. 1984

    The GPz900R, the first of Kawasaki’s iconic “Ninja” models, rocks the world when it released. Its revolutionary 4-cylinder engine and light, compact chassis enable top speed and quarter-mile performance that rewrites the motorcycle record books.

    Photo 1984

    1984

    Photo 1984

    The GPz900R, the first of Kawasaki’s iconic “Ninja” models, rocks the world when it released. Its revolutionary 4-cylinder engine and light, compact chassis enable top speed and quarter-mile performance that rewrites the motorcycle record books.

  11. 1988

    When the first MULE (Multi-Use Light Equipment), the MULE 1000, hits the market it proves so amazingly versatile that MULE utility vehicles are now a ubiquitous sight anyplace where lightweight and sturdy utility vehicles are needed.

    Photo 1988

    1988

    Photo 1988

    When the first MULE (Multi-Use Light Equipment), the MULE 1000, hits the market it proves so amazingly versatile that MULE utility vehicles are now a ubiquitous sight anyplace where lightweight and sturdy utility vehicles are needed.

  12. 1991

    One of two Kawasaki “T2” tunnel boring machines pierces the Eurotunnel. Their work enables the completion of the underwater railroad linking Great Britain and the European continent.

    Photo 1991

    1991

    Photo 1991

    One of two Kawasaki “T2” tunnel boring machines pierces the Eurotunnel. Their work enables the completion of the underwater railroad linking Great Britain and the European continent.

  13. 1998

    Kawasaki completes construction work on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. At 3,910 m, it is the longest single-span bridge in the world at the time of its construction.

    Photo 1998

    1998

    Photo 1998

    Kawasaki completes construction work on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. At 3,910 m, it is the longest single-span bridge in the world at the time of its construction.

  14. 2007

    Kawasaki Green Gas Engine achieves the world's highest electrical efficiency: 48.5%.

    Photo 2007

    2007

    Photo 2007

    Kawasaki Green Gas Engine achieves the world's highest electrical efficiency: 48.5%.

  15. 2016 2016

    Vast Experience in a Diverse Range of Industries the Source of the Kawasaki Difference

    For the past 120 years, KHI has built its business while keeping in mind our goal to enrich the lives of people around the world. From our beginnings as a shipbuilding company, we have expanded our expertise across a wide range of industries, including mobility, energy and industrial equipment – all areas in which Kawasaki products better the lives of the people they touch.

    RIDEOLOGY

    But perhaps our most widely recognised products are our motorcycles. Kawasaki motorcycles stand out not only for their highly acclaimed performance, stunning looks and renowned reliability, but also for their unique ride feel. Our rider-centric development philosophy, RIDEOLOGY (Ride + Ideology), has been the force behind our many legendary machines from the Z1 and the original Ninja to the revolutionary Ninja H2, and will ensure that Kawasaki products continue to enrich the lives of riders in the future.