Happy 30th Birthday to the Kawasaki Ninja

02/12/2014 @ 12:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS


The Kawasaki Ninja line began life with the Kawasaki GPZ900R (the Ninja 900 to its friends) in 1984. Now 30 years later, Kawasaki is celebrating three decades of Ninja motorcycles, a model name that has become synonymous with the sport bike segment.

While the Ninja 900 began as Maverick’s daily ride in the movie Top Gun, the model sparked what would later become the superbike wars amongst the Japanese manufacturers.

The Ninja name has grown in time to become the Ninja ZX-10R superbike, refined itself to become the Ninja ZX-14R sport-tourer, and also grown into the small-displacement offerings of the Ninja 250R and Ninja 300, with many models in between.

A Ninja also just recently won the World Superbike Championship — not bad for a Gen-Xer. So we bid Happy Birthday to the Ninja, and hope for another 30 years of awesome green bikes with the Ninja name emblazoned upon them. Got a story about your Ninja? Leave it in the comments.

Source: Kawasaki

  • Ian John

    i have to say, and i was only in a conversation on this not so long ago; the two Ninjas i have had in the past were somewhat epic in a way. The other bikes held great motorcycling moments, but there is a twinkle in my Ninja history that is significant on thrill and reliability.
    Happy Birthday Ninja……..whats our big up and coming surprise????????
    Editors note;
    92 CBR 250
    99 ZX-6
    05 CBR 1000
    08 ZX-10
    12 S1kRR

  • Jan

    Still riding one of those supersport icons; a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R!
    Done a lot of Kilometers throug Europe on that green machine. Heavy but stable, bit older but a timeless design!
    And no technical issues – at all!
    Dreamed of this bike when I was a kid. Sometimes I feel like buying a new one but man, I love this iconic bike!

  • Manny varela

    I ride an 06 zx6r.
    And overall its just the perfect bike
    For my needs. Has been very reliable,fast
    Enough for me, and always admired ninjas
    Since i was a kid.
    Maybe in the not so distant future
    I will upgrade to a zx10.
    But for now
    This 636 is siiiick!
    And worthy of the street.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    as a longtime fan of the bike I bought a green 636 Ninja last year. All Ninja’s should be lime green. Fast little bugger. Thoroughly modern too.

    Happy Birthday Ninja!

  • keiths04

    09′ zx6r purchased in 2010 (first bike)
    mileage 54000ish

    Lets just say as soon as i was able to get a license and my first bike, zx6r, ive been hooked and somewhat addicted to motorcycling especially the world of sportbikes. As a newb i thought i could handle a 600 class sportbike as my first but if i could do it again i would have maybe started with a smaller bike. But i didnt so yes ive loved every minute with my zx6r. 54,000 mi and around 6 crashes later on the same bike, youll learning a few things about motorcycling. I cant believe it took me so long to get on two wheels but better late than never. while my friends were learning wheelies i would talk about lean angles, body positioning, throttle inputs, etc. things which these bikes are made to do. Thats what i love about this sport/lifestyle, the never ending learning process. Always learning, evolving, perfecting your craft. I just hope i can keep doing it for many more years. Ride safe guys.

  • scott

    I still own my 1985 red/black zx900A2 Ninja – I purchased the new bike in April of 1985 – (Yes I’m old…. thanks! )over 45k in real street miles on the clocks and I have managed to keep it looking new. The bike is a time capsule of the hop ups that were out through the ’80’s – Super trap slip ons with 10 plates / euro spec lower clip ons / Lockhart Lowers for better cooling, Ninja 1000 Carbs, etc…
    It’s not a daily rider any more…. parts are too scarce, but I do get it out for an occasional Sunday sport ride and take it to the bike nights and events – try to log at least 500-1000 miles a year on it…. had it parked up at the Kawasaki tent at Americade last year … it was displayed there at the 10th and 20th anniversaries as well.
    Still a fast competent sport bike, bullet proof build and on real roads it can still easily stay with or run away from newer models…. and yeah, an open straight or a fast track…. the new ones are now so much better everywhere – but a street ride through the mountains 75+ top speeds… still has everything it needs to light up a smile that can’t be slapped from your face! And the looks of surprise on the peoples faces that they were loosing ground to a 29 year old bike….Still my favorite sport bike… out of all the others I have owned over the last 30 years, and those include some great machines….. I plan to be buried on my Ninja!

    Had a 1990 ZX7 as well…. that honestly I wish I had not sold…. kind of fat, but for it’s time it was a blast to ride!! And holy crap Green…… the only color the 7 should have ever been!

    My son now carries on the Ninja tradition owning both a new ZX6 – and a Ninja 650R track bike…… the 900 Ninja being his earliest memories of growing up around motorcycles and the first bike he ever got a ride on.

  • Don

    Ive had my Ninja 2011 250R for 3 yrs now with 26,500 miles on it.. (from work)
    never had a problem. very reliable and I usually get around 65 MPG..
    great bike.
    Happy bday Ninja..!

  • froryde

    Surprised they haven’t announced any anniversary special edition(s) yet. My brother had an AR80 when he was in college and everyone on campus called him/it the Little Ninja ;)

  • Kaw4Life

    Bring back the Z1R !!!!!


  • H.L.

    09 ZX-6R (Black)

    One of my dreams/goals finally came true when I bought my ninja after working so hard and often times two jobs. I was a little youngblood when I first laid eyes on green ninjas owned by the older guys around the neighborhood. I fell in love instantly. I knew in my heart that I could ride a 600 as my first bike. I studied riding techniques, read books, mentally rode to work downshifting and upshifting in my mind as I drove to work (funny), watched MotoGP, AMA etc.. My Ninja has been nimble enough to get me out of several potential accidents and I have been accident free so far (Thank you Jesus). I can honestly say it has helped me with depression from losing my grandmother and my good friend and co-worker just two months apart. God and my Ninja are my weapons against the trials and tribulations that life brings.

  • Saffron

    Happy with a yammie but will one day join the ninja family