Keishi Fukumoto, head of design at Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Keichi Morohara, head of product planning, visited Malaysia to see both key employees of KHI’s motorcycle and engine company draw inspiration and insights for future motorcycle designs. Fukumoto, who has been head of the styling department since 2007, is responsible for designs that impress modern motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki ZX-9R and Kawasaki H2R.
Meanwhile, Morohara is no stranger to Southeast Asia, having been part of KHI’s Asia General Department Planning Division prior to his current position, as well as being directly involved in the efforts of the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) and the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) in Asia. Road Racing Championship (ARRC). Morohara has received KHI’s Presidential Commendation Level 1 for his three-year KRT championship winning season in 2105, 2106 and 2017.
The visit saw Fukumoto and Morohara eager to gain an insight into Malaysian motorcycle culture, bringing inspiration back to Japan for a design tailored to the local riding conditions. “I see one thing, NehMalaysian riders, they ride very fast, always full throttle, ”said Morohara with a laugh.
Introducing KHI’s philosophy on motorcycle styling, Fukumoto Kawasaki elaborates on the principles of “Sugomi” design, emphasizing the key issues that have shaped KHI’s bikes in the past and will continue to do so. The four main design points of today’s Kawasaki Ninja and ‘Z’ motorcycles are mobility, muscle, speed and strength, which Fukumoto called the fame of the first Ninja, the “Top Gun” movie of the 1984 Kawasaki GPz900R legend.
Touching the H2R, the world’s fastest-growing motorcycle, Fukumoto says the concept of design has never been driven by market demand but rather by the speed-following style. To achieve H2R’s published 300-plus km / h maximum speed, the design was sent to KHI aerospace for air tunnel testing to replicate the final design in the form of Kawasaki H2R, H2, Z H2. And H2SX.
As global vehicle electrification, as well as the MotoGP Moto-E class and IoMTT progress toward racing world, Morohara says Kawasaki’s current electric motorcycle project, EV Endeavor, will move from Kawasaki to new technology. Motorcycle manufacturers are intensively studying electric motorcycles, especially in the field of batteries and motor technology with the intention of creating suitable vehicles to change the impending trend in vehicle power plants.
After a luncheon hosted by the Kawasaki distributor of Edaran Modenas (EMOS) in Malaysia, Morohara said that one design idea she would take with her to Japan and apply to future motorcycle design is the introduction of geometric Islamic design motifs. In local architecture.