J-FACTORY

Achieving the Pinnacle of Technology

Aired: Oct. 24, 2019

Longstanding manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. has launched a new motorcycle, the Z H2, at the Tokyo Motor Show held in October 2019. The model is said to embody a step towards Kawasaki’s goal of achieving the pinnacle of technology. This segment takes a look behind the scenes at the passion and efforts of engineers working on motorcycle development.

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The Z H2, Kawasaki's latest motorbike model
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Koji Ito, engineer and expert in motorcycle frame design
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The Z H2's green trellis frame
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Kawasaki's Test Rider Hideto Hotta (left) & Engineer Koji Ito (right)
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Kawasaki's In-House Automated Robot

Viewers’ Voice

Kawasaki seems to be outdoing itself. A few months ago, this series featured the Kawasaki Ninja H2R motorcycle. And the Z H2 is a killer machine in terms of build and quality. The interviews with Koji Ito shed light on the engine and frame design. It is difficult to imagine how a motorcycle can be made lighter yet maintain a sturdy structure. But thanks to this episode, the viewer gets to understand how engineering teams work for years to perfect designs and make machines worthy of the brand name and heritage. In some ways, the Z H2 is an exercise in minimalism. If motorcycles had to be made in a minimalist fashion Z H2 would fit the bill perfectly. The interactions between the engineer and the test rider display how keen both were to ensure the motorcycle was unmatched and road-worthy in every way. No cutting corners seems to be the mantra at Kawasaki.

From India

The first segment is close to my heart because there is a growing motorcycle industry in the Philippines, as we now use it as an alternative mode of transportation here. I like that Kawasaki continues to create reliable motorcycles so the other competition will always innovate. The emphasis on creating parts in-house was also much appreciated because in a day where businesses outsource all their labor and equipment off-shore, Japan has kept its human resources in their own land in order to make a proudly Japanese product. I also liked that they have shown that robots are aiding them in making the motorcycles, making the labor less dangerous and also fast, so humans can focus on more complicated tasks such as testing the product themselves and improving user experience.

From the Philippines

Kawasaki is a well-known brand in my country and their motorcycles are considered as one of the best in the world. Seeing the design process was interesting because we can see what kind of challenges appear when you are trying to innovate. For a regular motorcycle, body strength and weight may not be a problem, but for a fast one, it can be. It was interesting to see how they solve the issue by adding just less than a millimeter. I don't know enough about engineering to understand how such a small amount can make such a big change and I find it very interesting. I love the attitude of the company of allowing engineers to work in the projects they feel passionate about. That's the best recipe for innovation.

From the Dominican Republic

More Information

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Motorcycle & Engine Company
https://www.kawasaki-cp.khi.co.jp/index_e.html

Kawasaki-RIDEOLOGY (Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/Kawasaki.RIDEOLOGY/

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