Kawasaki Celebrates Powersports Pioneer in the USA

Former Kawasaki executive Yoji “George” Hamawaki, who established the Kawasaki brand in America, passed away on April 18, 2023.

Foothill Ranch, CA (April 27, 2023) – Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA is saddened to share the news that former Kawasaki executive Yoji “George” Hamawaki passed away on April 18, 2023. Mr. Hamawaki established the Kawasaki brand in the United States, brought Kawasaki production to America and helped shape models for the US marketplace including the iconic Kawasaki H2 and Z1.

In 1966, Mr. Hamawaki established American Kawasaki Motors Corp. and began working closely with Alan Masek to develop the Kawasaki dealer network across America with comprehensive policies, advertising materials and service training. While building the dealership and sales network, Hamawaki and Masek also studied the consumer needs and model features and communicated that information back to Japan. That feedback was instrumental in Kawasaki launching the 1969 Kawasaki H1 and later, the iconic “New York Steak” 1973 Kawasaki Z1 900, which solidified Kawasaki as a superbike brand not only in America, but across the globe.

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