Podium delight for Kawasaki at the 2022 Isle of Man TT

After a three-year hiatus, the Isle of Man TT returned over the last two weeks, and it proved a fantastic event for Kawasaki, with podiums coming in the Superbike, Supersport, Supertwin, and Senior TT races.  

With action getting underway on Sunday, 29th May, it marked 1,087 days since the riders had left Glencrutchery Road with haste. However, DAO Racing Kawasaki rider Dean Harrison wasted no time in getting up to speed, finishing the opening night with the second-fastest time. 

This form continued throughout the week, eventually securing the third-fastest time in the Superbike and Superstock classes and fourth in the Supersport. The Superbike TT on Saturday 4th June saw a strong start for the Ninja ZX-10RR machine of Harrison, running third as he reached the opening timing point at Glen Helen on lap one. By the time he had reached Ramsey Hairpin, he had moved up to second, where he would remain until the chequered flag, taking Kawasaki’s first podium of the week. 

Dafabet Racing’s Rob Hodson was 13th, while fellow Kawasaki riders Mark Goodings and Josh Daley were 16th and 22nd, respectively. Monday saw the first of the Supersport races, which proved to be one of the most enthralling of the week as Dean and Michael Dunlop went head to head over four laps, separated by less than a second for much of the race. 

Dean was able to close the gap to as little as 0.1s by Glen Helen on the final lap but narrowly missed out on the win, in the end, taking another superb second place. Other notable Kawasaki finishes included Dom Herbertson in 9th and Craig Neve in 20th. After a fourth place in the Superstock TT, Dean was ready to make amends in the second Supersport outing, where he returned to the podium with third. However, in between those two races was the Supertwin TT, which saw Paul Jordan claim his maiden Isle of Man TT podium with third place. 

After a rain delay on Friday postponed the Senior TT to the Saturday, all eyes were on Dean to see if he could repeat his success in 2019. After leading by half a second at Glen Helen on lap one, a collision with a bird around the opening lap saw a large hole in the screen of his Superbike. 

Despite this, Dean was able to maintain his pace to eventually finish second place. Rob Hodson finished 14th while Lukas Maurer also received a bronze replica in 23rd. 

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK:

“The 2022 Isle of Man TT proved to be a fortnight of highs and lows, but it was amazing to see the island buzzing with bikers again. Dean and the entire DAO Kawasaki team worked tirelessly over the fortnight, and their efforts were rewarded with four podiums in the toughest race in the world. It was also great to see Paul take his first, of what I’m sure will be many, podium in the Supertwin race.

Kawasaki Motors UK Support Ros Gale and the Rob Vine Fund

With the 2022 Senior TT race due away this afternoon, Kawasaki Motors UK has made a donation to Ros Gale, Director of the Rob Vine Fund, which provides training and essential medical and rescue equipment to doctors and paramedics involved in all forms of motorsport on the Isle of Man.
The Rob Vine Fund has long been a cause close to Kawasaki UK, with charity Director Ros Gale often hosting staff and guests in the legendary “Ros’ Secret Garden” to watch the TT action. Located just after Ago’s Leap, the garden offers incredible views of the course and has seen everyone from Valentino Rossi to Mark Webber stop by. Alongside offering guests unrivalled views of the course, Ros also uses it as a chance to raise awareness of the vital work being carried out by the Rob Vine Fund.
 
Established in 1985 following the tragic loss of Rob Vine in the Senior TT, the Fund has played a vital role in helping to support the medical services in all forms of two, three and four wheel competition on the island, including the Isle of Man TT. The charity currently provides the orange immediate care cases to over 110 marshalling locations around the TT course, alongside orthopaedic scoop stretchers and red head rests. It also supplies emergency resuscitation and medical equipment to the rescue helicopters used at the TT Races, Festival of Motorcycling and Billown course events.
 
With 2022 marking the first TT in three years, Kawasaki is excited to return to the island and is pleased to be able to make a donation of £2,500 to the Fund, helping them to continue the fantastic work they do for all competitors. Further information on the fund can be found at https://www.robvinefund.im/
 
Craig Watson, Sales and Marketing Manager at Kawasaki Motors UK

“We have always loved coming to Roundhay, or Ros’ Secret Garden as it has affectionately become known, while at the TT. For as long as we have been visiting, Ros has been working tirelessly to raise funds for the Rob Vine Fund, and we have always tried to support where we can. After three years away, we are all very excited to be returning to the island and celebrate the return of the TT with this donation.”

 
Ros Gale, Director of the Rob Vine Fund

“I’ve always enjoyed welcoming visitors to the garden to watch the TT action and raise awareness of the fund. Kawasaki has been a long-time supporter of what we do and this donation is fantastic and will allow us to continue to provide essential medical equipment to motorsport competitors on the Isle of Man.”

Kawasaki covers the 400cc class bases in 2023

Two of Kawasaki’s stand-out A2 licence compliant machines of recent years make a welcome return for the 2023 model year line up.

As the naked style category continues to expand in size and popularity, the Z400 will ably fulfil the need for a Z model for A2 licence holders fashioned in the same style as its Sugomi styled Z siblings. 2022 has witnessed celebrations highlighting 50 years of the famous Z range providing a springboard for the re-introduction of the Euro5 compliant Z400 complete with its 399 cm3 parallel twin water-cooled engine delivering 33.4 kW (45PS) and 37 N.m (3.8kg-m) of torque at 8,000 rpm.   

Complete with an assist and slipper clutch and a trellis frame mirroring the chassis of the range-leading Z H2, the Z400 provides a big bike personality in a manageable package for those making their way up the capacity ladder or those who feel the 400cc class is their ideal destination.

A seat height of 785 mm contributes towards admirable manoeuvrability while Kawasaki’s unique ERGO-fit optional seat enhances riding comfort for taller riders, making the Z400 the most logical choice in class.

Track focused fans also have good reason to rejoice in 2023 as the range partner for the Z model will be the highly popular Ninja 400. The base machine for race and Championship winning machinery in the highly competitive WorldSSP300 Championship, the handling and performance credentials of the Ninja need no further amplification. 

The chosen mount of current champion, Adrian Huertas, the new 2023 Ninja 400 shares its A2 licence compliance with the Z400 along with a tubular trellis chassis and powerful 286mm front disc brake coupled with an equally effective 193mm rear rotor.

Ninja style never goes out of fashion and the Ninja 400 revels in its family resemblance to the mighty Ninja ZX-10R, a machine that has achieved unparalleled levels of WorldSBK Championship success. And like its Ninja big brother, the 400-class machine also features an assist and slipper clutch facilitating smooth gear down changes and a 20% lighter lever pull at the handlebar.   

Anticipation for the re-introduction of not one but two A2 licence compliant 400cc class machines in Euro5 specification will build towards their addition to a comprehensive range for the 2023 model year creating tough yet enjoyable choice for prospective owners. Naked style or Ninja style, Kawasaki has the 2023 mid-capacity class bases covered.

Both machines will be available from mid-August with the prices to be confirmed. 

Dean’s Isle Of Man TT Top Five

With the Isle of Man TT less than a week away, excitement is ramping up for the return of the world’s most iconic motorcycle race. The fortnight of action will be the first time the TT has run since 2019, and this year will see fans able to get closer than ever before with the first live streaming of every race.

Ahead of practice kicking off on Saturday, 28th May, we thought we would catch up with reigning Senior TT winner Dean Harrison to find out the five key parts of the course for a fast lap and the five best places to watch from. 

Five sections for a fast lap

As one of the fastest men ever around the legendary TT course, Dean talks us through the five key sections to a quick lap:

1 – The Pit Stop
This is definitely one of the most important parts of any race, and with margins so close, a pit stop can be the difference between standing on the top step of the podium and not. For the Supersport and Supertwin races, we usually just fill up with fuel, while for the Superbike races, it also requires a tyre change. 

This can be a tense time for my team, but everyone has a specific role. One of them will focus on the rear tyre and making sure the spindle goes in correctly and doesn’t become threaded. Another will focus on filling the bike up with fuel, while another will help with replacing my visor and cleaning the screen. If all goes to plan, then it will take just over 50 seconds.

2 – Quarry Bends
When it comes to a fast lap, Quarry Bends is a crucial part of the course. This is around half way around the lap and the entry is essential if you want to get a fast run onto the Sulby Straight, which is the fastest part of the course. This can be a very physical part of the course as you have to lean the bike over from side to side at incredible speeds. While it’s tough, it can also be a lot of fun when you get it right.

3 – Rhencullen Jump
Another important part of the course is the run through Rhencullen. This is a very bumpy section of the track, and you really have to wrestle your machine to keep it on line. Getting the jump right here is crucial, as although you don’t really gain time if you do, it can be very easy to lose time if you get it wrong.

4 – Ballagarey
There’s a reason this section is nicknamed Ballascary! It’s an incredibly fast blind corner, and you are completely flat out on the approach, and it is one where you have to be perfect every lap as there’s no runoff, just stone walls on either side of the road. As you enter the corner, I will click down a gear, and then as you hit the apex, you’re doing around 130mph and are then back on the throttle again immediately as you head towards Crosby.

5 – The Mountain Run
The Mountain is one of the most iconic parts of the course, and it is the key to a fast lap. This section has a bit of everything from slow corners to flat out high speeds. Brandywell is one of the most essential parts; it’s the highest point on the course, and getting the run into this section right from Hailwood’s Rise is essential. The run back down towards the Grandstand is equally as important, and coming past the Creg, which is always packed with fans, is special, particularly on the last lap! Five sections to watch fromWhile those might be the key locations to a fast lap, where is the best place to watch from? 

Dean tells us his five favourite spots: 
1 – Bray Hill
Bray Hill might be one of the more popular places to watch from, but it’s definitely one of the best. Sitting in the gardens and watching a bike come flying through at over 180mph is something you won’t forget.

2 – Greeba Bridge
The exit of Greeba Bridge is another great space to watch, and if you head to The Hawthorn pub, you can watch as the riders exit and head down towards Gorselea and Ballacraine.

3 – Barregarrow
This is an incredibly fast corner, and the sense of speed is incredible; if you watch from the top, then you get a great view of the bikes leant over at high speed. Take a walk down to the bottom to watch the bikes bottom out – get there early, though, as space is limited! 

4 – Kirk Michael
Spectator spots are a little limited in Kirk Michael, but Whitehouse Park is one of the better options and offers great views through the village. There are also several spots on the side roads that you can watch from. 

5 – End of the Mountain Mile
The Mountain is always a special place to watch from, and the end of the Mountain Mile is a great place to see the bikes at incredible speeds alongside spectacular views over the island. 

Everyone here at Kawasaki Motors UK wishes Dean and the DAO Racing team the best of luck and hope to see as many people as possible cheering him on from the hedges!

2023 KX250 increases available power while decreasing lap times

2023 KX250 increases available power while decreasing lap times

A competition reference machine, the Kawasaki KX250 is a pivotal bike in the Kawasaki range appealing to youth, intermediate, national and full class MX2 riders; each with their own special wants and needs. For 2023, the Kawasaki engineers have absorbed feedback from AMA Supercross, the MX2 class in the MXGP paddock and, closer to home, the All-Japan Motocross Championship. And the distillation of all that feedback has produced a machine that will ably answer the needs of its diverse customer base.

Chief among many changes are those in the engine group. Within the cylinder head a narrower pitch for the intake valves (37 mm to 35.5 mm), coupled with increased clearance at the valve seats, delivers increased cylinder-filling efficiency and improved combustion for increased peak performance. And to accurately fill that cylinder, the downdraft style intake duct is straighter plus the upstream injector is repositioned from above to below the duct.  These changes further contribute to increased cylinder-filling efficiency which adds to peak performance. In terms of the valves themselves, they are smaller (ø32 mm to ø31 mm) contributing to cylinder-head/valve-seat reliability while enabling the tighter valve pitch while the piston crown is revised to match the valve size and pitch changes.

Aside from the greater engine performance due to these new efficiencies a longer exhaust header pipe (457 mm to 557 mm) offers increased low-mid range torque while the Akashi engineers also ensured that advanced ignition timing matches the engine changes. In terms of power feeling, a new magneto rotor with an increased moment of inertia (9.5 kg·cm2 to 10.0 kg·cm2) contributes to a more racer-friendly power delivery.

In terms of gears, ratios three, four, five and six remain the same but a longer first gear is introduced thanks to feedback from AMA Supercross and the second gear is also modified to make a smoother transition between first and third.

All Japan Motocross Championship experience resulted in changes to the front fork internals to deliver firmer compression damping that contributes to increased off-road performance without sacrificing ride comfort. While the fork spring rate itself is unchanged, a revised oil height contributes to optimised overall spring characteristics. The rear suspension now features firmer compression damping contributing to increased off-road performance without sacrificing ride comfort.

Other chassis upgrades include the adoption of a wider rear tyre for 2023 in the form of Dunlop’s MX33 110/90-19 to compared to the 100/90-19 used last year while the footpegs are 5 mm wider (front-to-rear) and positioned 3 mm rearward to offer excellent grip, superb feel making it easier to weight the pegs plus they are lighter too.

Wise tuners will tell you that gradual refinement and upgrades that integrate seamlessly are often the route to racing success and that is just the route that Kawasaki takes for its quarter litre race class machine. Useable power, considered engine and chassis upgrades plus genuine podium potential, its got to be the new 2023 KX250 from Kawasaki. 

Prices and availability will be announced soon. 

Kawasaki unveils 2023 off road range

Kawasaki unveils 2023 off road range

Covering the widest spectrum of off-road sport and fun riding, the 2023 Kawasaki off-road motorcycle range has just been announced. Catering for the needs of professional podium chasers, committed enduro riders, enthusiastic weekend competitors and those just starting on two-wheels, the range is certainly comprehensive.

Entry level and first championship riders will enjoy the KLX110R and KX65 respectively with the four-stroke KLX employing a 4-speed transmission with automatic clutch for stall-free shifting, it is the ideal machine to learn the craft of off-road riding on while the two-stroke KX65 is the stuff of legends, having won more races and championships than any proud father has had time to put up trophy shelves.

Further up the capacity scale – and sticking with the two-stroke theme – are the small and large wheel KX85 machines. They are liquid-cooled and feature Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak suspension while benefiting from constant refinement keeping them competitive and reliable. And that reliability and durability is something that Kawasaki owners report back on often. No use being fast one day and in the garage with a stripped down, unreliable bike the next weekend. It’s consistency that wins Championships.  At the top end of the range is the mighty KX450, the most powerful production MX machine Kawasaki has ever manufactured. Created to dominate in the upper echelons of off-road sport, the mighty KX450 continues to carve a fearsome reputation heading up an impressive range of off-road machines.

In terms of enduro style machines, the successful KX450X and KX250X feature boldly in the new season range both ready to attack Hare & Hound style events plus organised enduro events that allow such machines to compete.

A new off-road season is always something to welcome and Kawasaki dealers across Europe are looking forward to answering the riding needs of a diverse audience. The green team is ready for the good times ahead in 2023 and prepared to do anything it takes to help Kawasaki riders achieve the success they deserve.

Prices and availability will be confirmed soon. 

Catching Up With Dean Harrison

Following two years of cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Isle of Man TT is back for 2022 and promises to be bigger and better than ever before. As road racing fans rejoice in the return of the sport’s flagship event, the racers who have missed out on almost 36 months of competitive riding could be forgiven for feeling slightly nervous.  

For reigning Senior TT winner, Dean Harrison, the pressure is on, however the characteristically laid-back Yorkshireman is certainly not letting it show. Having spent the pandemic years honing his already-ample talent in other racing disciplines, he’s relaxed and ready to tackle what the island throws at him in 2022. 

Dean, let’s take you back to 2019 and your first-ever Senior TT win. How did it feel to be standing on that podium?

It was almost overwhelming to be honest. The thing is, it’s the biggest trophy you’ll ever win in road racing. I’d won other TT races before and to win in any class is such an achievement, it’s unbelievable, but to win the Senior was so special. With the TT being the biggest event of the season, to finish the week off like that feels like the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders. 

The cancellation of the TT and other road races for the last two years has been fairly devastating for many, not least the riders. How has it affected you?

It’s been so surreal. The whole Covid thing has been surreal and you just find it hard to believe what’s happened. Doing the British Superbike Championship has filled a bit of the gap, so at least we’ve been riding some bikes, but it’s like there’s been a piece of the jigsaw missing. Hopefully we can finish the jigsaw off this year! 

You did your first full season in BSB in 2021 – was that something you had always planned to do, or did it come about due to the lack of road racing events?

It only really came about because we didn’t have any road races on the calendar. The team boss suggested we do the BSB season just to keep us sharp. The bike and all the equipment we had from 2019 was just sat there, so we thought we might as well put it to good use. Most racers start in BSB and go to roads, but I’ve done it the other way around. BSB is so competitive and it’s a brilliant championship. I really enjoy doing it and I’m looking forward to doing more this year. Having said all that, my heart will always lie in road racing. That’s what I do. It’s what I grew up around and it’s what I know. 

Do you think doing the BSB season will improve your road racing?

I do, yes. I think it’s helped me and the team. When you ride together and work together, you’re finding things out about the bike all the time. You’re riding all the time, so you’re bike fit and your head is in the game. I think that has a knock-on effect, big time. It will help us as we go back into the road racing season. I can’t wait to get back to it now. I’m just looking forward to getting the whole season going, to getting to the North West, to the TT, all of it. I’ve missed it a lot and I just want to get my teeth back into it now. A bit of normality. 

As the defending Senior TT winner with a two-year gap, are you feeling the pressure more than you usually would?

Do you know what? I actually feel quite relaxed about it all. The only thing I feel a bit apprehensive about is what the track’s going to be like. It changes year-on-year and it’s been three years since we raced there. It might take a bit of time to get up to speed, it might not. I’ll just take it as it comes. 

Are you doing anything different to prepare mentally or physically?

The only thing different is that I’m doing a lot more off-road riding that I’ve ever done before. I bought a Kawasaki KX250X so I’m doing a lot of Enduro riding now. I’ve dabbled in a bit of Enduro here and there, but never anything serious. When I found out that Kawasaki had the KS250X coming, I thought “I’ll have one!” It turned up and I was straight in at the deep end, but I’m excited to get to work with the bike and see what it can do. It has so much potential. 

What are your plans for the bike?

I’m taking part in some rounds of the British Enduro Championship, then I’m hoping to finish the season off at the Sea to Sky race in Turkey. My plan is to race and develop the bike as the year goes on and really put a bit of effort into it. It’s a brand-new motorbike, I’ve never really ridden a four-stroke off-road bike and it’s totally different, so I thought I need a bit of time here. It’s not that I’m not taking it seriously, but I don’t have to take it too seriously so it’s a little bit more relaxed for me. 

With road racing, BSB and Enduro, you won’t have much time for rest. 

Well, yeah, I do like to keep busy!  

Dean will be competing in the 2022 British Superbike Championship, the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix with DAO Racing Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Racing Team announce “once in a lifetime Heritage Auction”

Following the worldwide response to the one-off KRT Superbike team heritage livery used at the Argentinian round of the World Superbike Championship in 2021, the Kawasaki Racing Team have created a unique experience combining a road going replica kit for the ZXR750-H2 and GPz900R styled machines along with matching leathers and a track experience with KRT riders which is being auctioned on eBay ending on March 3.

With overwhelmingly positive feedback for both the machines that Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes rode, the team have used a pair of fresh from the crate Ninja ZX-10RR machines which have been dismantled at the KRT workshop in Granollers near Barcelona and rebuilt as faithful replicas of the racing machines with the added advantage that they will be fully road legal.
 
For Alex the choice in Argentina was the red and black livery of the 1980’s GPz900R, the first machine in the world to be called a Ninja and two-wheeled star of a famous Hollywood film. Complete with an RST race suit made for the event, Lowes topped the look off by wearing “aviator” style sunglasses in the pit box before satisfying his “need for speed”.
 
Jonathan fell in love with the re-imagining of the ZXR750-H style of 1990’s as soon as he saw it; an era when the likes of Scott Russell, Robbie Phillis, Doug Chandler and Aaron Slight rode for the green team. Resplendent in his custom made Alpinestars leathers, the six-time WorldSBK Champion lined up on the grid and wound the clock back to a golden era of Superbike racing.  

Only one of each style of machine has been created by the same mechanics that work on Rea and Lowes’ racing Ninja machines and each with be accompanied by an exclusive “ownership package” that includes a Certificate of Exclusivity from KRT. Each lucky buyer will be able to spend a day on circuit with the team… and will even have 30 minutes of track time allocated alongside the KRT riders!

And to ride their newly purchased pride and joy the winner of the GPz900R replica will receive a set of custom-made RST leathers while the lucky owner of the ZXR750 style machine will be kitted out with unique Alpinestars racing leathers. Befitting such a special event, each owner will be presented with a photographic and video record of the day which they will surely never forget.

In terms of specification, each Ninja ZX-10RR will be a new unit supplied by an official Kawasaki dealer and will feature the following heritage kit courtesy of KRT sponsor partners: Akrapovic Kawasaki Heritage Limited Edition slip-on silencer, Valter Moto brake protector and rear paddock stand, Puig track-day windscreen and swing-arm bobbins, GB Racing engine covers and a Kawasaki genuine accessory fabric bike cover.
 
Commenting, KRT Team Manager, Guim Roda, said:
 
“This project was super successful in Argentina to celebrate Kawasaki’s heritage and the introduction of the River Mark worldwide brand logo. We received amazing feedback from other teams and riders as well as Kawasaki fans globally. Our reaction was to create an exclusive limited edition experience with this pair of unique road machines and offer a package that amounts to a once in a lifetime ownership experience. Our KRT mechanics loved working on the bikes, and we look forward to meeting the successful bidders when they ride with Johnny and Alex.”

Watch the video here https://youtu.be/BWG9QsM0x5g 

Note: The ZXR750-H2 style machine reached its reserve price within minutes of the auction starting. The GPz900R machine remains available for bidding at the time of publication. 

Link to Ebay

Haslam makes BSB return with Lee Hardy Racing

2018 Bennetts British Superbike Champion Leon Haslam is making an exciting return to the series this season, setting his sights on regaining his title. The popular rider will be racing for the Lee Hardy Racing team, riding the Ninja ZX-10RR.

Haslam will be returning to the BSB paddock following several seasons competing in World Superbikes, which included a stint as a factory Kawasaki Racing Team rider alongside Jonathan Rea. Now, the Derbyshire-based rider is returning to the UK with the aim of repeating his form of 2018 that saw him take his maiden BSB title with 15 wins and a further six podiums. 

For this season, Leon will be riding a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR for the proven Lee Hardy Racing team. Joining the premier class in 2014, the squad has enjoyed great success in recent years, finishing second to Leon in the 2018 series, and the one-rider team will be looking to build on this form and challenge for race wins from the opening round.  

The team’s new title sponsor and 2022 livery will be revealed in the coming weeks before the season officially gets underway at Silverstone on April 15th. 

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK:
“It was great being part of Leon’s success in 2018 and we as Kawasaki UK are excited to see him back in the Championship this year to hopefully challenge at the front of the field again. It’s a tough Championship and after some time away in World Superbikes it will take some time to settle back in, but I’m sure the combination of both Leon’s and the team’s experience will put them in a great position right off the bat at round one.” 

Leon Haslam:
“I’m super excited to be back in the British Championship and also to be back with Kawasaki, especially with the link to my Kawasaki-backed Affinity Sports Academy team. It’s been a tough few years racing abroad so it’s going to be great back in front of my home crowd once again! I know it’s going to be a tough year against these guys but I’m looking forward to the challenge and have a lot of faith in the team around me.” 

Lee Hardy, Team Principal:
“I am very excited to have signed an agreement with Leon to contest the 2022 British Superbike Championship.  Leon has proved what an asset he can be to a team, and we look forward to building a strong partnership together.  We have both had amazing success with the Kawasaki brand, Leon last won the championship in 2018 with them and in that same year the Lee Hardy Racing team finished second to him also on Ninja machinery. We both have forged a great alliance with Kawasaki, and I see this as an incredible opportunity to fight for the championship again.”

FS-3 Racing go retro for 2022

The FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team, the official Team Green entry in the Bennetts British Superbike championship, has today unveiled a striking new retro-inspired livery that will be used for all 11 rounds of the 2022 season.

Keeping with the same exciting line up of Lee Jackson and Rory Skinner, 2022 will be the sixth season that the Coventry-based team has partnered with Kawasaki. With both riders having had a year of development on the new Ninja ZX-10RR, they have firmly set their sights on building on their podium-finishing potential from 2021. 

Following an incredible reaction to the ZX-7RR-inspired livery that World Superbike star Jonathan Rea used at the Argentinian round last year, the FS-3 Racing team has decided to create a similar retro-inspired them for their 2022 livery. The hugely popular design has been a hit across the UK, and for this year, customers who purchase a new ZX-10R or ZX-10RR from an authorised Kawasaki dealer can upgrade their bike to have the matching livery. 

Unveiled for the first time at the MCN London Motorcycle Show, race fans will be able to see the striking liveries in action for the first time when the season gets underway at Silverstone on April 15th. 

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK:
“Having witnessed the incredibly positive feedback from racing fans across the globe after seeing Jonathan’s machine in Argentina, and then on our standard road bike at Motorcycle Live on the Kawasaki stand, we knew we had to see it on track in the UK this year. The guys at FS-3 Racing also fell in love with the design and are excited to see Lee and Rory debut the new look on track at round one in April later this year.”

DAO Racing Kawasaki unveil 2022 BSB contender

The newly renamed DAO Racing Kawasaki team has today unveiled the striking new Ninja ZX-10RR that Dean Harrison will campaign in the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

With the covers being pulled off this morning at a busy London Motorcycle Show, race fans will immediately notice a departure from the traditional light blue colours that have adorned the team’s Kawasaki machines for the past few seasons. 

This reflects the team rebranding to DAO Racing, while the enhanced flashes of green showcase their close relationship with Kawasaki, with them being the Official Road Racing squad for the brand. These new colours will be seen at all 11 rounds of the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, while Dean will be running a slightly different design at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix to reflect additional sponsors.  

Last year saw Dean enjoy one of his best-ever seasons in the BSB class, and the Bradford-based rider will be looking to build on that while also using it as a chance to help prepare him for the return of the roads.   

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK:
“This livery really is very striking! Although this is the same team, now known as DAO Racing, it’s great to have a fresh new look for the 2022 season. Dean has been making strides in the Superbike class at BSB over the past 12 months and I am sure he will be progressing again this year and ready to fight to retain his Senior TT winner title also! One thing is for sure, he will be doing it in style!” 

Jonny Bagnall, Team Manager at DAO Racing
“Following a complete rebrand for the team, we wanted a new look for our ZX-10RR and I’m delighted to reveal our 2022 British Superbike livery. This is the bike we will run at all BSB meetings this year and we will be unveiling our roads machine at a later date. 

We have chosen to go for quite a dramatic change in style and colours. Although we have stuck with blue, green and white, we’ve gone for a darker and brighter blue this year, moving away from our traditional old shade and have retained the green to reflect our involvement with Kawasaki. 

The livery also includes elements such as the Thai and Manx flags and I believe we’ve created a bold and striking machine to fly the DAO Racing flag in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in 2022.”

STAUFF Fluid Power Kawasaki sign Joe Francis for Superstock 1000 attack

The GR Motosport-run STAUFF Fluid Power Kawasaki team has made the exciting move to bring former BSB star Joe Francis into the Pirelli National Superstock Championship for 2022. Joe will campaign the entire season aboard the Ninja ZX-10RR machine.  

A successful 2021 season saw the STAUFF Fluid Power Kawasaki team secure race wins and podiums in the maiden year of the new Ninja ZX-10RR. Now with a year under their belts, the team are looking to build on this performance in 2022 and challenge for the National Superstock Championship title. 

To do this, they have signed former Bennetts British Superbike Championship star Joe Francis. The Chester-based rider previously rode for the GR Motosport squad in 2013, securing the British Motostar title in the process, so the duo will be looking to replicate that winning form this year. 

Joe Francis:
“I’m really looking forward to this year and a new challenge in the Superstock class. It is something I am excited about; my goal is to challenge for the championship title, and I am really motivated for the season ahead. 

It is nice to be back with Brent and the crew, working with the same team members I had back in 2013 when we won a championship together, and now we want to make it two. I am confident that with the programme and team around me that we can make it happen. I can’t wait to get going in a new class and I am thankful to Brent and all of my sponsors who have put me in this position for the 2022 season.”

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK:
“Having worked with Brent and his professional outfit for a number of seasons now and seeing how the team have continued to develop across a multitude of classes, we are excited to see what they and Joe can achieve in 2022. It’s always a tough class, but it’s an important one for every Manufacturer, so we wish them the best of luck for the season ahead.”

Shunji Tanaka – farewell to the man behind the mask

One of the most influential motorcycle designers of recent times has sadly died at his home in Japan at the age of 75. In December 2021, Shunji Tanaka passed away and leaves a considerable legacy in terms of his influence on motorcycle design while Design Director for Kawasaki based at their factory in Akashi, near Kobe, Japan.

As an integral part of Kawasaki’s K-Tec design department, Tanaka-san played a significant part in the introduction of a fresh, new approach to the styling of Kawasaki motorcycles both in terms of the bodywork and overall appearance plus the adoption of so called “signature colours” which defined the machines during their launch phase.

Already a highly respected automotive designer before joining Kawasaki, Tanaka-san is credited with the design direction of the Mazda MX5, the world’s top selling two seat convertible ever in terms of volume of sales with production now exceeding one million units. Moving from four to two wheels did not intimidate Tanaka-san; in fact, the remit to create bold designs for Kawasaki which embodied the uncompromising performance personality of the company resulted in a series of machines with instant impact and lasting appeal.

Marshalling his design team into a mutually supportive group – one of the keys to Tanaka-san’s success – was the democratisation of the design process with even the most junior team member having a voice and being able to contribute to the final finished product.

Applauded for his influence on the styling and visual appeal of the machines launched during his time as K-Tec design director, Tanaka-san was proud to be involved in the successful introduction of the water-cooled in-line four-cylinder Z1000 in 2003 with its distinctive quad exhaust system and angular lines and for overseeing the look of the dramatic and impressive 2004 Ninja ZX-10R and subsequent 2005 Ninja ZX-6R.

Creating a recognisable “face” for the machines his team were responsible for was no coincidence as Takana-san firmly believed that the “personality” of a motorcycle was determined by the upper cowl and headlamp area with the rest of the design flowing from, and influenced by, this crucial part of the styling exercise.

It is hardly surprising that among many and varied enthusiasms in his private life, that Shunji Tanaka had a passion for the “Noh” masks used in traditional Japanese theatre productions; each mask establishing the credentials and often complex personality of the character in the play.

Mercurial, thoughtful, and highly creative, Tanaka-san was an eminently approachable man whose evident enthusiasm for design was infectious. As a “landmark” along the considerable design journey that Kawasaki has taken – and continues to this day – Shunji Tanaka will be remembered with considerable respect and affection.

Z1 to Z50 – Kawasaki celebrates half a century of the Z family

Z1 to Z50 – Kawasaki celebrates half a century of the Z family

Fifty years after the very first Z model broke cover, Kawasaki has announced no less than five Z50 celebration models. With the iconic 1972 Super Four model Z1 as great, great grandparent, the five machines cover a wide spectrum underpinning the wide appeal of this popular Kawasaki brand family.

The dynamic Sugomi styling of the Z900 has won many fans since its introduction with an unapologetic aggressive attitude matched to dynamic and responsive riding feedback that only a Z could possess. The 50th anniversary editions of the Supernaked Z900 is clad in the Firecracker Red of the Z1100GP, the dominant air-cooled Z model of the 1980s.  This hue of red – also found on the legendary GPZ900R – was Kawasaki’s signature colour of the time. As another high-class touch, the fork outer tubes are finished in gold and the frame in gloss black. Incorporating TFT colour instrumentation with Smartphone connectivity, the Z900 includes integrated power modes, KTRC traction control and power mode selection (Full/Low) as well as all-LED lighting.

The A2-friendly Z650 with its narrow chassis and responsive parallel twin-cylinder engine is a firm favourite among riders of all experience levels. Equipped with an LED headlight, a TFT display and Smartphone connectivity, the Z650 energizes the senses and inspires every ride. The vivid red paint, was specially blended for these anniversary models, making their aggressive Supernaked Z styling even more striking. The dark blue and silver highlights accentuate the red and like models of the time, the “Z” emblem and Kawasaki logo are finished in gold, further distinguishing these models from their standard counterparts. Add red wheels, with silver pinstripes, special seat leather and a commemorative “Z 50th” logo on the front fender and the package is complete.

Expanding the boundaries of the Retro Sport scene further still, Kawasaki returned to the roots of the Z brand, choosing the iconic “Fireball” pattern of the original Z1 for the 50th anniversary editions of the retro sport model Z900RS and Z650RS. A special painting process was developed specially for these models.  The candy colours of the tank and bodywork are applied in layers to bring out a deep, glossy texture that enhances the inherent beauty of these machines. Complementing the rich colouring, the frames of both machines are finished in gloss black and have a special seat leather with a texture distinct from the standard model, as well as different colour stitching. Both machines feature gold-coloured wheels and “Double Overhead Camshaft” emblems reminiscent of the past and proudly show the “Z 50th” logo on the top of the tank. Additionally, the left and right-side engine covers of the Z900RS feature a “DOHC” emblem.

It is rare indeed for a brand family to last a decade let alone five, yet the Kawasaki Z family moves from strength to strength. In 2022 that strength is made real by the presence of the five Z50 models forming part of a celebration bond between Kawasaki and its legion of loyal fans both established and new to the brand.

Here’s to the next 50 years of Z !Z50 Celebration Colours:-              

Z650 = FIRECRACKER RED RRP: £7,349-             

 Z900 = FIRECRACKER RED RRP: £9,799-              

Z650RS = CANDY DIAMOND BROWN RRP: £8,049-              

Z900RS = CANDY DIAMOND BROWN RRP: £11,449

The Z 50th Anniversary models will start to arrive in Kawasaki dealerships from March 2022. For more information and to register your interest, please contact us.

Ninja H2 SX is on the radar for 2022

Kawasaki will launch the most comprehensively specified Sport Tourer ever created in 2022 and, thanks to new innovative ARAS technology from technical partner Bosch, this new machine will be on the radar of a legion of motorcycle fans. 

Equipped with not one but two radar sensors, the Ninja H2 SX – and the top of line SE model with Showa electronically damped suspension plus Skyhook technology – host multiple rider aids including Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Blind Spot Detection (BSD).

With three possible rider selectable distance settings, FCW gives a visual warning via a strip of lights above the meter panel when the machine reaches a set distance from the vehicle in front. The rider is in control at all times of the response and can brake or take other actions to avoid a possible collision. ACC – adaptive cruise control – also has three possible distance settings. In this case, when the machine reaches a set proximity, the brakes are automatically activated if necessary to aid deceleration, and the engine speed slowed sufficiently to maintain the pre-selected distance. As the distance increases, the machine gradually and automatically returns to the set cruising speed the rider initially selected. While both of these functions are focused on the front radar sensor, the rear sensor is dedicated to BSD – blind spot detection. As it suggests, as a vehicle moves into a rider’s blind spot a light (either left or right) illuminates clearly but unobtrusively in the relevant rear-view mirror.

As a platform for such advanced technology, there is no better machine than the Ninja H2 SX with its unique Kawasaki designed and manufactured balanced supercharged engine. Mated to the sharp aggressive Ninja styling and advanced suspension, the sporting prowess of this ultimate tourer is indeed impressive. A cornering management function, multi-level traction control, launch control plus engine brake control, integrated riding modes, and even an up/down quick shifter as standard, show that this is a sport bike of the highest order.

Matched to this are such touring features as optional colour-coded clean mount panniers, selectable riding and power modes, keyless ignition, LED cornering lights plus on-board tyre pressure monitoring. Additionally – and making life that little easier when on tour – vehicle hold assist (VHA) is also part of the standard specification. When the rider has stopped, VHA is initiated after the rider exerts a given amount of pressure (to either the front and/or rear brake). The system disengages automatically when rider pulls away or when the side stand goes down. This is a huge advantage when pulling away uphill or with passenger and luggage onboard. Handy too is the Emergency Stop Signal, another automatic feature that “pulses” the rear brake light if the rider suddenly brakes hard.

In terms of the “rider environment”, Kawasaki has certainly not economized delivering a large, colour TFT meter panel able to relay a multitude of machine status updates; but that is just the start of the 6.5” screen’s functionality. For 2022, the Ninja H2 SX and SE models come with Kawasaki SPIN as standard. A “screen in screen” infotainment system, SPIN allows the rider to link to their Smartphone and access approximately 20 Apps on the meter panel covering navigation, weather, music, contact logs and many other subjects such as rider to passenger communication.

Packing so much technology and smart features into one sports touring package has been a challenge that Kawasaki’s designers and technicians have been proud to rise to. Put simply, the Ninja H2 SX is likely to be beyond the expectations of many and it will take time for the motorcycling world to fully come to terms with the sheer level of sports and touring ability on offer, along with the most comprehensive array of rider aids that Kawasaki has ever made available. 2

022 Colours – Ninja H2 SX and SE

Emerald Blazed Green / Metallic Diablo Black / Metallic Graphite Grey

Available from March 2022, the Ninja H2 SX and Ninja H2 SX SE will be available in three editions:

Ninja H2 SX – £20,949Ninja H2 SX Tourer Edition – £21,699

Ninja H2 SX Performance Edition – £22,049

Ninja H2 SX Performance Tourer Edition – £22,799Ninja H2 SX SE – £23,949

Ninja H2 SX Tourer Edition – £24,699Ninja H2 SX Performance Edition – £25,049

Ninja H2 SX Performance Tourer Edition – £25,799