Tempting 2023 Kawasaki 125s ready to give first taste of two wheels

Many bikers will talk fondly of their “first real bike” and for current two-wheel fans the ideal candidates to tempt riders are the Z125 and Ninja 125. Both equipped as standard with ABS and tube type trellis chassis configurations accommodating Kawasaki’s unique Uni-Trak rear suspension, both machines have changes to the colour way options offered for 2023.

A1, A2 and B licence rider friendly with 15PS (11kW) available from their 125 cm3 4-stroke single-cylinder electric start engines delivered via six speed gearboxes, the choice between bold naked Z good looks and the scalpel precision of the race inspired cowling equipped Ninja is the only tough choice riders have to make.

Both models feature full digital instrumentation and also offer Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit system meaning accessory seat pads can be swapped out to alter seat height according to rider size and preference. 

Available from early November, the colours and pricing for the Z125 and Ninja 125 for 2023 will be:

Z125 – starting from £4,299

Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black
Pearl Storm Grey

Ninja 125 – starting from £4,599

Lime Green/Ebony

Suzuki merchandise bundle

SUZUKI INSURANCE GIVING AWAY FREE MERCHANDISE THROUGHOUT AUGUST

Suzuki Insurance is giving away four free merchandise bundles worth £200 throughout August to any Suzuki owner that enters the competition via the website.

Suzuki Insurance will run one competition a week, with the entries closing for the fourth and final bundle on Friday 26 August.

Each bundle will offer different lines from the Suzuki merchandise collection, and include products such as watches, belts, caps, waterproof rucksacks, mugs, wallets, and neck buffs.

To enter, click here.

All Suzuki Insurance policies include new bike replacements for newly-registered bikes written off within six months, uninsured driver accident cover and unlimited accessory cover, and £100,000 of free legal cover as standard. Suzuki Insurance also covers provides cover for provisional and A2 licence holders, track day cover, personal accident and protective clothing cover.

Suzuki SR75 by lake

HOW TO TAKE BETTER PICTURES OF YOUR BIKE

Everyone wants to take better pictures of their bike. We spoke to photographer Jamie Morris, who boasts experience from the age of 12, about his top five tips on how to take better pictures of your bike, and this is what he came up with.

Jamie Morris grew up around bikes. They've become the main part of not only his career, but his life, too. From just eight-weeks-old, Jamie was going regularly to Brands Hatch, as his grandfather owned a shop and his parents rode motorbikes. His parents were also into racing, with a number of family members racing themselves, both bikes and sidecars, so he spent most of his childhood at race tracks.

Morris was into photography from a young age, along with motorsport. This meant at the age of 12 he could combine the two together, which is where his love of motorcycle photography came from. It helped a lot that his grandfather owned a shop at the track because he could practice taking photos at any of the racing events that came to town. Morris also went on to university and did a photography degree, giving him multiple opportunities in the outside world, along with club racing in his post-uni years.

Morris’ career has different branches. He started off in 2009, writing for a smaller magazine, this was the first year of his ‘proper career’, as he calls it. He currently works in the World Superbike paddock, taking images for a number of teams, and he’s been in British Superbikes for 13 seasons, having first started in 2010.

Thanks to his career and general motorcycle lifestyle, we thought it would be appropriate to ask him for his top five tips to help you to get the best or better photos of your bikes, and here’s what he came up with.

Keep an eye on the background 

You don’t want unwanted people or objects that are going to ruin your photo, but it can be easy to overlook it when focussing so much on the bike.

Angles are key
Low angles are good and dynamic, but they can cause reflections on certain parts of the bike, so make sure you keep yourself out of the photo.

Lighting
Use your smartphone camera’s ability to create a good photo. For example, if it's a darker setting, use the flash.

Clean your bike

Sounds obvious, but easily overlooked when concentrating on the other things. You don’t want scratches showing up on a photo, and you also don’t want dirty marks across the parts of the bike you are photographing.

Take lots of photos
In the digital age there’s no limit to the number you can take, so snap away. If you take a lot there's more of a chance of finding a nice one. You can then go back later and delete the ones you don’t like.

In a period of consistent and high demand, Kawasaki is excited to be announcing its range of carryover models for the 2023 season, with the new models hitting the showrooms soon. Alongside the previously announced return of the Ninja 400 and Z400, the Z900RS, Z900RS SE, Z650RS, Z900, Z900SE, Ninja 1000SX and Vulcan S join the 2023 lineup with a blend of updated colours and graphics.

The comprehensive range ensures that there is something for every rider, allowing everyone from new learners to experienced motorcyclists the chance to experience Kawasaki in 2023. 

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Z family in 2022, Kawasaki is now looking towards the next five decades. The instantly-recognisable Z900 finds expression under the halo of its unique-to-Kawasaki Sugomi styling and will be available in three colours for the new season, Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Graphite Grey/Metallic Flat Spark Black, Metallic Phantom Silver/Metallic Carbon Grey and Ebony/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey. For those riders seeking the next level of performance and refinement, the Z900SE remains in the range, coming in a unique Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey/Candy Lime Green. 

Bolstering the Z family is the hugely popular retro-inspired RS range. The recently introduced Z650RS covers both the entry-level and mid-capacity segments and will be available in Metallic Spark Black and Candy Emerald Green for the new season. The bigger capacity Z900RS continues to offer exceptional style, with two new colourways for 2023, including Candy Tone Blue and Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Imperial Red. 

Building on the superb Z900RS base, the immensely popular Z900RS SE evokes the 1970’s trend to personalise and focus on performance. Featuring an Öhlins S46 rear shock, re-tuned front suspension settings with a new front fork finish and Brembo M4.32 front brake callipers and disc alongside an instantly-recognisable and evocative paint scheme, it is clear to see why the machine has been in such high demand since its launch. 

For riders seeking the perfect blend of sporty handling and touring performance, the Ninja1000SX features as Electronic Cruise Control, an Up-Down quick shifter, Assist and Slipper Clutch, Integrated Rider Modes (combining traction control and Power Modes) and a Cornering Management Function as standard, ensuring riders can truly enjoy the best of both worlds. Alongside the iconic Emerald Blazed Green/Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Graphite Grey colours, the 2023 model will also be available in Metallic Matte Sovereign Red/Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Matte Carbon Grey. 

The A2-compliant cruiser, Vulcan S, continues its Metallic Flat Spark Black paint scheme and will be joined by the new option of Metallic Matte Carbon Grey/Ebony with new graphics. 

The full range of carryover models, new colours and pricing is listed below, with retail availability announced shortly. 

Z900 23MY Colours:
–              Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Graphite Grey/Metallic Flat Spark Black – £9,699
–              Metallic Phantom Silver/Metallic Carbon Grey – £9,699
–              Ebony/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey – £9,799 

Z900SE – 23MY Colour:
–              Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey/Candy Lime Green – £11,229 

Z650RS – 23MY Colours:

–              Metallic Spark Black – £7,949
–              Candy Emerald Green – £8,099 

Z900RS – 23MY Colours:

–              Candy Tone Blue – £11,799
–              Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Imperial Red – £11,799 

Z900RS SE – 23MY Colour:

–              Metallic Diablo Black – £13,149 

Ninja 1000SX 23MY Colours:
–              Metallic Matte Sovereign Red/Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Matte Carbon Grey – £12,349
–              Emerald Blazed Green/Metallic Diablo Black/Metallic Graphite Grey – £12,349 

Vulcan S 23MY Colours:
–              Metallic Flat Spark Black – £7,449
–              Metallic Matte Carbon Grey/Ebony – £7,649

Kawasaki 650 twins take control in 2023

The unique Sugomi style of the Z650 allied to the sharp racetrack styling of the Ninja 650 has created two stand out models in Kawasaki’s A2 compliant stable, now they are set to take even greater control of their segment.

To be precise, both models will now be available with KTRC, Kawasaki’s advanced traction control. For both the naked Z machine and its race cowled sibling, the addition of a three-setting system adds further still to the overall riding environment and is especially useful for riders gaining experience of various real-world situations.

TFT meter equipped and boasting smartphone connectivity via the Kawasaki Rideology App, both machines offer a level one setting for KTRC which helps manage traction control when cornering facilitating maximum drive out of curves while governing wheel spin. With level two selected the traction control intervention occurs earlier and is well suited challenging riding conditions such as poorly surfaced roads, wet manhole covers and cobblestones. Riders – if they prefer – may also select to switch KTRC off thus delivering three setting options.

Boasting tube type trellis chassis, horizontal back-link suspension allied to assist and slipper clutches, the sporting and reassuring nature of these machines is welcome by newbies and experienced riders alike while both iterations can be adjusted to 35Kw to suit A2 licence requirements across Europe. Additionally, and new for 2023, both machines benefit from full LED lighting – including indicators – plus come as standard with a special internal cut key.

The 650’s are available in new colour combinations which also includes, on certain models, changes to wheel and chassis colours plus new graphic treatments. With Z650 owners responding to the tag line “Energize” and Ninja pilots encouraged to “Ride Bold”, the model coming year standard fitment of traction control plus an overall uplift in five colourways ensures that the Z650 and Ninja 650 will surely take control for the new riding season.

Available from late 2022/early 2023, the colours and prices are:

Z650 – starting from £7,499

  • Metallic Phantom Silver/Metallic Carbon Grey
  • Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey/Ebony
 

Ninja 650 – starting from £7,649

  • Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Grey/Ebony
  • Lime Green/Ebony

Step-by-Step tutorial videos for Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE launched

Kawasaki SPIN Infotainment Tutorial Video – Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE

Kawasaki Forward Collision Warning – Tutorial Video – Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE

Kawasaki Blind Spot Detection – Tutorial Video – Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE

Kawasaki Adaptive Cruise Control Tutorial Video – Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE

With leading edge innovation and encompassing the latest two-wheel technology, Kawasaki’s radar-equipped Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE boast a wealth of cutting-edge rider aids focused on safety, convenience and rider/passenger infotainment.

In a move to highlight the key features of these range topping machines, Kawasaki has created a series of tutorial videos designed the explain features, functionality and setting procedures in a clear “step-by-step” format.

Available by Kawasaki country Branch public platforms and also via the Kawasaki Motors Europe YouTube page – either via language specific commentary or with subtitles – there are four videos in the series highlighting such features as Adaptive Cruise Control, Kawasaki SPIN Infotainment, Blind Spot Detection and Forward Collision warning.

As Eleanor van Winsen of Kawasaki’s European Corporate Marketing Department explains, the videos form part of an overall suite of information.

“The owner’s manual is very concise and covers every aspect of these machines in superb detail. That said, we thought a video guide that showed the features and how to use and adjust them in a “real life” situation would not only guide owners through the various features but also be of interest to potential owners.

Apart from the on-board radar system, there are an incredible array of rider aids and assistance features on these motorcycles, so we chose the headline items and created videos to show exactly how these aids and features work.

”The 10 languages covered by the tutorial video programme for Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX SE are:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Swedish
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Portuguese   

KRT And Rea Back Together Again

Kawasaki is delighted to announce that six-times WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea has signed a two-year contract extension to race inside the official Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT), continuing a highly successful partnership that began in 2015.

After taking over 100 WorldSBK race wins on Kawasaki machinery Jonathan has shown characteristically high levels of motivation and confidence in the future of the overall KRT programme by extending his contract for the next two seasons. 

The Ninja ZX-10RR programme will continue to be developed and this commitment has been central to Jonathan’s decision to remain inside the official Kawasaki WorldSBK effort. 

Kawasaki has also underlined its commitment to remain in WorldSBK as it is considered the perfect World stage in which to show Kawasaki’s technical strengths and development prowess, with its flagship motorcycle products being central to the entire endeavour. 

All parties are happy to have concluded this agreement relatively early in the season, as it will allow KRT and Jonathan a clear run to concentrate on their immediate joint goal of winning the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really happy and excited to renew my contract with Kawasaki, to roll on for another two more years. It has been an incredible partnership, we have enjoyed so much success together that it is almost a natural progression. There was not much negotiation needed to continue together from both sides. It was more a case of how much more motivation I had to keep racing at the highest level in the WorldSBK championship. It has been an incredible few seasons; more competitive than ever. I have realised how motivated I am to continue and to continue fighting to win. Kawasaki gave me the opportunity back in 2015 to realise a childhood dream when I won the WorldSBK championship in the first year together. As a partnership we are so solid, and I am looking forward to continue making memories and representing an incredible manufacturer and brand. My team is my racing family. I love everyone inside the team like my own family and relationships like that count for a lot in racing. Huge credit goes to every single person in the staff, from Provec Racing, all the engineers in Japan, and everyone in the Kawasaki family. I am excited to see what we can do over the next two seasons.” 

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “Since we signed Johnny for the 2015 season, and until now, we have written a nice part of WorldSBK’s history. We are so proud to be part of this Rea success story, which also means, Kawasaki’s success story. It’s going on eight seasons together now, and Johnny has been performing at the maximum, always. Nowadays, and at the age of 35, he is in his best shape, and we know there's still a lot of dancing left to be done. We have been working hard to define, with KMC, which kind of project we could create for Johnny to allow him to keep pushing at 110%. I think we gave him the motivation he needed to go for it for two years more. We can never rest on the laurels of our successful past, so we will have a hard job to cover JR’s expectations. We are ready for that. We guarantee it will be a real show for at least two more years…” 

Shigemi Tanaka, General Manager of Marketing & Sales Division at Kawasaki Motors Corporation, Japan, stated: “Since Jonathan joined KRT in 2015, we have achieved a number of significant feats together with the incredible combination of his riding talent and our Ninja ZX-10RR. We are delighted that he will take the next step together with us again for another two years aiming to reach further unprecedented heights for all Kawasaki fans across the world”. 

Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager, stated: “Jonathan has been fundamental in creating an incredible relationship and a firm bond between the wider Kawasaki brand and the Ninja ZX-10RR in particular. Our six-time World Champion is undeniably part of the Kawasaki family and a history maker in his own right. Now, he has a chance to create another record-breaking chapter and we are eager to play a part in the next important phase of his racing journey.”  

Rea Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 15, Wins 5, Podiums 13, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 228 (186 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 37 (33 for Kawasaki) 

Kawasaki Statistics
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019) 

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 503 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 102 – second overall

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.

Address and Avenis 125

TWO NEW SCOOTERS TO STRENGTHEN SUZUKI SMALL CAPACITY RANGE

Suzuki has announced two new scooters that will strengthen its small capacity range, with Address 125 and Avenis 125 on sale from October 2022.

Curves, a rounded – full LED – headlight, and plush seat add a retro flair to the new Address’ styling, finished with chrome-plated accents. The Address oozes style. The retro look extends to a large analogue speedometer, while modern convenience comes courtesy of a digital display, showcasing additional information, including the Suzuki Eco Drive Illumination which helps encourage and achieve economical riding, with the Address 125 capable of achieving 148.6mpg.

 

Not only is the new, 124cc single-cylinder engine efficient and economical, thanks to Suzuki’s Eco Performance (SEP) technology which optimises and balances fuel economy and performance, it delivers strong torque in the low-mid rpm ranges for quick acceleration. Peak torque is 10Nm at 5,500 rpm, with peak power 8.7PS at 6,750rpm. 

Spacious under-seat storage with dual utility hooks plus an upfront storage pocket – housing a handy USB socket – bring the practicality, while comfort comes from a flat, well-padded seat and broad footboards. 

In addition to the Address 125 a new Avenis 125 will further expand Suzuki’s scooter range and provide a sportier offering to its Address 125 stablemate. 

Wrapped around the same punchy-yet-efficient single cylinder engine is sharp, angular bodywork. Slightly longer, wider, and taller than the Address, the Avenis stands out in a crowd with striking road presence, with its aggressive form, LED headlights and taillights and two-tone graphics. 

A full LCD display keeps the rider informed, and, like the Address, features the Suzuki Eco Drive Indicator, to help riders extract maximum efficiency and achieve an impressive 148.6mpg. In addition to under-seat storage and a storage pocket, there are also handy storage compartments upfront. 

Both the Address 125 and Avenis 125 will be on sale in October.

FREE V-STROM ACCESSORIES ADDED TO BUYING POWER CAMPAIGN

Suzuki is giving away £500 worth of free genuine accessories to anyone buying a V-Strom 1050XT or V-Strom 1050XT Tour from 1 July, as it sweetens its summer sales campaign. The campaign also sees both models – plus the Hayabusa, V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT, SV650 and SV650X, GSX-S1000, and GSX-R1000R Phantom – available on a 2.9% APR Hire Purchase or PCP deal over three years with no deposit required.

The V-Strom 1050XT comes with cruise control, selectable engine maps, lean angle-sensitive ABS and traction control, plus linked brakes for slope and load-dependent control and hill hold assist.

Practicality comes as standard in the form of adjustable screen and height-adjustable seat, USB and 12V socket, centre stand, engine bars and hand guards.

The 1050XT Tour adds rugged aluminium top box and panniers with 112 litres of combined storage capacity.

However, as part of the offer, buyers can also customise or further tailor their V-Strom to their needs by adding extras such as heated grips, spotlights, off-road footpegs with depressible rubber inserts, and an aluminium sump guard.

Terms and Conditions:
PCP and HP Finance offer applies to purchases of a new 2022 (M2) Hayabusa, V-Strom 1050XT Tour, V-Strom 1050XT, V-Strom 650XT, V-Strom 650, SV650 and SV650X only from a participating Suzuki Dealership. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/04/2022 and 30/06/2022 to qualify. The GSX-R1000R Phantom and GSX-S1000 must be purchased and registered between 01/05/2022 and 30/06/2022 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. No minimum deposit required. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH. 

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.

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.”

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. 

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!

TAKING ON THE NORTHUMBERLAND 250 WITH A V-STROM 1050XT

The UK boasts some fantastic riding roads, including the beautiful Northumberland 250 which is described as ‘A 250-mile adventure across the land of dark skies, rolling hills and remarkable coastline’ and what better accompaniment than the V-Strom 1050XT. 

The route features a great mix of A, B, and C roads and is topped off with the Kielder Forest Drive trail, which is the ideal test of an adventure tourer's credentials. While the roads are familiar to Gordon Stuart, this was his first time following the actual route and he began his journey in the coastal town of Craster. 

“From Craster, I followed the coast north past the 14th century ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle and onto Bambrugh Castle, built some 300 years earlier,” Gordon recalled. “Riding along past these ancient castles and the distinctive coastline, one can see why this area of the Northumberland coast was designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty in 1958.”

Heading up towards Berwick and the Scottish border you need to cross to the stunning Holy Island as it is well worth a look. Although you need to be careful when you head across the causeway at Lindisfarne as it is tidal, meaning that you should check crossing times ahead of your visit. There can be periods of between five and six hours where you are not able to cross. Although, it is absolutely worth it to be able to visit. 

“The next stretch of road along the B6401 crosses into Scotland before heading back into England at Carter Bar. This slice of road is a dream to ride with lots of twisty and sharp bends with very little traffic, and views of the Cheviot Hills to the south. Due to some heavy rainfall the night before, the roads were greasy in stretches so I used the V-Strom’s adjustable traction-control and the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) to adjust the bike for the conditions. Limiting the power output and tightening up control of the back wheel was confidence-inspiring and allowed me to enjoy the roads a bit more.”

Once back in England I turned off the tarmac and got to my favourite part of the route, the Kielder Forest Drive. A spectacular 12-mile drive on unsealed forest road, from Blakehopeburnhaugh near the A68 in the east, where I started, to Kielder Castle in the west. The forest drive is one of England's highest roads, peaking at over 1500 feet with some breathtaking views over Northumberland and a perfect route to test the off-road capabilities of the 1050XT.”

After some off-road fun it was time to head back on to the road. This meant riding  through the pine forest of Kielder with stunning views of the 10 kilometer long reservoir, which boasted empty long straights and sweeping bends, perfect for trying the V-Strom’s cruise control. A feature which came into its own particularly with the various speed restrictions in the area. 

“The route south through Northumberland via Bellingham and Once Brewed are well trodden biking roads that don’t disappoint. The hidden Lamberly viaduct, a 250m long former railway bridge from the 1800s, is a delight to see although it requires parking up the bike at a nearby car park.”

The route bottoms out in the south of Northumberland within the hills at Weardale, hosting another spectacular set of biking roads and views of the sprawling countryside. These roads are busier as you wind back North up to Otterburn, via Corbridge along the A68 with its hairpin turns, undulating roads, and plenty of overtaking spots, there is much to enjoy on this part of the Northumberland 250.

“A full day’s riding was nothing short of wonderful on the 1050XT. Comfortable, powerful, and adjustable for the varying road conditions make this the perfect bike to tackle this spectacular route and others like it across the UK and Europe.”