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 Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time.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.”

GSX-R1000R PHANTOM AND GSX-S1000 ADDSPRING SWEETENER TO SUZUKI OFFER

Suzuki has added a spring sweetener to its current Buying Power campaign, with the special edition GSX-R1000R Phantom and the GSX-S1000 both now available on the 2.9% low-rate finance offer, which is available over three years with no deposit required and on both PCP or Hire Purchase agreements.

The GSX-R and GSX-S offer runs until the end of May 2022, and is in addition to the existing campaign running until the end of June, which includes the third generation Hayabusa, the SV650 and SV650X café racer, the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT, plus the V-Strom 1050XT and V-Strom 1050XT Tour, which adds three-piece aluminium luggage to the V-Strom 1050XT’s already comprehensive standard specification.

The GSX-R1000R Phantom boasts a 202PS motor packing the same variable valve timing technology as the GSX-RR MotoGP machine and a comprehensive suite of electronics that includes lean-angle sensitive traction control and ABS, a bi-directional quickshifter, and launch control.

Launched last year, GSX-S1000 gets a sharper new look, stronger and broader spread of power and torque, plus quickshifter and auto-blipper, selectable engine maps, and traction control.


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. 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.

BUYING POWER: HAYABUSA LEADS SUZUKI'S SUMMER SALES CAMPAIGN

Suzuki’s Hayabusa leads a summer sales campaign that sees seven of the brand’s key models available on a 2.9%, low-rate finance offer, available over three years with no deposit required. Customers can choose from a PCP or Hire Purchase agreement.

The third generation Hayabusa headlines the offer, with its inline four-cylinder motor packing an abundance of power and creamy midrange thrust, plus the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) suite of electronics which includes traction control, launch control, cruise control, wheelie control, lean angle-sensitive ABS, selectable power modes, and a bi-directional quickshifter.

Joining the Hayabusa are six of Suzuki’s punchy V-twin models: the V-Strom 1050XT flagship adventure bike, which also comes with SIRS and includes cruise control, traction control, power modes, and linked brakes with lean angle-sensitive ABS, hill hold, load and slope-dependent control, and the V-Strom 1050XT Tour, which adds three-piece aluminium luggage to the 1050XT’s comprehensive standard specification.

The middleweight V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT adventure bikes, SV650 naked and café racer-inspired SV650X are also included.

The offer runs from 1 April to 30 June 2022.

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. 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.

RIDE THE GSX-S1000GTLAUNCH ROUTE

Back in October last year the UK press launch of the new GSX-S1000GT took place in Scotland, with each member of the media spending two days in the saddle, ensuring they got the fullest impression of the bike possible. Now, with spring around the corner and people making their riding plans for the year, here’s some riding inspiration if you’re planning a trip to the land of whisky, haggis, and shortbread.

Scotland is one of the best places on the planet to ride a motorcycle. Fact. We all love a European tour (or further afield, in some cases), but the fact remains that some of the best roads and scenery in the world are on the British isles.

For the launch of the GSX-S1000GT we plotted a route taking some of the best roads – some well known, some less so – and biggest scenery, from the mountains in the west, over the Cairngorms.

Our route begins in Nairn, and is steady away, picking up the A96 to Inverness and then the A9 out the top of the city, including a short stretch of dual carriageway work (flick on the cruise control for a spell and steal glances of the Beauly Firth on your left and the open water of Moray Firth on your right).

At a roundabout join the A835, signposted Ullapool, and this is where the fun starts. After a few more miles of standard A-road stuff, it transforms into a rollercoaster, twisting and turning its way through stunning scenery; in our case trees with orange, gold, and red leaves set against mountainous terrain as we pass through in the autumn. It descends to the shore level of Loch Garve, and through the town itself, giving you a chance to back off and enjoy the views, which are just a snapshot of the things to come.

As you exit the town a junction comes up pretty quickly, at which you want to divert off and onto the A832. The twistier nature of the A835 now makes way for swooping, sweeping turns through trees, initially, before opening up as you join the shore of Loch a' Chuilinn.

And it’s stunning. This whole section, from here all the way to Achnasheen (where you take a left at the roundabout onto the A890) is all about soaking up the views: wide, desolate landscapes, with lochs and bodies of water strewn out in front of high, imposing hills and mountains, the tops of which aren’t always visible through the cloud.

Before, you’re dancing through the gears, up and down the box using slick quickshifter, jumping on and off the brakes, going corner to corner, point to point. But now, now you chuck the bike in top gear, and waft along, simply marvelling at what looks like something from Lord of the Rings.

Cruise onwards, but eventually the land rises up, and you’re plunged back into tree-lined twisties. They start shallow, but be aware, because soon the road tightens, and it’s back to flicking side to side, and for us that means using the GT’s wide ‘bars to lever them into corners.

It’s thirsty work, and, in the rain especially, mentally taxing. Luckily, there’s a café on the road into Lochcarron: the Albatross café of the Lochcarron golf club. But no one is on the course when we arrive.

Once you’ve had your fill of coffee and cake, head back the way you came, and then turn right, following signs for Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye, and the A87. This is the naggeriest section of the route, and for many of the next few miles, as the road tracks the opposite shore of Loch Carron compared to the one you just had coffee on, it descends to single track, with narrow tunnels through the rocks. However, it’s offset with views of the water.

Eventually the usual two-lane carriageway is restored, and it’s back to carving through sweeping bends. The road climbs through the trees, only to descend shortly after, gifting you views of the Isle of Skye in the distance.

On this occasion we’re skipping the picturesque island, and at the bottom of the hill turn left on the A87, following signs for Fort William.

You’re on here for the next 30 miles now, and it’s arguably the most impressive part of the route with the most dramatic scenery; the road follows the water’s edge in places, and in others snakes through valleys.

But, as good as the views are, the riding is better. The surface is incredible, with grip in abundance, even in the wet. Which is good, as the corners come thick and fast. Straights are not a thing here.

Out of the corner of your eye you catch a waterfall, a mountain you didn’t spot before, or a castle. But there’s no time to gaze for long, because a chevron board is fast approaching, warning you of the next set of corners. It’s relentless, but in a good way.

On our ride no one wants to stop, but after 20 or so miles we elect to drop into a fuel station; there’s some gas left in the tank, but they’re scarce in this part of the world, so we opt for a splash and dash.

10 miles further on and the A87 diverts south, towards Fort William, but continue on straight and join the A887. The lunch stop is on the shore of Loch Ness, and at Invermoriston head south on the A82 to Fort Augustus. Just as you’re passing out the other side, on your left, is the Highland Club, luxury apartments set in an 18th century abbey with stunning gardens. Follow the road round the Boathouse restaurant, set on the shore at the very bottom of the famous body of water.

Once suitably fed and watered rejoin the A82 south, and strap in for the final leg of the day’s ride. From here the route’s simple: the A82 to Fort William, but the riding is anything but, and you are again confronted with non-stop turns, the road snaking up and down, winding its way south. It’s also more of the same on the scenery front, as you pass through trees one minute, and run down the side of lochs the next. It’s incredible.

32 miles later you arrive at Fort William, with plenty of choices and a wide selection of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and bars (though we recommend the Black Isle Bar).

The second day’s ride only take in 100 or so miles, but it also includes a brief stop at Dalwhinnie distillery, for research purposes, obviously, before tackling some of the Cairngorms as the route returns north to Nairn.

To start the day, rejoin the A82 and head north, but only as far as Spean Bridge. Here the road becomes the A86 and heads east. If day one was about amazing scenery with great roads thrown in, today is more about the road. Though the views aren’t too shabby either.

There’s no easing yourself into this section, the one corner links into the next, meaning you need to be scanning ahead to ensure your exit from one doesn’t compromise your entry into the next. And watch out, there are a few that tighten just as you expect them to open up.

But the rewards are worth the effort, and there’s a tangible sense of accomplishment as the road finally straightens out, and as it does so just as you arrive at yet another loch. As we cut through on our ride the sun hasn’t long been up, and is glinting beautifully off the still surface.

After passing Loch Laggan the corners return, and it’s back to attack mode, but make sure to catch the right hand turning towards Dalwhinnie, using the A889. Even if whisky isn’t your thing, the tour is fascinating.

Tour complete, taster kit stuffed into the GT’s panniers (along with anything else that took your fancy) retrace your steps back to the A86, and turn right towards Inverness and Newtonmore.

Ignore the A9, though, this route takes you under the main road north, and onto the lesser known B970.

It loosely runs parallel to the A9, but instead of heading straight, or straight-ish, it gives you something to do, and after passing a couple of small towns, it’s back to the good stuff.

On our ride we stopped for coffee and another slice of cake on the shore of Loch Insh – aptly but confusingly named the Boathouse – which is a slight diversion when you get to Kincraig, then continue on the main route to Aviemore.

After the ski resort join the A95, and follow it toward Speybridge, but pull off and follow signs to Grantown-on-Spey, picking up the Old Military Road: the A939.

From here, it’s riding nirvana all the way back to Nairn. The road is superbly surfaced with twists and turns, climbs and descents through trees and over heathland. It’s not as out-and-out dramatic as the views further west, but it is equally impressive in its own way and riding is arguably better.

Watch out at a fork in the road, where the A939 bears left, but other than just keep going, and savour every mile.

Eventually, for us, the ride comes to an end, with media guests having to transfer for flights and trains. But with more time you can add miles by heading south from Fort William in the morning and tackling Glencoe – a route press guests traversed on a 2013 Burgman launch – before heading west to Pitlochry and picking the Old Military Road further south.

But there are many great roads in the region, and now is the best time to plan this year’s getaway.

SUZUKI AND BENNETTSANNOUNCE BUSA BONANZA

Suzuki GB and Bennetts insurance have teamed up to host an action-packed Busa Bonanza, which will take place on 26 April at Elvington Airfield and give owners the chance to ride their own Hayabusa flat-out in a run-what-you-brung-style event, as well as the opportunity to test ride the new, third generation machine.

Open to all Hayabusa owners – road legal or otherwise – attendees will be able to enjoy an unlimited number of runs and will be provided with printouts recording their speed at ½ mile and one-mile intervals. A complementary photography service will also provide free images of the day.

Those attendees will also be able to test ride the new Hayabusa, launched last year, with Suzuki bringing along a fleet of six demo machines. Available on a first come, first served basis, loanees will be required to provide their licence details and a DVLA check code, or National Insurance number.

A number of modified Hayabusa drag racers will be on display and stun crowds with top-speed demo runs, while British Superbike racers Christian Iddon and Danny Kent will swap their GSX-R1000s for Hayabusas for the day. Suzuki will also display its wider product range, including the newly-launched GSX-S1000GT.

Gates open at 10:30am with standard entry £5. Runway use is free for Bennetts Bike Social members, or £10 for an unlimited number of runs for non-members.

Elvington Airfield can be found near Elvington, York, YO41 4XS.

For further information or queries, email [email protected].

SUZUKI EXTENDS MK DONS SPONSORSHIP

Suzuki has extended its sponsorship of the MK Dons football club, in a deal that will run until the end of the 2023/24 season. The new deal will take the partnership between the two to the 10-year mark, demonstrating Suzuki's long-term commitment to the club and the Milton Keynes community.

The Suzuki logo will remain on front and centre on all MK Dons first-team and replica shirts through the next two seasons, while the partnership continues to extend way beyond the football pitch, with Suzuki dedicated in their support of the Milton Keynes Sport and Education Trust.

A huge supporter of all the Sport and Education Trust’s community initiatives, with a particular focus on disability football, Suzuki will actively encourage their employees to involve themselves in the partnership, both in terms of attending matches at Stadium MK as well as volunteering at events, such as the upcoming Ability Counts Day.

Stadium MK will also provide Suzuki with the ideal facility to engage with their dealer network across the two-wheel, four-wheel, ATV and marine divisions.

MK Dons chairman, Pete Winkelman, said, “We continue to be so proud of our association with Suzuki, who have been with us through thick and thin. Their backing and support through the most difficult of times in these last couple years, is something I will, personally, never forget.

“The partnership not only focuses on the football and helping us provide a team that our supporters can proud of, but also the vital work of our Sport and Education Trust and their various programmes, not least disability football.

“I think it also demonstrates the strength of Milton Keynes too, with two of the biggest names in the area working together to deliver for the people and the community. I can only see our partnership going from strength to strength as we continue forward.”

Nobuo Suyama, managing director of Suzuki GB PLC, said, “Our long-established sponsorship of MK Dons has again proved a successful and mutually beneficial partnership. Collaborating for the next two seasons will take us to our 10th year as title sponsor, which we know provides a solid foundation on which to further our strong relationship with the club. We are also proud to help maintain the support of the renowned and invaluable work that MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) do in the surrounding community.

“We are delighted to announce our further sponsorship with MK Dons; as well as reaching out to people outside our business, we also see it as a great way of building pride and engagement with our head office staff, many of whom live in and around the city. Suzuki has been based in Milton Keynes for over 17 years and we are proud to be part of the area’s successful commercial sector.”

Commercial manager at MK Dons, Andy Wooldridge, added, “To have a global brand like Suzuki willing to commit their support to MK Dons into a tenth year is massive for the football club and for Milton Keynes. Our relationship with Suzuki remains so multi-faceted. Whether it is sponsoring the SET’s disability football programme or helping to support club events, they are with us every step of the way. At MK Dons, we take a lot of pride in working closely with our partners to feel valued and appreciated and to ensure they reap the benefits of associating with the club. Our long-term partnership with Suzuki is hopefully evidence of what an attractive proposition we are.”

SUZUKI CONFIRMS RETURN TO ADVENTURE BIKE RIDER FESTIVAL

Suzuki has confirmed it will return to the Adventure Bike Rider festival, with the 2022 event taking place on 24-26 June 2022 at Ragley Hall in Alcester.

The Japanese firm will again be bringing a comprehensive fleet of test ride machines, including its adventure flagship: the V-Strom 1050XT. With a suite of electronics including lean angle-sensitive ABS and traction control, selectable engine maps, cruise control, hill hold, and linked brakes that provide clever slope and load-dependent control systems, it will be available to demo alongside the base model V-Strom 1050, and the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT middleweight adventure machines.

Those bikes will also form part of an expansive static display, while for the three days members of the Suzuki team will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information and details on its range of models and any current offers and promotions.

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.

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

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.”