Suzuki launch new special edition bikes

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 MotoGP relica web

After Suzuki unveiled bits and parts of their 2015 line-up at the INTERMOT, and EICMA, the UK’s Motorcycle Live show is now the latest venue for an unveil, albeit of special additions rather than completely new bikes. [Read more…]

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 : More Responsive, Better Equipped

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 2014 1 web

We savour the revamped Kawasaki Z1000SX (Ninja 1000 in India) in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.

Like many successful formats, the Z1000SX’s seems obvious with hindsight. Of course, not all the riders abandoning sports bikes would defect to adventure bikes. Plenty were bound to prefer a sharp looking, sporty, 240 km/h fully-faired four with a more upright riding position, some all-round ability and a sensible price.

A bike, in other words, like the SX — although even Kawasaki didn’t expect the relatively simple Z1000-With-A-Fairing to be one of their top-selling models in many markets for the last three years (their absolute best-seller in the UK), as well as one of the most popular sports-tourers of any make.

That’s what has happened, though, and even before that third year is out they’ve revamped the SX to make it sharper, more responsive and better equipped. This makes plenty of sense as I throw the updated green bike down a spectacularly twisty road in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.

Its 142-PS motor is hurling the bike forward at an entertainingly rapid rate with a fruity howl from the re-tuned airbox. The screen is keeping the wind and most of the fat late-summer bugs off my chest. The tweaked and firmed-up suspension is giving a reasonably comfortable yet impressively taut and well-controlled ride — even under severe provocation from the powerful new Tokico monobloc front callipers. And the sleek new panniers are keeping my waterproofs and other junk neatly out of mind.

In short, the revamped Z1000SX is proving a blast to ride. And equally importantly, it’s giving every indication of being well up to the job if I had to strap on a bit more luggage and ride it 1,000 kilometres home rather than back to the relatively nearby launch hotel.

That’s hardly surprising because the original SX was a good place to start and this update is fairly thorough. The 1,043cc, 16-valve engine gets new cams with shorter duration and revised air intake trumpets of the same length. (Different length intakes are so last year…) Kawasaki claim an extra 4 PS, with that 142 PS maximum arriving at 10,000 RPM and say the motor has more low-rev and mid-range performance.

Kawasaki Z1000 and Ninja 1000 roll in

Kawasaki Z1000 Ninja 1000 1 web

India Kawasaki Motor have added two new big boys to their range in India: the Z1000 street-fighter and the Ninja 1000 tourer. The mean, green speed machines, cliché as it may sound, have been launched in just one colour choice, you guessed it, green.

Kawasaki Z1000 web

The Z1000 is arguably the meanest street bike you can lay your eyes on. It’s design is extremely aggressive to say the least, giving it an evil, even demonic stance, deserving of a Decepticon badge. The styling screams of unadulterated power and agility, like a ‘Hulked-up’ version of a litre-bike, stripped down to the bare minimum, if you will.

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 web

On the other hand, the Ninja 1000 is the one to go the distance with. It’s a comfortable touring machine and can munch the miles without biting into your comfort zone. Load up the options and you have hard bags and a storage box which can fit in all of what you would need for a ride out into the sunset.

Both bikes are powered by the company’s new 1,043cc inline-four motor which features Direct Fuel Injection and makes a credible 142 PS at 10,000 RPM with a peak torque of 111 Nm coming in at a reasonable 7,300 RPM. ABS brakes are standard on both bikes, with the Ninja 1000 adding Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) to the package.

The damages? Rs 12.5 lakh, ex-showroom Pune, for both the bikes. Kawasaki are in the process of setting up independent dealerships around the country. The aim is to provide qualified and specially trained personnel to deliver sales and service quality on par with their global standards.