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Kawasaki Zundapp Is a Nod to a Bike Maker Few Remember

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

The name Zundapp has long left the motorcycle scene. The German bike maker arrived on the market a bit late compared to the competition, in 1917, and was open for business until 1984, when it went bankrupt.

As a result of both that, and the fact that the bikes they made were neither popular nor numerous, Zundapp may mean nothing to a lot of people. But there are some who resonate with the moniker, and go to great lengths to honor it.

What you see in the gallery above is a 2001 Kawasaki W 650, but it’s no longer called that, and it’s no longer stock either. The bike in this configuration is called Kawasaki Zundapp, as a tribute to Zundapp the company, and has been modified by a Paris based garage called Blitz Motorcycles.

The built was done on behalf of a customer who got the motorcycle bug on a Zundapp KS, a line of motorcycles dating back to the 1930s. And because Blitz is in the business of taking “a personal memory of the owner of the machine and find a way to include it in the making process of the new bike,” this was the idea that led to this creation.

The custom build called of course for the fitting of some special parts. The main added hardware is the fuel tank, sourced from a Zundapp KS model and fitted “as found,” without any visual modifications or repairs made to it, and only with functional changes made to make it fit on the frame.

The original frame of the Kawasaki was shortened by 3 inches, and the fork lost 1 inch from its length. The engine underwent a complete rebuild, a new chain was fitted, and a Triumph handlebar made its way up front.

We are not being told how much the process of making the Kawasaki look like this cost, but the result is a sight to behold.

Naked Kawasaki Ninja Turns Into Bronco Racer with Smoked Metal Body

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Back in 2014, a German motorcycle racing team known back then as Kodewa introduced the Lotus C-01 concept, a “menacingly retro-futuristic” two-wheeler with 200 hp coming from the engine of a KTM Superbike. Some time later, the concept inspired a custom build in the most unlikely of places.

Penned by Daniel Simon, the man behind vehicular designs in movies like Tron: Legacy, Oblivion or Captain America, and more recently the autonomous racing car that goes by the name Robocar, the C-01 was supposed to sell for around for €100,000 (roughly $110,000), but never managed to get into a serious production run.

It did inspire others into coming up with their own versions of the C-01. Somewhere in the Indonesian city of Bali there’s a custom bike garage that goes by the name of Smoked. The Lotus concept served as inspiration for one of the group’s builds, one they call Bronco Racer.

The starting point for the new machine was a naked 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R, more precisely the ER-6n variety. Around its frame, Smoked designed a new body and several other custom elements that make the Bronco the finished product you can see in the gallery above.

The metal shell of the build was constructed in such a way as to mimic that of the 2014 Lotus concept. It includes elements like fenders, panels, headlight housing and even the fuel tank.

The Ninja was perched on top of custom wheels, a new saddle has been fitted on it, and the paint choice was made in such a way as to mimic that of the inspiration bike. Some work had to be done to the rear frame, which has been cut and rebuilt as well.

No change was made to the engine, though. The motorcycle is powered by the stock 649cc (39.6ci) liquid-cooled engine that develops a little over 70 hp and 48.7 lb-ft of torque.

Kawasaki Starts Home Delivery Of Motorcycles, Spares And Accessories In USA

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by Satya Singh from https://www.rushlane.com

United States is the worst hit due to coronavirus pandemic, with more than a million confirmed cases and over 61k fatalities

As the lockdown continues to restrict auto sales, Kawasaki USA has announced that it will start home delivery of its vehicles, spares, accessories and apparel. Auto dealerships are shut in most places and people have been forced to stay indoors. There are also the ones who may not want to visit dealerships due to the high risk of infection.

In this situation, online sales and home delivery of products appears to be the only effective solution for auto companies. In India, online sales platform and home delivery option have been launched by various auto companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Honda, Tata Motors, MG Motor and Hyundai.

Kawasaki’s product portfolio in US comprises motorcycles, ATVs, utility task vehicles and jet skis. The company already provides online option to buy vehicle accessories, spare parts, maintenance products, apparel and gifts & collectibles.

For buying Kawasaki vehicles, customers will probably need to contact their nearest dealer. It is expected that the necessary formalities, paperwork, financing, and down payment will be processed online in coordination with the dealer. Once the deal is finalized, the vehicle will be home delivered to the customer.

Kawasaki will be working closely with its dealers across the United States to ensure that customers get the best vehicle delivery experience. The deliveries will be done in accordance with guidelines mandated by local authorities. Efforts will be made to ensure that the home delivery experience is just as good as deliveries done at dealerships.

Before delivery, the vehicle will be thoroughly checked by the dealer. At the time of delivery, customers can go through the checklist to ensure that everything is as per their order. All Kawasaki vehicles will be delivered by dealership professionals who are well-acquainted with the operation, maintenance and safety requirements of the vehicle.

This will ensure proper care and handling during transportation and delivery. Kawasaki has purposefully avoided using common carriers and third-party delivery service providers for home delivery of its vehicles. For home delivery of other products such as spare parts, accessories and apparel, Kawasaki will be relying on common carriers or third-party services. This is the same process that was being used earlier as well.

Kawasaki will try its best to provide home delivery option to as many customers as possible. However, due to local restrictions, home delivery of vehicles may not be possible at some locations. Customers will probably need to contact their nearest dealer to know about availability of home delivery option.

Whatever Happened to the Kawasaki J Shape-Shifting Electric Motorcycle?

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

In the very near future, electric motorcycles will become just as common as electric cars. There are countless startups working on such projects, and even giant Harley-Davidson has joined the party with the launch of the LiveWire.

But there is one company that saw the potential of electric motorcycles years before all others. Back in 2013, at a time when electric cars were just beginning their ascension, Kawasaki introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show the J concept, a bike the likes of which the world had never seen before.

Half a decade before Yamaha introduced the strangely shaped Niken, Kawasaki envisioned a motorcycle with two front wheels and also the ability to shorten and rise itself to suit a particular riding style. Moreover, the motorcycle was designed to be powered by an electric powertrain, something few thought about back then.

The main trait of the motorcycle was that it could provide either a low riding position for high-speed motoring, or a more upright one just for cruising. It could do that by modifying the length and height of the wheelbase at a moment’s notice.

The bike lacked handlebars in the traditional sense, and they were replaced by two controllers, governing each of the two front wheels.

The concept looked fantastic, as you can see in the gallery above. It was of course too far fetched to actually spawn a production motorcycle anytime soon, but we would have expected at least some of the technologies previewed on it to actually make it into production.

The two front wheel layout did, not at Kawasaki but over at Yamaha. The electric powertrain never made it into production at Kawasaki either – there is an electric version loosely based on the Ninja that was shown at EICMA 2019, but with only 62 miles of range it’s more of a joke than anything else.

In the lack of something better from Kawasaki in this segment, just watch the video of the J presentation from years ago and see how glamorous it all felt back then.

 

Kawasaki’s Open-Road Ready 2020 Ninja 1000SX Ups The Comfort, Tech And Power

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by Bill Roberson from https://www.forbes.com

It’s raining and I’m sheltering in place with my family, which sadly means no motorcycle riding as spring weather imminently arrives in the Northwest. Thankfully, Kawasaki just broke the boredom by holding a model reveal online, as is the sudden new norm, and the new bike is the 2020 Ninja 1000SX. It looks to be another fine machine from the always capable Kawasaki. But after the presentation, I found myself wandering down memory lane (and through digitized photos) to the first and only Ninja I personally owned. In the early 1990’s, I happened across a pristine first-gen Top Gun era 1986 GPz 900 Ninja in bone-stock, unblemished like-new condition (below). Resplendent in original red, white and blue livery, it was by that time somewhat of a performance relic, but I bought it anyway because, well, I had always wanted one and the price was right. Compared to the back-road-strafing Suzuki GSX-R 750 I was riding at the time, it was heavy, a bit wobbly when pressed in the curves, and big. But still, it was just so cool. It still is.

One weekend, a riding buddy and I saddled up our respective bikes with some soft bags and headed out to parts unknown in the wide-open (and very lightly patrolled) reaches of eastern Oregon. Midway into a long leg of the trip, my cohort was complaining about the uncomfortable riding position of his mount and tried everything from using the rear pegs to sitting on towels to soothe the pain. But I had made an unexpected discovery: That big, heavy GPz Ninja was a near-perfect sport-touring machine, with a supple yet sporty suspension, a comfortable seat, a near-perfect bar-seat-peg triangle (for myself at least), and a willing, powerful engine. That was the first of many long trips on the Ninja.

Over 30 years later, Kawasaki’s now-venerable Ninja nameplate has gone through numerous iterations and generations, ranging from sword-sharp track attack weapons to the beyond-bonkers 300+hp H2R supercharged exotic. But sitting in the sweet spot in the lineup is the great, great grandchild of that first GPz machine, the 2020 Ninja 1000SX. It still looks fast, with rakish, geometric bodywork and a mean, purposeful stance. And it is Ninja fast, with a new 1,043cc inline-four that puts out triple-digit horsepower and is tuned for more torque than your typical sportbike screamer. But best of all, this modern Ninja calls out to me like my old friend, with more focused capabilities that weren’t readily apparent in my sturdy GPz.

The $12,399 2020 Ninja 1000SX is both a sport-riding and a sport-touring platform with a definite emphasis on sport, but Kawasaki has also embraced and expanded its touring acumen. Hard bags that use a slick low-profile mounting system are an OEM option, the quick-release windscreen adjusts across four settings, there are four seat options, and the SX has been retooled digitally for open-road riding including, at long last, electronic cruise control (the real kind, not the plastic throttle lock I used on my ‘86 Ninja). But it’s also designed to be a competent back-roads tool, including a new clutchless quick shifter and slipper clutch, giving riders the ability to scratch an itch in both worlds.

For 2020, Kawasaki has also upped the tech quotient to a large degree over the 2019 model. The KIBS ABS smart braking system is now standard, and a new Bosch inertial module adds more safety options to the braking and acceleration parts of the ride, including a novel new cornering management system. For pilots wanting less tech intervention, certain aspects of the system, such as the three-level traction control, can be set to “off.” Incredibly, the Bosch IMU doing all that thinking for you only weighs a scant 40 grams, or about as much as a handful of paperclips. There are also expanded ride modes including Sport, Rain and Road, as well as a custom Rider mode where you can set up your own favorite profile. Parameters within riding modes can be adjusted as well and everything can be set up on the bike’s new 4.3-inch TFT color cockpit display, or through the Kawasaki Rideology smartyphone app. As I recall, my Top Gun Ninja had a gas gauge, which I thought was pretty damn trick at the time. I taped an LCD clock from the dollar store to the tach to really take things to the next level. Ah, the carbureted days…

To be sure, the 2020 NinjaSX is a smart-looking bike, and Kawasaki’s engineers have tweaked the fairing for better airflow, as well as moving from a two-pipe muffler layout to a more sporty (and lighter weight) single-sided affair more in tune with its pure sportbike brethren.

Probably my only complaint is the color scheme, which is a natty grey and black scheme with Kawi-green accent stripes (as above) as the only option, at least so far. Come on, Kawasaki, find some old cans of Ninja red, white and blue paint already!

Once the world starts turning again, the new Ninja 1000SX should be available in Kawasaki showrooms, and it’s only a $200 bump over the old model.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom unveiled – A 250cc track machine

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by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom is a track-only version of the brand’s new 249cc four-cylinder sportsbike

Kawasaki has unveiled the all-new Ninja ZX-25R Racer Custom ahead of its official debut event which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The pandemic has caused a lot of confusion among global automotive industries with back-to-back plant shutdowns, event cancellations and rising losses. However, manufacturers have taken social media as an effective platform to introduce their latest products.

Coming back to Kawasaki’s latest product, the Racer Custom variant is essentially a track-focused, track-bred and track-only version of the Ninja ZX-25R that was unveiled last year. The sportsbike’s main highlight is its power plant — a 249cc DOHC liquid-cooled ‘inline-4’ engine that can rev up to a cool 17,500rpm!

So far, Kawasaki has not shared the exact engine specifications of the ZX-25R or its track-only avatar. Various reports state that it could generate around 45bhp and a lot of acoustic drama (way more for the Racer Custom variant). In fact, Kawasaki had shared the exhaust note of its new light-capacity four-banger. To many, it wouldn’t make any sense to split a displacement of roughly 250cc into four cylinders, but for the very few who likes to ride a motorcycle at its absolute limit (in a safe environment) will find a fun machine in Kawasaki’s new ZX-25R.

Kawasaki also plans to introduce a new one-make championship next year with the ZX-25R (and NOT the track-only Racer Custom variant). The race will be open to anyone regardless of their track hours. Meanwhile, Kawasaki has introduced a host of performance and cosmetic upgrades for potential ‘25R’ buyers. This includes racing cowls, tank pad, track tyres (Dunlop Sportmax ?-13SP), Showa suspension, new chainset, performance exhaust, carbon bits and many more.

Sources suggest that Kawasaki’s ‘baby ZX-10R’ will first hit the Indonesian market, after which it will be filtered down to further potential markets in Asia and Europe. India may not get it and we don’t expect Kawasaki to make the effort.

Even though the concept of low-capacity four-cylinder motorcycles is relatively unheard among the wider scenario, such motorcycles have been around since the late 20th century. Kawasaki’s iconic ZXR250 could be considered as the virtual predecessor of the new ZX-25R. One might find 40-45bhp to be a normal figure in this day and age, but these motorcycles require an expert to harness their full potential by shifting correctly in extremely narrow peak power bands.

Eli Tomac Charges to Fourth in Atlanta

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. (March 1, 2020) – Round 9 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship made its way to Atlanta, Georgia, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac overcame a difficult main event, putting together a strong ride to come from behind to finish fourth and hold onto the red-plate.

Eli Tomac scored his first pole position of the season by setting a blistering time of 50.294 seconds marking the eighth time in nine races a Kawasaki rider has earned the pole position in the 450SX class.

As the gate dropped on the second heat race of the night it was the No. 3 KX™450 rocketing out the gate, grabbing the holeshot and checking out from the competition. Tomac crossed the finish line with an impressive nine-second lead to take the heat race win.

In the 450SX Main Event Tomac found himself buried off the start with his work cut out for him. As he began charging forward making his way up to seventh place, his progress was quickly halted when he and another rider came together, sending Tomac back to 15th place. Tomac began his charge forward, but a small mistake caused his bike to stall, a quick press of the electric start button on the handlebar minimized the damage and from there Tomac put together an amazing performance, riding from behind to narrowly miss the podium with a fourth-place finish. Tomac heads to Daytona tied in the lead for the 450SX championship point standings with Ken Roczen.

This weekend’s race in Atlanta marked the first time in Monster Energy Supercross history that a race would be held on leap day.

“The main event didn’t go as planned, but the good news is we live to fight another day and line back up next weekend at one of my favorite tracks, Daytona. There are still positives to take away from today; we were fastest qualifier, won our heat race, and we never gave up in the main event, and battled hard all the way to the very end to salvage as many points as possible. We are going to put this race behind us and be ready to rock next week in Daytona!” – Eli Tomac

This weekend marked Round 3 of the 250SX East Coast Championship, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Jordon Smith bounced back to score a top-5 finish and teammate Garrett Marchbanks not far behind in seventh.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki powerhouse combo kicked off the day by Marchbanks qualifying in fourth and Smith in sixth.

The second 250SX heat race saw the No. 54 machine of Smith once again rocket his KX™250 out of the gate, and immediately challenging for the top position. Meanwhile, teammate Marchbanks found himself buried off the start and found himself in twelfth place at the end Lap 1. Marchbanks having his work cut out for him, began slicing and dicing his way past the competition on the tight and narrow track and was able to climb up to fifth place. Smith continued to jockey for position the entire race, and with two laps to go he pulled the trigger on making a pass stick for second place.

As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event, both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders ripped out of the gate aboard their KX250 motorcycles in the top-5 where they would both spend the vast majority of the race battling for position. Marchbanks eventually would make a pass on his teammate Smith and began going after third place, however a mistake would send Marchbanks off course causing him to reaggravate an old injury. Marchbanks did everything he could to ride through the pain finishing in seventh place. Teammate Smith rode smart and consistent crossing the finish line in fourth place.

Marchbanks currently sits fourth in the 250SX East Championship point standings with Smith close behind in fifth place.

Monster Energy Kawasaki: Atlanta SX Preview

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Eddie Warren Won on a Kawasaki KX125
The first 125cc (now the 250SX class) supercross race held in Atlanta was on February 23, 1985. Eddie Warren won on a Kawasaki for his first career win, en route to the class’ inaugural Eastern Regional Supercross title.

250SX All-Time Wins by Brand in Atlanta

Kawasaki: 11
Honda: 8
Yamaha: 8
Suzuki: 4
Husqvarna: 2
KTM: 1

One Last Ride

In his last year of racing before retiring at the age of 26, Mark Barnett won the Atlanta round of supercross aboard his Kawasaki SR125 in 1985.

Record Attendance

The previous Atlanta venue (Georgia Dome) holds the record for the largest recorded attendance in supercross history at 71,009 fans in 2012.

Eli Tomac Lasso’s the Competition in Texas to win his Fourth Monster Energy Supercross Race of the Season

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Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Lasso’s the Competition in Texas to win his Fourth Monster Energy Supercross Race of the Season
February 22, 2020 | AT&T Stadium | Arlington, TX.

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 23, 2020) – Round 8 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship made its way to the Lone Star state, where Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac captured his fourth 450SX win of the season, further extending his championship points lead.

Rookie Adam Cianciarulo and his teammate Eli Tomac looked to once again top the charts of qualifying for the eighth week in a row, however, his day would be cut short after crashing during the first practice. Cianciarulo suffered a broken collarbone from the incident and was forced to sit out for the night.

As the gate dropped on the first race of the three-race Triple Crown format, Tomac found himself buried outside of the top-10 at the end of lap one. Tomac, using the power of his KX™450 motorcycle put his head down and spent the next 12 minutes charging past his competitors and worked his way into fifth place. This championship-caliber push would ultimately pay dividends later in the evening.

450SX Main Event 2 saw the No. 3 of Tomac sneak inside the competition at the end of the first corner and he went on to lead every lap of the second race. His 5-1 finishes going into the third and final moto put Tomac just one point back of the overall lead.

Similarly, to the second Main Event race, Tomac snuck inside once again, however, he was not able to capitalize in the opening corners and would cross the line in sixth on the first lap. With the Olympic style scoring to the Triple Crown format, every position ahead of Tomac would ultimately determine the fate of his overall result. Tomac was not going to be denied on the evening and spent the next several laps tirelessly clicking off competitors one by one and on lap 13 he was able to make a pass for the lead stick. Tomac’s 5-1-1 finishes was the lowest total score off all competitors, earning him the evenings overall win.

This marks Tomac’s second 450SX win in Arlington and his 31st career win. Tomac has now won four of the eight races this season, and further extends his championship points lead to seven markers over second place.

“We showed that we could fight and overcome adversity tonight. To be completely honest, I just got a bad start and struggled to find any rhythm in the first main event. Once I got into fifth place I kind of just got tight and couldn’t go forward after that. But I was able to quickly regroup with the team, and in the next two main events, we had a much better gate pick each time and were able to control the races from there. I am just happy to be leaving here healthy. We raced something like 50 laps tonight and as you saw, the track took out a lot of key dudes. I am glad we’re through it and looking forward to Atlanta next weekend.” – Eli Tomac

This weekend marked Round 2 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross series for the 250SX East Coast Championship, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Garrett Marchbanks and Jordon Smith would partake in their first Triple Crown event of the season. It was Marchbanks consistency that would pay off with a top-5 finish for the second week in a row.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo kicked off the day by Marchbanks qualifying in fourth and Smith in eighth.

The 250SX Main Event 1 saw the No. 54 machine of Smith rocket his KX™250 out of the gate and secure the holeshot. Smith would spend nearly the entire moto jockeying for a podium position, however, a competitors’ aggressive move late in the race sent Smith off course and he would finish in fourth place. Marchbanks had his work cut out for him as he found himself well outside the top-10 off the start of the race, but not to be outdone, Marchbanks charged all the way up to salvage a sixth-place finish.

As the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event 2, it was once again Smith who nearly nabbed the holeshot but he got bumped by a competitor which shuffled him back to the back of the pack in the second turn. Smith worked his way up through the field but contact with another rider knocked him off his bike and he finished the race in 20th. Similarly, to the first main event, Marchbanks charged through the pack and just narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Consistency was the key to Marchbanks’ success on the night, as he would finish the final moto in fifth place, giving him scores of 6-4-5 which earned him fifth overall. Marchbanks currently sits in fifth place position in the 250SX East Championship Point Standings. Smith crosses the finish line in 14th and finished the evening in 13th place overall sitting seventh place in the point standings.

Monster Energy Kawasaki: Tampa SX Preview

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The First of Many

In 2018, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner earned his first career 250SX win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Brand Sweep

After a 19 year hiatus of racing in Tampa, Florida racing resumed in 2018 at Raymond James Stadium where Kawasaki riders swept both classes with Eli Tomac winning the 450SX class and Austin Forkner won the 250SX class. It is also the only time that any manufacturer brand has swept the Tampa Supercross race.

Jeff Ward – 1987

In 1987, Jeff Ward won the inaugural supercross race in Tampa, Florida in the 250cc class with fellow Kawasaki rider, Ron Lechien, finishing in second place.

Jordon Smith – #54
“I am really excited to get back behind the gate this weekend. It has been a long time since I’ve lined up, but I absolutely love my new Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250. I feel like I am gelling really well with the team and we’ve been putting in a lot of work this offseason. I am ready to let it show!”

Garrett Marchbanks – #36
“We learned a lot last year and it was great to earn the Rookie of the Year title, but we are looking for a lot more this year. I am excited to show all of the hard work I have been putting in.”