To Valencia For An Ambitious End Of The Season

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 14. With three podiums in the last three races, and eight total in the season, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is on the crest of a…

The post To Valencia For An Ambitious End Of The Season appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 14. With three podiums in the last three races, and eight total in the season, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is on the crest of a...

The post To Valencia For An Ambitious End Of The Season appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Revealed: The 2019 Kawasaki Z400 Supernaked

Developed in parallel with the 2018 Ninja 400, like its Ninja counterpart the new Z400 offers significantly improved performance care of all-new high-performance engine and chassis. Keeping sugomi* performance in mind, both engine and chassis tuning were optimised for a Supernaked package. Compared to the Z300, the new Z400 offers lighter handling and stronger low-end […]

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Developed in parallel with the 2018 Ninja 400, like its Ninja counterpart the new Z400 offers significantly improved performance care of all-new high-performance engine and chassis. Keeping sugomi* performance in mind, both engine and chassis tuning were optimised for a Supernaked package. Compared to the Z300, the new Z400 offers lighter handling and stronger low-end feeling – a rider friendly combination ideal for fun, nimble street riding.

Matching its exciting performance, the Z400 is clad in aggressive new styling. Inspired by the sugomi styling of the flagship Z models, all-new bodywork blends the designs of the Z650 and Z300 to deliver an aggressive, agile, masculine impression.

Whether deftly navigating the urban jungle or parked strikingly on a street corner, this lightweight, powerful Supernaked is sure to turn heads.

*Sugomi describes core performance and styling elements found in Kawasaki’s Z supernaked models. Imbued with sugomi, their performance excites; a ride on a Z supernaked is a visceral experience that stimulates the senses; engine and chassis tuning deliver a high level of control. Sugomi is also evident in their sharp styling, dynamic crouching form, and distinct silhouette.

NEW ENGINE: HIGH PERFORMANCE & HIGH CONTROLLABILITY

The Z400 all-new 399 cm3 engine delivers a balance of performance and controllability. The new engine offers increased performance at all rpm compared to its predecessor, with good power feeling. Smooth, predictable response contributes to an easy-to-control engine character.

Powerful, Rider-Friendly Parallel Twin

Displacing 399 cm3, the new engine delivers significantly increased performance compared to its predecessor: 33.4 kW for the Z400 (+4.4 kW vs the 2018 Z300); 27.5 kW. The higher performance can largely be credited to the new downdraft intake, which is accompanied by a larger airbox offering increased intake efficiency. The increased performance is complemented by a rider-friendly character; the smooth response and abundant low-end torque facilitate throttle control for new and experienced riders alike.

Compact, Lightweight & Efficient

Designing the engine from scratch allowed the engine layout to be optimised for size, weight and efficiency. The new unit is comparable in size to that of the 2013-2018 Z250 – the new Z400 engine is almost identical in size to that of its Z250 counterpart. Numerous weight reduction efforts keep weight to a minimum – despite a larger displacement (in the case of the Z400). The clean design, trimmed of any unnecessary items, and the revamped layout enable a slim engine and a cooling system with minimised external piping.

New Assist & Slipper Clutch

More compact clutch (ø139 mm >> ø125 mm) with less rigid operating plates offers a 20% lighter lever pull. Complementing the extremely light feel at the lever, the new clutch has a wider engagement range, facilitating control.

NEW CHASSIS: LIGHTWEIGHT, STABLE & MANOEUVRABLE

Offering considerable weight savings compared to its predecessor, the new chassis delivers a balance of stability and light, easy manoeuvrability. Its slim design facilitates both control and ease of riding, making the Z400 an easy choice for both new and experienced riders. The Z400 features a trellis frame similar in design to that of the Ninja H2. Kawasaki’s advanced dynamic rigidity analysis was used to ensure optimum rigidity with light weight. The engine is rigid-mounted and used as a stressed member. The new frame design contributes significantly to the bike’s low curb mass.

Light, Predictable Handling

With both the engine and frame being new, engine placement could also be optimised. The new chassis features a short-wheelbase/long-swingarm design, complemented by a steep caster angle that delivers light, natural handling. The bike’s light weight also contributes to its easy handling and facilitates manoeuvring when off the bike.

More Rigid Front Fork

More rigid ø41 mm telescopic fork delivers better suspension action. The front wheel feels really planted, direction changes are made easily (even when the bike is fairly upright – handy when navigating traffic jams), and overall the suspension offers the plushness of a larger displacement bike.

Large-Diameter Front Brake Disc

Measuring ø310 mm (the same size as those of the Z1000), the Z400’s semi-floating front disc offers sure stopping power. A rigid new front brake master cylinder helps eliminate ineffective (idle) stroke, contributing to controllability, while carefully selected brake hose dimensions and material contribute to brake touch. All models are equipped with ABS and feature the latest ABS unit from Nissin, the most compact and lightweight available.

Ergonomics for Active Control

Relaxed rider triangle accommodates a wide range of rider sizes and riding situations, contributing to its rider-friendly character. The relatively upright riding position and wider handlebar put the rider in the ideal position for active control, facilitating dynamic, sporty riding.

Easy Reach to the Ground

While seat height is 785 mm (when radial tyres are fitted), the slim design of both the seat (30 mm narrower) and the rear of the engine gives riders an unobstructed line for their feet to reach the ground.

Compact Multi-Function Instrumentation

The Z400 is equipped with the same stacked instrument cluster as the Z650. Offering an easy-to-read layout, the analogue-style tachometer features a gear position indicator at its centre and sits atop a multi-function LCD screen.

LED Headlamp

In addition to contributing to the Z400 sharp looks, the newly designed LED headlamp is highly visible and offers significantly increased brightness and a wider illuminated path.

Compact Multi-Function Instrumentation

The Z400 is equipped with the same stacked instrument cluster as the Z650. Offering an easy-to-read layout, the analogue-style tachometer features a gear position indicator at its centre and sits atop a multi-function LCD screen.

AVAILABILITY

Availability and pricing of the Kawasaki Z400 into South Africa is yet to be confirmed, as soon as we get confirmation from Kawasaki South Africa, we will update you.

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Alex Rins Blog

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 11. Alex Rins talks about the recent fly-away races that saw Team SUZUKI ECSTAR take three podiums in three races, which took the team’s…

The post Alex Rins Blog appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 11. Alex Rins talks about the recent fly-away races that saw Team SUZUKI ECSTAR take three podiums in three races, which took the team’s...

The post Alex Rins Blog appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup…. Why going green makes sense!

By Clifford Ogle The chequered flag has just waved the end of the 2018 Kawasaki ZX10R Cup season and what a season it was! Sven Grune and Graeme van Breda put on a great show all season long, battling and swapping paint right down to the last race weekend for top honours. As always, the […]

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By Clifford Ogle

Photo credit: Neil Phillipson / Racetrackpics

The chequered flag has just waved the end of the 2018 Kawasaki ZX10R Cup season and what a season it was! Sven Grune and Graeme van Breda put on a great show all season long, battling and swapping paint right down to the last race weekend for top honours. As always, the 20-plus strong field kept us on the edge of our seats throughout the season at all the major racing circuits across the country.

According to the ZX10 Masters Cup website “The Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup was the brainchild of well-known racer Louis van Bergen. The Cup started in 2007 as a one make Kawasaki series and one brand tyres. Headed up by champions Greg Dreyer and Gavin Lightfoot, the recipe became a huge success. Over the years the cup has seen the participation of other national stars such as the late Gavin Ramsay, Danie Maritz, Brad Stark, Stewart Mcleod, Graeme van Breda and the late Jannie Stander, to name a few. 2019 will be the 13th year the cup will be running since its inception”.

The recipe is a simple one, keep the bikes as close to stock standard as possible with very limited modifications (slip on exhaust, rear-sets, levers, gearing, DNA air filters, ECU flashing and body kits) with all bikes competing on only 1 set of Bridgestone R10 tyres for qualifying, Race 1 and Race 2, over the race weekend. This leaves it all down to the rider who wants to twist the throttle the hardest to take the ultimate glory rather than the rider with the biggest cheque book. It also brings everyone closer together on the track which makes for good racing right down the grid.

Photo credit: Neil Phillipson / Racetrackpics

The Club has its very own constitution, which has been approved by MSA and its purpose is to provide guidelines to the running of the cup. The general rules for each member is aimed in terms of sportsmanship, the upkeep of the good name of the cup and it’s sponsors and, most importantly, the wellbeing of the series. This has worked well in terms of attracting big name sponsors and keeping them locked in. Red Square and Bridgestone have yet again committed to the series and have signed right up until 2020, which also guarantees another 2 seasons of ZX10 action on DSTV, giving riders the opportunity to offer their personal sponsors a great platform to advertise their brand.

Over the last few seasons I have been competing in the Bridgestone Thunderbike series, which also makes up part of the Extreme Festival, and to be honest, I have always been in awe as to how the single manufacturer series is run. The grid is always full by locking in riders for a full season of racing as opposed to one hit wonder, wild-card rides creating carnage; spiced up with a bit of politics when it comes down to earning championship points, which has plagued other 2 wheels categories for years. Instead, the camaraderie between the racers is thriving and seen as more of a racing family.

The overall image that the Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Cup has built up over the last 12 seasons is just supreme. I have even seen ZX10 pilots run out of talent and take a tumble in qualifying (with a very sad looking Kawi coming back to pitlane in pieces) but are back on track in time for race 1, due to their track rivals or pitlane pals having pitched in where they could with spare parts. It really is something special.

With the demise of the National series there is a lot of rumours and whispers out and about as to where the national racers will be swapping paint and burning rubber next year. One of the more widespread rumours doing the rounds, is that the National Gladiators may be joining the Extreme Festival and could even possibly be joining the Thunderbike series, which would make the cost of a privateer, like myself, trying to compete in a national series quite tricky! There is also talk of a new series coming to town, which is an exciting prospect as the aim is to be more of an open championship, in terms of rules and rider cost. However, this will have no TV coverage, no set calendar and still it is in the early stages of development. It is therefore more a case of wait-and-see, before making the switch. Plus, open rules still brings the cheque book racing issue back into the equation.

Photo credit: Neil Phillipson / Racetrackpics

As I rapidly approach the 35 years of age milestone, I have started to do a little bit more research into the Kawasaki series as I am now finally of legal age to join the grid. What has really impressed me in my information search is how much Kawasaki is putting back into racing, ensuring that the racers are well looked after and motivated by keeping racing as affordable as possible (which is very rare on the road racing scene). I don’t think anyone else is doing this at this stage and I can assure you, in my quest for sponsorship over many seasons, they are the only ones in the Superbike category who are really taking up an interest at regional and national level.

A once-off membership fee (for the year) on acceptance into the club gets you entry into every scheduled race on the calendar. This beats the pain and suffering of selling body parts and organs on the black market once a month to pay the fluctuating entry fee, which can easily jump over the R4000 mark for a premium circuit like Kyalami. New green machines are subsidized, if you are looking at racing a brand new machine, and any ZX10R qualifies for the racer a discount on genuine Kawasaki parts, which makes the running cost over a season minimal.

My personal favorite though, are the logistics on offer. When racing the away events on the calendar, like down in the coastal regions, the organizers have an allocated vehicle to transport all the racers bikes down to the track, which takes out the logistical nightmare of trying to balance work, travelling and getting everything to the track and back after the race weekend. All you need to do is crate your bike and like magic it arrives at the circuit and then back in Joburg a few days later.

Photo credit: Neil Phillipson / Racetrackpics

It really is a no brainer for me at this stage, as who wouldn’t want to be a part of the best racing series in South Africa? So, as I am writing this article I am putting my current race bike up for sale, putting in an active search on all the online bike find websites and filling in my membership application, as it just makes sense to go green in 2019!

Photos by Neil Phillipson / Racetrackpics.

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Suzuki In Action – Australian MotoGP Video Online

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 1.   Join Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins in action at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix last weekend in…

The post Suzuki In Action – Australian MotoGP Video Online appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 1.   Join Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins in action at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix last weekend in...

The post Suzuki In Action – Australian MotoGP Video Online appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.