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Kawasaki Z125 - Grom Fighter

Looks like Kawasaki is entering the tiny bike fray with a Honda Grom fighting Z125.

That's one strange promo video!




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Kawasaki H2 Teasers

Kawasaki has published some teasers on teh upcoming H2. Check'em out:



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Ninja ZX-14R ABS Special Edition

Kawasaki has added a new limited edition 30th Anniversary Ninja model, revealing the 2015 ZX-14R in a special Firecracker Red and Metallic Graystone combination. It's based on the colors of the original 1984 Ninja 900, the company’s first fully-faired sportbike and the one Tom Cruise rode in Top Gun.

300 units of the limited edition Ninja ZX-14R will be produced for the U.S. and Latin America, each getting a uniquely-numbered badge on the gas tank.



Only 30 units are coming to Canada, with its own specific numbering. No other markets will get this limited edition color option.


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Too much horsepower? 507 RWHP Turbo ZX12R

That's a lot of power!




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Demo a Kawasaki at the track

With stops across Canada this is Kawasaki demo something you may want to get in on if you can get the day off! Track Day!

Join Canadian Kawasaki Motors for the 2014 National Demo Tour and the Ninja Experience Tours. Kawasaki's National Demo Tour travels across Canada to a dealer near you. Sign up today and ride one of Kawasaki's full range of 2014 motorcycles. Sign up for Kawasaki's Ninja Experience and feel the thrill of the track on a brand new 2014 Ninja.


This year Kawasaki partners with the Canadian Cancer Society to help raise money for cancer research. All riders who reserve a spot at an event are requested to make a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society through Kawasaki’s donation page. Click here to make your donation today. Riders must show proof of their donation.

Do you have a 1980's Ninja? Click here to learn how you may be eligible for a special limited edition gift from Kawasaki!


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Ninja 300 slip on from Two Brothers Racing


Looking to add horsepower, increase torque, drop weight on your small displacement motorcycle? Two Brothers Racing might have just the thing for you.  It won't come cheap though. MSRP on the Kawasaki 300 Ninja model is $619.98 USD. Honda CBR500R, Honda CBR250R, and more models to come...

Full details:

The all-new Tarmac exhaust is the latest state-of-the-art product from Two Brothers Racing. The new system features carbon fiber highlighted by a natural finished Aluminum outlet and stamped spring-mounted inlet for ultimate durability.

The Tarmac exhaust from Two Brothers Racing showcases a brand-new design while increasing all-around performance. The beautiful new look is courtesy of TBR's innovative high temperature carbon fiber weave, while the performance is supported by TBR's constantly improving technology.

Tarmac New Features:

- Aerospace high-temp carbon fiber
- Teflon coated magnesium end-cap
- Stamped spring-fit inlet
- Aluminum CNC Machined outlet
- Rubber-lined styled mount
- Spiral-wound perforated core
- Accepts sound reduction tips



Check out Two Brothers Racing website for more: http://www.twobros.com/Exhaust/Tarmac/




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Tim Hortons (Sudbury) Backed Young Rolls onto BSB Grid with Team WD40

Thornbury Ontario, Canada / Sheffield UK  -  March 25, 2014 -  As announced yesterday Scottish-born / Canadian resident Ben Young is delighted to announce that he will contest the British Superbike 1000cc Superstock Championship aboard the #40 GR Motosport prepared Team WD-40  Kawasaki ZX-10R in the highly competitive 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championships (BSB).  


Young is honoured to continue his long-term partnership with Tim Hortons (Sudbury) franchisee Gilles Bolduc for the third straight year. Not only will 2014 be a special year for Young, Canadian coffee icon Tim Hortons will be celebrating their 50th anniversary as well.

Proudly sporting the Tim Hortons brand Young has been honing his craft racing throughout the United States in the AMA Pro Road Racing’s Daytona Sportbike class since 2011.  2013 was his best year to-date, highlighted at the opening round by an 8th place finish last March in the prestigious Daytona 200. 

Residing in Canada since 2007, Young is no stranger to racing in the UK.  He started off competing in the Scottish Minimoto Championships at the age of five then progressed to compete in the Scottish and British 125GP Championships.

Although this is a home coming of sorts for Young, the resident of Thornbury, Ontario Canada is looking forward the new challenge of riding the 1000cc machine in the British Superbike Superstock class.

Young is also honoured to continue his long-term partnerships with Aria Helmets and Scot-build Developments Inc. in his new venture abroad.  He will continue to be outfitted with the latest AXO America Indy Leather Race Suits, KK4-R Gloves and Aragon Race Boots.
  
Young’s Team WD-40 teammates include:  #7 Barry Burrell (Superbike) and #40 Tarran Mackenzie (Superstock 600).


Ben Young:  “A few opportunities to race in North America presented themselves over the off-season. However, a chance to challenge myself racing in the BSB with such an established and competitive team as Team WD-40 was a brilliant opportunity that I just had to pursue.  I'm looking forward to acclimatizing to the Kawasaki ZX-10R as quickly as possible, getting to know my teammates and the entire crew better and of course having a great year of racing. I can’t thank Brent and Gilles enough for believing in me!”
  
Young signed with Team WD-40 early in the year and was looking forward to reconnecting with fellow AMA Daytona Sportbike competitor Tommy Aquino:  “I was deeply saddened by the news of Tommy’s passing.  I watched Tommy throughout the 2013 season as I know how difficult the BSB scene is.  He was outstanding and was growing to become a major player.  I will be giving my 100% in his honour and to continue his success that he had with Brent and the team.”

Brent Gladwin: “We’re delighted to have Ben join Team WD-40 with Tommy’s recommendation and I can’t wait to get the season started.  We were impressed with Ben’s 2013 AMA Daytona Sportbike season especially his 8th place finish in last year’s Daytona 200.  The 200 is a tough race to do well in and I believe he was the top true privateer.  He has a natural talent and has obviously worked extremely hard to hone that talent; I’m pleased to have signed him”.

Gilles Bolduc:  “Over the past few years Ben has done an astounding job of representing the Tim Hortons brand throughout the Unites States. Now, he along with Team WD40 are taking the brand right across the UK.  Like many fellow Canadians I will be following his progress this season and cheering him on.”
  
The 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will be 12 rounds and will be televised on Eurosport, Eurosport 2, ITV 1 and ITV 4 and in the U.S. and Canada online at www.velocity.com . Visitwww.britishsuperbike.com  for all the latest BSB news and visit the official British Superbike Championship Youtube channel for race Hi-Lights and interviews: www.youtube.com/user/britishsuperbike

To stay up to date with Team WD-40 this season visit: www.teamwd40.com , and connect with the team via Twitter: @GRMotoSport and on Facebook: search ‘GR Motosport’
To connect with Ben Young visit: www.fogi.us , on Twitter: @bcyoung86 , on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BenYoungRacing and Kiltr: kiltr.com/ben-young-racing

Team Partners
STAUFF, Cargolink Express, L&A Reinforcements, Tim Hortons, Optimum Fleet Management, Scott Build, Amtech, LEXELLE.com, Highlea Homes, F&G Commercials, 3 Squared, Signsxtra

Technical Partners
Kawasaki, Scorpion Red Power, Dynojet UK, Swinton Motorcycles, R&G racing, PPG Paint, Goodridge, Pipercross, Solo Motorcycle products, Super B, Dymag Wheels,

Photo Credit: (Courtesy of Team WD-40 / GR Motosport)

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2013 Halifax International Motorcycle wraps up

The 2013 Halifax International Motorcycle Show wrapped up this Sunday and turnout was affected by the snowstorm that hit the east coast on Saturday and Sunday but the die-hard enthusiasts still made it out and enjoyed easy access to motorcycles from every brand.

Check out our big picture gallery from the show. The Honda FB6 was definitely a stand-out motorcycle for me. It's impressive looking and feels all day comfortable.

One lucky attendee took home a Honda CBR250R as a door prize. His odds were a little better because of all the snow!





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Kawasaki Ninja 636 on the Isle of Man

I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited the Kawasaki 636 is back for 2013. It's something a little different in the sportbike world.

A Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 Ninja on the Isle Of Man.... genius!

There's some great footage here in this Kawasaki promo - and some details on the course itself too. Check it out!




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Kawasaki Ninja 300 for 2013

Kawasaki has a Ninja 300 Sportbike coming for 2013. An increase in power over the 250 can be expected and some media are reporting that the horsepower and torque numbers as 39bhp and 20lb/ft respectively.

Exciting news for those looking for a sporty bike that's not too big. That includes people new to motorcycling and those who just don't think they need a 1000 cc superbike for the type of riding they're doing. I mean, who does need that really!?

The 296 CC parallel twin with also said to feature ABS braking, slipper clutch, built in turn signal designed into the fairing, floating style windscreen, analog/digital instruments, and redesigned seat.






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Yamato Unveils 1/6 Museum Model, Vol.1: Kawasaki Z1 – 1972 Early Type (Candy Brown)

Some cool stuff from the folks from Yamato Co,. Ltd. A functioning 1/6 model of 1972 Kawasaki Z1 that was five years in the making.  Amazing! No word on cost but I want one!

Full details:

Yamato Co., Ltd., a leader in the design and manufacture of high-end transforming vehicles and detailed figures, is pleased to announce history in the making with the introduction of its latest groundbreaking achievement:   1/6 Museum Model, Vol. 1:  Kawasaki Z1 – 1972 Early Type (Candy Brown), the most accurate and customizable motorcycle model to date.

Motorcycle models are nothing new, but motorcycle models of the past have lacked precision, omitted details, and ultimately remained a fixed display.  However, through the use of the latest technologies and materials, as well as our own unique expertise, we at Yamato have successfully replicated a motorcycle in scale form which is so true, precise, and versatile that, in our opinion, it is genuinely worthy of a display in a museum.  Truly, this is the birth of an unprecedented motorcycle model which is far beyond the “toy” category!

So how did we achieve such a feat?

A Lengthy and Exhaustive Search around the World


In making our Z1 1/6 Museum Model, we set out to include every last detail down to the engraved logos of individual parts.  With the passage of forty years, though, the availability of an actual Z1 upon which to base our model is obviously quite limited.  It is even harder to find a Z1 with all its original parts, as over time parts have been refurbished, modified, or added.


In order to perfectly replicate the Z1, we had to painstakingly search out and obtain genuine, original parts from motorcycle shops and passionate collectors around the world.  Then, utilizing the latest in 3D laser scanning technology, we took each part, scanned them one by one, and transferred the data into CAD to create precise prototypes for flawless molds.  But that’s not all.

Precision Engineering, Then and Now


What’s even more amazing is that there are many small parts used on the actual Z1 that are too small to replicate in 1/6 scale.  Some parts are less than 1.0mm in thickness!  That’s way too small to duplicate utilizing conventional injection molding.


We began our 1/6 Museum Model project with this challenge in mind, and the goal to flawlessly replicate the Z1 by finding ways to overcome such technical obstacles.  In the end, to achieve our goal we employed an elaborate process of separating, gluing and painting small parts or replicating them using special synthetic materials more suitable for such extreme sizes than die-cast or plastic.  And our efforts paid off.


After more than five years, 1,600+ piece construction, and just as many paint applications, we have fashioned a fan’s dream - a model based on the most valuable and rarest of Z1s, “The Early Type (Frame Number 44)”, as our sensational first release:  1/6 Museum Model, Vol.1:  Kawasaki Z1 1972 Early Type (Candy Brown).  But this is no ordinary replica.


Superbike, Supermodel


Yamato’s Z1 1/6 Museum Model is not a mere display piece.  It is the ultimate scale model accurately replicating the style and beauty of the original Z1 motorcycle in every detail… including function!  Even the smallest of parts such as nuts and bolts are accurate in their function.  What does this mean?


It means Yamato’s Z1 Museum Model enables you to disassemble and assemble it just as you would have done with a real Z1.  With Yamato’s Z1 Museum Model, you can take off the side cover, as well as the fuel tank, seat, handle bars, muffler and tires using special tools included.


It also means you have the further freedom to customize your Z1 to create your own unique, one-of-a-kind motorcycle with extra parts such as handle bars, footboards, seats, tires and more all of which are now under development in joint effort with Yoshimura and other famous custom parts manufacturers.

•••

Forty years ago, Kawasaki Heavy Industries made history with the debut of its Z1.  This year, Yamato stands to make history again with its 1/6 Museum Model, Vol. 1:  Kawasaki Z1 – 1972 Early Type (Candy Brown).  Don’t miss your chance to own a part of history this fall, contact your local hobby, pop culture, or motorcycle shop for more details.  Or visit us through our North American subsidiary a twww.YamatoToysUSA.com.

And like Yamato’s 1/6 Museum Model on Facebook

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Safety Recalls - Kawasaki

Here's the latest recall listed for Kawasaki on the Transport Canada Road Safety Recalls Database:

Transport Canada Recall # 2012086

On certain motorcycles, the voltage regulator can overheat, causing uncontrolled current output which can provide insufficient charge to the battery. This can cause engine stalling and/or an inability to start the engine. Engine stalling would result in lost vehicle propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road condition, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash causing property damage and/or personal injury. Correction: Dealers will replace the voltage regulator.

Units Affected: 1,347

Models affected:

Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10R: 2008, 2009, 2010
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6R: 2009, 2010, 2011



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Halifax International Motorcycle Show brings motorcycles to downtown


The Halifax International Motorcycle Show is kicking-off their inaugural gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts at the Cunard Centre on February 17-19, 2012. Industry leading motorcycle  manufacturers and accessory products will be on site and under one big roof.Major manufacturers and dealer representatives will be there to answer your questions and provide you with an opportunity to throw a leg over the latest machines or try on the latest gear.

With 45,000 square foot of column free floor space the Cunard Centre sits on the scenic Halifax waterfront with big bright windows overlooking the harbour. The event and venue offer up a powerful mixture of salty sea air and visual stimulation. Anticipated attendance is expected to approach 20,000 and draw attendees from all the Atlantic provinces and beyond.

With the top motorcycle manufacturer product lines represented this event is the first of its kind east of Quebec.The show has attracted a lot of industry attention and support in this first year. Kawasaki Canada chose the event as one of the few venues to bring their national tour. They will be showcasing the hottest 2012 models like the supersport ZX-14R, KX450F motocross, cruisers from their revered Vulcan ine-up, street/touring, dual-purpose, and off-road motorcycles.

Event organizer Tim Leslie indicates,"Halifax is the gateway to Atlantic Canada, and its largest city. There's a vibrant and active motorcycle culture here, which makes Halifax the perfect location for a world-class motorcycle show. We're excited to be bringing the best the motorcycle world has to offer to downtown Halifax and already making plans for next year!"

With motorcycles from all the top brands, this event will be the first, and only, opportunity to see many of these machines in Nova Scotia before they appear in dealerships in the spring.There's going to be some rare models too that you might not otherwise get a chance to see at all except in the pages of a magazine. Motorcycles like the limited production Norton Commando 961. With production of this bike limited to 200 models they're sure to be very rare. Zero Motorcycles is sending some of the first production 2012 electric motorcycles in Canada to Halifax to be displayed at the show.

Aside from all the special interest motorcycles, enthusiasts of every level will find something to surprise and delight from new 2012 models and the latest in accessories to unique touring destinations. Cruisers, sport bikes, off-road, trials, touring, sport/adventure touring, even 2WD sidecar motorcycles - there's going to be something for everybody.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran motorcyclist or just somebody with a passing interest there will be something to excite you at the Halifax International Motorcycle Show.

EVENT DETAILS

Halifax International Motorcycle Show
February 17 to 19, 2012

Cunard Centre
961 Marginal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4P7

SHOW HOURS
Friday, February 17, 2012: 5 pm – 8pm
Saturday, February 18, 2012: 10 am –8 pm
Sunday, February 19, 2012: 10 am – 5pm

TICKETS
- $10 in advance at the show website(www.TheRealMotorcycleShow.com)
- $15 at the door

Free parking all weekend (Friday after 4PM).

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New Kasawaki Versys 1000cc

Kawasaki launched the Versys in Canada as a 650 at the end of 2006; they've decided to expand the brand and offer a 1000cc machine. The Versys 650 is a capable bike with a standard riding position designed for city and back-road (pavement) riding. The 1000cc version looks to carry over most of the design elements but increases displacement. That should make for more comfortable two-up travel and perhaps add a little more excitement for those solo journeys. The increase in power is substantial.

Some key specifications:

4-stroke In-Line Four (vs. parallel twin on the 650)
Aluminium twin-tube frame (vs.  Diamond, high-tensile steel on the 650)
curb weight: 239 kg (vs. 206 kg for the 650)
fuel capacity:  21 litres (vs. 19 for the 650)
max power: 86.8 kW {118 PS} @ 9,000 rpm (vs. 47 kW {64 PS} @ 8,000 rpm for the 650)
max torque: 102 N.m {10.4 kgf.m} @ 7,700 rpm (vs. 61 N·m {6.2 kgƒ·m} @ 6,800 rpm for the 650)

MSRP appears to be $13,999 in Canada. The new model appears on the Kawasaki Canada's website.

The pictures available right now are of the European spec bike and the Canadian bike "may" differ slightly.


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Modern retro from Kawasaki

A nice looking modern retro from Kawasaki that won't (for now at least) be coming to Canada.  The folks in Europe - yeah, they're getting it.

Air cooled, four stroke - vertical twin 800 cc engine.  Classic looks.




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2011 Kawasaki Z1000S leaked

What will reportedly be the new 2011 Kawasaki Z1000S have been shown by the Italian website omnimoto.it among others at this point.  


Basically what it's a 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 with a fairing. Hopefully it comes to Canada! We'll let you know when we hear more.


That means a litre bike with a bias towards flexible power delivery rather than top end track performance, more comfy ergo's, and a fairing. Being based on the Z1000 it will hopefully mean a price tag that comes with a few hundred dollars of the Z at $13,199.


The fairing will add some weather protection and make it a little more comfortable as a tourer and highway bike. The windscreen is said to offer manual three-position adjustment with over 50 cm of range.


The Z1000 makes  136bhp and 81lb/ft of torque from a 1,043cc inline-four which sits in a cast aluminum frame featuring a horizontal rear shock. 480lbs (wet). 


Apparently photo's are embargoed from publishing until October 5th but this looks pretty real to me.








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Kawasaki Ninja 400R coming to Canada


Kawasaki has an early release 2011 model surprise for all those looking for a new entry level bike, or just a sporty bike that's not all about displacement. It's the Ninja 400R.  


The all-new 400R is based on the larger 650R, sharing many of its attributes, and at 447.5 lbs. weighs, about a kilogram less than the 650R. 


It's a fuel injected parallel twin engine pumps out 43 hp at 9,500 rpm, with torque peaking at 27.3 lb-ft at 7,500 rpm. This is expectedly lower than the 650R which has a claimed 71hp at 8500rpm and 49 ft-lb. at 7000 rpm. MSRP on the 400R will be $1,200 cheaper. Insurance rates should be a little cheaper too.


It comes with a 15.5 L (3.4 gal.) tank and specs on expected fuel consumption are to be determined at the moment - but it's probably going to be pretty good.


MSRP is $7,499.  Available colors are Lime Green/Flat Super Black, Metallic Spark Black/Flat Super Black.


Smart move we think - could this be the start (or return to) of a bigger is not always better trend in motorcycles? There's not too much in the way of competition in this displacement.  I think it'll appeal to the beginner rider wanting something they won't be tired of immediately yet will still hold a strong resale value because of a broad appeal.  I also think they'll capture some riders who have a bit of cash and want a smaller bike for commuting. Might get some of those returning to motorcycling group too.


For more details, check out the link on Kawasaki Canada's website HERE.



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HDT Diesel motorcycle - Fall 2010 release

We've told you about the Hayes Diversified Technologies diesel motorcycle before but something interesting is afoot!

HDT have been making diesel motorcycles for the military for several years now and haven't had the capacity to produce bikes for the US Marines and civilian use. It looks like times have changed and they have a sign up to be placed on a waiting list for a Fall 2010 release. The bike is called the AT-1 and it features a single cylinder 670cc diesel engine.

The AT-1 starts with a KLR 650 as a mule bike with a very efficient diesel engine into it. How efficient? How does 105 miles per gallon sound? It'll also reach speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.

It won't be really cheap ($16,900 USD + tax & shipping) but it could be just the ticket if you're into adventure touring and want something that's going to be very reliable and will go as far as 1,030 km's between fill ups.

Some other interesting specs:

Power 36 PS @ 5700 RPM:
Torque 58 Nm (43 ft-lbs) @ 3300 RPM
Transmission: 5‐speed, constant mesh
Curb weight: 203 kg (447 lbs)
Colors: Black/Silver or Silver/Black

For more details check out HDT's website HERE.





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Buy a Ninja - get a track day!

CALABOGIE, Ontario - January 14, 2010. Turn 2 Sportbike School is proud to announce their participation in a new National promotion with Canadian Kawasaki Motors. With the purchase of an eligible Ninja model new riders will receive a 'FULL DAY' TURN 2 GIFT CERTIFICATE allowing them to explore the potential of their new Ninja in a safe, controlled track environment at the Turn 2 Sportbike School at Calabogie Motorsports Park.

The KAWASAKI TURN 2 "Full Day" Gift Certificate has a retail value of up to $400 and provides professional training for all skill levels. This promotion is effective December 11, 2009 to May 31 2010 with the purchase of an eligible model.

Eligible models for this promotion include:
2009: NINJA ZX-14, NINJA ZX-10R , NINJA ZX-6R, NINJA 650R, NINJA 500R
2010:
NINJA ZX-14, NINJA ZX-10R , NINJA ZX-6R, NINJA 650R

Visit your local Kawasaki dealer, Kawasaki.ca or turn2.ca for complete details. Additional information on this promotion is also available at the Turn 2 Sportbike School booth at this weekend's 2010 North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW. "The Big One by the Airport" is North America's largest and most comprehensive motorcycle show and has something for every type of rider in its seven themed halls housing all aspects of motorcycling. The North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW runs from January 15 - 17, 2010.

Turn 2 SUPERSHOW Specials Include:

  1. First 10 Advanced Riding Course (ARC) sign-ups of each day receive a free Turn 2 Moto Club Membership. Limited Offer. 10 per day only.

  2. Purchase 1 Advanced Riding Course (ARC) Course with a Bike Rental at regular price and receive a free Turn 2 Moto Club Membership, free RFID Timing, free Riding Gear Rental, free Class Photo and a free Premium Lunch. Limited Offer. 20 per day only.

  3. Purchase 1 Advanced Riding Course (ARC) Course and 1 CRG Day with a Bike Rental for both days (scheduled back-to-back) at regular price and receive a free Turn 2 Moto Club Membership, free RFID Timing, free Riding Gear rental, free Class Photo, free Premium Lunch and a 50% discount off second day bike rental fee. Limited Offer. 20 per day only.

For complete details, visit Turn 2 online at www.turn2.ca, and at the 2010 North American International Motorcycle Supershow(www.supershowevents.com) Turn 2 Sportbike School Booth. A complete schedule of events is also available at www.turn2.ca.


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Revamped 2010 Kawasaki Versys

The Kawasaki Versys has been given some cosmetic surgery for 2010. It's got some different lights (front and back) and a some new bodywork as well.

There's new front and rear lights and a modified radiator cowl. The front lights are stacked and given a bit more utilitarian look (dare I say it, somewhat reminiscent of the BMW F800GS which are admittedly side-by-side as opposed to the stacked lights on the Versys. But the BMW lights are most definitely utilitarian looking) and the rear light is a LED. The 62bhp 649cc parallel-twin motor remains sans changes, as do the chassis and suspension.

Given the practical, all-rounder nature of the bike, Kawasaki doesn't disappoint with the original equipment and available accessories. The Versys comes equipped with revised mirrors that are said to offer improved visibility. Revised footrests with hollow rubber inserts reduce vibration are also a nice touch.

There's also some new accessories such as the requisite handguards, heated grips, and a 12volt outlet which should mean that the Versys continues to be a popular bike with Canadians looking for adventure.

MSRP is $8,999 Canadian.

Check out Kawasaki's Canadian website HERE for more information.

Comments

New 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 revealed

The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 is all-new! Well, mostly that is. Only a handful of components are shared with the old Z. That means that it's liquid cooled, 1,043cc inline 4 engine is built from scratch as well. Another big new feature of the Z1000; an aluminum chassis. Kawasaki is calling it a "Tailor-made super naked."

The bike features new styling that includes a lower seat and a horizontally-mounted rear shock. The rear shock placement creates some space under the engine for the new exhaust system.

The engine has a claimed 136bhp and 81ft lb of torque and has been tuned for low and mid-range grunt rather than top speed power.

MSRP is $13,1999 Canadian. Only one color is listed: Metallic Spark Black / Atomic Silver

Details and pictures are available on Kawasaki's Canadian website HERE.

Comments

Two more titles for Szoke! Outstanding rides from Welsh!

SHANNONVILLE, Ont. - Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider Jordan Szoke enjoyed a historic weekend in the final round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park.

With a second place finish in Sunday's Superbike feature on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R the 30-year-old from Brantford, Ont. secured his fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike title and his sixth national crown. No one has ever won four Canadian Superbike championships in a row and only one other rider has six titles to his credit."

When I think about winning four in a row it just makes me realize what an awesome career I've had," said Szoke, who won his first title for Kawasaki in 1998. "I just want to keep it going for a long time. This has been a super year, it's been really exciting for me. This is a lot of weight off my shoulders."

Szoke also clinched his fourth straight Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike crown riding the Ninja ZX-6R, becoming one of only two racers to take the title four consecutive years.

Szoke went into the weekend knowing a second place finish would be enough to lock up the Superbike championship. He was third overall in Friday practice as the team experimented with some different set-up ideas, and placed third again in Saturday's pre-qualifying after the Canadian Kawasaki Motors squad reverted to a more traditional package."

We went with a set-up similar to what I would use in Calgary [Race City]," Szoke explained. "With this being a flat track, and the bumps, it seems to work and it's something I really like."

True to form, Szoke got the most out of the Pirelli SuperPole qualifying session, making an improvement of some three-quarters of a second to secure the number two spot on the grid for Sunday's race with a time of 1:04.172 around the 2.45km (1.53-mile) ‘Pro' Track to compare with a 1:04.943 in the morning."

I knew I did the job but I also knew I left a lot on the table," said Szoke, who pointed out the continuing development of the Ninja ZX-10R package as he eclipsed his own lap record of 2007. "I have a different pressure than normal, since I really just need to be on the front row and finish second. Into corner two I tried to take it easy and I braked so early - I had no corner speed. There were a few other things like that. I was actually surprised with my time."

In Sunday's 20-lap race Szoke got a great start to lead the opening lap.He was shuffled back to third on lap two but was back up to second on lap 4, enough to lock up the title."

I got a good start but after I dropped to third it took me a few laps to collect myself," he admitted. "I got a great pace going and I was really comfortable."It was definitely a tough year for winning the championship. I don't think we made a mistake all year but it was tough."

Szoke clinched the title with five points to spare over his nearest rival.

Szoke went into the Pro Sport Bike season finale in a similar position to the Superbike championship, with a second place finish enough to clinch. He qualified second with a time of 1:04.860, about three-tenths shy of the pole.

Szoke's team-mate Alex Welsh stepped up to help out in the Pro Sport Bike race. Despite racing with a fractured pelvis sustained at the previous round of the series in Nova Scotia, the 21-year-old qualified fourth and got a great launch from the outside of the front row to take the lead on his Ninja ZX-6R.The Uxbridge, Ont. racer stayed there for two laps before dropping back to third, right behind Szoke, and holding off a five-rider train behind him.

While Szoke eased clear to a runner-up race finish and his fourth straight championship, Welsh completed the podium."I have the best team-mate in the world," enthused Szoke, who clinched the title by five points.

"Alex was really battling for me back there."Szoke took three victories on the Ninja ZX-6R to claim the Sport Bike crown."This Kawasaki's been great all year," he said. "I'm actually upset we didn't win more races, because it's such a great motorcycle."

Welsh's third place finish was his fourth podium in seven races this year (although he missed one round due to his injury) and he ended the year a solid fourth in the Pro Sport Bike standings."It was a little tough out there because I haven't been training too much with my injury," the former HJC Pro Rookie of the Year explained. "The pace wasn't easy by any means but I was comfortable."Due to his condition Welsh elected to ride his Ninja ZX-6R in the Superbike race and did well to put the bike in Pirelli SuperPole, where he lined up seventh on the grid, behind six 1000cc machines.

From eighth after the first lap Welsh worked his way up to sixth late in the race, but crashed on the final lap in a collision with Steve Crevier heading onto the backstraight. Parts Canada Superbike Championship series officials reprimanded Crevier for causing what they believed was an "avoidable collision."

"I was committed to the corner," a Welsh explained. "I felt his bike on my shoulder, and every time I leaned in he would catch my front tire."I think I might have stayed behind Crevier too long, otherwise I could have got up to fifth. The back tire was spinning up and I had a couple of moments. That allowed Steve to catch up to me."

It was Welsh's first DNF of the Superbike season but he still took seventh in the final point standings.Topping off a magnificent campaign for the Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team, the squad claimed the Inside Motorcycles Team of the Year Award for the second straight season."

I'm genuinely surprised," said team manager Jeff Comello on the podium. "We had some tough competition this year from Pascal's team and others which forced us to work harder than ever to achieve what we did. But our team never gave up and constantly ensured the bikes performed flawlessly day in and day out. In the end it's the details that can make all the difference."


Comments

Kawasaki - not moving production to Thailand

On August 25th, we posted some details of Kawasaki reportedly moving some of their large motorcycle production to Thailand. The reports were featured in Bloomberg.

CMG Online are now reporting that they've heard from Kawasaki Canada whom are saying that these reports are false.

Source: CMG Online

Comments

Szoke ready to clinch. Injured Welsh battles back.

TORONTO, Ont. - Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider Jordan Szoke will try to make a bit of racing history at Shannonville Motorsport Park this weekend.

The 30-year-old from Brantford, Ont. comes into the final round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship in an excellent position to wrap up his fourth straight crown and his sixth career Canadian Superbike title. No one has won four straight championships in the 30-year history of the national Superbike series and only one other rider has managed to claim six overall.

"I've tried to prepare the best I can and I'm ready to win," said Szoke, who has won three of the six Parts Canada Superbike races this year. "I don't think it's any different than any other year in terms of my stress level. I think this has been one of the most competitive years for me and I feel like I've elevated my game."

Szoke comes to Shannonville with a 14-point lead in the championship and only one rider has a mathematical shot at beating him. If he can qualify on the front row, a runner-up finish in the race will give him the title no matter what his rival does.

He sees some advantages for his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R on the 2.45km (1.53-mile) Shannonville ‘Pro Circuit'.

"I think the Kawasaki gets off the corners quite well," he said. "That's all thanks to Mike Crompton's engine work. So I think we have a bit of an advantage there."

Szoke will also try to secure a fourth straight Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike title at Shannonville on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. He is in a similar situation to his Superbike title battle, with a 16-point advantage heading to the final race.

"The 600 definitely suits the track," said Szoke, who has won three Sport Bike races so far this season. "It gets off the corners really well so it should be good coming out of the hairpin onto the backstraight and I think turns one, two and three will be good for the bike."

Szoke's Canadian Kawasaki Motors team-mate Alex Welsh will try to end his rookie year with the team on a positive note despite suffering a broken pelvis in a practice crash at the previous series round in Nova Scotia.

The 21-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. comes into the final round sixth in the Superbike standings and fourth in Pro Sport Bike points.

"It's getting there but it's not fully healed," said Welsh, who won last year's HJC Pro Rookie of the Year title. "It's probably about two or three weeks away from being fully healed but I don't see it being a big problem. We'll find out Friday.

"Last year this is the track where we were closest to the top guys, so that bodes well for me. I think we'll be good."

Welsh claimed his first Parts Canada Superbike podium finish with a third at Mosport International Raceway in July, but he may forsake his ZX-10R Ninja Superbike and focus strictly on the ZX-6R Ninja Sport Bike if his injury proves too troublesome.

"The Superbike's a bit of an animal but I've been getting the hang of it," he admitted. "The big thing has been trying to get it working better later on in the race."

He has three podium finishes in the Sport Bike class this year, including a runner-up finish to Szoke at Mosport.

"I think we'll be pretty good on the Sport Bike," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be like Mosport and we'll be in a real dogfight."

Practice at Shannonville Motorsport Park begins Friday, September 4 with qualifying scheduled for both the Parts Canada Superbike and Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike classes on Saturday September 5.

The Pro Sport Bike race is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 pm. Sunday, September 6 and is slated for 18 laps. The 20-lap Superbike feature goes at 2:45 p.m.

Comments

Kawasaki to move some production to Thailand

Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Daily Online, is reporting that Kawasaki is set to shift production of medium-sized and large motorcycles to Thailand from Japan in 2010 because of cheaper labor costs.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) produced about 150,000 motorcycles at the Akashi factory and about 110,000 in Thailand during fiscal 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis.

The firm is said to plan to start producing motorcycles with engine capacities of more than 650cc (and increase output of midsize motorcycles) in Thailand, according to the sources. They'll reportedly continue to make some high-end large models at the Akashi factory but sharply cut production there.

Honda is also reportedly considering a similar shift and may move their midsize motorcycle production to Thailand.

Source - Yomiuri Daily Online via Bloomberg

Comments

Szoke closes in on titles; crash sidelines unlucky Welsh

SHUBENACADIE, N.S. -- Jordan Szoke moved a step closer to a record fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike Championship with a runner-up finish in the penultimate round of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park on Sunday.

The Brantford, Ont. racer led the opening lap of the 22-lap race before settling into a comfortable second place on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. He now has 296 points and takes a 14-point lead in the Parts Canada Superbike standings to the final race at Shannonville Motorsport Park in Shannonville, Ont. Sept. 4-6. A race win is worth 50 points.

Szoke, who is also trying to equal the all-time record of six Canadian Superbike titles, had qualified second for the Superbike race in the Pirelli SuperPole session on Saturday. His lap at 1:06.975 missed pole position by just 0.047 secs. And he was one of only three riders to improve on his pre-qualifying time in the SuperPole run-off.

He also managed to get under the four-year-old outright motorcycle track record at AMP.

"I saw through the session how everybody wasn't really improving and I knew I could put in a good lap to get ahead," he explained. "But I didn't want to risk everything for one more point. The bike was a lot better than what we did but I wanted to keep a little in reserve and limit the chances I was taking."

The 30-year-old Szoke got the lead off the start but didn't put up too much of a fight when he gave up the top spot in turn two on the second lap.

"I wish I could have gone a little harder for the win," he said. "But this championship means so much to me. It's all I've been thinking about. Maybe I could have gone a lot harder, but I didn't want to do anything silly."

Szoke is in an almost identical situation in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike class. A second place finish at AMP leaves him with 300 points and a 16-point edge heading to the Shannonville finale. He is trying for a fourth straight title in that division as well.

On Sunday he was third off the start on the factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R but grabbed second place on lap four of the 18-lap race and was able to ease clear for a safe runner-up finish.

"It was an awesome race for us and we were able to protect our points lead," he said. "After I got into second place I noticed my gap to third was getting bigger and I thought I should calm down. I have to think about the championship and I want to save some energy for the Superbike race later."

Szoke had also qualified second in the Pro Sport Bike class, just 0.387 secs. off the top spot. He was one of only two racers to top the previous class record in qualifying.

"The bike is really good," he said after the session. "Every time out it gets a little better and we're faster than we were going here last year."

While Szoke consolidated his position at the top of the table in both Pro classes, his young teammate Alex Welsh saw his Maritime weekend come to an early end when he suffered a big crash near the end of Saturday morning's Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike practice session.

The 21-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. suffered a big highside exiting turn three on his final lap of the session. He was taken to hospital with hip and back pain, and although initial x-rays revealed no broken bones he was badly bruised and elected not to race on Sunday.

"It's frustrating because we were coming off a couple of good rounds," said last year's winner of the HJC Pro Rookie of the Year award. "Nothing appears to be broken so I'll go home, get some physio and be ready for the final round at Shannonville.

"I guess I got on the gas pretty hard coming out of the corner. The back end got loose and that was it."

Welsh had come into the AMP weekend third in the Pro Sport Bike standings and fourth in Superbike points. He lost a position in the Sport Bike class, where he has 178 points and dropped to sixth in Superbike with 145 points.

Comments

KYMCO & Kawasaki Form New Company

Unveiled at a ceremony on August 2nd, 2009, a new joint venture company has been formed by Kwang Yang Motor Co., Ltd. (KYMCO) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Established in Changzhou, China, the new company, “Changzhou Kawasaki and Kwang Yang Engine Co., Ltd. (CK&K)”, will produce general purpose gasoline engines and parts to be sold internationally for both brands.

The new joint venture company will construct an engine factory in the Changzhou National Hi-tech District which should begin production in January 2010. With an estimated capital of 5 million USD and a production capacity of approximately 200,000 units annually (with an expected increase to 1 million units annually within
5 years), we congratulate KYMCO on their new joint venture!

For further information please visit www.kymco.com or one of the following links:

HERE or HERE

Comments

Szoke aims to stretch lead. Welsh looking to keep momentum.

TORONTO, Ont. - Fresh off a sweep of the doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway, Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory rider Jordan Szoke will try to extend his lead in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship point standings at round six of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S. this weekend.

The Brantford, Ont. rider comes into the penultimate round of the 2009 season with a 25-point lead in the standings and in an excellent position to win an unprecedented fourth straight national Superbike title and record-tying sixth career crown.

Szoke has three Superbike victories on the 2.56km (1.6-mile) AMP circuit, including one last year on the venerable Ninja ZX-10R.

"It's going to be a tough race and the other guys are all flying right now," said the 30-year-old Szoke. "I have to stay as close to the front as possible and not take any unnecessary risks. The start will be the most important thing - getting a good launch and settling in early."

Szoke also feels his excellent physical conditioning could come into play in the race over the tight and technical track.

"It can get hot and humid at ‘Shubie'," he said. "The Carousel is about the only place you have time to pull off a tear-off. The rest of the track you're giving it everything you got. It's a tough place."

Szoke also heads to Nova Scotia with a 27-point lead in his bid for a fourth straight Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Championship with the all new Ninja ZX-6R. He has three wins this year and has qualified fastest in every race but one on the bike.

"The Sport Bike times will be really impressive," he said. "It's a pretty awesome bike and I'm pretty sure our race pace will surprise a lot of people."

Szoke's Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team-mate Alex Welsh is riding a wave of momentum coming to AMP. The 21-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. earned his first career national Superbike podium with a third-place finish at Mosport on his Ninja ZX-10R and is now fourth in the Parts Canada Superbike standings.

"The Superbike is coming along pretty well and I was pleased with Mosport," said the second-year Pro rider, who is in his first season on a Superbike. "I was at the shop a couple of times over the past couple of weeks talking with my crew chief Jeremy Sharrard and we've got a couple of ideas for this weekend.

"It's one of those tough races and you want the bike to be compliant. The easier the bike is to ride the better. You need it to get you through the laps consistently."

Welsh is now third in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike standings following two finishes on the box at Mosport, including a runner-up result behind Szoke to give the Canadian Kawasaki Motors team an impressive 1-2 with the Ninja ZX-6R.

"I can't say enough about the new bike and now we're at the point where I think I, the bike and the team deserve to be," Welsh said. "I'm looking forward to the last two rounds."

Practice at Atlantic Motorsport Park opens Friday, August 7 with qualifying scheduled for both the Parts Canada Superbike and Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike classes on Saturday August 8.

The 18-lap Pro Sport Bike race is set to launch at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, August 9 with the 22-lap Superbike race to follow at 3:00 p.m.

Comments

Szoke wins with superb Superbike performance

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (July 19) – Brantford, Ont.’s Jordan Szoke came out on top of a thrilling scrap to win the fifth round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Mosport International Raceway on Sunday.

The win completed a sweep of the weekend doubleheader at Mosport and put the three-time defending series champion in a commanding lead of the Superbike point standings with two races remaining in the season.

Riding his Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R, Szoke finished just 0.274 secs. in front of his closest championship rival, Saskatoon’s Brett McCormick on the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000. Granby, Que. racer Kevin Lacombe finished third on the Team Toyota Yamaha / OTSFF Yamaha YZF-R1 just 0.336 secs. behind Szoke.

These three traded the lead repeatedly throughout the 20-lap race around Mosport’s 3.9km (2.459-mile) track.

“What a great race, anybody could have won that one,” said Szoke after his 29th career Canadian Superbike win and his sixth at Mosport. “Fortunately I pulled it off today. I got a good break through lapped traffic near the end and was able to hold on.”

The win gives Szoke 251 points in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship standings to the 226 of McCormick heading into the penultimate round at Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Motorsport Park Aug. 7-9. A race win is worth 50 points.

Starting from pole position, the 17-year-old McCormick led the opening four laps before Szoke took over for the first time on lap five. McCormick was in front again from laps 9-12, Szoke led laps 12 and 13 and then Lacombe led two laps before Szoke finally got ahead for good on lap 17.

“When I got out front I tried to slow Brett down a little and keep the pack as tight as possible,” said Szoke, who led the most laps with 10. “I thought maybe I could get a couple of guys between us at the end and help my points situation.”

Lacombe held second until the last turn on the final lap, when McCormick was able to sneak inside.

“That was a lot of fun,” said McCormick, who came into the Mosport weekend leading the Parts Canada Superbike standings and set a new track record in qualifying on Friday. “My goal was to get out front and check out but the other guys thought otherwise. I just didn’t have quite enough today.”

McCormick was coming off an eighth place finish in Saturday’s Superbike feature, where he was penalized five seconds for a jump start and then lost five positions when his bike failed post race technical inspection.

Lacombe had planned to make a move for the win but admitted to missing the last lap signal in the flurry of action late in the race.

“I knew I had to get the holeshot at the start and ride on the edge,” said Lacombe, who dropped out of Saturday’s lap on the opening lap with a blown engine. “I was getting a bad drive onto the back straight every lap but my bike was fast, especially on the infield.”

Clint McBain finished fourth on the Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000. The Cochrane, Alta. rider spent the entire race glued to the back of the lead fight but lost a chance to go for the win when he was stuck behind lapped traffic on the final tour.

McBain is now third in the Parts Canada Superbike point standings with 164.

Szoke’s Canadian Kawasaki Motors team-mate Alex Welsh of Uxbridge, Ont. took fifth on another ZX-10R and moved up to fourth in points with 145.

Matt McBride of Mississauga, Ont. ran a lonely race to sixth on the Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kars, Ont.’s Andrew Nelson came out on top of a three-way battle for seventh on his Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.

In other action at Mosport, Szoke opened up a 27-point lead in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Championship with his third win of the season on his Kawasaki ZX-6R.

The three-time defending class champion finished 0.232 secs. ahead of team-mate Welsh in the 14-lap race with Lacombe third on his Yamaha YZF-R6 and Crevier a close fourth aboard the Buell 1125R. The top four were covered by less than half a second.

Szoke opened up a 27-point lead, 255-228, over McCormick in the Pro Sport Bike standings with two races to go. McCormick was part of the lead scrap but dropped back to a sixth place finish when he suffered a brief technical problem on lap nine.

Cochrane, Alta.’s Cody Matechuk extended his lead in the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike class to 31 points with his third win of the year on the Suzuki Dealers / Acceleration Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.

His closest title rival, Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. took second aboard the A. Perusse Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-6R and Efram Ellenbogen of Belleville, Ont. completed the podium riding the BnE Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

Raphael Archambault of St-Colomban, Que. completed a weekend sweep of the Suzuki SV650 National Cup races at Mosport and opened up a 33-point lead in the standings over Brantford, Ont.’s Rob Busby, who finished third. Jeremie Hade Precourt took second in the dramatic race, with the top three covered by 0.099 secs. at the line.

Steven Nickerson of Hamilton, Ont. took over the lead of the Honda CBR125R Challenge with a win at Mosport on Sunday while his closest rival, Bodhi Edie crashed out of the lead battle. Nickerson finished 5.854 secs. ahead of Quesnel, B.C.’s Ryan Appenrodt while Karl Robitaille of Ste-Julie, Que. placed third.

Nickerson now leads Edie by 39 points in the Honda CBR125R Challenge standings, 318-279. The Warman, Sask. rider was unhurt in his fall.

Vicki Schouten of Richmond, Ont. won for the second day in a row in Pro Honda Oils Women’s Cup riding the Kahuna Powersports Kawasaki ZX-6R.

Action from Mosport will be shown on TSN HD and TSN in two one-hour programs. Round four will premier Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1:00 p.m. and repeat Friday, Aug. 28 at 4:00 a.m. Round five will premier Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 1:00 p.m. and repeat Saturday, Aug. 29 at 4:00 a.m. All times are Eastern.

The races will also be shown in Quebec on RDS. Please check local listings for dates and times.

Via Parts Canada Superbike

Comments

Transport Canada - latest motorcycle recalls

Chironex - Recalls (Chironex toll-free number 877-420-0162)
Recall Date: 2009/05/29

Model(s): LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009159
Units Affected: 88

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the front shocks may fail. This could cause a loss of vehicle control and a crash resulting in property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the front shocks with updated versions.

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Model(s): LEGEND 150, LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009158
Units Affected: 114

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the upper and lower steering head bearings may suffer premature wear resulting in severe looseness in the steering. This could cause a loss of vehicle control and a crash resulting in property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the upper and lower steering head bearings with update versions.

--

Model(s): LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009157
Units Affected: 88

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the coupling that connects the carburetor with the intake manifold may become loose and separate. This could cause the engine to stall, thereby resulting in a loss of propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the coupling with an updated version.

--

Model(s): LEGEND 150, LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009156
Units Affected: 114

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the handlebar mounting bracket (which joins the handlebar to the steering post) may become loose. Should the bracket completely separate from the steering post it would cause a loss of steering control, which could result in a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the handlebar mounting bracket with an update version.

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Ducati - Model(s): 1098R, 1198S, Streetfighter

Transport Canada Recall # 2009162
Recall Date: 2009/05/29
Units Affected: 577

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the front axle mount on the right fork may be cracked or deformed. Any damage to the fork may lead to loss of functionality of the steering and suspension systems, which could result in a crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the right fork.

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Kawasaki - Model(s): Versys (KLE650)

Transport Canada Recall # 2009142
Model Year(s) Affected: 2008, 2009
Units Affected: 447
Recall Date: 2009/05/19

Recall Details:
Certain motorcycles equipped with Kawasaki genuine accessory saddlebags may not comply with CMVSS 108 - Lighting System and Retroreflective Devices. When the saddlebags are installed, the rear reflectors become obscured. This could render the vehicle less visible to other motorists during hours of darkness, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will install reflectors to the side of each accessory saddlebag.
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KTM - 300 XC-W, 690 DUKE, 690 SMC (Contact # 450-414-4451)

Transport Canada Recall # 2009161
Model Year(s) Affected: 2009
Units Affected: 90
Recall Date: 2009/05/29

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the front fork inner tubes may develop cracks. This could allow the fork tubes to separate from the fork axle clamps. Should separation occur, it could lead to a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace both front fork tube assemblies.

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Harley Davidson - Models: CVO SOFTAIL SPRINGER - FXSTSSE, SOFTAIL CROSS BONES - FLSTSB
Transport Canada Recall # 2009171
Model Year(s) Affected: 2008, 2009
Recall Date: 2009/06/05
Units Affected: 851

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the acorn stud at the brake reaction link may fall out during vehicle use. If this occurs, the front brake and fender assembly would no longer be adequately retained. The fender may rotate forward to the ground and cause an interference problem between the front tire and the ground surface. This could lead to a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the existing acorn stud with a the new acorn stud and retaining clip.


Comments

Szoke and Welsh look forward to high speed Mosport.

TORONTO, Ont. - Brantford, Ont.'s Jordan Szoke is perfectly poised to regain command of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship as the series visits Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont. for its key midseason doubleheader.

Although the five-time Canadian Superbike champion comes into the fourth and fifth rounds of the seven-race 2009 season 11 points out of the series lead he should enjoy a distinct advantage on the 3.9km (2.459-mile) circuit. Szoke has five career victories at Mosport, more than any other active racer in the series, and he swept the doubleheader at the track in 2006.

"It's definitely a special weekend," says the 30-year-old. "Between the track and the fans it's definitely a favorite of mine. It's a great place to go racing."

Szoke expects the high speed nature of the fast and flowing 10-turn track to suit the Ninja ZX-10R Superbike.

"I believe we'll have the best overall package this weekend and with the power of our bike being so strong it'll be very tough for the others to stay with us up backstraight."

Szoke also thinks he is well-positioned to add to his nine-point lead in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike division on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, on which he has won two of the first three races of the season.

"I think that bike is just so much better than anything else in the class," says Szoke, who is trying for a fourth straight title in the Sport Bike category. "It just gives me confidence in every situation and I'm totally comfortable on it."

Szoke's Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team-mate Alex Welsh is also looking forward to Mosport, which is a home race for the Uxbridge, Ont. racer.

"I think Mosport suits my style," says the 21-year-old, who was last year's HJC Pro Rookie of the Year Award winner on the national tour. "It's not bumpy, there are a lot of elevation changes and a lot of speed. I think I'll have some family and friends come out, and that will be nice."

Welsh comes to the halfway point of the Superbike season sixth in points but feels he has learned a lot about his Ninja ZX-10R through the first three races of the year.

"The Superbike is living up to what I expected," he says. "It's got a lot of power and it can be a real beast but I'm learning to tame it."

Welsh is fourth in Pro Sport Bike points after scoring a career high third place finish at Race City Motorsport Park in Calgary on his Ninja ZX-6R.

"The first two races of the season I expected to be closer but in Calgary things really came together for me," he says.

As an added bonus this weekend Szoke and Welsh will debut special bodywork on their Ninja ZX-10R Superbikes to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Ninja brand by Kawasaki. The two bikes will feature special 25th anniversary graphics along with each rider's own personal touches - in Szoke's case a dragon and a "Las Vegas Lucky 7" theme for Welsh.

The bodywork is being airbrushed by BK Designs of Ottawa and after the season it will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the "Get Well Trev" Fund for injured Canadian moto journalist Andrew Trevitt and the Canadian Rider Safety Fund.

Practice for this weekend's doubleheader at Mosport opens on Thursday, July 16 and qualifying for both the Parts Canada Superbike and Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike categories will be held Friday, July 17.

The first 14-lap Pro Sport Bike race goes green at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 with the second race scheduled for 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 19. The 20-lap Superbike races are on tap for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:15 p.m. on Sunday.

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Szoke and Welsh take podiums in Calgary.

CALGARY, Alta. - Despite controlling the race for 21 laps, five-time Canadian champion Jordan Szoke had to settle for a second pace finish in the third round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Race City Motorsport Park in Calgary on Sunday.

The 30-year-old from Brantford, Ont. qualified on pole on his Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and led the every lap around the 3.2km (2.0-mile) track, but in the final section of turns on the last lap he slipped just a little bit wide and was passed for the top spot. The tight nature of the final section of turns left few opportunities to regain the lead; Szoke used every ounce of power from his Ninja ZX-10R to run down McCormick to the checkered flag but finished second by just 0.080 secs.

"Kawasaki always gives me a great motorcycle and I had the bike to win today," said Szoke, who was trying to win for the ninth time at Race City in the Superbike class. "The bike was perfect. I'm mad at myself for leaving the door open. I felt super-comfortable all race."

Despite ending the morning pre-qualifying session in second on Saturday Szoke claimed pole for Sunday's Superbike race with a lap at 1:15.126 in the Pirelli SuperPole session. The time was under the previous lap record and put him almost half a second clear of his nearest rival.

"You hate to complain when you've put it on pole but I had some trouble with my downshifts into turn one and lost a bit of time there," Szoke said. "After that the lap was going great but in the Bus Stop Chicane I got into a wheelie and that screwed my drive up for the run into corner eight. In the end I was pleased to get that good a lap."

Although he didn't get the holeshot off the line at the start of the race Szoke powered into the lead by the time the field reached turn one and he controlled the race from there. He set the fastest lap, a 1:16.120 on the sixth tour and in the middle portion he had eked out a margin of just under two seconds.

Despite his runner-up finish Szoke remains a strong contender in his bid to claim a fourth straight Parts Canada Superbike title. He is just 11 points out of the lead with 146 and four races still on the schedule.

Szoke's factory Kawasaki team-mate Alex Welsh finished seventh on his Ninja ZX-10R after running as high as third early in the race. The 21-year-old from Uxbridge, Ont. qualified sixth in Pirelli SuperPole but a good start saw him running third at the end of the opening lap.

Welsh's limited Superbike experience saw him dropping back as the race progressed, however, as he struggled to maintain the pace as to tire wear started to set in on his Kawasaki.

"I'm still learning," said last year's HJC Pro Rookie of the Year. "I got a good start and the bike was good for a bit. But I have to learn how to slide the bike more later in the race. I'm still trying to keep it the same as it is on lap six and that's not the way to do it. But I think we'll be up there the rest of the season. I've got a great team behind me and the guys are working hard."

Welsh is now sixth in the Superbike point standings with 79 but just seven points out of third.
Szoke regained the lead of the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike Championship with his second win of the season at Race City on Sunday. Despite a mid-race red flag stoppage that erased a four-second lead Szoke was able to control the eight-lap second part to win by 0.085 secs.

"You never like to see anybody get hurt and I know we have to protect out racers, but I have to admit I was kind of upset about having to restart a second time," admitted the three-time defending class champion. "I had such a good lead and I was in a groove. The bike was phenomenal."

On the restart Szoke again got the lead before the end of the first lap but this time had company all the way. He stayed cool under pressure, however, and overcame a last minute challenge for the top spot to take the win.

"I thought I might be able to do the same in the second race and break away but it's tough here," admitted Szoke, who also qualified on pole. "It's nice if you can break the draft but I couldn't manage it again after the restart."

His win gives Szoke a nine-point lead in the Pro Sport Bike standings with 155 points.
Welsh took third place at Race City on his Ninja ZX-6R, his best career national finish and his first ever podium appearance. He was fourth after the opening lap of the restart but took third on lap three and pulled away from his pursuers.

"I was stuck in fourth when the red flag came out and I thought I had waited too long to make a move," he explained. "I didn't want to do that in the second race so I got up there as early as I could and after that just put my head down.

"This is an awesome feeling. I wouldn't be here without my family; it's been a long road to get here. And I can't thank the Kawasaki team enough. They gave me a once in a lifetime chance."
Welsh is now fourth in Pro Sport Bike points with 98, just one point out of third.


The Canadian Kawasaki Motors factory team resumes its 2009 Parts Canada Superbike season at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont. July 17-19 for the traditional mid-season doubleheader.

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Kawasaki Good Times - promotions

Get a free Kawasaki hat at your nearest Canadian Dealership via a coupon link on Kawasaki's "Great Escape To The Good Times" website.

It's while supplies last - they've got about 4,000 hats to give away apparently.

Another part of the promotion involves purchasing a new 2009 Kawasaki; if you do, you instantly qualify for savings of 20 cents per litre on gasoline!* According to Kawasaki you -

Simply use your Preferred Price card at the participating Petro-Canada retail locations and “Let The Good Times Roll.”

*Available on selected 2009 Kawasaki models purchased between November 10, 2008 and June 13, 2009.

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Kawaski KLR 650 recalls

Looks like there's two recent recalls on the big thumper from Kawasaki. Both recalls on the Kawasaki KLR 650 were issued on March 3, 2009 and are separate issues. It seems to affect the exact same number of units though.

Further details below:


KAWASAKI KLR650
Transport Canada Recall # 2009069
Model Years affected: 2008, 2009
System: Electrical
Manufacturer Recall Number: MC09-04
Units Affected:   3,247

Recall Details

On certain motorcycles, the main wiring harness can chafe against the frame, causing the engine to stop running. Engine stalling would result in lost propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash. 

Correction: Dealers will reinforce and reroute the main wiring harness. 

KAWASAKI KLR650
Transport Canada Recall # 2009068
Model Years affected: 2008, 2009
System: Other
Manufacturer Recall Number: MC09-03
Units Affected:   3,247

Recall Details

On certain motorcycles, the muffler mount bolts could loosen due to heat expansion of the exhaust pipe and vibration. Should the bolts loosen completely, the muffler could separate from the motorcycle, which could result in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. 

Correction: Dealers will remove the paint from the muffler mount tabs and replace the mount bolts, nuts, washers and gasket. 

Source: Thanks to CMGonline for the heads up on the recall.

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Latest recall announcements

Transport Canada has issued a recall notice which affects motorcycles made by BMW, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

BMW F650GS;

Motorcyles affected: 373 and 288

On certain motorcycles, the front brake disc fasteners installed during vehicle assembly may have been of insufficient length. As a result, the fasteners may not have received adequate tightening torque, which could eventually allow the brake disc to loosen. This could result in a loss of front brake function which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash.

Also, on certain motorcycles, the chain sprocket fasteners may become loose which, in the worst case, could cause a loss of vehicle propulsion. Lost propulsion, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash.

KAWASAKI CONCOURS 14, KAWASAKI CONCOURS 14 ABS;

Motorcycles affected: 580 Model Years affected: 2008, 2009

On certain motorcycles, small stones or other road debris can become trapped between the brake pedal and the rear brake master cylinder actuating rod. This can prevent full release of the rear brake. Continuous activation of the rear brake while the vehicle is being operated can result in overheating, damage, rear wheel lockup, or failure of the rear brake, creating the risk of a crash resulting in injury or death.

SUZUKI GSX-R 1000K5, GSX-R 1000K6;

Motorcyles affected: 1,207

On certain motorcycles, crash forces or hazardous maneuvers such as extreme or extended wheelies or other stunts causing extreme stress to the frame can result in frame cracking or breakage behind and below the steering neck, while ordinary vehicle operation does not create a risk of such frame cracking or breakage. Suzuki believes that this issue does not constitute a "defect" within the meaning of the Motor

Vehicle Safety Act because such extreme maneuvers are far outside the ordinary and reasonable operation of the vehicles involved. However, as a precautionary measure for the sake of owners and operators, Suzuki has voluntarily decided to conduct this safety improvement campaign.

Looking for more Transport Canada recall information? Check out Transport Canada's searchable database here.

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A few highlight pictures - Atlantic Motorcycle & ATV Show

If the crowds of people in attendance are a measure of success then it appears the Atlantic Motorcycle & ATV Show was a BIG success. The exhibitor spots were sold out and the place was packed wall to wall with all the most exciting motorcycles on the Canadian market.

All the big manufacturers were there, and even plenty of the smaller ones, and some you've probably never heard of too.

*Click the image for a larger version.

The RC8 from KTM. It's hard to believe but it looks even better in person than it does in pictures. If you ride this on the street you're going to get tickets and people are going to be following you around to talk to you when you stop. It looks amazing!

The new rocket ship fast, buttery smooth K1300GT from BMW. This model features the Japanese style signal switches which are located on the left. No more right handed right turn signal.

An Ad Bovin equipped BMW 450 Enduro. This might be just the ticket to extend the riding season here in the Great White North.

Because the 1098S just wasn't good enough Ducati brings us the larger displacement 1198S. Better sign up for some track days if you're getting one of these!

The 2009 ZX6R that went on a big diet and lost an incredible 20lbs. And oh yeah, about 8 more horsepower too.

Get ready to see plenty of these on the roads and trails near you this summer. The new, long awaited, BMW F800GS is here.

The new Suzuki Gladius. It'a mid-sized naked featuring the ever popular SV650 v-twin engine. New for 2009.

The KSM200 is Konker Motor's (a Langley BC based company) first street legal motorcycle. Featuring a 200cc engine built in a Suzuki partnered factory - it's said to be the same engine as the Suzuki DR200. Coming soon to a dealer near you!

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Consumer Reports - Scooter and motorcycle testing

The huge spike in gas prices last summer got many people thinking about motorcycles and scooters as a means to improve fuel economy and reduce their transportation costs.

This apparently got the people at Consumer Reports to do some motorcycle testing for the first time since 1981. Consumer Reports has long been considered a trusted reviewer of just about everything - from digital cameras to cars. So, having them report on motorcycles and scooters will likley help some folks in making the purchase decision.

The group of machines tested wasn't really that large - just 8 in total. They concentrated on small-displacement models that featured excellent fuel economy. Three 50cc scooters, three scooters in the 125cc to 150cc range, and two 250cc entry-level motorcycles were selected for testing.

The Vespa LX scooter managed to take top honors in the smallest 50cc class but performed well against the slightly larger 150cc competitors too where it tied with the KYMCO People for the win.

In the 250cc class, the Kawasaki Ninja won out over the Honda Rebel to earn the recommendation.

Full results can be seen online now if you're a subscriber and the article will be published in the March 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.

Press Release follows:

PRESS RELEASE:

CONSUMER REPORTS TESTS scooters and motorcycles FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1981

Rising consumer interest in transportation alternatives spurred CR's Auto Test Center to test two-wheelers

YONKERS, NY ― Fueled by painfully high gasoline prices, 2008 saw many consumers looking for new alternatives to big-bucks fill-ups at the pump. With rising interest in lower-priced two-wheelers that sip rather than guzzle gas and thousands of new riders on the road, Consumer Reports has tested small motor scooters and motorcycles for the first time since 1981.

Consumer Reports tested a total of eight fuel sipping, small-displacement models: three 50cc scooters, three scooters in the 125cc to 150cc range, and two 250cc entry-level motorcycles, all priced between about $1,000 to $4,400 and delivering as much as 60 to 100 mpg fuel economy, at a steady cruise. Among the scooters, models from Italy's Vespa and Taiwan's Kymco achieved the highest overall ratings, with the Vespa LX 50 leading the 50cc category, and the Vespa LX 150 and Kymco People 150 sharing best overall ratings in the bigger engine class. Among the motorcycles, the Kawasaki Ninja 250, an entry-level sports bike, achieved a higher score than the Honda Rebel.

"When fuel prices crossed the $4.00 per gallon mark, some consumers shifted gears and two wheels became a cost-saving alternative," said Rik Paul, automotive editor, Consumer Reports. "And, despite current low gas costs, interest in scooters and motorcycles may continue to increase, especially in urban areas where parking space is at a premium.

The full report on motorcycles and scooters is available in the March 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, on sale February 3 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org

With their 35 to 40 mph top speed, 50cc scooters may suffice for short trips in suburban and city riding. Of the three models tested, the Vespa LX 50's smooth four-stroke engine, good ergonomics, controlled ride quality, and solid fit and finish made it the favorite choice, but it is very slow. Testers found that "you get what you pay for," with the inexpensive $995 Motorino Allegra getting the worst marks for vibration, harsh ride, and subpar fit.

In the 125cc to 150 cc category, the tested models' top speed range of 55 mph to 57 mph made them much better suited for keeping up with traffic but still not recommended for freeway or interstate use. The 150cc Kymco People and Vespa LX both proved well-rounded, easy-to-ride machines, with responsive handling and easy maneuverability. With its big 16-inch wheels, the Kymco offered superior stability and off-the-line acceleration while the Vespa excelled in ride quality, roominess, under-seat storage, and build quality. The third model tested, the Yamaha Vino 125 could not match the other two models' ride experience. While offering the lowest price point at $2,899, the Yamaha's harsh ride and sluggish engine detracted from its cost benefit.

Of the two 250cc motorcycles tested, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 was the clear winner, outperforming the Honda Rebel 250 in most categories. With its agile handling, and slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, this entry-level motorcycle is an excellent choice for individuals who want to combine low cost of ownership with a more performance-focused ride experience. Agile, stable, and refined yet brisk, the Ninja also had the best braking performance of any model tested. Compared with scooters, which have easy-shifting automatic transmissions, step-through designs, and handy under-seat storage capacity, motorcycles, however, are less practical and their manual transmissions and higher performance require more skill to handle well.

Like Consumer Reports in-depth auto testing process, scooters and motorcycles were subjected to an extensive sequence of standardized tests to determine their performance in categories such as acceleration, braking, fuel economy, noise/vibration, top speed and comfort. To evaluate ride, handling and everyday liveability features, the staff designed a new 5.2 mile testing route, including stops and starts on hills and a variety of tight turns, utilizing the Auto Test Center's multi-surface, multi-grade facility. New testing procedures were also added to accurately evaluate the machines' response to common urban riding situations, such as the ability to quickly and safely accelerate through an intersection.

"Scooters and motorcycles can be a fun, fuel-sipping alternative for everyday commuting and they are certainly an enjoyable recreational choice, but consumers also need to consider their limitations," said Paul. "Proper protective gear is essential, especially in inclement weather. Even a moderate 40-degrees F temperature can feel like sub-freezing wind chill to a rider." And, says Paul, professional instruction to finetune defensive riding skills, such as a course offered through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, is a must for new riders as risk of serious injury is significantly higher than in a car or truck.

With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine's auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

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Rumor - Kawasaki back in MotoGP for 2009

Well, there's rumor going around on a substantial number of sites that the Kawasaki factory team is back in MotoGP for 2009. After officially withdrawing factory support from the series on January 9th, the CEO of Dorna - the organization running MotoGP - said that Kawasaki must run the 2009 series or he'll sue them.

Apparently, Kawasaki is under contract to compete in the MotoGP series until the end of 2011 but Dorna is willing to let them out of the contract for 2010 and 2011 but race in 2009 they must!

Further rumor indicates that Kawasaki is indicating they've only got engines built for 25% of the championship and don't want to develop the rest. Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, has started working on a solution for that problem too - he's supposedly found an engineering facility in France willing to take on the work from Kawasaki, build the engines, and continue development of the ZX-RR.

The catch with that is that Kawasaki would have to accept the conditions and agree to turn the bikes over to the French firm. Oh my, how the plot thickens!

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Kawasaki KLR 650 - new colors for 09

Okay, not breaking news I know seeing as these bikes are already in the dealerships now. But not everybody is keeping an eye on the manufacturer websites or checking out the dealerships in these cold winter months.

The 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650's have a brand new paint job! I might add that I think the new color schemes are an improvement over previous years. Only the Sun Beam red color carries over from 2008. Gone is the green, and in with the KMT Ebony. They've still got a blue in there but it's got a new name. For 2009 the paint schemes have a lot more of the solid base color and a little less of the stripes and angles they had in 2008. They've kept enough to make it interesting without looking too busy.

In terms of specifications, nothing new to report there. You'll get the same maximum power of 44PS @ 6,500 rpm, and maximum torque of 50N-m @ 5,500 rpm. A curb weight of 196 KG and seat height of 890mm (or 35 inches) means they're not really meant for heavy duty off road use and it helps to be a little long in the leg. But a 23 liter tank, big reliable single cylinder engine, and super broad torque curve mean it'll eat up the miles and be a reliable machine for years to come.

Without further ado I bring you some samples of the new colors. Photos courtesy of Kawasaki Canada.

KMT Ebony (click picture for larger image):



Sunbeam Red:



Oriental Blue:



The KLR 650's have an MSRP of $6,699 for 09. If you can find an 08, they have have an MSRP of $100 lower, or $6,599, according to the kawasaki website.

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Kawasaki officially announces withdrawal from MotoGP

Looks like Kawasaki just made the rumors official today - they're out of MotoGP. It's a very expensive program to run, according to a report by Reuters, Kawasaki had competed in motorcycling's premier class since 2003 with annual costs of around 4 billion yen, which is somewhere around 37 million Canadian dollars near as I can figure.

Here's the press release:

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has decided to suspend its factory MotoGP racing activities from 2009 season.

Amid quickly changing business environment, Kawasaki has been promptly taking countermeasures to cope with the situation. As the world economy is not likely to recover in a short period due to the major impact of the financial crisis, Kawasaki decided to suspend its MotoGP racing activities from 2009 season onward and reallocate management resources more efficiently.

Kawasaki will continue racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles as well as supporting general race-oriented customers.
Kawasaki would like to thank all the fans and all those who have forwarded us great help.

Mr.Yoshio Kawamura, the Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Racing B.V. deeply appreciates the contribution and the dedication brought by staff members of the MotoGP team.

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Kawasaki to withdraw from MotoGP

There has been some Internet rumor going around that Kawasaki is going to withdraw from MotoGP competition. That would be bad news for the sport of motorcycling - indeed!

It's a sign of the times though, and just shortly after Honda announced it's withdrawal from F1, and Suzuki and Subaru leaving the World Rally Championship. It seems that the global economic crisis is taking a heavy toll on motorsports of every kind. Motorcycle sports, it would appear, aren't immune to shrinking budgets.

Spanish Motorcycle magazine, Motorciclismo.es is reporting that it's official, and that Kawasaki is going to leave MotoGP. Tuttosport, another motorcycle magazine has also said that Kawasaki has already decided to leave MotoGP as well.

So, that's a few sources who've been seemingly well informed in the past saying it'll happen very soon. Official word may come as soon as this Thursday.

CycleNews has apparently spoken with John Hopkins who (according to them) confirmed reports that Kawasaki may be on the verge of pulling out of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship, though he hadn't heard anything official.

"I heard it’s up in the air, but I haven’t heard anything confirmed yet,” Hopkins said from his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California, today. “I got some calls from the team manager [Michael Bartholemy] and he said that everything could be up in the air as to whether they run it or not, but nothing has been confirmed. I don’t know what it would do to me. I’m really not sure. I’ve been talking to my managers and seeing what the plan is and they’ve been on the phone to Japan trying to figure it out as well. Right now I’m still contracted to them so I’m not sure what the plan is.”"

There's quite of bit of contradicting information out there but many signs are indicating that this may happen.

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Kawasaki ER-6N breaks cover in Canada

Kawasaki has recently posted details about the ER-6N on the Canadian section of their site. It looks like this model is coming to Canada for 2009. Prices and specifications are listed on the site now.

It's been available in the UK for a while at this point and is based on the Ninja 650 we already have here. It's a naked version though with some of body work stripped off, and a few new bits added to the front in the place of the bigger bodywork.

It features the same liquid-cooled, 4-stroke parallel twin of the Ninja with matching numbers all round pretty much.

Some of the important numbers:

Seat height 785 mm,
curb mass 200 kg
fuel capacity 15.5 litres
53 kW {72.1 PS} / 8,500 rpm while maximum torque comes in at 7,000 RPM.

It costs about $400 less than a Ninja with an MSRP of $7,799

MSRP of the Ninja is $8,199
MSRP of the Versys is $8,499

More details about the new ER-6N can be found here.

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Kawasaki shows off some new models in US

Kawasaki is having a big week and has been showing off some new models - a 250 supermoto model based on the KLX250S dual sport, a revamped Ninja 650R, and for the sportbike crew - a lighter ZX-6R.

The KLX250SF comes with road-worthy 17-inch radial tires and lowered suspension than it's dualsport relative. Along with the lowered suspension comes reduced wheel-travel in both the front and rear. This lowers the centre of gravity for improved on-road handling and stability.

The 249 cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single uses a gear-driven counter balancer to reduce vibration and features a six speed transmission.

Suspension will be fully adjustable front and rear, and the 43 mm USD fork offers 231 mm (9.1 in) of travel. Dry weight is a claimed 137 kg (302 lb). The bulk of the stopping power comes by way of a single sided large petal-type disc fitted up front.

Kawasaki's Canadian website offers no word on whether the little super moto will make its way to Canada - we'll have to keep an eye on this one.

The 2009 Ninja 650R will come with several new refinements designed to make it sportier and even easier to ride. The fuel injection has been revised for the liquid-cooled DOHC, 8-valve 649 cc parallel twin to increase bottom-end torque and improve the smoothness of the low-to-mid rpm response. Some rubber engine mounts help reduce vibration through the seat.

A less rigid and lighter steel trellis frame also reduces width at the knees and footpegs; the swingarm has been stiffened.

There has been some bodywork updates, you get a new dual headlight, and a taller fuel tank gives the bike a more aggressive look.

Kawasaki indicates that the instrumentation is MotoGP-inspired, and include a new fuel gauge, digital speedo, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, and a digital tach. This should help keep people from calling the Ninja by one of it's old nicknames - the Ninjette!

The 2009 ZX6R is said to draw on the looks of the larger ZX10R which should be a winning look. They've added a proper MotoGP-style stubby exhaust and improved the suspension. Most importantly though they've trimmed the weight down to make it more competitive. We've scrounged up a photo but it's not clear whether this is the real thing or not.

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Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 Recall

Kawasaki has issued a recall for the Ninja ZX14, model years 2006 and 2007. No production dates or VIN numbers are specified, nor is the number of units affected.

Apparently one or more of the motor mounts may have been over torqued from the factory. This has caused the frame to crack and the engine to drop. If you own an affected bike you should have or already been sent a notification.

Further details below:

Manufacturer: Kawasaki
Model Year: 2006, 2007
Models affected: ZX14

Potential Units Affected: Not Specified
Problem: Kawasaki is recalling certain model year 2006-2007 ‘Ninja’ ZX14 motorcycles. The rear suspension can collapse when a crossmember separates from the frame. Failure of the frame could result in the rear of the motorcycle collapsing creating the possibility of a crash resulting in injury or death.

Corrective Action: Dealers will check the torque of the engine mount adjusting collars and inspect and possibly replace the frame if necessary. The recall was expected to begin during May 2008. Owners may contact Kawasaki at 1-866-802-9381.

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