SUN SHINES ON EAGER CROWD AT WORLD OF KAWASAKI

Stowe track riding

Stowe track riding

The first ever World of Kawasaki event in the UK took place at Silverstone circuit, Northants on 21 April and was declared a huge success.

Despite initial weather worries, blue skies formed a natural canopy for a wide variety of activities and features based around the new Stowe circuit area recently opened within the Silverstone International racing complex.

Customer parking showed an unsurprising sea of green

Customer parking showed an unsurprising sea of green

With pre-registrations for event activities well into four figures and many families and spectators expected, the day kicked off early with eager Kawasaki fans queuing to book accompanied 2013 Kawasaki range test rides on local roads and, for Kawasaki Riders Club members, the chance to ride their own Kawasaki on the immaculate Stowe race circuit.

All those arriving passed the off-road experience on the perimeter road and many returned during the day to ride a motocross bike with the Mick Extance Off-Road Experience or discover the thrill of riding an ATV quad bike or four wheel drive MULE Utility Vehicle.

Truly a family event, the parking area soon began to fill with a raft of Kawasakis and other motorcycles and also cars carrying families eager to participate. With complimentary refreshments for arriving Kawasaki Riders Club members in their own VIP area, for many the chance to warm up after chilly early morning rides was welcomed.

Most however were keen to immerse themselves immediately in the array of activities. Causing mechanical mayhem and laugher all day, the Kawasaki wheel change challenge provided a chance for budding pit crew staff to show off their skills.

Tom Sykes at one of his many impromptu signing sessions

Tom Sykes at one of his many impromptu signing sessions

Almost becoming an obsession for visiting Kawasaki World Superbike star, Tom Sykes, the early lead was taken by Gearlink Kawasaki rider Alastair Seeley with a complete rear wheel change time of just 40 seconds. Tom did his best but simply could not match the Irish rider’s time and then had to suffer of ignominy of witnessing Chris “Stalker” Walker moving the bar even further away with a sub 40 second effort.

Spectating, Colin Reader of Huntingdon shared a similar view with many other guests on the day.

“As soon as I read about it I knew I had to come along, its as simple as that. I think lots of people here have had loads of Kawasaki bikes. I ride a ZX-10R now but I’ve had at least half a dozen other Kwakers. This is a great way to feel part of what’s going on at Kawasaki”.

Live sounds throughout the day were supplied by local guitar hero Ed Cusick who played an incredible set and shared the stage with interview sessions featuring the likes of Tom Sykes, Chris Walker, Ben Wilson, Alastair Seeley, Danny Buchan and Mason Law.

Elsewhere, the Vulcan Riders Association not only displayed their customised Kawasaki VN Cruisers but also explained the membership benefits of the club and assisted with the Cruiser element of the road ride experience. Commenting, Paul Rouse of the VRA explained that the day offered a great opportunity.

“It’s only by riding a VN and then knowing what other benefits of belonging to the VRA are offered do people realise that there is a whole world of fun and activity open to them, this event was a great chance to share that fact.”

As track sessions got underway, elsewhere children spent time in concentrated silence taking part in the colouring competition while an excited queue formed for the face painting….including a few adults as well as the expected youngsters!

“It was important for us to keep everyone occupied”, said Aimee Osmond of Kawasaki Motors UK who led the event creation team. “Of course the focus was on motorcycles, but everyone that attended – and especially the families – liked other features such as the Kawasaki robot arm, the three hundred horsepower JetSki and bouncy castles”.

With so many attractions it was hard for visitors to know what to do next. The GetOn first ride activity next to the pit boxes offered the chance to ride a powered two-wheeler for the first time while, for the very youngest, a Kiddimoto area offered balance bike rides to plant an early seed that may eventually blossom into a passion for motorcycling.

One whose dream came true on the day was three year old Nicole Miles who won her very own first Kawasaki as top “artist” in the colouring competition. Her mother, Tracey, is already a keen Kawasaki rider with two machines or her own. “Nicole will not be off this now. She’s already got an electric Ninja sit-on bike for the garden; it looks like we have an indoor bike for the living room now!”

A true participation event offering the chance to not simply take part but also to win special prizes, World of Kawasaki has given the company the opportunity to reach out and explain what makes the Kawasaki brand so unique according to Marketing Manager for the UK, Mark Spiller.

“World of Kawasaki was designed to showcase who we are, what we do and what makes us unique. Of course we could not display a Boeing Dreamliner, a supertanker or bullet train, but in just the space of a day I am sure we delivered a memorable snapshot that people will remember for a long time to come. This was always designed to be a partnership event and I am delighted that Kawasaki delivered such a great experience for all that attended”. 

See over 250 more pictures, on the Kawasaki News UK Facebook page

{lang: 'en-GB'}