Z800 LAUNCHES TO EAGER PRESS IN MONACO

SUPERBIKE MAGAZINE'S JOHN HOGAN RIDING THE NEW Z800

SUPERBIKE MAGAZINE’S JOHN HOGAN RIDING THE NEW Z800

The much anticipated Z800 has just been launched to European press in the exotic surroundings of the southern French principality of Monaco.

SADLY NO TIME TO ADMIRE THE SCENARY IN MONACO

SADLY NO TIME TO ADMIRE THE SCENARY IN MONACO

With good riding weather for both the Saturday and Sunday that they attended, the UK press had a good chance to get to grips with the dynamically styled mid-weight Supernaked that is expected to be a strong seller across Europe in the coming year.

The successor to the hugely popular Z750 and Z750R series, the Z800 has created a welter of interest alongside its partner machine in a two bike range, the A2 licence compliant Z800 e version which was on show as a display model during the launch.

With over 150,000 units sold, the Z750 series has been a top category seller in its style segment and, for Kawasaki Motors Europe, a key machine in terms of both sales and brand identity. Its style evolution was charted during the initial presentation of the machine at a conference on the evening of the media arrival. Now, with the introduction of the two Z800 machines, the next generation of the Z series continues to occupy centre stage.

Its menacing looks are uncompromising, its rider aids and careful styling facets all considered for maximum impact and to maintain Kawasaki’s design – and sales – advantage satisfying the wants and needs of a fiercely loyal customer base.

Starting with motorway riding to the first photo location a clear and crisp day soon warmed up and the entire group – which included riders from Switzerland, Greece and Slovenia as well as the UK – racked up cornering and tracking shots all under the careful consideration of the Monaco authorities who have the special task of looking after the welfare of some of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Rich pickings were had later in the day by the riding group as lunch gave way to a free ride session back to the hotel and plans for more riding and images on the Sunday. Chief among the accolades for the new machine was the styling which belied the sheer amount of research performed by Kawasaki’s team of European and Japanese product engineers based in Holland and Germany. For them the task was challenging, to create a distinctive Kawasaki super-naked with the ability to appeal to riders who also consider the offerings of European manufacturers.

MICHAEL NEEVES OF MCN SAMPLES Z800 CORNERING

MICHAEL NEEVES OF MCN SAMPLES Z800 CORNERING

With a more sophisticated suspension package and further adjustability over the outgoing Z750, journalists were pleased with the sure-footed steering of the Z800 as well as the progressive brakes which many felt had a more effective initial bite compared to similar machines in the class.

A key design element – the low and mid-range power advantage of an enlarged 806cc engine – was noted by several journalists with at least two experimenting with low speed pick up in top gear and remarking that 20mph clean pulling was possible thanks to advanced fuel injection settings.

The new Dunlop tyres developed for the Z800 also garnered praise for their grip and heat retention which inspired confidence on unfamiliar – and sometimes crowded – roads. Likewise, the gearing, which is now slightly lower for better urban use and instant acceleration, was pointed out as a worthy change from the Z750.

THE Z800 E

THE Z800 E

With understandable interest in the Z800 e version that was part of the display in the hotel – and which will be available alongside the Z800 in UK showrooms when shipments arrive just before Christmas – the importance of the new A2 licence was not underestimated.

The launch completed, journalists returned to the UK late on Monday evening and reports are expected on web sites and in major publications over the following weeks. As a model line that marks both the end of the first forty years of the iconic Z family, and the next generation of Z machines, the Z800 and Z800 e version certainly stimulated interest among show goers at the recent Motorcycle Live show and now the press with the Monaco media launch.

Next stop will be public views and test ride bookings at UK Kawasaki dealers who are eager to unveil this popular new addition to an already strong 2013 Kawasaki road bike range.

“As an expression of the optimism about this market sector and the incoming A2 legislation, theZ800 is vital”, commented UK Sales Manager for Kawasaki, Craig Watson.

“First Motorcycle Live, then the press launch and, in the coming weeks, initial deliveries to UK dealers. The nights may be darker and the days cooler, but the Z800 will certainly bring a glow of satisfaction to the eager buyers keen to get their hands on the class-leading middleweight super-naked with a knockout out punch”. 

See details of the new Z800 here.

See details of the new Z800 e version here.

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