Z1000 Gets Top Marks Down Under - KMA Press Introduction
at Mar 12, 2003 10:57:12 by webmaster
Kawasaki Motors Australia (KMA) held a three-day press launch for the Z1000 from January 21-23. Seven Australian journalists took turns riding four Z1000s and three back-up bikes (a ZRX1200R, a ZX-12R and a ZZR1200). The Z1000s were run in (1000kms) prior to the event. In addition to the three KMA staff, a race photographer was also on hand to provide photos for the event.
The launch commenced in Balina, on the north coast of New South Wales (NSW). After flying in, the group set off on a two-hour ride on some of the best winding mountain roads in northern NSW and southern Queensland. After a lunch stop at Tambourine Mountain, another hour's ride found the journalists at the location of their first photo opportunity: the twisty Mt. Cotton Training Centre track.
Riding on the circuit allowed the journalists to really extend the legs of the Z1000 - especially down the main straight, which features a sharp drop-off, followed by the track's tightest set of corners. The Z1000's remarkable steering and road holding ensured that all the journalists came away from the photo session with vivid memories and ear-to-ear grins.
The first evening at the Clarion Hotel Powerhouse in Brisbane consisted of a welcome speech and a technical briefing by KMA's Mark Barnett. This was well received by the journalists who asked many questions mainly aimed at the bike's positioning in the Australian market. An evening dinner followed, and wrapped up at an early 10:30pm due to the early start the following day.
The final day found the group riding through the winding mountain passes of Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious to the north-west of Brisbane. This ride included an extended photo session at some of the more interesting sightseeing spots and corners.
Most of the feedback from the press revolved around the Z1000's excellent stability and the compliance of its suspension over bumps.
"I found the steering to be accurate and oh-so fast, with the suspension an ideal compromise between sports and comfort. The front end is just great, so compliant yet well controlled and it's very stable even over potholes. The gearbox is slick and the engine is fantastically responsive with smooth mid-range power and a great top end. They should sell by the truckload." - Two Wheels
"The engine is easy to use at slow speeds, the fuel injection system works really well and then the thing takes off at the top. There's a smoothed out gruffness to the engine, which is in perfect keeping with the bike's image. On the road, the bike is pleasantly light to chuck about and makes a great traffic muncher. On the track I couldn't believe how good the steering was, and even when the front goes light under power, the bars just gently wave around then settle down. Wonderful bike guys - small, nimble and doesn't it look great!" - Australian Motor Cycle News
"The engine and gearbox combination is just great. I love the thing: it was good to ride on the open road and absolutely sensational fun here at this very tight track. Having said that, the back straight here is quite long with a lump in the middle of it and the Zed just pulls like a train with the front end in the air and sees more than 220km/h very quickly. Then the wide bars allow you to shove the thing through corners like a 250. It's a really enjoyable bike and I can't wait to have one for a week or two." - News Ltd publications (Daily Telegraph, Sun Herald, Adelaide Advertiser)
In conclusion, the Z1000 was very well received by the Australian media. By concentrating on roads that show off the best points of the bike and giving the journalists free reign on the circuit, KMA's press launch resulted in seven happy media people leaving after three fun-filled days without a scratch to bike or body. And all of them want access to a Z1000 for a full test as soon as possible!