Increasing the numbers of those who attended last year and moving venues to the historic Donington Park circuit, there was some fierce competition over the weekend for potential visitors hearts and minds in the form of the F1 Grand Prix, Wimbledon, and World Superbikes to name but a few. Nevertheless a record crowd attended the second event of its kind created and hosted by the staff of Kawasaki Motors UK.
“We had nearly two thousand people pre-registered” explained Kawasaki Riders Club coordinator, Eleanor Berry. “Those numbers were substantially boosted by people that turned up on the day to experience the widest possible array of events and activities to participate in”
Being Donington, one of the key focus points was always going to be the track and with over four hundred sessions ridden via pre-bookings, the pit lane and circuit were busy all day according to Ross Burridge who looks after racing activity in the UK for Kawasaki.
“To ride the Grand Prix circuit is a treat for any motorcyclist so it’s not surprising we had over four hundred individual sessions across the day. In the off-road zone, Dakar veteran and Kawasaki experience partner, Mick Extance, had a selection of KX machines available for customers to try around a track mapped out round the perimeter of Donington Park circuit. Just under a hundred people took the minibus over to the wooded area to experience the thrill of off-road riding. And with the guidance of the experienced Extance, came away with skills honed to benefit their dirt and road riding.”
Of the static displays, fans were spoilt for choice with machines in both standard and modified form. Performance fans were blessed with not one but three very special turbocharged machines. Tim Blakemore displayed a brace of turbocharged drag racing machines including the awesome ZZR1400 based machine that he has skilfully developed in his Bristol based speed shop.
The Kawasaki Motors UK supported racer was available all day to answer questions and explain the various classes of drag racing. Along with the Tim Blakemore Racing machines, a expertly modified Ninja ZX-10R appeared with owner, Jack Frost. Now at just shy of 430bhp, the machine has been built to establish a top speed record and the early signs for success are encouraging.
Given the history of the track itself visitors were delighted to see displays of classic racing machinery courtesy of the Collins & Russell heritage racing programme with four machines and David Thomas with his early 60’s A1R, the first Kawasaki to win a race on tarmac in the UK. Looks were backed up with sounds at lunchtime as current racing hero’s paraded the heritage collection with James Ellison, Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton on a 250cc 2 stroke KR1-S and ZX-7RR’s respectively while Chris Walker enjoyed his time on an early 70’s 750cc H2R racer, a fearsome unsilenced beast.
Owner displays included a Ninja 30 area with a prize giving in the afternoon and the GPz900R owners club who were on call to explain the enduring magic of the machines that started the Ninja legend in 1984.
Seen as a Kawasaki experience for the entire family, attractions were not simply limited to two wheels and Kawasaki partner Maxxis provided a highly appreciated Drift Car display which was augmented by Kawasaki’s very own Lee Bowers and his crowd pleasing stunt show. Also on two wheels – but using peddle power – the Team Extreme BMX show quite literally “ramped” things up to another level according to Mark Spiller, Marketing Manager for Kawasaki in the UK.
“It took months of planning, and many weeks of preparation time to hone, but World of Kawasaki took our annual customer experience event to another level at Donington Park. Partners such as the RAC helped with the main stage where Ed Cusick played across the day. Our friends at BikeWorld kept people up to speed with events and organised rider interviews plus the Vulcan Riders Association and BikeSafe were on hand to deliver the fullest possible motorcycle experience.
If you add the dedicated zone for kids’ activities and the focused programme for confirmed petrol heads it was perhaps not even an option to spend less than a whole day at World of Kawasaki. Certainly those that did registered their enthusiasm and praise on the Kawasaki Riders Club forum and their encouragement has spurred us to consider what we might do in future.
For me one thing the day certainly confirmed is that the enthusiasm and passion for the Kawasaki brand continues to grow and our commitment to fuel that passion is boosted by events like this and direct contact with our loyal customers”.