The throaty roar of an inline-four, the swish of a chequered flag, the camaraderie of riding together, and the legends and their greatest hits.

[NEWS] Kawasaki unveils the Z800 in India

When the invitation finally popped into my inbox, I sent up a prayer. Finally, I said, Finally! I had really good reasons for my fervent gratitude.

The Kawasaki showroom in Delhi and the second in the country.

The Kawasaki showroom in Delhi and the second in the country.

Everyone knows my soft spot for the racing green. And well, Kawasaki has been in India forever. First with Bajaj, bringing in the more street and city friendly bikes – low in power, but great in manoeuvring. Then, as themselves, or rather India Kawasaki Motors (or IKM) in 2010, bringing in the CKD and CBU units – starting with the 250 and 300, and then in September last year, with the big ‘uns. IKM is still with Bajaj, sharing space with the Indian company at their factory in Pune.

Then, in September last year, the Pune showroom went up. Now, that’s the western hemisphere taken care of, I thought. But what of Delhi? The northerners? We here, were busy getting eyefuls of Harleys, Yamahas, Hondas, Suzukis, BMWs and even the Ducati and Aprilia (for a while). Kawasaki, a company rooted in motorcycle history, as rich as MV Agusta and Aprilia was missing and rather conspicuously, I may add.

Well, no more, I say. And thank god for that.

Kawasaki today launched its second exclusive showroom in the country. Tucked away near a popular theatre in South Delhi, the almost-sprawling space gleams white, courtesy the backlit boards. Pictures of Tom Sykes and the Mahi Racing Team rub shoulders with those of the ZX10R, the Ninja 1000 and the ZX14R. Almost an entire side is dedicated to sketches of motorcycles – past and present – straight from Kawasaki’s industrial designers and their imagination. It’s easily changeable, explains Shigeto Nishikawa, deputy managing director at IKM.

The Z800 was unveiled at the showroom launch today!

The Z800 was unveiled at the showroom launch today!

The ZX10R, the absolutely stunning 14R and the Z1000 jostle for window space, preening before a crowd, already gathered, looking in and snapping pictures. But the latest entrant in the Indian market takes up the pride of place: the Z800.

Yuji Horiuchi, managing director, IKM launched the Z800, a gleaming, black naked sports bike. The bike is priced at Rs 7.9 lakh (ex-showroom in Pune) and Rs 8.05 lakh (ex-showroom in Delhi). The aggressive styling and almost macho-like presence makes this middleweight a dream. You can see the Z spirit everywhere, Horiuchi-san said, referring to the bike.

The Z800 in greater detail!

The Z800 in greater detail!

The model also comes with optional accessories including an engine guard, meter cover, front axle guard, and tank pad. Expect this accessories list to grow slowly and steadily.

The Kawasaki has had an interesting last year. Its CKD (Completely Knockdown units that are assembled in India and are cheaper) units include the 300 Ninja and the 650 Ninja, which sold 800 and 200 units respectively.

Kawasaki_India_Showroom_Delhi_3

The CBU (Completely Built Up) units included the ZX 10R, ZX14R, the Ninja 1000, the Z1000 and now the Z800. The first 4 models were launched in September last year and have since then sold a total of 25 units. Nishikawa-san however explains that the sales were definitely below the potentiality. But, it is important to keep in the mind the fact that Kawasaki doesn’t have a bigger sales network.

All of this is of course expected to change with the opening of the Delhi showroom, and a dedicated service centre that will cater to customers across the northern part of country.

Where to go:

Kawasaki Pune: 12/B, Bajaj Brand View Building, Wakdewadi, Pune (Ph) 020-67276727

Kawasaki Delhi: 36 Community Centre, Vasant Lok Vasant Vihar, Delhi (Ph) 011- 64631115

Tagged as: , , , , ,

Categorised in: India, Launches

2 Responses

  1. Good to read your words again and nice to see such a cool and cult motorcycle brand rooting themselves somewhere where they can gain a big market share. I know motorsport has tried to hold events out in India before but if the build manufacturer fanbases by selling first, I’m sure they will generate many more fans ( so therefore much more money!

    • Thank you so much for your comment Lisa. I totally agree. The biggest challenge in my opinion has been to generate a large fan base for such motorcycles. Interestingly, there is a large population that uses motorcycles (the 100cc variety). But the larger motorcycles are often out of reach because of their price. Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki have changed the face of the market. Now that Kawasaki is here, it will be interesting to see the competition. India is definitely a growing market. There are exciting times ahead!

%d bloggers like this: