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"Fast Bikes", May 1, 2013

ANDY | KAWASAKI Z800

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN... “Trying out the new duck in Kawasaki’s stable, er pond...”

TIME ON TEST: 1 MONTH (FBK274)

00116 ODOMETER MILES

BHP: NA

GAIN: —

NEXT AIM: HAND IT OVER

So my Ninja went home, but in it’s place I picked up this, the new Kawasaki Z800. Naturally you’ve read all about it already, both in our launch report and head-to-head test.

It’s actually going to be looked after by our very own Johnny Cab, and Charlie can’t wait to get his grubby little mitts all over it. So much so, that he lobbed his Yamaha YZF-R6 down the road just to try and get to the Kwaka sooner.

So I’ve looked after it for these first couple of weeks while he’s getting over his little spill. I’m impressed too, and reckon the big K is on to a sure-fire winner with this new formula.

It looks stunning; rugged, angular styling with an unmistakable stance. It’s got the balls of the current Ninja brand ethos, that’s for sure. The paint hits the same giddy heights in my opinion, too. Even the girlfriend stopped and took notice of it – praise indeed.

On the go it’s very accomplished. The motor is strong with linear power that builds nicely. It’s not ferocious by any stretch, this is a Japanese naked middleweight, but it’s still got an exciting kick. It’s most definitely a large enough power unit to do the job.

I find it roomy and comfortable, yet focused and light in the turn. Kawasaki has manufactured a balanced machine, one that can handle and cope with its mass. It turns with relative ease, not sharp like my outgoing ZX-6R, but you wouldn’t expect that of it. It finds a stable platform once over on its ear, offering an uninterrupted corner carve.

This will be a fun machine for Charlie to hone during this year, I guarantee he’ll have a blast. I’m just not sure when he’ll me getting the keys from me!

Price from new: £7,499

Insurance group 14

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