Eric Bostrom, Jeremy Toye Unveil Limited Edition Kawasaki ZX-14R
At Superbike World Championship Event At Laguna Seca
AMA Pro Road Racing Champion Eric Bostrom and Pikes Peak
winner Jeremy Toye were on hand Friday, July 11, to introduce Kawasaki's newest
model, a limited edition 2015 ZX-14R, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of
the original 1984 Ninja GPz900R.
Bostrom and Toye have made part of their motorcycling names
aboard the company's machines, with Bostrom taking the 2001 AMA Pro Road Racing
Supersport title aboard a ZX-6R, and Toye racing a ZX-10R successfully in
international competition, most recently winning the Open class at the
Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Having ridden one of the newest generations ZX-10R, Bostrom
said it compared favorably with the 600cc and 636cc machines he used to race
for the factory here in the U.S.
"The biggest difference is that now, the tires feel
like they're being driven into the pavement," Bostrom says. "Back
then, it used to feel like they were sliding across the surface. It's better
chassis, better suspension. The 1000s today are easier to ride than the 600s I
Toye said that when Kawasaki announced plans to race him at
Pikes Peak aboard a supersport machine, he heard a lot of "that can't be
done" talk that motivated him.
"I was told that it was the wrong bike, that you needed
something with (upright) handlebars, all this stuff," Toye says. "So
I had an opportunity to race here, to win, and to prove some people
The immensely experienced Toye says that nothing - closed-circuit
racetrack or open-road course - prepared him for Pikes Peak.
"It is its own animal," Toye says.
Kawasaki representatives played a brief high-definition
video shot from a helicopter of Toye's winning run up the hill. After watching,
Bostrom, who won several AMA Pro road races at the Pikes Peak International
Raceway circuit, feigned heart palpitations, and when asked if he would
consider doing the hillclimb, simply said, "I'll just let my record at
Pikes Peak stand ..."
Having introduced special 30th anniversary editions of the
ZX-10R and the ZX-6R, Kawasaki chose Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to unveil its
limited edition ZX-14R. Only 300 of the machines will be made, and will be
painted in the exact same Firecracker Red and Metallic Graystone paint scheme
as the original Ninja 900. Each will have special badges identifying it as part
of the limited run, and each will have a numbered badge on the gas tank.
Potential buyers will have to pre-order the machines from
their Kawasaki dealer. Deposits - $1,000, non-refundable - are being accepted
starting 9 a.m. Pacific time on July 15. The bikes will be sold on a
first-come, first-served basis, with each deposit being computer time-stamped.
Suggested retail is $15,899.
It was not a bad place or time for Kawasaki to attract
attention to itself. After all, one of its Superbike World Championship riders,
Tom Sykes, is the defending Champion, is leading the current championship and
was among the leaders in Friday's practice sessions at Laguna.