2014 Kawasaki Ninja NightsKawasaki Ninja Nights, which celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Ninja model line, took place last Saturday, July 12, during the World Superbike round at Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway.
One and all declared it a resounding success with several hundred attendees coming to join the fun. A DJ supplied background music while an MC threw out multiple trivia questions to the crowd, and much to the delight of the people who shouted out the right answers first, they won a host of baseball caps, Ninja tee-shirts and other assorted Kawasaki swag.The more serious part of the event were the three classes of Ninja bike entries. The winners were selected from a healthy entry list that amounted to around thirty machines on display: Best Race Replica, Best Custom Ninja, and Best Vintage Kawasaki.The winners were decided by attendee voting, and also by online votes as well. When the votes were in, three guys won a variety of prizes including an individual trophy made of Ninja engine parts, as well as a set of Cortech soft luggage, assorted high-end accessory parts from Italian aftermarket house Rizoma, and a variety of smaller prizes as well.Winner of the Best Custom Ninja category (sponsored by Ultimate MotorCycling) was Gerard Truong of San Jose with his 2001 Kawasaki Ninja EX250 cafe racer. Winner of the Best Race Replica was Marvin D. Webber of Antelope Valley, CA with his faithfully reproduced 1994 Ninja ZX-7R (homologated race model) modeled after Scott Russell’s racebike. Winner of the Best Vintage Kawasaki was David Benoy with his immaculate 1974 H2 750 two-stroke triple.Other prizes were raffled off to lucky participants, and included a pair of Racer Gloves, a set of Dunlop tires and an AGV helmet. Gabe Ibarra, winner of the Racer Gloves took home his gift certificate which he then immediately redeemed for a pair of R-Safe in white/red .He was nice enough to send us a couple of pictures and his opinion of the gloves he chose: “The gloves fit nice and tight. I have to break them in and get used to them, but I like them very much; thank you! Ninja nights was awesome and I’m looking forward to next year at Laguna Seca.”During the Laguna Seca World SBK round, Kawasaki also unveiled the 2015 Ninja ZX-14R 30th Edition Limited Edition.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.