Discussion Starter · #1 ·
“Can you tell me anything about Kawasaki’s 2006 lineup?”, I asked Kawasaki rep Tim Moss at this year’s SportBike West event.
“I can’t say anything until the embargo is off.” I hand Tim a card and tell him to call me as soon as the news can be run. Then Tim’s eyes slide across the parking lot of bikes and his gaze lands on a pristine lapis blue CBR1100XX Blackbird.
“That… is toast.” Tim says with a certain relish.
The thing is, if Kawasaki is indeed building a Blackbird killer (rumored to be the ZZR-1300 merging the current ZX-12R and ZZR-1200), then they’ve come to the party a little late. The Blackbird itself finished its production run in 2004, with 2005 being used to sell out overstock from the previous year’s production.
Meanwhile, a host of bikes such as BMW’s K1200S, and even the now- aging FJR1300, have seriously raised the bar of what a gentleman’s express should be. In many ways these offerings outstrip the CBR1100XX handily from power, handling potential and comfort perspectives. Even the near mythical stomp of the Hyabusa has been outstripped by true sportbikes, such as the GSX-R 1000, and is slated for update.
One hopes for mean green, that they’ve got the map to the “after party”, because club Blackbird’s now closed and everyone’s moved on.