Kawasaki Takes Over Times Square
Throughout my travels as a journalist, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing new product launches held at world-class race circuits, nationally recognized events, and along some of the most scenic routes in The States, even a few with professional AMA racers, celebrities, and pro athletes.
Not bragging, just trying to put things in perspective while describing the magnitude of Kawasaki’s 2013 Ninja 300 and Ninja 636 launch. It was impressive as they literally took over New York’s Times Square for this release.
This was more than just the launch of two bikes that are primed to shake up the industry. It was an event captured on the jumbo monitors of arguably the most recognized city in the world for all to see. A product launch with a few bells and whistles within Times Square may have sufficed to some, but not Big Green. Not only did they engage the media, but they also brilliantly enthused the general public by providing a fashion and stunt show by Team No Limit’s Jason Britton and Eric Hoenshell with models rocking gear from ICON Apparel. Kawasaki’s own drag race World Champion Rickey Gadson was in attendance as well as FIM World Supercross Champion and AMA Motocross Champion Ryan Villopoto. World Superbike racer Tom Sykes was also in the mix. Model and fellow rider Tyson Beckford also came out to play. Keeping the crowd actively involved, entertained and hyped was Mr. Energy himself, Allan Lane with DJ Scribble absolutely killing the wheels of steel. But wait, there’s more. What about the customs you ask? No problem. Kawasaki had that covered with the world’s first custom Ninja 636 skilfully crafted by veteran builder and industry icon Nick Anglada of Anglada Originals, in conjunction with DUB Magazine President and Co-Founder Myles Kovacs on hand for the unveiling.
Beyond Kawasaki bringing out their own star power, they insightfully reached out to the sport bike community to participate with a grand rider’s entrance, connecting directly to the vast Kawasaki sport bike community. Clubs representing included: Street Knights out of Brooklyn, Clutch N’ Burn and Triple XXX Riders with my man OG always capturing the action with his cinematic skills and least not forget NY’s own stunt king, King Rommel. You might expect with all this excitement, one’s throttle hand may become twitchy. To satisfy this itch Kawasaki set up a drag race simulator using two modified drag bikes actually ridden by Mr. Gadson. If the aforementioned activities weren’t enough to keep you around, the Times Square Take Over culminated into the giving away of a 2013 Ninja 300 won by Valan “Pryme” Primus of the Bronx and a 2013 Ninja 636 won by Rachael Nadeau of Annapolis, MD.
Kawasaki, being very appreciative and humbled by NYC’s cooperation with allowing them such exclusive access to this coveted area, graciously donated a Ninja 300 and Ninja 636 to City Harvest, both of which will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to feeding New Yorks’ hungry.
With such a magnanimous launch, only time will tell if these two Ninjas can sustain their momentum. One thing is for sure, they’re off to a great start and we look forward to bringing you our test ride experience of each.
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Written by: Leon L. Brittain
motorcycle journalist and photographer