Kawasaki's WSBK Retreat & Spin Into Bimota. What Do We Know For Sure?
No, Really!
What do we know for sure? This.

Kawasaki's motorcycle sales are the backbone of revenue for Kawasaki. Kawasaki makes more revenue and profit from motorcycles and powersports than they do from any other division: ships, watercraft, subway cars, bridges, helicopters or rocket launchers.

Kawasaki bought what's left of Bimota in 2019.

Kawasaki's powersports division was spun off in 2021.

Kawasaki wants to have introduced 25 new motorcycles by 2025. They have 12 new models in 2024.

We know that Kawasaki announced this week that the current factory WSBK team will cease to exist at the end of the 2024 season.

We know that due to concessions, the Kawasaki is more competitive this season than it has been in years.

We know that in 2022, Kawasaki delivered 555,000 motorcycles to dealers globally, marking a notable rise from the 491,000 units delivered in 2021. The goal for 2024 is to further increase deliveries to 580,000 units.

We know that the current Kawasaki 1000cc Superbike engine, although it has seen updates, is basically the same engine as it was in 2012.

We know that Kawasaki is spinning this retreat from factory racing into "engine supplier" racing as the same level effort because the 2025 race team will be run by the same Guim Roda-led squad.

We know that at the final Laguna Seca WSBK event a senior Japanese Kawasaki Racing engineer told Kawasaki crewchief and insider Gary Medley that the factory Superbike roadracing department, internally, seemed doomed due to lack of internal support. The engineer told Medley that Kawasaki's competitiveness and success at the Suzuka 8 Hours was the sole saving grace and that if ever Kawasaki did not race the 8 Hour with a factory bike that most believed Superbike racing was dead at Kawasaki.

We know that Kawasaki did not race the 2023 Suzuka 8 Hours as a factory team.

We know that since the 2008 recession Kawasaki has sold a declining number of ZX10RRs worldwide. Ironically dealers report an uptick in sales this year due to the classic 1990s paint scheme on the Kawasaki sport bikes. Keep in mind it took them five years internally to get these popular graphics into production. Five years! For paint!

Suppose the factory Kawasaki WSBK team's budget from Kawasaki is $12 million per season. How much is $12 million to Kawasaki? It's .0031% of Kawasaki's Powersports' revenue. They spend more on copy paper and printer supplies.

To what end is the point of entering a Bimota with a Kawasaki engine in WSBK? It's the KTM model, to a degree, probably. Meaning that a Kawasaki-powered Bimota can become a real Kawasaki-controlled brand like KTM controls Gas Gas or Husquvarna. An entire range of Bimota motorcycles could be introduced and sold through a new Bimota dealership network.

A flashy limited edition, high dollar Bimota sport bike may very well be easier to sell than a simple ZX10-RR hyperbike. The world as we know it right now has Porsche (car) dealerships with waiting lists for the top, ultra-expensive 911 that are longer than Jack Kerouac's infamous "endless" scroll manuscript for On the Road.
— ends —
Share on:
Superbike Planet