Thursday, August 16, 2007

Flip-flop Kwak

Maybe the weirdest post title ever...

Kawasaki have always painted their racebikes lime green. It didn't matter whether it was motocross, enduro, Grand Prix or Superbike, the colour was synonymous with Kawasaki.

This season in MotoGP they decided to switch to a classy-looking darker metallic green. I wasn't sold on it at the start of the year, having owned two Kawasakis myself and enjoyed the distinctive look of the lime green. However, when I saw the MotoGP bike in the flesh at Laguna Seca my mind was changed. The new more restrained forest green made the lime colour look boorish and over-the-top.

Sadly, pressure from Kwak fans worldwide has forced a change back to lime, effective this weekend. It goes to show how important heritage is the world of motorsport. Brand-loyalty is a holy grail for manufacturers (just look at the Ford / Holden rivalry in V8 Supercars in Australia - those fans are CRAZY!) Colours are an important part of the imagery and mystique that help maintain that loyalty. A drastic change of sponsor can undoubtedly do damage to hard work employed by numerous marketing flunkies at manufacturers. Remember when the Corvette team switched to a dark blue paint job for Le Mans in 2003? Or when the Yamaha World Superbike team ditched the traditional blue and white in favour of their sponsor's red and white scheme?

Anyway, take a look at the pictures below. What do you think is the best colour?

Here's the newer colour, on Randy de Puniet's crashed bike, leaning up against the marshalls' portapotty at Laguna this year:

And here's Shinya Nakano's bike from 2005:


Clive said...

Kwakkers are lime green - end of story. It is written in our genes that things should be that way - I can remember Mad saying something to me years ago about a red Kwak and my response was, "It's not a Kwak if it's not green." And I knew nothing about bikes at the time.

In fact, Kawasaki should be pleased that they have such a strong brand identification - it means that they are reaching us on a subliminal level that can be used very effectively for marketing purposes. Other companies would give anything to have the same.

Dusty said...

I much prefer the new metallic green color, and I was disappointed when I read that Kawasaki decided to switch back. The lime color screams '70s and '80s, which is great for nostalgia and marketing, but just doesn't look as nice (in my opinion).