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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Honda ran a commercial back in the day stating:

"...even the Ninja knows, all things must hide from the Hurricane"

...Yeah maybe for a short time, but the Hurricane quickly blows away and disappears, while the Ninja lives on to improve his strength and swiftness! :lol:



2009 Marks Ninja's 25th Anniversary

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kawasaki’s "Ninja" brand name, a name that has become globally synonymous with sport bikes.

Industry icon and Dealernews columnist Mike Vaughan led the Ninja revolution as director of marketing for Kawasaki Motor Corp., USA from 1979 to 1990. Dealernews recently talked with Vaughan to learn how the Ninja name became a mainstay in the motorcycle marketplace.

Here's the story Vaughan has to tell:

"The Ninja, as I recall, was sort of a surprise for us, in that we hadn't really asked for it — not that everything we had to sell was something we'd asked for, but the Ninja, or what was to become the Ninja, really bowled us over.

"In 1979, they showed us the first GPzs, and I suggested then that we call them 'Ninja.' The Japanese blew it off, and frankly my colleagues weren't crazy about it either. So the name retired to a folder until the GPz900 was revealed to us (by us, I mean the guys who were on the 'product planning' committee).

"We probably saw the first examples of the bike maybe in late '82. It seemed to me that this really was the Ninja, and I began campaigning for the adoption of the name.

"At about the same time, we switched advertising agencies. The old agency, which had had the account for a number of years, was on my side with regard to the name. But the new agency, wanting to establish their creds, proposed calling it the 'Panther.'

"Anyway, there ensued a battle between mostly me and the agency over the name. In the meantime, the U.S. Kawasaki guys began to see how appropriate the name was for the bike and also become advocates ... I think by this time it was Bob Moffit, Gary 'Jet' Johnson and Dave Dewey.

"The Japanese argument against the name was that the Ninja were outlaws and the name would somehow be shameful. I had collected a bunch of names of Japanese motorcycles, from one of my trips to Japan, like Carrot, Gorilla, etc., and explained to them how ridiculous these names would be to Americans, and tried to convince them that because the Ninja concept was unknown to most Americans, the name's image would be whatever we made it.

"About this time I stumbled across a Japanese windsurfing magazine, with a bunch of young Japanese men and women on the cover standing with their boards and giving the camera the finger. It was explained to me that this was how the Japanese expressed number one, and that windsurfing was the No. 1 sport in Japan. I tried using this imagery to convince them that Americans and Japanese viewed things differently ... but to no apparent avail. Anyway, to make a long story brief, almost right until the time the bike was officially released, I and the rest of us assumed it was going to be called the Panther — although I don't recall seeing a logo for it, but there must have been.

"I had left the office for an ad shoot or something when I got a call from Mr. Henry Noda, my boss and VP of marketing, that Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) had agreed to call the bike 'Ninja.' As I understand it, the last hold-out for naming the bike was the president of Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, Mr. Tazaki. Jet Johnson, God bless his soul, had gone in at the last moment and lobbied Tazaki to agree to the Ninja name and had won.

"It's interesting to note that everywhere else in the world, the bike was the GPz900 — no other country adopted the name, and some still haven't, I believe.

"The bike was introduced to our dealers in January of '84 at a meeting in Honolulu, and of course, it was a hit. The name was still an iffy, and we didn't survey the dealers about it. If we had, I think we'd have lost. We did the world press launch at Laguna Seca, and its first public showing was at the Chicago consumer show in mid-February. I was anxious to get consumer reaction to the name, so I hovered around the display for quite a while; most people examined the bike, checked the name and walked away. Finally, a couple of guys came up, eye-balled the bike's name plate and said 'Nina! What the heck is a Nina?' I just about died. I thought my career was over.

"We then launched our advertising campaign involving images of a Ninja. I have to say, once the decision was made, the agency really got on the bandwagon and the bike became a roaring success ... not necessarily because of the name, but because it was so good. The name was the frosting on the cake. My proudest moment was when Honda ran a TV ad with the line, 'Even a Ninja fears a Hurricane!' Yeah, right, thanks for the recognition.

"I guess the rest is history — 'Ninja' has become like 'Kleenex' for sportbikes, a kind of all-encompassing name."

—Submitted by Guido Ebert
(link)
http://www.dealernews.com/dealernew...versary/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/602526


Now here's a bit of history one may not think of correctly, if I understand history correctly (Some of this may not be perfectly accurate, but it is for the most part).

Our ZX-10R's (ZX1000-C,D,E) are direct descendants of the revolutionary and groundbreaking original Ninja, the 1984 Ninja 900R/GPZ-900R (ZX900-A), not the 1986 Ninja 1000R/GPZ1000RX (ZX1000-A) as one may think.

The Ninja 900R/GPZ-900R was essentially upgraded to the Ninja ZX-9R (ZX900-B,C,E,F) starting in 1994 (though the 900R was only sold in America from 84-86 and it went on to 2003 in Japan and some other countries, mostly unchanged. Though there are those differences, the 1994 ZX-9R was the exact successor in market aim to the 900R, in that it was a sub-1000cc sportbike aimed at topping its 1000cc+ competitors).
Of course, the latest ZX-9R (ZX900-F) made way in 2003 for the upgrade, the less revolutionary (than the original Ninja) but plenty evolutionary ZX-10R in 2004 (ZX1000-C). Here we are 5 years later with the greatest iteration of them all without a higher end in sight!

The 1986 Ninja1000R/GPZ1000RX (ZX1000-A) was built to be (yet again for Kawasaki), the "world's fastest production motorcycle", and it was (they've been pretty good at that you know). That turned into the Ninja ZX-10 (ZX1000-B), and led into the Ninja ZX-11/ZZR1100 (ZX1100-C,D) in 1990, again the "world's fastest production motorcycle".
In 2000 the Ninja ZX-12R (ZX1200-A,B), which was more pure sportbike, somewhat split off with the ZX-11, but that was to (attempt to) again take the crown of (you guessed it) the "world's fastest production motorcycle". In 2002 the ZZR1200 sport-tourer was born also of the ZX-11 which ended production in 2001, but IMHO the real successor to the ZX-11 in original market aim was the ZX-12R.
Of course the awesome ZX-12R gave way to the current all-powerful (and very fat) Ninja ZX-14/ZZR1400 in 2006 (ZX1400-A,C) with the same goal as all of the previous iterations.

So there you have it. Two distinctly different (hah!) Ninja lineages, and ours descends from one of the great pivotal designs in motorcycling history, the original 1984 Kawasaki Ninja 900R.

Happy 25TH birth-year Kawasaki Ninja! Here's to many more years of skillfully fighting off everything that comes at you! :eek:ccasion1
 

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good info
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm glad you feel that way.

I just realized that 2/3 of the threads I've started on this site have quotes as titles. :dontknow:
 

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Ahh history it reminds us of how bad the past sucked and how awesome the future will have to be.
 

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PostWhore
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Hope I never meet up with a hurricane.:badteeth:
 

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Guilty by association
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thats funny, that ninja had a little trap door under the rug.
 

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thats funny, that ninja had a little trap door under the rug.
What you don't have an emergency CBR escape hatch. I have 2, one in the living room and one in the shitter
 

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What you don't have an emergency CBR escape hatch. I have 2, one in the living room and one in the shitter
im worried where the one in your shitter leads to
 

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It leads to a horrid place were the world is turned upside down and Honda is the ultimate racing machine.
 

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Guilty by association
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It leads to a horrid place were the world is turned upside down and Honda is the ultimate racing machine.
isle of man?
 

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What you don't have an emergency CBR escape hatch. I have 2, one in the living room and one in the shitter
(im worried where the one in your shitter leads to)


:crackup::badteeth: you guys are funny :+1:
 

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This is not a joke you should be preparing your home for the attack of the Honda, you will see them coming because of their orange rims
 

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Cross-Eyed Cat
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my first ninja...

This was my first NINJA...I got this bike right before I turned 15...back in 1987.

I loved this thing...and I ruled the road on it! I lived in a small rural town called Oakhurst in California...and I had the only Ninja there at the time...the next closest was Fresno!



Hurricanes come and go...but the Spirit, Soul and fighting capabilities of the Ninja will remain forever!
 

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What a brilliant thread, I love that ad. I didn't realise it was a TV ad, all I'd ever seen was the version in the magazines of the time. Thanks a motza for the post !

Cheers,
Brian
 

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i like your avi greenman43, have you seen the dave shappel skit about oscar the grouch!:lol:
 

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i like your avi greenman43, have you seen the dave shappel skit about oscar the grouch!:lol:
Thanks mate, I haven't seen it. We have an intranet-based internal directory where I work, and I used this pic as my personal photo ; subtle implication being, I'm grumpy so don't annoy me with your phone calls :) Unfortunately the fun police jumped all over me, threatening disciplinary action (up to an including dismissal for 'misuse of computer equipment'). Nothing happened in the end, but I was really hoping they would try to fire me, so I could have the pleasure of sueing their asses off for wrongful dismissal !

Cheers,
Brian
 
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