Suzuki GB has launched the brand new KATANA to its dealer network and to its staff, with technical and sales training and test ride events held at its headquarters in Milton Keynes earlier this month.
Held over three days as part of an overall programme of KATANA launch activities and events during April and May, representatives from Suzuki’s entire dealer network were invited to attend a full day of KATANA training and 80-mile test ride. This utilised some pilot production bikes organised especially by Suzuki GB, to be able to ensure dealers and staff were able to experience this evolution of an icon ahead of the mass production bike’s full arrival into the UK.
The welcome presentation focused on the history and heritage of the KATANA and its iconic status, as well as the thoroughly modern underpinnings of the new machine, which features a lightweight twin-spar aluminium frame and inline four-cylinder engine packed full of character.
The test ride saw dealers leave Suzuki’s Milton Keynes head office, embarking on a ride into the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire countryside with a mid-point refreshment stop in Thame, which offered them a chance to get a feel for the new machine and better understand the learnings from the day’s presentation.
Each dealer left with a full launch pack containing the tools and information they will need when bikes land in their showrooms this week.
Lee Hancy from Bolton Motorcycles, summed up the day, saying, “I had an amazing, full-on, brilliant day. The test route Suzuki plotted was superb – fast flowing A-roads, twisty B-roads, a real mix – and the presentation was great; we learned a lot about the history of KATANA and the importance of the design process. The new KATANA is sharp, crisp, and instilled confidence on the test ride – a properly refined super-naked. I’m looking forward to having them in our showroom.”
Suzuki GB also hosted a launch for its own staff, which involved a day’s ride-out for those that hold a motorcycle licence, followed by a short presentation and KATANA gift for everyone in the business – including members of its ATV, marine and car divisions – highlighting the model’s history and importance to the Suzuki brand.
Suzuki GB head of motorcycles, Jonathan Martin, commented, “We had a few really good, enjoyable and also beneficial days launching the new KATANA to our team and the dealer network. It’s important that our dealers were among the first to fully understand what KATANA means to Suzuki, and motorcycling in general, and to get everyone together for technical and sales training. I know from the feedback that everyone also enjoyed the opportunity to put on their riding kit and head out for a test ride as well – there’s only so much you can learn from a powerpoint presentation and the chance to put some miles on a bike was gratefully received.
“That goes for the team at Suzuki GB, too. We spent a full day riding the bike ourselves as soon as they were available, and also ensured the rest of the business and our colleagues across Suzuki’s different product areas had the chance to see the KATANA up close and learn about its importance to the brand. The bike has now also been launched to the UK media with a two-day media event following the dealer training event, and we’re looking forward to fulfilling customer orders from this weekend and seeing this great machine out on the UK roads.”
For more information about Suzuki’s KATANA click here.
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