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Test Riding: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14...and I ride a Honda!

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Big Gav, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. :biker:

    Wanted to briefly share with you the thoughts of a weekend rider on the new Ninja ZX-14, the soon-to-be new flagship of the Kawasaki sportsbike range. It will supercede the Ninja ZX-12R, which has changed little since its inception some six years ago from memory. That said, riding a 2000 without radial front brakes is like stopping a truck on a hill compared to models of later years.

    And back to the topic, the ZX-14 is an awesome riding experience. It makes the very smooth transition from a standing start to 100+kmh (or 200+kmh for that matter) without even flinching. The gearing ratios ensure that moderate application of power provides even acceleration until you take some brave pills and allow her to fly over the 7-8000rpm mark. At that point, especially around 3rd to 4th gears, hold on tight as you launch to warp speed!! It reminded me a little of my early 2-stroke days with a palpable power band. I had to hold on tight just to stay on!

    I know, I know, you can say this about all the ZX range but the ZX-6R & 10R (also Ninjas) have the feel of real road racers, with the electronic fuel injection and abundance of accessible power. The ZX-14 will suit a broader cross section of riders as it handles much better than its predecessor and yet its girth would suggest otherwise. Yes, the ZX-14 looks like a big bike but doesn't feel like one, which suits me just fine at 6'3" and 100kgs.

    And did I mention the braking? That was unbelievable as it literally stopped on a 10 cent piece, yet it didn't squash down on the road like my duel braking CBR1100XX. And don't get me wrong, that is fine for overall safety but not as favourable when you're pushing into a corner or enjoying a squirt on a track day. I just think the ZX-14 is an increadibly well balanced package. Its too sleek and quick to be a sports tourer and not as racey as the lighter weight sports bike, so I think Kawasaki could rest on the apt description of 'excitement machine' in my opinion. Not very original but very appropriate. Do yourself a favour and test ride one.

    So in summary, despite my bias towards the engineering of the Honda, if I had $20K and not $15K right now to spend on a new bike, the ZX-14 would be an excellent choice. For sports touring and value for money, I'm sure I'll be very happy with my CBR1100XX.

    And if you liked this article/topic, please answer the corresponding poll question. Safe riding...