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Old 12-02-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Default 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R Review [Video]


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2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R Review [Video]

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Old 12-09-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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Congrats on kicking ass at the track, Mr. Duke! I wonder if I'll be reading similar articles in the print mags and if they'll mention your performance...

Just for fun I did a little comparison of the 14R and my favorite hot car, the John Cooper Works Mini:

JCW Mini
Weight: 2701
HP: 208
Power / Weight Ratio: 12.99

vs.

ZX-14
Weight: 574
HP: 185
Power/Weight Ratio: 3.1
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spaceman View Post
Congrats on kicking ass at the track, Mr. Duke! I wonder if I'll be reading similar articles in the print mags and if they'll mention your performance...

Just for fun I did a little comparison of the 14R and my favorite hot car, the John Cooper Works Mini:

JCW Mini
Weight: 2701
HP: 208
Power / Weight Ratio: 12.99

vs.

ZX-14
Weight: 574
HP: 185
Power/Weight Ratio: 3.1
Finally some feedback! No, I doubt other pubs will be telling their readers about the competition!

BTW, your spec comparo uses two different types of hp ratings. If you use 208 hp for the Mini (taken at the crankshaft), you should use approx the same number for the ZX. About 10-12% is lost from the crank to the wheel, making the 14R even more impressive!
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
Finally some feedback! No, I doubt other pubs will be telling their readers about the competition!
Probably not. Actually I think you may be first out with a "Ridden" review on the new ZX. CW and MC had short update briefs on it, your article is much more in-depth than any I've seen elsewhere.

I was hoping to see the supercharged ZX rumor turn out to be true, but you have to wonder how much HP can be managable with 2 wheels, even with TC. For a rider like you (meaning someone very experienced but not a drag-racing regular) to walk on the track and turn sub-10 times on a stock bike is pretty amazing.

Even though I like electric bikes and other "green" stuff, I'm really glad that Kawi and Suzuki are still making hyper-bikes, and I hope they always do. If had too much money, I'd be figuring out a way to blend the Concours ergonomics and touring features into the ZXR's performance package. Now that would be a fun "Q-ship" bike to troll Daytona with!
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #5
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My personal brand bias has always kept me from appreciating the fact that Kawasaki produces a quality machine. I doubt no longer.
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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"The ZX-14 has been a major player in the hyperbike wars since its introduction in 2006, "

Kawasaki has been a major player in the hyperbike market since about forever. They were first Japanese company to bring in a full displacement bike (The W2 650) and when you figure in the H1 and H2, the KZ900 and KZ1000s Kawasaki has always been a major player if not the leader they once were.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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Kawi has always been about the motor. Good for them!

Never forget playing around on a friend's lightly modded Hayabusa. Out in the "high speed desert test facilty" (long straight 4 lane road in the middle of nowhere) for kicks I rolled on the throttle in 6th gear at 30 mph. Added throttle as the revs rose, it smoothly pulled from 30 all the way to 185 indicated without so much as bothering to change gears.

The strong unrelenting single gear pull felt very much like taking off in a small business jet (at least the 1 time I rode in one!). The awe inspiring torque and breadth of power in this class of bike really is somthing to behold, as was it's calm stability at ridiculous speed. Akra full exhaust howling - the bike's owner dug the flyby too.

Then there was the light up the rear tire at 100 in 3rd gear incident. One does not "wick it" on one of these, like, ever...

Gave the bike back, got on my TL1000 and it felt like a wind up toy. This all happened quite a long time ago by the way. Is there a statute of limitations for this sort of thing?

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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They were first Japanese company to bring in a full displacement bike (The W2 650) ...
I've never heard the term "full displacement" used like that. Was 650cc once a benchmark displacement for a "big" bike? The 650 British twins were kind of the standard for imports in the days Japan Inc. was entering our market, but there were also 1,000 and 1,200 cc Harleys. Where did you pick that up, or what is it's origin?
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Awesome job Mr. Duke! Enjoyed the article and the race amoungst the journalist. I would kill for you job, course then I'd have to learn how to construct a proper sentence and we won't even mention my grammer.

I believe Kawasaki always sells bikes by the numbers, meaning lightest weight, highest output, which always doesnt measure up to a the best performer. Case in point the 2006 ZX1000R that thing would spin the tire coming out of corners no matter what you did. Going to be nice to throw a leg over the zx1400 when she arrives.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spaceman View Post
Probably not. Actually I think you may be first out with a "Ridden" review on the new ZX. CW and MC had short update briefs on it, your article is much more in-depth than any I've seen elsewhere.

I was hoping to see the supercharged ZX rumor turn out to be true, but you have to wonder how much HP can be managable with 2 wheels, even with TC. For a rider like you (meaning someone very experienced but not a drag-racing regular) to walk on the track and turn sub-10 times on a stock bike is pretty amazing.

Even though I like electric bikes and other "green" stuff, I'm really glad that Kawi and Suzuki are still making hyper-bikes, and I hope they always do. If had too much money, I'd be figuring out a way to blend the Concours ergonomics and touring features into the ZXR's performance package. Now that would be a fun "Q-ship" bike to troll Daytona with!
Thx, Spaceman. Glad you enjoyed it. More amazing about the ETs is that a 9.50 was in reach if atmospheric conditions were ideal - on a bone-stock bike!

Using a correction factor on such a high-hp bike can be a bit misleading, as it would be difficult to put down more power if you had it, but it's still really impressive. Cycle World just finished their independent testing of the ZX. Corrected for altitude and temperature, they logged a 9.4 ET.
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