For 2012, Kawasaki is serving up a rejuvenated ZX-14R
featuring a traction control system and ABS. More potent, agile and sure-footed than ever, Kawasaki’s crotch rocket is well on its way to dominate the open field once again.
Although the mechanics of the beast have been completely revised, in the looks department, well, let’s just say we’ve seen more thrilling revamps before. Make no mistake; this is still one massive, fearsome looking machine. Featuring the obligatory string of six headlamps, the new wraparound fairing reveals a formerly unknown aggressive side. The tail end is just as huge, highlighting two beefy exhaust pipes Kawasaki says it styled the ZX-14R in response to specific requests from fans of this type of bike.
Take no prisoners
|For 2012, Kawasaki is serving up a rejuvenated ZX-14R featuring a traction control system and ABS. (Photo: Kawasaki)
The fire-breathing monster puts down 200 hp at just 10,000 rpm and can easily reach 300 clicks. To fix the shortcomings of the outgoing model, which lacked low-rpm torque, the new engine displaces 1,441 cc instead of 1,352 cc and has a compression ratio of 12.3:1, up from 12.0:1. It’s fitted with a revised cam chain, forged pistons and a reinforced crankshaft that will ensure its longevity.
Kawasaki’s engineers also worked on improving engine lubrication. The modified oil system reduces cavitation, and the flow of the relocated nozzles has been increased. What’s more, the new engine block breathes easier thanks to a higher flow, reduced resistance airbox.
The exhaust manifold’s diameter has been bumped up from 38.1 to 42.7 mm, and the dual silencers boast a catalytic conversion system that exceeds current European standards. The beast also inherits a higher capacity radiator backed up by two 130 mm ventilators instead of just the one.
A comfortable missile
Though it looks like it was designed for Hulk, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R remains true to the original concept: to be comfortable, smooth, safe and fast. The fairing has been modified and tested in a wind tunnel, and the new seat is both comfier and more supportive. The engine also features two secondary balance shafts that reduce vibrations.
|Though it looks like it was designed for Hulk, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R remains true to the original concept: to be comfortable, smooth, safe and fast. (Photo: Kawasaki)