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2006 Kawasaki ZX-14

2009 Kawasaki ZX-14

2009 Kawasaki ZX-14

2009 Kawasaki ZX-14

Year of specifications 2006 -
Engine 1352 cc, in-line 4 cylinder
Transmission 6-speed, chain
Top speed 200 + mph (est)
0-60 MPH -
Horsepower 190 hp (est)
Weight 256 kgs / 566 lbs
Seat height 800 mm / 31.5 inches

For 2006 Kawasaki introduced the new Ninja ZX-14, their most powerful sportbike ever at 1352cc.

The flagship sportsbike is a fitting rival for the Suzuki Hayabusa, with improved aerodynamics and an a power output nearing 200 hp, topping the double ton seems inevitable. Note the similar bulbous nose shared with the Hayabusa, not exactly beautiful but if it works...

The Kawasaki ZX-14's all new in-line four engine has evolved from the ZX-12R and features a bore and stroke of 84mm x 61mm packed into a purposefully designed compact package that minimizes engine width, leaving it virtually the same width as the 12R.

The engine uses a secondary balancer to tame unwanted vibrations, and a direct-actuation shift lever is lighter than conventional linkage-type set-ups, offering a more direct feel for the rider.

The ZX-14's chassis design is every bit the equal of its power plant. It is an advanced version of Kawasaki's unique aluminum monocoque frame -- lightweight and very strong.

Offering a very relaxed sport riding position, it is compact without being cramped. The foot pegs are low-set to give ample leg room, and the low seat height and narrow seat front make planting feet on the ground a cinch when stopped.


Review by: Jesse:
Recently I bought and added another bike to my collection of experiences, the ZX14 Kawasaki. This is the fourth Ninja I have owned, starting with a 600, then a 900, and a ZX11 which I still have. In total, this is the 8th bike I have owned and as I've been able to own most all the Ninja's, the 14 is by far an accumulation of Kawasaki's biggest quest to reach a balance between power, beauty and advanced handling, with more emphasis on power and handling, letting subjective beauty ride third. I say subjective beauty because there are arguable differences between the wide cat-like ZX14 nose when compared against the sleek, rocket-sled face of a Hayabusa, but what the ZX14 lacks in that area it for me personally, it more than makes up in raw power out of the corners and into the straight-away with simply more horsepower. This is not the ZZR12 reformed: this represents a new direction for Kawasaki and the new frame, motor, handling geometry and power band all reflect that. It is like being strapped on the back of a missle and there are no words to describe the raw surge of power on acceleration to a glass smooth 120 mph in seconds. With certain easy mods, it can be re-tuned to even greater bottom-end blast-offs but realistically, if you are not drag-racing, how much power do you need?

I've been riding bikes since I was 9 years old, starting with a Sears Moped I used for a newspaper-route. My long and winding journey to the bikes I own today has been a testimony on how to subdue and endure this passion as I matured and began to drop the need-for-speed and re-new my motorcycle-riding experience into a more enjoyable adventure out into the world. I think it's simply: you either have motorcycles in your blood or you don't, and once that experience is there, it never fades away. It can be pushed back and down, but it never goes away. I have seen past memories revived into a smile as people who use to ride come over and talk to me about this bike: it has mystique and a bad-boy reputation and I can't go out on it without someone invariably sticking up a thumb in approval or giving me a big grin as I glide by or pull up to a light.

A word to the wise reader: this is not a bike for a beginner, and because of it's light weight and nimbleness, can easy be mistaken for a less-powerful 900-1000 cc bike. I purchased my 06 used zx14 from a guy whose wife, after seeing him ride it for a week, easing slowly up into those high rpms, said to him, "Sell the bike or the kids and I are moving back to my mother's. I am not raising these children without a father." It is that kind of bike that begs to be opened up out on the highway and only a seasoned rider who understands how to be one-with-the-force, or power, in this case, can remain unaffected.


(disclaimer: Don't work for Kawasaki, never talked to anyone from there.)

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