Kawasaki’s need for speed

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE Price: En­gine: Trans­mis­sion: Tyres: Sus­pen­sion: Brakes: Di­men­sions: Weight: Fuel:

JUST as Du­cati an­nounces its new sports­bike to be the world’s most pow­er­ful, Kawasaki ups the ante.

The new Du­cati Pani­gale 1199 has 145kW of power, while the new Kawasaki ZX14R has 147.2kW, which jumps up to 154.5kW with the ef­fect of ram air.

Kawasaki also claims it is the fastest-ac­cel­er­at­ing bike in the world, but doesn’t sup­ply a 0-100km/h fig­ure.

But the pre­vi­ous model holds the record with a 0-100km/h fig­ure of 2.9 sec­onds, which is as fast as a Koenigsegg Agera R. To keep that power on the ground and pre­vent wheel­ies and wheel spin, the ZX-14R comes with three-mode Kawasaki Trac­tion Con­trol se­lectable power modes.

A multi-func­tion but­ton on the han­dle al­lows the rider to scroll through LCD modes with­out re­mov­ing the hand from the grip.

It also comes with ABS, which has been op­ti­mised for bumpy roads. Of Kawasaki’s 24 road-reg­is­ter­able mod­els avail­able (in­clud­ing dual-sport mod­els KLR650, KLX450R and KLX250S), 13 come stan­dard with ABS.

The 2012 Ninja ZX-14R will make it 14.

Kawasaki Mo­tors Aus­tralia spokesman Rudi Baker says the re­lease date is Jan­uary, but has no es­ti­mate of the even­tual price. It will come in black or Kawasaki lime green.

The cur­rent model is listed at $19,990. The new 1441cc four-cylin­der DOHC power plant has more torque at all revs and sub­stan­tially more power in the mid-high range. Kawasaki also claims ac­cel- er­a­tion from 4000rpm is stronger. The 162.5Nm of torque is strong enough to pull away from the lights in al­most any gear.

It also fea­tures shorter gear­ing from the larger rear sprocket to ac­cen­tu­ate ac­cel­er­a­tion and a back-torque lim­iter clutch for smooth down­shifts with­out lock­ing the rear wheel.

It fea­tures a 360g lighter front wheel and 1030g lighter about $20,000

4-cylin­der 1441cc, 147.2kW (154.5kW with ram air)/162.5Nm

6-speed, chain 120/70ZR17 (front), 190/50ZR (rear)

43mmin­verted fully ad­justable forks, fully ad­justable Uni-Trak with gascharged shock

310mmdiscs (front), 250mm(rear), ABS

2170mm(L), 770mm(W), 1170mm(H), 1480 (WB), 125mm (clear­ance), 800mm(seat)

268kg 22L tank rear wheel, while the whole bike weighs in 1.39kg lighter at 268kg.

Kawasaki claims the lighter wheels mean re­duced ro­ta­tional in­er­tia and lower un­sprung weight for faster turns and sportier han­dling.

It comes with re­mod­elled body­work for bet­ter wind pro­tec­tion, sta­bil­ity at high speeds and lower heat ra­di­a­tion on to the rider, a prob­lem in pre­vi­ous mod­els.

Shorter rid­ers will ap­pre­ci­ate the slim­mer seat front, which al­lows them to get their feet more eas­ily on the ground.

Kawasaki claims its power-packed ZX-14R — set for re­lease in Jan­uary — is the world’s fastest-ac­cel­er­at­ing bike

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