Kawasaki’s need for speed
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