The green monster has wolfed down its first set of tyres. Time for a set of Michelin Road 5s
AS MUCH AS I’D LOVE TO SAY otherwise, this is not my every day bike. I’m not that hardcore a biker, and the ZX-14R is just too much — way too much! — to be using on an everyday basis; even on an every weekend basis. The green monster has been reserved for special occasions, those Sundays that aren’t preceded by heavy Saturdays, where I have all the time in the world, where the mind is focussed enough to put the engine in full power mode and traction control in 1.
My god, this bike is a missile. The speeds that it is capable of are just, absolutely, astonishing. No amount of driving fast cars prepares you for what happens when you open the throttle, and had I not done Level 4 of the California Superbike School earlier this year I wouldn’t have had the confidence to really ride this bike. What the CSS made me realise is that this bike is easy to ride — despite its size and weight and everything — this bike does not intimidate or scare you (unless you whack the throttle open). It’s a beauty. The motor has monster torque reserves, the riding position is easy on the back, the suspension is comfortable, and jaws drop when you take it out on the road.
That said I have barely used it over the past two months after it almost spat me off barely metres from home. Cue a set of Michelin Road 5, and at an appropriate time too, considering the headline feature is their wet weather performance. The ‘XST Evo technology’ has sipes (the grooves that channel water out of the tyre) that get progressively wider as the tyre wears down ensuring water continues to disperse over the life of the tyre. And I immediately noticed the improvement on wet roads; the nervousness that was there on the way to the workshop was all but eliminated on the way back. These dual compound tyres, 2CT at the front and 2CT+ at the rear, have Michelin’s best all-silica wet grip compound in the middle and their best dry grip compound on the edges. The assumption is that you won’t lean the bike more than 35 degrees in the wet (even that is optimistic for my riding) and banked more than that (like if you’re at the next CSS) you’re on the grippy outer patch of the tyre for good cornering grip. Of course Michelin do recommend the Power RS for pure track work but I use my bike very occasionally on the track and that means I’m looking for real world on-road performance which these Road 5s claim to deliver.
While at Kawasaki Kolhapur the guys also pointed out that the 14R was overdue for its service by two months so that’s also sorted out and all put together it cost 8 grand. Now for the sun to come out and put some Sunday miles in. ⌧
Date acquired March 2019 Total mileage 5,701km Mileage this month 60km Costs this month `42,300 Overall kmpl 12kmpl