Kawasaki ZX14-R

The green mon­ster has wolfed down its first set of tyres. Time for a set of Miche­lin Road 5s

Evo India - - BENELLI LEONCINO - Sirish Chan­dran (@SirishChan­dran)

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

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