Shirt shredding Hulk: 2012 ZX-14R ready to take names.

October 28 2011

The latest model to bust loose from Kawasaki’s production line is the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX‐14R, the next generation version of its flagship hyper-everything motorcycle. The new über-motorcycle joins Suzuki’s Hayabusa in an ultra-exclusive class of obscenely powered gentlemen rockets that elevate Gran Turismo riding to an incomprehensible level of acceleration and speed. Yet, despite its purely performance driven design, it’s still odd that the ZX‐14R carries Ninja badging; it might be deadly fast, but the ZX‐14R is about as stealthy looking as an oil freighter moored at a cottage country marina.


Paraphrasing a conversation we recently had with Kawasaki Canada, the new ZX‐14R will reportedly kick ass and take names. In reality there’s only one name on that list; Suzuki’s Hayabusa has had a target painted on its back ever since it was first introduced over a decade ago. Our Kawasaki contact described the new ZX-14R with a gratuitous stream of superlatives and we certainly enjoyed listening to his trash talking of the Hayabusa. His optimism was based on Kawasaki’s claim that their new machine is the world’s fastest accelerating production motorcycle. However, it’s more than just a straight line wonder. The new ZX‐14R is also said to be a superbly handling, well balanced motorcycle loaded with the latest in electronic riding aids such as traction control and selectable power modes.


Fastest production bike 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R

So what else is new about the supersport? The engine has been altered to provide greater torque across the entire rev range and more power when it’s being rung out – and provide all that extra performance while being almost 10 percent more fuel efficient. The bike’s unmistakable body work has also been redesigned to give it an edgier appearance. It still has a face ideally suited for radio, but at least the four-headlight visage looks more aggressive now. The chassis consists of a new aluminum frame, a modified swingarm, more sport oriented suspension components and lighter wheels to not only deal with the engine’s extra power, but also to improve its handling.


Kawasaki says that its big bruiser has all-day comfort, which makes it an extremely versatile machine, one equally at home whether it’s sport touring, commuting or churning out quarter mile times at your local drag strip. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love the bike’s new Candy Green paint.


We can’t wait for an opportunity to test the latest ZX‐14R – on a closed-circuit by a professional rider, of course. Not yet available are the details concerning pricing and availability; however, we expect Kawasaki will provide us with complete information by mid-December.

Front view of the Hulk 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14
Radiohead: The jury is still out on the ZX-14R’s four light design.
2012 components and speedometer gauges
Just the Facts: A comprehensive instrument panel blends digital with analogue displays. 
The Engine horsepower of the Kawasaki Ninga
Big Lump = Big Power: A 1,441 cc in-line four delivers this rocket’s thrust. 
Swing Set: Revised swingarm has to cope with bigger power, yet provide better feedback.

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