The whole reason Kawi improved on their flagship model was to settle the issue of SUPREMACY. In the Flagship class……ONCE and FOR ALL!
I knew the new 14 was coming this year for 2012 3 years ago but didn’t know the details.
Mid summer of 2011 I got the chance to ride the 2012 ZX14R to do the 1st of 4 photo and or video shoots.
Every year since the ZX14 was introduced back in 2006, I have gotten a chance to test each years model during the photo shoot which has been held at an 1/8th mile drag strip from the very start.
Since the bike is made to be the acceleration (straight line) KING although the flagship’s cornering abilities are not a selling point for the Kawasaki ZX14. Complete specifications listed at end of article.
Watch the Official Video Release for the 2012 ZX14
Year after year the ZX14 has been unchanged since 2008 when minor changes were made which resulted in minor changes to low end acceleration but somehow sacrificed a HP increase in peak hp.
The bikes all have run between 6.45 and 6.51 in the eighth mile with a trap speed of 114 to 115 which is not bad considering it has stock exhaust with no tricks at all and the test were always done at Irwindale speedway in Cali where performance numbers suffer the most.
In 2011, the new 14R was announced by KMC japan to be the most POWERFUL and fastest accelerating production motorcycle on the planet….PERIOD!
Words of this magnitude were never uttered from Kawasaki which says a lot given that this is one one of the most politically correct OEMS ever to speak about their own product.
Contrary to popular opinion, they(Kawasaki) would rather not make a statement AT ALL than for their own statement to be used against them!
To verify the validity of improvements to the 2012, I took it upon myself to run the bike hard during the photo shoot which was now held in Barona Ca 1/8th mile strip outside of San Diego Ca which is 3000ft above sea level which is a slower track than Irwindale speedway.
In conditions less than optimal, the new King of the Quarter Mile still ran 6.32 at 118mph which backs up their claim off being the most powerful sport bike in the world by running the quickest and fastest pass ever during an unofficial test. We moved on to Las Vegas Nevada to test the new 14R against the 2011 Hayabusa to see which bike is the real dominant machine on the drag strip, no matter who the rider is piloting the 2 bikes.
Of course since Suzuki hasn’t improved their flagship model, we only had a 2011 model Busa to use as a comparison, even though we assumed that the updated 14R would be too much to compare the Busa too, but considering these are the 2 baddest in the motorcycle world, Kawi really didn’t have a choice especially since the gentleman’s 300kph rule was still in effect, the 1/4 mile acceleration comparison would settle everything!
After originally planning to let a joe blow and excellent road racer(Derek Keyes) ride both bikes, we quickly found out that the clutch was going to be a problem on the new Busa, it grabbed too much, which is a problem that never changed since 1999 so the only fair comparison would be to compare trap speeds! The best trap speed he could run on the SUZUKI was 142mph at the Las Vegas 3300-3600 ft altitude racetrack, but on the other hand he managed to turn in 146-147mph 1/4 mile runs.
I also went 142-143 mph trap speeds on the Busa and 147-148 on the new 14r. Even 1/8th mile speeds were separated by more than 3 mph as well. The unbelievable part about the test is that I’ve never been faster than mid 9.90′s…..9.97 i believe at only 142 mph at the years prior that I’ve tested at Vegas for Kawi with the previous 14. This time I ran an unbelievable 9.71 at 147.90……….at nearly 100 degrees, with absolutely no modifications at all………NONE!
Although Kawi is sure that this is the most powerful MC on the planet, they are only going to admit 210hp to the crank……………..ONLY! Who knows maybe it’ll have a lil more……….just MAYBE!! One thing I can assure you is that it doesn’t matter who is on the Busa or when you twist throttle, the 14R will ROCKET past it with such authority,you can get off the throttle and back on again and still run away from the competition! The day has COME!!
That day is…….TODAY!!!!
9 time and current World Champion Motorcycle drag racer
Drag racing school instructor
host of www.motorcycletalk.tv
host of www.ninjamotorcycles.com
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