Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 - BEST USED BIKES

Best Open-Class Streetbike, 2006 & 2007 Ten Best Awards

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 - Best Used Bikes

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 - Best Used Bikes

YEARS MANUFACTURED: 2006 to present

MSRP NEW: $11,499 (2006) to $13,599 (2011)

BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $5940 (2006) to $9645 (2010)

BASIC SPECS: A fully faired sportbike built on an aluminum monocoque frame fitted with a beast of a fuel-injected, 1352cc inline-Four engine that made 170.2 rear-wheel hp at 9670 rpm and 103.8 ft.-lb. of torque at 7770 rpm. That allowed the 531-pound (dry) ZX-14 to post the quickest quarter-mile run any Cycle World testbike had ever posted up to that point: 9.78 seconds at 146.4 mph. The big Ninja also rocketed to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.

WHY IT WON: The ZX-14 impressed and amazed with its Jekyll-and-Hyde personality. Just tooling around town or cruising the highway, it's as docile as a puppy, with a buttery-smooth engine, a high level of comfort and rock-steady stability. Give the twistgrip a healthy yank, though, and the Kawi morphs into a gawdawful-fast monster that accelerates so hard and so relentlessly that everything around you suddenly becomes a mayhem of colors streaking past in an indistinguishable blur. Yeah, that fast.

FROM THE 2006 TEN BEST STORY: "The 14 is surprisingly agile within its weight class, making it at ease in the urban jungle and on the open road. All this and savage acceleration when there's a need to show teeth."

USEFUL RESOURCES: As with practically anything and everything these days, the Internet is the most readily available source of information about ZX-14s. There you'll find everything from bikes for sale, tons of accessories, technical information and lots of photos of ZX-14 customs. There aren't as many dedicated forums for these bikes as there is for some others, but one of the better examples is www.zx14ninjaforum.com. There's also a ZX-14 section at zxforums.com, which is a site for most Kawasaki models that carry the ZX designation.