Kawasaki ZX-14R - Long-Term Test Update #1

Free wheelie.

Kawasaki ZX-14R

Long-Term Test Update: Kawasaki ZX-14R

While our stock Ninja may be the most powerful production motor-cycle CW has ever tested, onboard electronics can make the metallic green monster amazingly docile when toggled into low-power mode and traction control level 3. It also has a reduced rev limit in sixth gear that restricts the beast from exceeding 185 mph, a top speed verified with our radar gun during testing.

Our multi-stage goal with this 14R starts with sourcing a module to unlock its true top-speed potential. Next, we intend to try some basic dragstrip-specific modifications, such as lowering links and fork tiedowns, a quick shifter and shedding weight with a performance exhaust. Ultimately, there may well be a turbo kit in our Ninja’s future. As any green-blooded performance Kaw-boy knows, why trot along on 192 rear-wheel ponies when you can truly gallop?

Although this long-term test is just getting started, smoky burnout photography drastically reduced the life of the original-fitment Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact sport-touring radials. Just shy of 3000 miles, we mounted Avon Ultra 3D Supersports in 120/70ZR17 ($190.08) and 190/50ZR17 ($284.02) sizes, tires with a more sport-focused intent certain to deliver ample backroad handling bliss between trips to the strip.

SPECIFICATIONS
TOTAL MILES|3840
NEXT SERVICE|7500
MAINTENANCE COSTS (INCLUDING TIRES)|$474.10
REPAIR COSTS|$0
AVERAGE FUEL MILEAGE|33 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED (2012)|$14,699
RELATED CONTENT|Kawasaki ZX-14R - Update #2
|Kawasaki ZX-14R - Wrap-Up