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If you have not already checkout the updated ZX-14 model history on this new section of the website you may not have noticed the updated images of the 2012 model. Since there is not much action in the high capacity end of the motorcycle market over the last few years it caught me off guard when I read the press release a few months ago. The ‘re-design’ is more a refinement and even would take a current Kawasaki owner a few moments to realise they were looking at a new model. The the biggest is to the engine .
Since the self imposed industry ban on marketing the top speed of motorcycles back in about 2001 this class of motorcycle has never been the same. Furthermore since the introduction of the Suzuki Hayabusa in 1999 Kawasaki has always been on the defensive in terms of a rival. However it has only been the release of the Kawasaki ZX-14 in 2006 that the Hayabusa had a genuine competitor. In fact I almost bought one! It did not happen for me because it just didn’t have that extra rough edge or instant power a 1300cc engine should have like the Hayabusa has – ultimately. However, finally the company has added an R to the ZX-14 and further refinements to at least in technical specifications to out do the Hayabusa.
The key additions to the 2012 ZX-14R is larger capacity engine, EFI modes, traction control and ABS models. The promotional material boasts the ‘strongest’ and ‘fastest’ accelerating production motorcycle on the planet. With these sort of specifications it could be possibly true.
So welcome to the first review/comparison of the first Kawasaki ZX-14R vs the Suzuki Hayabusa. However the first task is to compare the old ZX-14 with the new ZX-14R. Afterall this is a first part of the series comparing the two eternal competitors and its predecessors and you need some prospective.
|2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R
|2011 Kawasaki ZX-14
IL4 Cyl DOHC 16V
IL4 Cyl DOHC 16V
2 power modes – 100% or 75%
Approx Pricing (AUD)
|2011 – $19,990
|2012 – $19,990
*Specifications always subject to change. You should check your country or region’s official website for the most up to date pricing, specifications and information.