2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R – Fortunately for fans of Kawasaki (and unfortunately for the competition), there are no stops for 2012. Not only the newly designated R-14R Ninja ZX-mass is stronger, it also almost entirely new, with more than a character, design excellence, and expertise you’ve come to expect from the Green Team – a company that has built a legendary open-class motorcycle for over 40 years.
Power of the well has always been a hallmark of the Ninja, so changes for 2012 begin on the ZX-14R engine bay new. First, there is more movement through increased 4mm stroke, to 65mm (up from 61mm), with a displacement of 1441cc sign up now (up from 1352cc). The new combustion chamber shape is optimized for 2012, and now they are surface-milled, not cast. Intake ports are reshaped and polished for maximum flow while working with the intake valve longer and more durable. Yep, the new Ninja ZX-14R really come “ported” directly from the factory.
The valve camshaft works with more radical, with increased lift and revised profile, while the stronger cam chain tensioning system and maximize the reliability of the revisions on stratospheric rpm level engine is capable of. The new forged pistons are designed with thin crowns offer durability and less weight increase, and cooled by oil-jet cooling system that pumps new continuous flow of lubricant on the underside of each piston. (Tests show the engine runs much cooler with this system.) There’s more: Compression up from last year; connecting rod has a small tip of a beefier, and made of strong materials, the flagship journal of the crankshaft is thicker, from 38 to 40mm, a new air net elements are larger and thicker, with 10% more surface area and the ability of 40 percent more air flow and heat transmission gears and the surface has been treated to be more durable and shifts more smoothly.
Feeding a new class of machines dominate the revised fuel injection system that offers automatic control and reduce emissions. Burned hydrocarbons exit through the exhaust system is revised by changing the shape, the larger-diameter tapered header pipe and a larger volume, reshaped muffler, each with advanced catalysts to minimize emissions.
The benefits of all these great hot rodding, because there is more power almost everywhere throughout the rev range. The greatest improvement in medium-high rpm range, with especially strong acceleration from 4,000 rpm onwards. This means that the kind of thrust the rider can appreciate the wide variety of situations, whether it’s powering up the freeway on the way to join a fast-moving traffic or cruising along on the quiet backroad trip, sunny Sunday morning. On the ZX-14R, total domination just a twist of the throttle away.
Dual gear-driven engine counterbalancer settings, for example, has been optimized to work with a new longer-stroke mill and change the dimensions of the crankshaft. The result is smooth power throughout the rev range.
This strength is more manageable than before, too, thanks to the addition of the torque return limit “slipper” clutch assembly and KTRC traction control and ignition management system that has three different riding modes – full power, the power of media and a third mode for low traction conditions ( wet / slippery). KTRC system is controlled by a switch bar-mounted switch / push, and the effect of the system can be monitored on a seven-segment bar graph in the cockpit LCD screen info. Technological back-torque limiting clutch comes directly from the racetrack, and help eliminate the effects of wheel-hop and torque-eroding stability of energetic downshifting during cornering and braking, or during spirited – or emergency – stop. It also helps protect the carriage drive motor, for optimal durability.
The results of all these fine hot rodding and high-tech is arguably the best open-class streetbike engine ever built – and this machine is able to require the same competent chassis in which to live and thrive. The 2012 ZX-14R is up to the job, and then some. Kawasaki engineers are trying to maintain the previous ZX-14 light-handling and attitude maneuver, using the existing chassis design as a starting point for the new 14R and the increased power production. To maintain the character but also pumping sweet handling sporty quotient, engineers modified more than half of the previous frame aluminum castings and forgings, which all have different flexibility and stiffness characteristics than the part they replace. So while new alloy frame has a distinct resemblance to over-engine design, the previous unit, monocoque, is very different: stiff in some places and not change in others, the net proceeds to form an ideal balance, weight of the motor power and cornering ability. At the rear, the swingarm is 10mm longer than before and features more effectively gusseting to fit the new frame rigidity balance.
Revised front suspension and rear wheels to help maintain balance control, increased compliance and maneuverability. Both 43mm inverted fork is fully adjustable and multi-adjustable single shock has increased bottoming resistance and revised internal arrangements, while the new lighter engine and beautiful 10-spoke wheels look great and reduce unsprung weight by a whopping 3.3 pounds, further aiding the acceleration , handling and suspension action. Brakes new triple disc ZX-14R is updated, too, with a material more rigid disk and bearing revision for strong, fade-free stopping and progressive feel at the lever.
Of course, the best-shelf performance a lot, you also have to look good. Dynamic styling has become the hallmark of Kawasaki from the time of H1s, H2s and Z-1, thus only fitting that this latest addition to a long line of sportbikes look the part, with new bodywork end-to-tail respecting impressive, flowing shapes and angles that have made the Ninja The most interesting last few sportbikes there. The nose is particularly impressive, with a more aggressive nose is equipped with quad-headlight assembly and large-ram air channel stuffing cool atmosphere into the intake system. The theme of the traditional 4-fins along the side of the fairing has a 3D design more pronounced this year, while big business was removed to hide the hooks and fasteners as much as possible. The tail motor is very good statue, with faired-in turn signals and rear seat cowl cool – standard on all US-spec model – improving the performance of aesthetics.
The new ZX-14 Instruments and controls have also been reworked, with the gauge group of the recently completed and a new multi-function button on the left handlebar which handles all the functions of the system, you can switch the LCD screen using the up / down buttons, and easily scroll through the consumption fuel, range remaining, battery voltage, external temperature, traction control, etc., choose and customize functions using the ‘select’ button in the middle of the toggle switch. There’s even an “eco” indicator on the LCD screen that lets the rider know when they get the maximum economic and fuel mileage.
The end result of all this technology and all of these features is the way to dominate open class – exercise bike is very smooth, strong and fine will be happy to go anywhere there is pavement and do it with exceptional levels of competence. High aggression Sunday morning ride? Do not worry. Two-up along the coast for the weekend? Easy. Commuting to and from work? Simple. Weekend bracket racing at local Dragstrip? Cake.
Kawasaki motorcycles of the most powerful to date, the Ninja ZX-14 sets new performance standards with the acceleration, the most remarkable is jaw-dropping you have ever experienced. But what makes the Ninja ZX-14 even more remarkable is the absolute finesse with which commanded this force. Smooth and linear from idle to redline, you do not need to be world champion to control this machine.
Massively more powerful 1441 cc inline-four engine has a 4mm longer stroke, cylinder head re-assembly, port polished and lighter, more powerful piston for more power in the rev range. KTRC traction control system has three different modes for different conditions and is controlled by a handy switch on the handlebar assembly left. The all-new slipper clutch assembly to control rear wheel torque effect when braking and downshifting. The all-new exhaust system features a tapered head tube and formed a new muffler assembly back and all for low noise and emissions. Redesigning the narrow monocoque aluminum frame, strong and stiff. The all-new assembly and features a longer swingarm strengthening gussets to cope with the new engine of power. Transmission gears are more durable thanks to a new temperature and surface treatment. All-new bodywork package builds upon the sleek aesthetic image of the previous engine, including hoods and rear seats add a better air management to the mix for both the rider and passenger comfort. All new 10-spoke wheel is more than 3 pounds lighter in total from the previous engine unit; this reduces unsprung weight, which helps handling and maneuverability. new materials and improve disk bearing 14R’s radial-mount brake system. Revised suspension settings front and rear wheel increase and adherence to the already luxurious trip. High quality finish from the previous total, including hidden fasteners bodywork
Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valve per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement 1,441 cc
Bore x Stroke 84.0 x 65.0 mm
Compression Ratio 12.3:1
Fuel System DFI® with four 44mm Mikuni throttle bodies
Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance
Final Drive X-Ring Chain
Rake/Trail 23 degrees / 3.7 in.
Front Tire Size 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire Size 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase 58.3 in.
Front Suspension / wheel travel 43mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable preload, 18-way compression and 15-way rebound damping adjustment / 4.6 in.
Rear Suspension / wheel travel Bottom-link Uni-Trak® and gas-charged shock with adjustable preload, stepless rebound and compression damping adjustments, adjustable ride height / 4.9 in.
Front Brakes Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs with dual radial-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear Brakes Single 250mm petal disc with twin-piston caliper
Overall length 85.4 in.
Overall width 30.3 in.
Overall height 46.1 in.
Ground clearance 4.9 in.
Seat Height 31.5 in.
Curb Weight 584.3 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gal
Color Metallic Spark Black, Candy Surf Blue, Golden Blazed Green with special graphics (SE)
Warranty 12 months
Good Times™ Protection Plan 12, 24, 36 or 48 months