Launched in 2005 at the Tokyo motor show and released in 2006 as a replacement for the ZZR1200. The ZZR1400 is capable of accelerating from 0–60 mph in 2.5 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph (299 km/h) as a result of an agreement between the major Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers. It is said that the bike could reach this electronically controlled limit with a gear to spare.
Built to take on Suzuki's Hayabusa the new ZZR1400 had performance figures a lot of modern bikes are still unable to match. Kawasaki's designers said that the ZZR1400 was first of a new generation of engines that owed nothing to the outdated ZZRs of he past. With 197bhp with ram air it was an astounding figure at the time.
Straight line speed has always been the party piece of the ZZR1400. Capable of insane acceleration from a standing start and 6th gear roll ons that super-cars can only dream of, the ZZR became a YouTube sensation. It also became a popular bike on the drag strip, thanks to it's capacity to be tuned (turbocharged) and stability at high speeds.
The ZZR1400 was not just a one trick pony though and could turn it's hand to any type of riding. They are fantastic touring & commuting bikes and will munch miles with ease, happily racking up 100,000 miles. Alternatively thanks to it's flick-able nature, it's a great bike for Sunday blast and you will always see one at a track day meet.
2008 saw a minor update but the launch of the 2012 ZX-14R saw a second-generation revision along with getting the R designation. A displacement increase which produced more horsepower, along with three variable power modes and KTRC. Kawasaki traction control and ignition-management system that was lifted from the ZX-10R. Also with cosmetic updates and incremental chassis upgrades and suspension revised internals. There was also a slipper clutch added for the first time. The motor gets cylinder heads with polished ports and cams with more lift and longer duration. Pistons are lighter with added compression that get cooled by a new oil jet system. Stronger connecting rods and crankshaft as well as a stronger tensioner and cam chain. while the transmission gets heat treated surface gears. Also in an effort to make the motorcycle run cooler, and therefore be more durable, they added a second radiator fan. Larger head pipes and larger mufflers with a less restrictive air filter all improve response.
Simply put Kawaskis updated ZZR was the new king of speed and power, beating the formidable Hayabusa hands down. It produced more power and torque, and accelerated quicker than any other road bike on the market.
In 2018 Kawasaki released the H2 SX SE which claimed to have similar power figures to the ZZR1400 but was powered by a 1000cc supercharged engine. The stage was set for all the publications to test the bikes on the Dyno and drag race them at any given opportunity. Despite the brand new Supercharged engine, the power of the 1400cc ZZR couldn't be matched. Both on the Dyno and in the real world the ZZR came out the quickest.
But these bikes aren't all about speed and the new H2 SX came with an electronics package the ZZR could only dream of and was quite a bit smaller and lighter. With the ever stringent emissions regulations the smaller capacity, supercharged engine made a lot more sense for Kawasaki. Unfortunately it'll be the EURO 5 emission regulations that kill off the ZZR and it'll be the end of an era. With Suzuki ending production of the Hayabusa in 2018 and now the ZZR1400 in 2020 the 200mph speed race is finally over. These two bikes were in a class of their own and were built to take on each other push the boundaries of what's possible for a production motorcycle.
We owe a lot to the ZZR1400 and the Hayabusa and will be sad to see them both gone. Happily however we do still have one more year of this bike, so let's make it a good one and celebrate this incredible machine.
The new 2020 colours will land at the beginning of December, so please give us a call to reserve one. Very limited stock available.
2020 ZZR Performance Sport
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