KAWASAKI NINJA® ZX-14 COMBINES THE BEST OF EVERYTHING TO DELIVER SERIOUS MOTORCYCLISTS THAT ELUSIVE “ULTIMATE” RIDE
Sleek aerodynamics, unmatched power, acceleration, and stability combine to provide balance to company’s latest flagship.
If ever a brand of motorcycles was defined by the sheer power emanating from its long history of record-breaking sportbikes, Kawasaki would hold that mantel. If ever a brand would be expected to rightfully incorporate the meaning of the word “ultimate” into its newest flagship street carver, Kawasaki fits the bill. That’s just what the company has done with the Ninja® ZX™-14, a 1352cc motorcycle that is its most powerful ever, and succeeds in setting the performance standards for others to follow.
Kawasaki engineers and designers have created a motorcycle that turns its Ram Air and fuel-injected engine into the core of a powerful, torque-producing, aerodynamic stunner that will draw attention from onlookers whether on the road, or parked on the roadside. Wrapped in a choice of Passion Red, Ebony, or Candy Thunder Blue, the new ZX-14 makes blending into the scenery nearly impossible. It accelerates with ease, handles with assurance, and exudes an aura unmatched by anything else on the street.
This most powerful of all Kawasaki-branded motorcycles was created to do everything right. Right from the beginning.
Its aerodynamics reminds users that Kawasaki is indeed an aircraft maker. The blending of form, power, and handling characteristics have delivered a debut unit that is so balanced in all aspects that the word—ultimate—seems barely adequate to describe it.
This all new in-line four has evolved from the Ninja ZX-12R and features a bore and stroke of 84 x 61mm packed into a purposefully designed compact outline that minimizes engine width, leaving it at virtually the same width as the 12R.
A twist of the throttle delivers a seamless spread of torque that is so linear, the “power band,” per se, ceases to exist. Riders will pay particular attention to the impressive response that kicks in once the motor exceeds 6,000 rpm. Those that have ridden this newest Kawasaki flagship marvel at the torque response that makes pulling away from a total stop in almost any gear a possibility.
The engine uses a secondary balancer to tame unwanted vibrations, and a direct-actuation shift lever is lighter than conventional linkage-type set-ups, offering a more direct feel for the rider.
The ZX-14’s chassis design is every bit the equal of its power plant. It is an advanced version of Kawasaki’s unique aluminum monocoque frame, lightweight and very strong. This sophisticated approach gives the ZX-14 a responsive handling quality and incredible highway stability. By utilizing this frame technology, engineers were able to concentrate on delivering, as mentioned, a very slim, compact package. Inherently more rigid than twin-spar frames, and with the engine rigid-mounted, the monocoque’s strength is greatly increased.
With the engine positioned forward in the frame, engineers were able to carefully select the wheelbase and front/rear wheel weight balance to achieve both high speed stability and responsive handling. The ZX-14 uses an inverted 43mm cartridge fork and new Uni-Trak® linkage rear suspension to complement the highly rigid frame, thus offering both great controllability at high speeds and superb road holding when sport riding on twisting hill roads.
Does this ultimate combination of engine performance and chassis design make the Kawasaki ZX-14 rider-friendly?
The engineers and designers sought to combine the utmost elements of today’s motorcycle technologies, yet still provide a package that is both approachable—and usable. The ZX-14 delivers seamless power, a smooth ride, and friendly ergonomics. Together, these characteristics are manifested in a ride that is surprisingly non-intimidating, yet still maintains the heart of the rebel so much a part of Kawasaki’s brand heritage.
Offering a very relaxed sport riding position, it is compact without being cramped, and the bars are positioned so riders don’t have to stretch to reach them. The narrow engine, monocoque frame, and fuel tank make it easy for the rider to keep his knees close together in any riding conditions. Footpegs are low-set to give ample legroom and the low seat height and narrow seat front make planting feet on the ground when stopped a cinch.
And when the rider is stopped, the motorcycle will be the center of attention. Because the monocoque frame goes over the engine and doesn’t protrude through the fairing, the fairing design lines are uninterrupted, giving it a smooth, flowing appearance, from front to rear. Quadruple projector beam headlights adorn the ZX-14’s front cowl, with the outer lights containing position lamps and high beams. Low beams are located in the two center lamps. The front and rear turn signals are integrated into the fairing and rear cowl, and the all new LED tail lamp features a unique “V” design.
Other key features of the Kawasaki ZX-14:
- Instrument cluster with easy-to-read, white-faced dual analogue speedometer and tachometer.
- Shift indicator light and clutch engagement light.
- Multi-function LCD digital display includes fuel gauge, gear indicator, dual trip meters, odometer, and clock.
- Large diameter petal brake discs, radial mount front calipers and a radial pump brake master cylinder for impressive braking performance and superb feel.
- Hydraulically operated clutch features a radial mount clutch master cylinder for worry-free, silky smooth clutch operation.
- Fuel tank features a flush-surface tank cap.
- Idling speed control system contributes to easy starting capability.
- Lightweight Denso radiator with high-density cores provides efficient cooling.
- Massive head pipe casting contributes to frame rigidity.
- Airbox located in the frame, contributing to a very compact layout.
- Engine and chassis components designed to maximize mass centralization.
- Newly designed wheels feature center ribs which are slightly offset so that tire balance weights can be located at the wheel centerline.
All told, Kawasaki has once again brought its engineering and design expertise to the forefront of motorcycle creation. The Ninja ZX-14 lives up to its predecessors, and far surpasses them, as the meaning of the word “ultimate” has found a new definition.
- Engine Type: 4-Stroke, 4-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4 Valve Cylinder Head
- Displacement: 1352 cc
- Bore & Stroke 84.0 x 61.0 mm
- Maximum Torque: N/A
- Compression Ratio: 12.7:1
- Fuel Injection: DFI with Mikuni 44mm Throttle Bodies (4)
- Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
- Transmission: 6-Speed
- Final Drive: X-Ring Chain
- Front Suspension: 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with Adjustable
- Preload, Stepless Rebound and Compression Damping
- Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, Stepless
- Rebound and Compression Damping, Ride Height
- Front Brake Type: Dual Floating Petal Discs with 4-Piston Calipers
- Rear Brake Type: Single Petal Disc
- Color: Passion Red, Ebony, Candy Thunder Blue
- Distinctive Ninja® Styling
- Most Powerful Production Kawasaki Engine
- Next Generation Monocoque Aluminum Frame
- Comfortable Riding Position
- 1,352cc Four-Cylinder, DOHC(KP) Engine
- The most powerful production Kawasaki motorcycle engine ever.
- Tuned to provide smooth power across a very wide rev range while raising the legendary Kawasaki horsepower standards to a new level.
- Carefully planned engine design keeps it compact and narrow.
- Chrome composite plated(KP) aluminum cylinder bores are lightweight, durable, and quickly carry heat away from the combustion chamber and piston for supreme durability at high power outputs.
Gear-Driven Dual Engine Balancers(KP)
- Already in perfect primary balance, dual secondary balancers virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations for extremely smooth engine operation and rider support.
- Ram Air Induction(KP)
- Central Ram Air duct produces a straighter path to the airbox for maximum intake efficiency. Similar inlet design to the Ninja ZX-6R and ZX-10R gives the ZX-14 consistent Kawasaki Ninja styling.
- This system takes cooler, high-pressure air from in front of the fairing and guides it through the air cleaner and into the engine for maximum power output.
- Digital Fuel Injection(KP)
- 44mm Mikuni throttle bodies are fitted with sub-throttle valves(KP) that are controlled by the ECU to provide precise response and make DFI performance smoother, with response similar to constant velocity carburetors.
- 32-bit electronic control unit works with dual throttle valve system to further enhance throttle response and control.
- A digital computer feeds the engine exactly the amount of fuel it needs for cleaner emissions and maximum fuel economy.
- Digital Timing Advance enhances low-and mid-range power.
- Four individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each spark plug independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder at that instant.
- Radial Pump Clutch
- Hydraulic clutch features a radial-mount clutch master cylinder for very smooth clutch operation.
Next-Generation Monocoque Aluminum Frame(KP)
- Evolved from the ZX-12R, the frame is a hollow aluminum box that arches over the engine from the steering head to the swing arm pivot. It is narrow, strong, rigid and very light.
- Engine is rigidly mounted to increase the monocoque’s torsional rigidity. Plus using the engine as a stressed frame member decreases the frame’s weight by approximately four pounds.
- Engine positioned forward in the frame, wheelbase and front/rear weight balance were carefully designed to achieve high-speed stability and responsive handling.
- The monocoque section houses the air box and air filter in a space-saving design that actually simplifies air cleaner maintenance. Two screws hold a plate on the left side of the frame that allows air cleaner access.
- The battery is also housed within the frame and has simple access through the back side of the frame.
- The steering head and swing arm pivot areas are cast aluminum for superior strength and rigidity.
- Inverted 43mm Cartridge Type Front Fork(KP)
- Damping rates offer stiff initial action to resist front-end dive when braking.
- Stepless damping adjustment improves suspension performance.
- Bottom-Link Uni-Track® Rear Suspension(KP)
- Linkage rates provide linear suspension action.
- The bottom-link design concentrates the weight lower in the chassis for a lower center of gravity, which makes the bike more flickable.
- Radial Mounted Petal Front Disc Brakes
- Radial mounted 4-piston front brake calipers. Instead of mounting the calipers with threaded tabs cast near the top of the caliper, the radial design utilizes integrated mounting points at both the top and bottom of the caliper, with the mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side/front. This makes the caliper more rigid, which improves brake feel over a wider range of operation.
- A separate brake pad is used for each piston. One large pad can deform with the heat generated by hard track style riding, resulting in a loss of brake feel at the lever. Individual pads provide increased cooling efficiency and can absorb more heat without deforming so they maintain consistent brake feel lap after lap.
- Petal design brake discs provide better cooling and warp resistance.
- Radial-pump front brake master cylinder improves brake performance and lever feel.
Wind Tunnel-Designed Bodywork
- Since the monocoque frame goes over the engine the fairing is uninterrupted by protruding frame spars, adding to the extremely long and low styling. Both the front and rear turn signals are integrated into the bodywork and have clear lenses to enhance the appearance.
- Quadruple projector beam headlights give the ZX-14 a distinctive nose. The outer lights contain position lamps and the high beams, while the low beams are in the center lamps.
- Dual analog speedometer and tachometer with white faces are easy to read.
- Multi-function LCD digital display includes an odometer, two trip meters, gear position indicator and a clock.
- Programmable shift indicator lamp illuminates at pre-set rpm to signal rider upshift.
- Programmable clutch engagement lamp illuminates at pre-set rpm to signal the rider to engage the clutch.
- A CAN (Controller Area Network) interface between the meter uses fewer wires while allowing a greater volume of information, such as estimated fuel mileage, to be exchanged.
All images © Kawasaki Motors Corporation