The 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R (known as 2012 Kawasaki ZZR1400 abroad) was recently unveiled. Kawasaki improved on its hyperbike and now confirms that the ZX-14R will receive a displacement bump to 1,441cc, together with a cosmetic makeover and other basic elements. The highlights of the Kawasaki ZX-14R include the traction control, and ride-by-wire throttle control system. Kawasaki has yet to announce the complete details of the new ZX-14R but it’s expected to deliver more than 200hp at the crank with ram-air. Do you remember the speed wars in the 90′s? Kawasaki aims to do that as it puts the ZX-14R directly against Suzuki’s Hayabusa. No top speed was given but the company describes the Kawasaki ZX-14R as “the world’s fastest accelerating production motorcycle.” The ball is now on Suzuki’s side.
It’s possible that it is preparing to upgrade its aging Hayabusa, which has never had a major upgrade since it was introduced in the market in 1999. The most significant improvement to the Kawasaki ZZ-14R is related to its motor. The ZX-14R’s cylinders are stroked out by 4mm and have been milled. Meanwhile, the cylinder heads have been ported and polished. Its cylinder compression was raised, while cam timing has been tweaked. As a result, there’s additional power and torque across Kawasaki ZX-14R’s rev range. Kawasaki hasn’t revealed the exact figures though. It is equipped with ride-by-wire throttle system and the rider can choose from various engine maps that toggle between full and 50% power depending on the riding conditions.
Like other 2012 bikes, the 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R comes with traction control. As the bike is equipped with Kawasaki’s KTRC system, there are three different traction control settings (full, medium, & low) that could be selected at the handlebar. So that the rider gets the info, Kawasaki put the chosen TC level up in the dash. The ZX-14 gets a new slipper clutch, which is likely to be preferred by those in the “downshift and dump” crowd. There were few changes made to the bike’s look but it mostly keeps the design of the past Kawasaki ZX-14 design. It is priced at $14,699 in the U.S. [via Asphalt&Rubber]