Kawasaki ZX-14 Review from New Zealand

2008 Kawasaki ZX-14

Model year2008
Year of manufacture2008
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.1 / 10
Distance when acquired1 kilometres
Most recent distance17553 kilometres
Previous motorcycleHonda CB900F Hornet

Summary:

This is one awesome bike with awesome power, I LOVE it without reserve. The best bike I've ever owne

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong due to manufacture, but I did get a stone through the radiator when I went through some road works, other than that it's been perfect.

I think it's so good because of the way I ran it in... run in took less than an hour, Huh you say!!! yep all I did to run her in was pound it for an hour, never getting higher than 3rd gear... the first 10 runs through the gears was to about 2 3rds of redline , and after that about 10 runs up to redline... then I went home and changed the oil and filter... then rode it as normal since then... it has been faultless.

General Comments:

Being a large lad, this bike fits like a glove, good leg room and fairly comfortable seat even for the 500 mile days, of which I've done a few. The head lights are awesome on full beam, better than some cars I've had. Brakes are fantastic and you need them to be when you're trying to stop in a hurry... they're about perfect I think with great feel and response.

Power is everywhere, but it really comes into its own above 6k, where it turns into a real beast, and it's dead easy to lift the front wheel in the 2 lower gears, and will even lift in 3 with a bit of encouragement... but don't expect great gas mileage when you're turning the tap to full noise... it gets really greedy when ya ride it like ya stole it... and it eats rear tyres in no time flat... make sure you have shares in a tyre factory if you like to go hard all the time.

Touring duties is where this baby really shines, it will lope along all day at 80mph without breaking a sweat... and if you're really lazy it's quite happy to stay in top gear even at 30mph through the towns. I have done quite a few 500 mile days, and still felt good enough to go party the same night and do it all again the next day... in fact it's the best touring bike I've ever owned... but be careful while dispatching the slower traffic (which it does in a heartbeat) or you will find yourself so easily into go to jail territory... you have to be ever vigilant because it's just so damn easy to go so damn fast.

Talking about fast... I have done a few trackdays on my beast, and it holds its own surprisingly well. It's not as fast through the corners as a 600cc bike, but if you manhandle it along, it's not too far behind... on the straights it dispatches most everything in its way... boy am I glad the brakes are so good. For a big bike it's really agile. Once you get the feel for it, you can really throw it around quite well.

Suspension is damn good, with a setting for most every type of riding from touring in comfort to a trackday blast, it's all covered... but I would suggest you have it professionally setup for you if you want the best from it for your type of riding... standard from the factory it was good if you are a 70lb rider, but no good if you're 120lb, so get it sorted for you and you will really feel the difference.

Power... well it goes without saying, it has gobs of it everywhere from just plain menacing to savage in the flick of the wrist... you better be hanging on!!!

Overall this is one damn fine motorcycle that does the touring duties with ease, but can also be a great weekend blast as well... it's not for the faint hearted or the inexperienced, this beast if not treated right will get you into so much trouble so fast that it could be fatal... BEWARE.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2009

3rd Oct 2009, 16:45

Good review, and could you race this bike with a few mods or is it too heavy? Again, good review.

12th Oct 2009, 00:07

Yes, you could race this bike without a doubt. With a few mods to lighten and fine tune it for the track, I would expect it would do very well, it handles really well for a big bike, its size disappears once you're moving, and once you're used to it, the handling is great, and despite its bulky look, it gets around the corners great... with fine tuning it could be a really competitive bike on the track...

It's no 600cc, but I have surprised some pretty good riders on the street with it and even a few on the track. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Rossi, but I do use it probably to about 8/10ths, and considering the bike I personally wouldn't go much further without some mods and full on racing tyres... cheers.

Average review marks: 9.1 / 10, based on 1 review