Kawasaki rounds out their top line model announcements for 2015 with a 30th anniversary edition of the ZX-14R, Though billed as a limited edition with 30 units going to Canada, and 300 Stateside - branded as MY2015 it's safe to assume that this equals their announcements on the 6R and 10R. Unless Kawi has some surprise announcement on the Concours or an all new ZXR, we're looking at a rather static year from Big Green.
Only 300 ZX-14R Limited Edition motorcycles will be available, all individually numbered and finished in exactly the same shade of Firecracker Red and Metallic Graystone paint as the 1984 Ninja® 900 – the motorcycle that started the superbike revolution. It even has the same narrow Gold pinstriping and gets gold brake calipers. 30th Anniversary logos on the fairing sides and a numbered badge on the gas tank will further identify the Limited Edition models.
NEW 2015 KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-14R LIMITED EDITION FEATURES
· Limited to 300 numbered models
· Unique numbered badge on gas tank
· Finished in Firecracker Red / Metallic Graystone paint with Gold pinstriping and brake calipers
· Available to order at a Kawasaki dealer from July 15, 2014, 9:00am PDT
· Powerful 1441cc inline four-cylinder engine with selectable Power Modes
· ABS, Traction Control and adjustable suspension
· Kawasaki One-Year Warranty
Kawasaki recently released Anniversary Editions of the Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-6R featuring color schemes to celebrate the company’s success in the 2013 World Superbike Championship. Now the flagship ZX-14R commemorates the original spirit of the 1984 Ninja 900, which was the first fully faired superbike and sported Kawasaki’s most powerful engine of its day. Similarly, the 2015
ZX-14R continues that cutting edge tradition by featuring one of the most powerful production engines in the world and can claim to be the quickest production motorcycle in the world.
Following the official announcement of the 2015 Ninja ZX-14R ABS Limited Edition at the Laguna Seca round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship, potential customers can order one of the 300 models on July 15, 2014 at 9:00am PDT.
Orders must be taken by a Kawasaki dealer, along with a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. Orders will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis via a time and date stamp.
Although the anniversary of the Ninja takes place this year, Kawasaki decided to make the ZX-14R ABS Limited Edition a 2015 model. Each ZX-14R will have the bodywork painted in the same Firecracker Red and Metallic Graystone paint as the original machine.
During the motorcycle’s inception, the development team looked at updating the original colors with a modern interpretation of the famous red and gray paint. However, they kept returning to the classic colors that stood out better than any new combinations. Parked side by side, the 1984 Ninja 900 and 2015 ZX-14R ABS Limited Edition bring together 30 years of motorcycle enthusiasm and passion.
The ZX-14R also received Gold pinstriping to define the painted areas. The development team also chose to finish the brake calipers in an identical gold to add another touch of class to Kawasaki’s flagship motorcycle.
Only 300 2015 ZX-14R ABS Limited Edition motorcycles will be available for purchase in the USA and Latin American markets. A separate edition of 30 motorcycles will also be produced for the Canadian market, with specific numbering for that production run. Otherwise, these very special models will not be available in any other market around the world, making them an instant collectors’ edition.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Just as the 1984 Ninja 900 boasted the most powerful production engine of its day, so does the 2015 Kawasaki ZX-14R Limited Edition. The 1,441cc DOHC inline-four represents the pinnacle of supersport power and performance.
The character of the power delivery is as important as the peak number, so the surface-milled combustion chambers and polished intake ports help to spread the powerband as wide as possible.
The dual gear-driven counterbalance set-up has been optimized to work with the long-stroke crankshaft, providing the legendary smooth power delivery of the ZX-14R across the entire rev range.
The high-lift camshafts are operated by a cam chain and tensioner to operate reliably at high RPM, while the lightweight forged pistons are cooled by an oil jet that pumps lubricant at the underside of each piston for better cooling and increased performance. They also have extra strong alloy connecting rods with robust 40mm crankshaft main journals.
The fuel delivery is precisely metered by a Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) system that offers automatic idle adjustment to reduce emissions. The intake system uses a ram-air effect to generate more power at high RPM, while the exhaust comprises a high-performance system with large-diameter tapered header pipes and large-volume mufflers, each with an advanced catalyzer to minimize emissions.
The benefit of this continuous engine development is class-leading power everywhere across the rev range. The advantages are most profound in the mid- and high-RPM range, yet the 1.4-liter engine can also provide incredible acceleration from as little as 4,000rpm. This translates into the sort of thrust any rider can appreciate in a wide variety of situations.
Of course, every aspect of the ZX-14R has to be capable of running with its phenomenal powerplant, so the transmission gears have been both heat- and surface-treated to ensure strength, smooth shifting and a long service life.
POWER MODES, ABS, TRACTION CONTROL
The most important aspect about a high-performance motorcycle is the ease with which a rider can control it, and the 2015 Ninja ZX-14R ABS has a host of features to keep the rider in charge.
The rider can also choose to select two engine power levels by using the two-mode Hi/Low power selector switch. This allows the rider to select either full power or reduce it by 75-percent to suit the prevailing conditions.
Furthermore, there is a three-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) system, where the first two modes are intended to maximize acceleration and is similar to the S-KTRC system found on the ZX-10R. The third mode is tuned for low-traction (wet/slippery) conditions, similar to the Concours® 14 sport tourer. The KTRC system can also be turned off completely by the rider using the bar-mounted toggle/push switch, which also operates the Power Modes. KTRC activity can be monitored on the cockpit’s LCD info screen.
Finally, there is a back-torque-limiting “slipper” clutch assembly, a technology taken directly from the racetrack. It helps eliminate the wheel-hop and torque effects of energetic downshifting while braking for a corner, or even during spirited stops, giving the rider even greater control.
Kawasaki engineers designed the monocoque chassis to deliver a light-handling and maneuverable motorcycle. For real sport riding performance, the engineers designed the frame’s aluminum castings and forgings to allow unique flex and rigidity characteristics, giving an ideal balance to exploit the world class power and acceleration capabilities of the ZX-14R.
Front and rear suspension tuning helps maintain the wheel control, ride comfort and maneuverability. Both the 43mm fully adjustable inverted front forks and multi-adjustable single rear shock offer excellent responses throughout a wide speed range, while the machined ten-spoke wheels reduce unsprung weight to aid acceleration, handling and suspension action.
The Ninja ZX-14R ABS features a powerful and responsive anti-lock brake system (ABS), for additional rider confidence on mixed or slippery surfaces. Triple-petal-type brake rotors and radial-mount calipers help provide powerful, fade-free stops and a progressive feel at the lever.
Dynamic styling has been a Kawasaki hallmark ever since the Ninja 900 first hit the streets in 1984, so it’s only fitting that the pinnacle of this long line of sportbikes would still look the part.
From nose-to-tail, the ZX-14R’s bodywork honors the angular and flowing shapes that have made recent Ninja models among of the most attractive sportbikes on the road. The front is especially imposing, with an aggressive fairing fitted with a unique quad-headlight assembly and large ram-air duct to force cool air into the intake system.
The traditional four-fin styling theme along the side of the fairing has a pronounced 3D design, with effort taken to conceal its fasteners as much as possible.
The bike’s tail section is especially sculpted, with integrated turn signals and a cool rear seat cowl – supplied as standard on the 2015 ZX-14R ABS Limited Edition – boosting its aerodynamic performance when the passenger seat isn’t in use.
The seat offers excellent thigh support, making it comfortable on long journeys and allowing shorter riders to reach the ground. The bodywork’s venting system also extracts heated air from the engine bay and routes it away from the rider and passenger.
Instruments and controls feature a multi-function switch on the left handlebar to operate all the system’s functions. It allows the rider to toggle through settings on the LCD screen using the upper/lower buttons, scrolling through fuel consumption, remaining range, battery voltage, external temperature, traction control, etc. You can both choose and adjust functions using the ‘Select’ button in the center of the toggle switch. There is even an “Eco” indicator on the LCD screen that tells the rider when they are getting maximum fuel economy and mileage.
The end result of all this technology and features is a dominating supersport riding experience that is available to a limited number of riders in this very special 30th Anniversary paint scheme. Of course, the 2015 ZX-14R ABS will also be available in other colors without a limit on production for riders not able to secure one of the 300 Limited Edition motorcycles.
As always, Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available through authorized Kawasaki dealers for all ZX-14R models.
KAWASAKI ONE-YEAR WARRANTY
Completing the appeal of the 2015 ZX-14R ABS is Kawasaki’s promise to keep you running Strong with our standard One-Year Limited Warranty. We don’t just want you to enjoy the ZX-14R, we want you to live the supersport lifestyle and be absorbed in its 30-year heritage: a heritage of performance and passion.