Presentation of the Kawasaki 1400 GTR and ZX-6R

Presentation of the Kawasaki 1400 GTR and ZX-6R

Quantum leap

Kawasaki GTR 1000? Exactly, this is this Tourer, which was built almost unchanged from 1986 to 2003. No wonder its successor appears like the result of a quantum leap. The new ZX-6R also represents a major step forward.

The GTR 1000 never managed to convey its anachronism with charm. While a Royal Enfield Bullet is easily admired as a brand-new classic, the GTR was ultimately only considered the oldest cucumber of the respective model year. It is therefore a touching affection that Kawasaki gives the new 1400 tourer, which has all the facilities to become an over-motorcycle in its class, also with the letter combination GTR.

It is clear to those responsible for Kawasaki what an unusual Gran Tourismo motorcycle they have created. "Transcontinental Supersport" is written above the sparse press release; if not by the model name, then by this slogan the Pan-Europeans, FJRs and GTs are downgraded to the provincial and sedate. The construction principle according to which the 1400 GTR was created ?? an in-line four-cylinder in a cast light-alloy monocoque was first used by Kawasaki for the ZX-12R in series production. It was refined for the ZZR 1400 and adapted for the GTR.

Its advantage is that the load-bearing structure also serves as a spacious airbox and this double function saves installation space. With the GTR this was used to the effect that the engine moved very far forward, which helps to prevent the rear end being too pronounced, even when fully loaded. Apparently, the four-cylinder sits quite high, an impression that is supported by the statement that the GTR offers the same lean angle freedom as the sportier ZZR 1400. This leaves no space for the tank at the front, but it is under The main focus of the driver’s seat bench is more favorable because the weight distribution of the machine does not change with different fuel levels.
Anyone who suspected that Kawasaki would get the ZZR engine by simple means
Breathe in a higher torque, feels most thrillingly deceived. The 1400 has a valve control with variable timing, which literally suggests the next assumption: The torque is increased without the peak power dropping significantly. The press release promised to breathtaking number of Newton meters at low and medium speeds as well as "effortless" acceleration in every area.

As is usual with tourers of this size, the power is transmitted via a cardan drive, and the technicians have spared no effort for this either. They decided on a double cardan shaft that runs in the left arm of a two-arm swing arm with torque support on both sides. The system is called Tetralever because of its four joints; it should work just as smoothly as a chain drive.

The standard equipment of the GTR includes ABS, an electrically height-adjustable windscreen, suitcase and tire pressure sensors that warn the driver if there is a loss of pressure. An AC socket is one of the innovations in this segment. So far, the GTR has only seen one disadvantage: like all real advances, the GTR requires enormous amounts of energy, which is why Kawasaki is delayed in development. It will be more of an early 2008 model than a late 2007 model. Which, however, no longer matters 20 years after the first GTR. Super sports enthusiasts are used to a faster rhythm not only when driving. A revision is due in this segment at least every two years, and major changes are to be made every four years. Like recently with the Honda CBR 600 RR. Or even a completely new design like the 2007 ZX-6R. You should benefit from the experience gained in the development of the ZX-10R with lightweight construction and minimized internal friction as well as with Euro 3-compliant exhaust gas cleaning. Unlike in previous years, it will remain with a model with a displacement of 599 cm³. It has been shown that the development effort for two variants ?? a 636 for the road and a 600 for racing ?? is too large, although the displacement difference is only six percent. Despite the smaller displacement, the new engine, which, like the one in the ZX-10R, is supplied with polished intake ports as standard, should provide more torque in the medium speed range than its predecessor. At the same time, Kawasaki claims, it can achieve higher speeds than any of its competitors. A standard anti-hopping clutch makes it easier to deal with the engine‘s braking torque, which increases in line with the speed, when shifting down before hard-braked corners.

As MOTORRAD’s recordings have shown, previous ZX-6Rs have always lagged a little behind their competition when it comes to cornering speed. This is probably why Kawasaki emphasizes that when redesigning the chassis, the focus was on optimizing the speed at the entrance to the curve and in the middle of the curve. How exactly the chassis engineers did it is just as little disclosed as the power, the maximum speed or the weight of the new Kawa. Apparently, however, the extremely compact engine and its relatively far back position play an important role. This will concentrate the masses around the center of gravity. There is no need to compensate for the weight packed at the back, because one can assume that the ZX-6R usually travels without a passenger or luggage. The difference between the 1400 GTR and the ZX-6R makes it clear what a central role the placement of the main mass plays in optimizing a motorcycle for a specific purpose.

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