Top test Kawasaki 1400 GTR
Superlatives are a tradition at Kawasaki.
Kawasaki builds a tourer. No reaction. Once again. A new touring motorcycle comes out? from Kawasaki. Frown. Tours, travel, Kawasaki? That goes together like George W. Bush and the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, there has already been a travel kawa, the GTR 1000. But it didn’t make many friends. Not among the Kawasaki executives, who hardly cared about the good piece after its debut in 1986 and secretly took it off the program in 2003. And not in the touring group either. Because Kawasaki, this is not a Sunday excursion, but Mach III, Z1, ZXR, that is the courage to be unreasonable, the commitment to extremes.
In this respect, the new one fits the image. 1352 cm³, 155 HP peak power, 136 Newton meters of torque ?? no tourer promises more displacement, more power, more punch. A feat, after all, with the measured 182 hp ZZR 1400, the currently most powerful production bike provides the technical basis for the GTR. The Kawasaki engineers rolled up their sleeves for the travel group. If the intake cross-sections reduced by four to 40 millimeters, the compression reduced from 12.0 to 10.7 and the reduced valve lift are still part of the usual means of cultivating the power output in the lower speed ranges, the Kawa men at GTR clearly digged deeper.
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Top test Kawasaki 1400 GTR
A tourer becomes a motorhome
A variable valve control, a six-speed gearbox including overdrive gear, an anti-hopping clutch, and even the conversion to cardan drive including the complex so-called Tetra-Lever swing arm show how consistently Kawasaki implemented the conversion of the ZZR to a motorhome. And not just on the engine side. Steering head that is three degrees flatter, a wheelbase that is 60 millimeters longer and additional stiffeners on the monocoque frame underpin the claim on the chassis: even a Kawasaki can travel.
If the transponder is on board. Since the bulky ignition key can always remain in the lock, the ignition is only activated by the signal from a transponder, which legitimizes the GTR owner as such from a distance of around four meters. If the engine is running, you don’t need the minder anymore? until the next start. It’s just stupid if, for example, the transponder is still in the jacket of the pillion passenger when you leave home, or if the button battery is no longer on the air. The fact is: In the age of immobilizers that can be easily activated with the normal ignition key, this part is electronic overkill.
So be it. The GTR grumbles discreetly to itself. First gear can be engaged quietly even when cold. Departure. Active, that is the appropriate description of how it sits on the GTR. The upper body leaning forward a tad further than most tourers are used to, the relatively high bench seat and the resulting open knee angle cleverly divide the weight of the body between the rear, wrists and legs. In the long run, this arrangement gives the seat meat better stamina than the more upright posture that appears at first sight.
The engine does it
Electrically adjustable: the pane height can be varied continuously.
And the next bend will thank you on top of that. As if pulled on a string, the GTR whistles through narrow and wide bends, can be steered precisely and calmly and the agile handling is not spoiled even by the wide 190 rear tire. Only when the Bridgestone BT 021 pairing showed a “freeway edge” towards the end of the test distance of 2500 kilometers did the GTR front tend to be wobbly in tight bends. Whereby does the motorhome lose its pounds? with a full tank, at least 313 kilograms ?? cleverly hides. This is also thanks to the suspension vote. Although the 43 mm upside-down fork and the shock absorber respond sensitively to small bumps, they quickly progress. What the Kawasaki misses in terms of comfort, it makes up for on rough terrain. The front and rear work harmoniously, always offer enough spring travel reserves and thereby filter out bad distortions with little residue. On top of that, the standard setting of the spring base and the rebound damping are perfect for a driver weighing 85 kilograms.
Despite all the appreciation for the chassis setup, it is ultimately this intensely modified engine that arouses curiosity. However, the measurement data are sobering at first: In relation to the 31 hp that the four-cylinder loses with its 151 hp in peak power compared to the ZZR (see performance curves on page 54), it only increases moderately in terms of torque. Only between 2000 and 4000 rpm ?? but clearly there ?? if the torque curve of the touring engine is above that of the athlete. And the maximum torque of 134 Nm (ZZR: 149 Nm) is also just 1400 rpm earlier with the GTR than with the basic model. Fortunately, the feared disappointment does not materialize in practice. Firstly, because even 151 HP is still a record high in the touring segment, and secondly, because the increase in torque in the lower rev range eliminates the ZZR engine’s well-known weakness in acceleration below 5000 rpm.
So the four-in-a-row takes off calmly from idle speed and rotates like a turbine without holes and without surprising use of power up to the speed limit of 10,000 rpm. Quasi following the simple equation: the more speed, the more power. Of course, anyone who expected the most brutal acceleration from the world’s fattest touring engine will be disappointed. If you are impressed by a silky smooth performance band in which the 151 horses do their work as inconspicuously as possible, you can look forward to confident, relaxed tours with this drive. Especially since the four-cylinder is otherwise no nakedness. Thanks to two balance shafts, vibrations are not an issue, load change reactions are kept to a minimum despite the cardan shaft, the slipper clutch works inconspicuously and is usually only noticeable by a brief pulsation of the clutch lever when the accelerator is released, the transmission shifts without any problems.
Gearboxes, brakes, equipment
Hard work: The ZZR 1400 forms the basis of the GTR.
On the gearbox chapter: The GTR owes its weak torque values mainly to its tourism-oriented translation. The sixth gear ?? After the revision of the 1000-point rating, MOTORRAD has been measuring the passage in the last gear since this year? is specifically designed as a speed-lowering overdrive. What affects gasoline consumption. With exactly five liters per 100 kilometers, the GTR is content with almost half a liter less than the ZZR when it comes to the 130 motorway consumption. While legs, hands and shoulders are perfectly protected by the fairing, the air flow still catches the driver over 1.80 meters on the upper half of the helmet, even with the windshield raised. The six centimeter higher accessory disk offered by Kawasaki could help. After all, the windbreak channels the stiff breeze in such a way that no turbulence occurs. And something else bothers you when driving on the motorway: from 200 km / h, the Kawa begins to commute harmlessly, but noticeably, despite all the countermeasures taken with the chassis.
Change of subject. Today it goes without saying that the braking system meets the requirements of a fully loaded tour boat weighing a good half a ton. That it is also equipped with ABS. Nevertheless, especially on a rear-heavy motorcycle like the GTR, the regulation of the rear stop could be designed to be much more aggressive. With the front 310-millimeter double disc brake, even one finger on the hand lever is enough for force braking and ultimately saves the deceleration performance of the entire system to an acceptable, but below-average 8.8 m / s2. Probably no other motorcycle species is driven more often in pairs than a tourer. And in this respect the GTR does not show any nakedness. The pillion seat is spacious, the footrests are conveniently positioned, only the handles could protrude a little higher. There is enough storage space for two people in the two 35-liter, easy-to-attach suitcases. The duo can also be expanded with a 39 liter top case. So Kawasaki has definitely made a comeback in the world of fast and / or long-distance travelers with the active, strong and well-equipped tourer. In fact ?? even if the imposing paper form and the brand image suggest otherwise ?? in a very unspectacular way.
Top speed * 255 km / h
0 – 100 km / h 3.2 sec
0 ?? 140 km / h5.2 sec
0 200 km / h 10.4 sec
60 ?? 100 km / h 5.6 sec
100 ?? 140 km / h5.4 sec
140 ?? 180 km / h 6.5 sec
Effective (display 50/100) 47/95 km / h
Display red area 10500 rpm
Effective 10200 rpm
Consumption in the test
at 130 km / h 5.0 l / 100 km
Country road 4.8 l / 100 km
Theor. Range 458 km
mass and weight
L / W / H2260 / 1080/1460 mm
Handlebar height 1050 mm
Turning circle 6340 mm
Weight with full tank 313 kg
Payload 195 kg
Wheel load distribution f / r46 / 54%
Driving dynamics 1
Braking distance from 100 km / h 44.0 m
Average deceleration 8.8 m / s²
The coarse and long ABS control processes extend the braking distance compared to other motorcycles with ABS. The operating force of the front brake is a little too great, the function of the rear brake is rather moderate.
Handling course I (fast slalom)
Lap time21.2 sec
vmax at the measuring point 102.6 km / h
Despite its heavy weight, the 1400 GTR can be swiftly waved around the pylons. The stiff chassis provides stability and good feedback.
Handling course II (slow slalom)
Lap time30.3 sec
vmax at the measuring point 49.3 km / h
This is where the 313 kilograms of the GTR can be felt most intensely. Helpful with the short accelerations: the good-natured power delivery.
Circular path, ø 46 meters
Lap time 11.5 sec
vmax at the measuring point 47.7 km / h
The new BT 021 ensures sufficient grip. The vehicle remains stable even on steep slopes. The footpegs touch down uncritically in larger inclines.
Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two balancer shafts, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, ø 40 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 490 W alternator, 12 V / 14 Ah battery, hydraulically operated , Multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan.
Bore x stroke 84.0 x 61.0 mm
Cubic capacity1352 cm3
Compression ratio 10.7: 1
Rated output 114.0 kW (155 hp) at 8800 rpm
Max. Torque 136 Nm at 6200 rpm
Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, disc brake at the rear, ø 270 mm, Two-piston fixed caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 021 »E«
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1520 mm, steering head angle 63.9 degrees, caster 112 mm, spring travel f / r 113/136 mm, permissible total weight 508 kg, tank capacity 22.0 liters.
Service intervals every 6000 km
Oil and filter change every 12,000 km / 4.1 l
Engine oil 10 W 40
Telescopic fork oil SAE 5 W
Idle speed 1100 ± 50 / min
Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger)
front / rear 2.9 / 2.9 (2.9 / 2.9) bar
Warranty three years
Colors silver / gray, black
Price 15,750 euros
Additional costs 180 euros
In comparison with the performance curve of the ZZR, the diagram of the GTR is initially disappointing. The GTR engine only exchanges a 31 hp lower peak output for additional torque between 2000 and 4000 rpm. In practice, however, this design results in a very harmonious, unexcited power output. Easy to see: the extremely long translation of sixth gear as overdrive.
Despite the advantages of the rear-heavy weight distribution when braking, the less aggressive ABS of the GTR only allows braking performance of 8.8 m / s2, which is below average for this class.
Comments on scoring
Clear case of understatement. Although the GTR engine is the most powerful of all tourers, the long overdrive ratio hides the real potential of the extremely powerful engine. On the other hand, the transmission is easy to shift, despite the cardan the load change reactions are moderate, and the slipper clutch works inconspicuously. Is exemplary ?? thanks to two balancer shafts ?? also the low vibration of the four-cylinder.
For a fully fueled motorcycle weighing 313 kilograms, the GTR shows agile handling. at least with heavily used tires? in tight bends, however, it leads to wobbly. The lean angle is enormous, the chassis set-up on the sporty, but not uncomfortable side. Nobody misses the lack of adjustment of the pressure level. The only drawback: the noticeable, albeit harmless, tendency to swing over 200 km / h.
Despite or perhaps because of the sporty sitting position, the body weight is ideally distributed over the contact points with the machine, enables fatigue-free sitting over long distances ?? also for the pillion passenger. However, the wind protection could be more pronounced. The height-adjustable headlights provide very good illumination. In view of the moderate consumption, the range is okay even with the 22 liter tank.
The braking effect remains at a rather below average level due to the less aggressive ABS regulation. In terms of controllability and actuation force, however, the front brake in particular is at a level appropriate for this class. Handlebar slap is not an issue anyway.
Good: GTR enthusiasts who decide to buy before December 31, 2007 receive a three instead of two year warranty. Bad: short inspection intervals of only 6000 kilometers.
No question, 15,930 euros are not little for a motorcycle. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: Tourers offer something for the money. The GTR is no exception.
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