Top test Kawasaki ZZR 1400
The time machine
Welcome in the future. The ZZR 1400 is said to be the first production bike in the world to shake 200 hp out of its sleeve. The top test clarifies whether it is simply undrivable, a pure tire destroyer or the most effective pulse accelerator of all time.
Since Einstein we have known: Everything is relative, even time.
The ZZR does not penetrate into new dimensions despite its 200 hp. Especially since, like other speed bikes, it is voluntarily satisfied with 298 km / h. Which has been almost normal since the first Honda Double X, Suzuki’s Hayabusa or the current 1000 super sports cars. Then what makes Kawasaki’s new time machine different from them? Get in the saddle, switch on the popometer and start.
First seat test: The wide handlebars lie comfortably in the hand, the seat height is just 795 millimeters. The windshield was surprisingly low. And the footrests are mounted high. This results in a narrow knee angle that is not particularly suitable for tall people in the long term-
is just comfortable. Every turn of the throttle is answered immediately as a brisk hiss from the two stainless steel rear silencers.
So, go into first gear and pull the cable with respect. First surprise: Not much of the 260 kilograms can be felt. The motorcycle looks very well balanced. As with the ZX-12R, Kawasaki uses it
a monocoque frame made of aluminum-
um, which integrates the engine as a supporting part. Thanks to two balancer shafts, the 1400 runs so smoothly that in the opposite direction-
The set of 12 could be rigidly screwed to the frame, which adds to the rigidity. In addition, as with the MotoGP bikes, the tank has been pulled under the seat, which lowers the center of gravity in favor of improved handling.
Second surprise when stepping through the corridors? 200 hp
arouse horror visions in some: spinning rear tires, highsiders, involuntary wheelies, but that’s what they think-
beast behaves tame. The four-cylinder purrs like a cat, runs extremely smoothly and without annoying load changes. And goes back in the lower speed range with genteel–
attitude to the matter. Striking: Although the six-speed gearbox shifts precisely, he-
follow the gear changes hard. Vibrations are alien to the engine. Only around 6500 rpm does it tingle a little. A very pleasant glider and companion that initially makes no special demands on driving skills. Exactly
was the goal during development.
Allegedly five technicians alone worked on the injection system for a whole year. For safety.
Because there was one thing that Kawasaki wanted to avoid as much as possible: to go down in history as the manufacturer of a bike that makes negative headlines like the Hayabusa. That is why they wanted the most powerful production motorcycle in the world to develop in the
lower speed third necessarily tame
interpret. For better controllability in the rain. Or if the ZZR should get into the hands of gross motor skills, who would otherwise find themselves in the meadow after a slight twist of the throttle grip.
And how do you train 200 horses so that they trot, gallop or run away in a controlled manner? If you believe the Kawa press lyrical, “the potent engine already delivers a huge 100 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm.” The measurement certifies it 83 Nm, still ne
Amount of pressure. But it doesn’t feel like it. Below 4000 rpm, the power bike doesn’t seem much stronger than some mid-range motorcycles. Overtaking quickly and casually with the wrist is not an option; without downshifting one or two gears, it won’t work.
You read that right. 1400 cm3, 200 hp, 3000 tours ?? and still switch. There are two reasons for this: On the one hand, there is a torque hanger at 2500 rpm, which corresponds to 90 km / h in sixth gear or 70 km / h in fourth. Exactly in the area when overtaking on the country road
is relevant. On the other hand, the secondary translation is chosen to be extremely long, theo-
Retically, the sixth reaches up to 324 km / h. The Kawa almost reached the maximum possible 298 km / h in fifth. The first goes up to 128 km / h, which is in switchbacks
and very tight bends has a negative effect. If you want to move forward quickly, you have to fire the 200 hp grenade almost like a 125 cc two-stroke crosser with a clutch aid from the radius.
Opinions can be divided about the performance characteristics. There is no need for discussion at
speedy country road cruising over the chassis. Despite the humble looking
Suspension travel ?? 117 millimeters at the front, 122 at the rear absorb the fully adjustable
Spring elements everything that they under the
Get wheels. The upside-down fork and shock absorber are super-sensitive.
Regardless of whether it is a sunken manhole cover or
nasty bump: no penetration, no
severe tearing. Just buffer away. Despite this outstanding comfort, on the other hand, even with sporty types-
always claim enough reserves-
act. Hopefully this high standard will be maintained in the machines that will be delivered in the future.
Swing with alternating curves is just as much fun. Even if it does not offer the feedback and transparency of a super athlete, the 1400 can be angled without resistance and runs along almost the ideal line without corrective intervention. However, it tends to understeer in tight turns. Nevertheless: One did not expect such easy and precise handling due to the opulent look. The stem, which is supposed to optimize the aerodynamics, suggests length. The fact is: At 1,460 milli-
meters, the wheelbase is comparatively short. In addition, there is a steering head that is quite steep at 67 degrees and the low caster of only 94 millimeters.
Another plus: The steering angle is large for a bike of this type, you can turn on the road in one go. This nimble footing is underlined again because the technicians have done without a steering damper. And so one is amazed
constantly about the serenity of driving, the handiness of a good five hundredweight. And how gently this rocket can rub the 190 Bridgestone BT 014 over the asphalt.
But the ZZR can also do something else. Speed lane on the Autobahn, a quick glance over your shoulder ?? Free rein, shower on. From 6000 rpm something happens that is hardly known from modern motorcycles, the turbo effect. This is neither reflected in values nor in the performance curve. Because with 3.0 seconds from zero to 100 km / h and 7.5 seconds to 200 km / h, the ZZR 1400 is on par with its sisters ZX-10R and ZX-12R. No, what makes this bike so outstanding is its immense power–
folding in the last third of the speed. So between 200 and 300 km / h.
Example: Two powerfully motorized luxury class limousines duel on the two-lane motorway, commuting next to each other between 230 and 240 km / h. One can calmly wait in the fifth behind them. Since the 1400 turns almost 9000 tours. The measured maximum output of 181 hp is available at 9900 rpm. The Ram-Air system promises an increase of another ten hp at this speed. The cars have finally ended their dead race. A quick twist of the throttle
is enough, and dimensions become distorted, time is seemingly compressed: with an unbelievable thrust, the Kawa slams past the two sheet metal bodies, turning them to mosquitoes in the wide rear-view mirrors in seconds. Even at 280, greedy advance can still be felt. No other production bike, even a Haya-
busa not, gives you the feeling of breaking through time. No other takes the 300 so easily.
And the handy ZZR does not wobble in any situation. Lies like a board even when driving over concrete slabs or ruts. Although there is no steering damper, as mentioned, the tendency towards kickback is low. The hurricane is kind of raging around you. The protective dome is not as pronounced as that of the ZX-12R, the wind protection could be better, but the wind flow is completely laminar without major turbulence.
But what happens if the journey through time has to be interrupted abruptly? Kawasaki only delivers its flagship in Germany with ABS. A radially screwed four-piston caliper bites into two floating 310 mm discs, one at the rear-
supported by a 250 mm disc plus two-piston caliper. The ABS regulates late.
So late that unwanted stoppies are possible with good grip. And that although the maximum deceleration is supposedly limited in order to do the somersault forwards
prevent. Despite this shortcoming: The ZZR stoppers are among the best ABS brakes. With good dosability, enormous effect and good transparency. In the top test measurement from 100 km / h, the ZZR stopped after 41.5 meters. Anyone who anchors fully at top speed should still allow for half a kilometer of braking distance.
Bad when you have to try something like that in everyday operation. Most of the life for bikers does not take place on the autobahn. After a lively ride on the country road, the 200-horsepower motorcycle approves 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers. Makes a tour-
usable range of 379 kilometers. At a constant 130 km / h on the motorway, it is even 0.4 liters less. Those who, on the other hand, do it a little faster and are constantly on the move between 180 and 250 km / h, flushes just over eight liters through the injection nozzles. The multifunctional instrument provides information about the ver-
lasting range. When the ad
“Fuel empty” flashes annoyingly, and you hek-
begins to look for supplies at the table, two liters still slosh in the tank. With a moderate driving style, there are only around 34 kilometers left to search for a fuel pump. Once at the station, you might be amazed when you check the air pressure: Kawasaki stipulates 2.9 bar for both the front and rear. For safety reasons because of the immense top speed.
You can tell in the dark that the designers have paid particular attention to safety. Four dedicated headlights turn the night
to the day, shine in both dipped and
Fade in area is great. There is hardly a motorcycle with better light at the moment.
With this yield, the top test course could even be passed at midnight-
sting. In theory at least. The ZZR, however, had to go through the pylon forest in the afternoon. And surprised in the fast slalom with a speed of 107.3 km / h at the measuring point. So lies
the time machine in spite of “weak start” on the high level of the best super athletes. Everything is relative after all.
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Top test Kawasaki ZZR 1400
The time machine
MOTORCYCLE Measurements – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Top speed * 298 km / h
0 100 km / h 3.0 sec
0 ?? 140 km / h 4.4 sec
0 200 km / h 7.5 sec
60 ?? 100 km / h 4.4 sec
100 ?? 140 km / h 3.5 sec
140 180 km / h 3.6 sec
Effective (display 50/100) 48/96 km / h
Display red area 11000 / min
Effective 10500 rpm
Consumption in the test
at 130 km / h 5.4 l / 100 km
Country road 5.8 l / 100 km
Theor. Range 379 km
Fuel type super
mass and weight
L / W / H 2160/910/1170 mm
Seat height 795 mm
Handlebar height 885 mm
Turning circle 6080 mm
Weight with a full tank 260 kg
Load 175 kg
Wheel load distribution v / h 50/50%
Driving dynamics 1
Braking distance from 100 km / h 41.5 m
Average deceleration 9.3 m / s2
Comments: Due to the very good controllability and later control of the ABS, braking can be carried out very precisely.
Handling course I (fast slalom)
Lap time 20.7 sec
vmax at the measuring point 107.3 km / h
Comments: The ZZR is waving stably through the pylon lane. The slightly delayed throttle response prevents clean lines.
Handling course II (slow slalom)
Lap time 29.2 sec
vmax at the measuring point 52.1 km / h
Comments: The ZZR must be kept precisely on course in long arcs. The tendency to understeer at slow speeds makes driving on the ideal line difficult.
Because the footrests and fairing are on top, faster course times are not possible.
Orbit Ø 46 meters
Lap time 11.4 sec
vmax at the measuring point 50.9 km / h
Comments: Lays very well and stable, even over separation joints. Touchdown limits the pace.
Technical data – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Engine: water-cooled four–cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two balance shafts, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection Ø 44 mm, unregulated Kata-
analyzers with secondary air system, light-
machine 490 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah,
Hydraulically operated, multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.
Bore x stroke 84.0 x 61.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1352 cm3
Compression ratio 12: 1
140.0 kW (190 hp) at 9500 rpm
Max. Torque 154 Nm at 7500 rpm
Pollutant values (homologation) in g / km CO 2.953 / HC 0.367 / NOx 0.100
Chassis: Monocoque made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable-
bare spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 250 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 014 »SL«, »L«
Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1460 mm, steering head angle 67.0 degrees, caster 94 mm, spring travel f / h 117/122 mm, permissible total weight 435 kg, tank capacity /
Reserve 22.0 / 2.0 liters.
Service intervals every 6000 km
Oil and filter change every 12,000 km / 4.1 l
Motor oil 10 W 40
Telescopic fork oil SAE 5 W
Spark plugs CR9EIA-9
Idle speed 1100 ± 50 / min
Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger)
front / rear 2.9 / 2.9 (2.9 / 2.9) bar
Two year guarantee
Colors gray, blue
Price 13,995 euros
Additional costs 170 euros
Scoring: Motor – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Outstanding pulling power
due to the overall transmission being too long in connection with the torque hanger
in the lower speed range
prevented. Positive points
the very smooth, very good
adjustable clutch. The
Locking the gears could
turn out to be a little softer
Throttle response should still like
be more direct.
Top marks in almost all criteria.
The chassis of the ZZR can handle almost everything despite the short spring travel. The straight-line stability is superb, and the handiness is also very good for a 260 kg bike.
Scoring: Safety – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Also in the security chapter
the ZZR is very well presented.
Only with the inclines-
Freedom would be more possible if the disguise was not put on. Kudos for it
the braking system. It does not work as transparently and poisonously as thoroughbred sports counterparts, but it does
the dosage is best that
Effect as well. The ABS too-
Control is ideal for a sporty motorcycle.
Scoring: everyday life
Thanks to its moderate consumption, the 1400 Kawa has
a very decent range. At 175 kilograms that is
Payload, however, rather poor.
Scoring: Comfort – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
430 millimeters distance between seat and footrest ?? the knee angle is unfavorable. Otherwise it’s true. At least for the driver. For the pillion passenger, the pegs could be further down and the handle wider.
Scoring: costs / environment – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Euro 2 ?? according to today’s judgment a faux pas for a new design. Because from January 1, 2008 at the latest, the ZZR with both U-Kats and the SLS will no longer be allowed to go over the counter. Exorbitantly high: taxes, insurance and tire wear ?? the dark side of ZZR driving.
Conclusion – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
The 1400 is a worthy successor to the ZZR 1200 and sets the new benchmark in terms of stability and top speed capability. No other bike is so easy to travel so quickly. No other combines the opposites of lawn and safety as skilfully as this Kawa. The tiger in wolf’s clothing can even be lamb-pious, sometimes a little too tame. Crazy world.
Was there anything else? – Kawasaki ZZR 1400
Very good view in the mirrors
Different gap dimensions on the cladding
Rebound adjustment of the shock absorber difficult to achieve
Lovelessly laid electrics under the bench
Display of the remaining range on reserve very
Spring preload six rings visible
(Negative spring travel 40 millimeters)
Compression 10 (7) clicks, rebound 5 (4) clicks open
Spring preload around 60 percent
(Negative spring travel 30 millimeters)
Compression 1 1/4 (1) clicks, rebound 2 1/2 (2)
Figures in brackets for sporty driving style
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