Connect with us
Close Sidebar Panel Open Sidebar Panel

News

Kawasaki Increases Power, Refinement on 2012 ZX-14R

Not only is the newly R-designated Ninja ZX-14R much more powerful, it’s also almost entirely new, according to the company, with more of the character, design and finesse enthusiasts have come to expect from Team Green. After all, the company has been building legendary open-class motorcycles for more than 40 years.

Advertisement

Not only is the newly R-designated Ninja ZX-14R much more powerful, it’s also almost entirely new, according to the company, with more of the character, design and finesse enthusiasts have come to expect from Team Green. After all, the company has been building legendary open-class motorcycles for more than 40 years.

Click Here to Read More
Advertisement

Big, smooth power has been a hallmark of the Ninja, so the changes for 2012 begin in the new ZX-14R’s engine bay. First off, there’s more displacement via a 4mm stroke increase; to 65mm (up from 61mm), with displacement now registering 1441cc (up from 1352cc). Combustion chamber shapes are newly optimized for 2012, and they’re surface-milled now, not cast. Intake ports are reshaped and polished for maximum flow while working in concert with longer and more durable intake valves.
 
The camshafts are more radical, with increased lift and revised profiles, while a stronger cam chain and revised tensioning system maximize reliability. New forged pistons with thinner crowns offer increased durability and less weight, and are cooled by a new oil-jet cooling system that pumps a continuous stream of lubricant at the underside of each piston.

Advertisement

Feeding this class dominating new engine is a revised fuel injection system that offers automatic idle adjustment and reduced emissions. Burned hydrocarbons exit through a heavily revised exhaust system with reshaped, larger-diameter tapered header pipes and larger-volume, reshaped mufflers, each with an advanced catalyzer to minimize emissions.

The engine’s dual gear-driven counterbalancer setup has been optimized to work with the new mill’s longer-stroke dimensions and crankshaft changes. The result is smoother power across the rev range.
 
That power is more manageable than ever, too, with the addition of a slipper clutch assembly and a KTRC traction control and ignition management system that features three different riding modes – full power, medium power and a third mode for low-traction (wet/slippery) conditions. The KTRC system is controlled by a bar-mounted toggle/push switch, and the system’s effects can be monitored on a seven-segment bar graph in the cockpit’s LCD info-screen. The slipper clutch technology comes directly from the racetrack, and helps eliminate the wheel-hop and stability-eroding torque effects of energetic downshifting and braking while cornering, or during spirited – or emergency – stops. It also helps protect the bike’s drive train, for optimum durability.

Advertisement

To improve handling, Kawasaki engineers modified more than half of the previous frame’s aluminum castings and forgings, all of which have different flex and rigidity characteristics than the parts they replace. So while the new alloy frame bears a distinct resemblance to the previous unit’s over-the-engine, monocoque design, it is vastly different: stiffer in some places and unchanged in others. In back, the swingarm is 10mm longer than before and features more gusseting to effectively match the new frame’s rigidity balance.

The end result, according to Kawasaki, is an open-class ride that is smooth, powerful and refined, able to go anywhere there’s asphalt and do it with an uncanny level of competence.

Advertisement

For more information about Kawasaki’s 2012 lineup, visit www.kawasaki.com.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R2012 ZX-14 is bumped up to 1441cc (up from 1352cc)

Advertisement
Click to comment
Connect
Motorcycle & Powersports News