The Kawasaki ZX-14 motorcycle for 2008
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The Kawasaki ZX-14 motorcycle
is the standard bearer of the Kawasaki motorcycle range. The ZX-14 is
the most horsepower-laden Kawasaki ever produced, and was at one time
the fastest production motorcycle in the world. Kawasaki claims this
new version is "the quickest and most powerful production motorcycle".
Since the ZX-14 was introduced in 2006, this beast has
dominated the open-class sportbikes, and the superbike technology has
manifested itself in the street-legal version seamlessly. Pure
horsepower is synonymous with the ZX-14, but this animal is much, much
more than just a power unit! The ZX-14's 1352CC, four-cylinder, DOHC
engine produces incredible torque and power without affecting the
handling properties, which is no mean feat of engineering!
Its hats off to the designers at Kawasaki for their creative
imaginations. To meet the growing level of noise regulations, Kawasaki
took a look inside the engine and reduced the sound in the
engine at its source rather than trying to beef up the exhaust system,
which in turn leaves a more free flowing route for the exhaust gases!
Very ingenious. Kawasaki claims the net result is an overall power gain
from the unit! The ZX-14 has also managed to become more
environmentally friendly, by adding a third catalyzer which reduces
emissions and goes a long way to meeting the ever-growing emission
Of course, you have to put the engine somewhere on this bike, so let's
get to the frame of the Kawasaki ZX-14. The ZX-14's aluminium sections
of its frame have been produced using gravity casting in the past, but
nowadays Kawasaki have switched to die-casting, a process
which helps to produce a lighter frame. It's monocoque design
is, as always, very light and very strong.
This motorcycle uses true ram-air induction, by taking the
air from the center of the fairing to the airbox, again an approach
designed to optimise the power output.
The handling on the Kawsaki ZX-14 is superb, with the rear suspension
using Kawasaki's 'uni-trak' design, helping to drop the center of
gravity by lowering the weight within the chassis with bottom-link
The Kawasaki ZX-14 is an incredible street motorcycle. Power and
handling are overflowing all in one package. Beware though! This is not
a bike for the novice, or the faint hearted. Prepare to be blown
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