Friday, December 2, 2011

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Review
Big power delivered smoothly has always been a big Ninja hallmark, so the changes for 2012 begin in the new ZX-14R’s engine bay. (Testing shows the engine runs considerably cooler with this system.) The result is smoother power across the rev range.

That power is more manageable than ever, too, thanks to the addition of a back-torque limiting “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. Front and rear suspension revisions help maintain this balancing act of wheel control, ride compliance and maneuverability. High-aggression Sunday-morning rides? Easy. For Kawasaki, that motorcycle is the Ninja ZX-14.
2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Features and Benefits
• Longer-stroke design, revised (and ported) cylinder heads, lighter pistons, higher compression and more radical camshafts provide more torque and power throughout the rev range
• Piston jet system sprays a continuous stream of cooling lubrication to the underside of each piston for cooler running temperatures, more constant power production and better durability
• Stronger cam chain and tensioning system offers a higher degree of durability at stratospheric rpm levels
• Crankshaft main journals are 2mm thicker (now 40mm) for added durability
• More durable temperature and surface treatments allow the transmission gears to better harness the new engine’s prodigious power production
• Chrome composite-plated aluminum cylinder bores are lightweight, durable, and quickly carry heat away from the combustion chamber and piston for supreme durability at high power outputs
• Newly designed engine is compact and narrow, which allows the rest of the machine to be smaller, lighter and more nimble
• Low mechanical noise via special piston profile and urethane insulation sheet on the inside of the magnesium chain cover

Revised High-flow Exhaust System
• Revised balance weights keep the newly dimensioned engine (more stroke) in ideal balance, resulting in improved comfort for riders and passengers
• Already in perfect primary balance, the 14R’s engine design features dual secondary balancers that virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations for extremely smooth operation and reduced rider fatigue

Ram Air Induction
• New throttle body assembly featuring 44mm throttle bodies is fitted with ISC valve and sub-throttle valves controlled by the ECU. • Rider selectable High & Low maps offer a choice between full power and approximately 50 percent power output to help suit changing conditions
• Digital Timing Advance enhances low
• and mid-range power
• Individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each of the four spark plugs independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder
• ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up

KTRC Traction Control
• KTRC traction-control system features three different modes for varying conditions
• Modes are controlled by a handy switch assembly on the left handlebar
• Modes are indicated on the LCD cockpit display

New Back-Torque Limiting “Slipper” Clutch
• All-new back-torque limiting “slipper” clutch assembly controls rear-wheel torque effects while downshifting or coasting to minimize wheel hop, chatter and reduce rider stress
• Radial-pump hydraulic clutch master cylinder offers smooth and precise engagement and optimal feel at the lever

New-generation Monocoque Aluminum Frame
It is narrow, strong, rigid and very light
• Many of the frame’s new cast aluminum sections – steering head and swingarm pivot areas – are produced via a die-casting process for weight savings
• Rigidly mounted engine is a stressed frame member, which increases the frame’s torsional rigidity and saves weight vs. traditional designs
• Engine is positioned forward in the frame, with the slightly longer wheelbase and front/rear weight balance carefully designed to achieve high-speed stability and responsive handling
• Longer swingarm adds high-speed stability and is gusseted to better cope with the new engine’s power production
• Massive head pipe casting contributes to frame rigidity
• Frame houses the air box and air filter in a space-saving design that simplifies air cleaner maintenance
• Battery is also housed within the frame and is easily accessible through an aluminum frame cover

Suspension
• Reshaped petal-type design brake discs provide better cooling and enhanced warp resistance
• Radial mounted four-piston front brake calipers use improved brake pads and offer greater rigidity than traditional caliper mounting to improve brake feel
• A separate brake pad is used for each piston.