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2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Preview

Old 11-Nov-2011, 07:42 AM
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2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Preview

In 2008 Kawasaki implemented a number of tweaks and updates to the 14 aimed at improving low-end power, but the new model was given a head-to-toe going over for 2012. Although the land rocket of a sportbike retains a familiar look while gaining the R designation, below the surface the biggest of the Ninjas received its most comprehensive revision since its 2006 debut.

Headlining changes are a host of revisions for the big inline-Four powerplant, along with two firsts for the ZX-14: Kawasaki’s traction control system (KTRC) and a slipper clutch.

Leading off engine updates is a 4.0mm increase in stroke, from 61.0 to 65.0mm, while the 85mm bore remains unchanged. The ZX’s previous 1352cc was a class-leading displacement figure, but with the new 85.0mm x 65.0mm bore and stroke the 14 ensures its place as displacement king with 1441cc. Compression is also up, from 12.0:1 to 12.3:1.

Combustion chamber shapes were optimized for 2012, and they’re now surface-milled now rather than cast. Intake ports are reshaped and polished for improved flow, and new, longer intake valves have better durability, according to Kawasaki.

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