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Kawasaki ZZR1400 Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 is not only the fastest, most powerful motorcycle you can buy, but happens to be an extremely capable all-round machine too. Limited to 186mph (300kmh) – but the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 will do it with a gear to spare. Capable of commuting, two up sporty touring, track days, drag racing, posing – almost anything is possible on the big Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 - just don’t try taking it dirt riding.

 

Watch the 2008 Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 take on the 2007 version

Watch the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 take on the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa and the BMW K1200S in our long distance road test

Watch the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 compete against the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa in our top speed test

 

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Bordering on insanely powerful for a motorbike. Its builder says the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400's the first of a new generation of engines which owe nothing to the outdated ZZ-Rs of he past. 197bhp with ram air is an astounding figure. Torque on the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 is plentiful too but at low revs Suzuki’s Hayabusa out-grunts it.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Ultra sports-tourers can’t be track bikes but the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 copes superbly on the road. With 215kg to carry it’ll never flick as fast as the latest dedicated sports bikes but it’s smooth, predictable and sporty in a road orientated way. The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400's brakes are awesome and it’s plush enough for those European blasts.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400's riding position’s compact for a substantial bike and comfy for one or two. The screen’s surprisingly effective considering it looks low and allows the insane top speeds the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 is renowned for. Instruments are very comprehensive and a genuine Kawasaki tank pad is available for the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400.

Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 (2006-2012)

Detail Value
New price £10,613
Dealer used prices
£4,970 (2006) - £9,250 (2012)
Private used prices
£4,480 (2006) - £9,140 (2012)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1352 cc
Power 197 bhp
Top speed 187 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Since 2003 the new improved wave of Kawasaki models have been better than previous ones in every way including build quality. The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 seems to follow that trend and no real weaknesses have been identified yet.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 is not that cheap but it’s the hot kiddie of the class until something more powerful is released, so a good buy. The Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 was late arriving in dealers showrooms in 2006 which led to stock being left unsold late into the year and some discounting, which affected new and used value. Find a Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2006: Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 launched.
2011: Available as Kawasaki ZZR1400 ABS [£10,613] and ZZR1400 ABS Performance (Inc. Akrapovic silencer, tank pads, seat cover, higher screen) [£11,634] 

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 187 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.2 secs
Max power 197 bhp
Max torque 113 ft-lb
Weight 215 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1352 cc
Engine specification 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium monocoque
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

See all Kawasaki ZZR1400 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZZR1400

14780 miles

£9,495

Kawasaki
ZZR1400

12407 miles

£8,595

Kawasaki
ZZR1400

7346 miles

£7,899

Kawasaki
ZZR1400

13760 miles

£4,750

Kawasaki
ZZR1400

1171 miles

£8,941

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(35 reviews)

  • Rapid

    plumbgod

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    The zzr 1400 is the sought of bike that leaves you trembling, a little frightened yet you want to go again. The bike has endless power and you quickly run out of road or bottle one or the other. As some have already said, the engine is a little rough low down, like it really resents going slow, and the clutch is a little too light for me, with little difference in lever movement between grab and go The suspension set up is soft as standard, especially on the front end, where the slightest pot hole will make the forks bottom out, i plan to have mine set up soon in the hope it will solve this issue. The brakes are awesome, as you would expect and otherwise things are properly sorted Crazy fast lots of fun mostly in straight lines tho

    17 July 2014

  • 1 yr on update

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3

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    After a year and 2,500 miles the bike has had highs and lows for me. Nice in poor wintery conditions even on sports tyres but clumsy and not that sporty in the dry...until I dialled in the suspension and got rid of the stock cans. Comfort isn't as good as the seat makes you think and even with a higher screen the windblast can hurt the neck much more than the Busa ever did. Wife loves the pillion side of things but having tried the gen 2 Busa out she finds its broader seat better on long runs. Its stupidly fast but flighty as well near the red line in 3rd and 4th so could do with a steering damper just to add confidence and with the suspension working as it should its much easier to go constantly quick than on any sports bike as gear changes are rare so you can focus on where your going rather than what gear you need next. Now it runs true and smooth from low revs and is filling in the job of my old busa quite nicely so no regrets just yet and a nice 48+mpg.. Build quality is so so..plastics are like tracing paper and are beginning to show cracks around the dash infill screws and the fur on the radiator core just makes it look cheaply made. I tried the new 2012 model and apart from having a better from the shop suspension I see no real benefits for road use as i've never had any traction issues with my riding style. I would consider getting a slipper clutch fitted as the downshift can get the back end moving about when on it coming downhill. Doing a back-back test against a Gen 2 Busa in a few weeks so that will be a fun day.

    11 March 2012

  • gentleman's express

    piwake

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Had bike for just under 3years, 48,000kms. Minor weeping at valve cover gasket and tip over sensor that won't stop vibrating. Recently did valve adjustment, throttle sync and plugs -much smoother in all conditions. Been using PR2's and can't see a reason to try anything else. Have Yosh R-77 slips and blocked off kleen air recirc, and mra dbl bubble racing screen. Otherwise stock. Huge difference getting suspension sorted. For me, settings are very sensitive and took forever getting close to perfect. But once do, very controlled, predictable and just can't ask for better. Well, ohlins might make so but fine tuning gets to where I no longer feel it can get much better. With suspension working just so, everthing just seems to fall into place. Braking, shifting, turn in, exit. All good. Only major complaint is there always seems too much traffic and never enough pavement to ride. It goes without saying that it's fast but that's not what makes this bike such a great street/sport tourer. It's it's effortlessness, no fuss, any condition/road, do it all ability.

    05 September 2011

  • Early views

    tman39a

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    just got an 09' model after 4 yrs on a Gen 1 Busa.......so far it is lighter to control, faster and better in the wet.....but engine low down aint that smooth and theres no onboard storage of any kind....engine is less vibey and a bit more economical...its early days but so far happy with the change.

    21 May 2011

  • Just brilliant!!

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    2 years and 11,000 miles later...it's time to give my silver ZZR1400 a review. Let me start with the negatives first... The part of the fuel tank under the seat is prone to corrosion. Keep it covered in ACF50 and then everything's fine. Erm... I guess that's it! It has been 100% reliable. Great build quality. Rides and handles brilliantly after the suspension has been set-up for your weight. The engine is just stunning. I've never been on a drag strip, so I'm still to reach it's limits. Absolutely shed loads of torque torque and more torque. 80mph is just 4k rpm, and returns a 180+ mile tank range, comfy, confidence inspiring, (relatively) forgiving, fantastic brakes, oh and did I say it was fast as ****? If you're reading this review and wondering whether to buy one...look no further, just go put your money down.

    01 April 2011

  • What a bike

    blue200tdi

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I've just bought an 07 ZZR1400. What a bike, my god I thought my ZX10r was fast but this thing is just in another league. The engine is so smooth, just roll on the throttle in 6th gear at any speed and it just keeps pulling like a train. 150MPH on the way home no problem (71mph honestly officer)It's friendly round town and the weight keeps it smooth and planted in bends. Very comfy, with loads of room, I'm 6' and have no trouble. This bike is immense, if you want a bike that is fast and comfortable, this is the bike for you. Ok, ZX10's and the like will out corner you, but you'll catch up on the straight bits with out any trouble. If you're thinking of buying one, buy it, you won't regret it.

    17 March 2011

  • lived up to expectations!

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I took a bit of a gamble on buying this bike, I saw one of the last black models with gold wheels at the old price and prior to the vat increase. My Blackbird had served me well but was 10 yrs old now, snow and ice meant a much shorter test ride than I would have liked. First impressions were this was a bike designed to fulfill a number of roles. A sporty riding position, but not extreme as my mates blade.The engine was a revelation, I thought my Blackbird was smooth and had power but the ZZR is in a different league. Initial acceleration is rapid but get into the mid range and it really takes off, you either run out of road or bottle it. Overtakes are a dream and the combination of smooth engine and a slick gearbox ensure progress is rapid but controlled. Plenty of room for pillions and luggage, but my Autocom used the last of underseat storage space. Another nice suprise was the buld quality, huge improvements in all areas and definitley up there with Honda now,the clocks are fabulous with a mix of digital info on consumtion and fuel range etc which I find useful! this is my 5th Kawasaki and I have no regrets buying the ZZR. Handling, power, stability, looks, brakes, this bike ticks all the boxes and a trip to France in summer beckons, I can't wait to give this bike a good workout. This is not a bike for novices or those with poor anger management skills though, I have had to recalibrate my riding as everthing happens so much quicker now, when compared to my Honda. I am glad I bought my ZZR and my gamble has paid off, I have no hesitation in giving this bike full marks in all departments, one hell of a bike.

    04 March 2011

  • zzr1400

    KENNY NASH

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    i bought a 08 zzr 1400 and i have just got back from a 3000 mile european tour through france , switzerland, and spain , the bike was immense and extremely comfortable and practacle, and for a big powerful bike fantastic on fuel, it carried me and my luggage all over without any hassle and with great ease , this has to be the best bike i have ever owned, i have had a blackbird, hiyabusa and a sprint st , this is the best bike ever, a real credit to kawasaki , they have produced a real class leading sports tourer...:-)

    17 May 2010

  • The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3

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    To date (2010) there are really two flavours, pre-2008 and 2008 onwards with one big difference. Early (06/07) models have gutless low down caused by Kawasaki restricting them to make them easier for new riders, somehow having CG125 power up to 6,000 rpm, then immediately exploding into a ZX10R on steroids made them safer? From 2008 Onwards this was fixed, but early bikes can be easily sorted if you remove secondary butterflies and fit a Power Commander, this costs a few hundred quid so be aware if looking at used bikes. Every owner I know who has done this rates it as the best mod they have ever done to any bike. Some early ones were re-called due to frames cracking where the engine mounts had been overtightened in the factory, should all be sorted now but wirth checking if you have 06 / 07 or are planning to buy one. Generally they are quite good out of the crate: Later models or flyless early ones are mega grunty from 3,000rpm upwards, even two-up with luggage you rarely need to go above 6k or drop more than a gear or two for overtakes. Early ones with flies in are very flat and often need 3-4 downchanges when overtaking - very tiresome. Handling is OK for a big bike, but can be made much better, they are better than ZZR1100's and such like but the front end is a bit harsh and the rear struggles with two people especially if you tour with luggage. I had my forks and shock re-sprung and revalved and it became a different bike, cost about £500 but improved handling, feedback and comfort immensely. Felt about 20kg lighter afterwards, much closer to sportsbike handling. Everything else is OK, clocks etc work well, comfort is pretty good, some serious mile munchers add bar risers, taller screens and Gel Seats but compared to any sportsbike it is a sofa. Reliability is generally OK but there are some common issues, early bikes could leak oil from head or balancer shaft area, discs warp repeatedly, the Kawasaki ones are awful and can go in as little as 3,000 miles, I am on third set in under 10k - once warranty is up replace with aftermarket items. Top fairings can crack around screws where lowers meet up as screws are so close the edge, look out if buying and be very careful when removing / refitting panels. Tanks can rust under the seat, keep clean / dry and apply something to protect them. I have been abroad quite a bit two-up with luggage, with the lowdown power sorted it was very good but suspension struggled first time on the roads of the Pyrenees, especially when loaded. Second Euro-trip involved reworked suspension and the handling was excellent, bends could be enjoyed even with two people and full (hard Luggage) Stable wallow free handling with stacks of feedback - perfect. Generally a very good bike let down a bit by a few niggles, but they are very easy to sort and can be massively improved quite cheaply making early ones a bargain. Running costs are HUGE, Service every 3750 miles, minors are about £200 and Majors (every other) over £300 at stealerships. OE tyres are poor, fronts feel vague and many owners get well under 2,000 miles from rear, I shredded two in under 3,000 steady (ish) mainly touring miles. Better rubber will see 3-6k depending on "Style", Roadsmarts and BT-021's are popular as all round tyres. loads more info on www.zx14r.co.uk

    11 April 2010

  • Try a test ride

    nailitdotcom

    Average rating rating is 5

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    A great bike- smooth and with heaps of torque, great stability, easy to read at a glance uncluttered instruments and good views from mirrors (although everything in them soon becomes a micro dot!). ps Keep an eye out for what's up in the sky in North Wales- it's not the clouds I'm talking about!!!!!!!

    02 October 2009

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rampantarmadillo

rampantarmadillosays

"Instruments are very comprehensive and a genuine Kawasaki tank pad is available for the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400."

Who cares about genuine tank pads? Where do they find these clowns?

19 October 2010 18:47

brianbrain

brianbrainsays

Cracking Bike

I got mine at the reg change over this year.

My previous bike was a modified ZX12R A1 which was to put it bluntly the most mad motorcycle ever made.

The Busa had legs on it until you hit the magic 3rd gear afterburner and anything post 120 it just blew everything away. I remeber chatting to a poor R1 victim at a pub post a demonstration of what quick really is but I digress.

To sum up this is by far the most sensible mad bike you can buy, it does everything so well.  Yes its does not have the low down grunt of a Busa, yes it wont go round corners like a Gixxr 1000, yes you cant cruise to the south of France with the same level of comfort as a lead wing but and it is a HUGE but if you want a bike you can go out and do 300 miles on get off have a cuppa and then hpp back on and trash round a track put your sane head on put your bird on the back and drive home again this is the one for you.

I fortunately never had the miss fortune to ride the "Thought Police" 06 - 07 Bikes and had to suffer the butterfly effect so I can only comment on the 2009 bike which is biblical.

The brakes are out of this world and that is in comparison to a full WSB replacement set up on the 12.

The Fuel usage is frankly mad on a bike that will go this fast I am not a slow rider and I get over 40MPG combined fun and normal riding.

The comfort (6Ft4 26 stone and shrinking) is excellent and the protection from the elements provided by the fairing are veyr good.

However its not all good.

The storage is erm well there isnt any but I am happy because the ABS does work a fair trade off.

Stock tyres are a joke they get you to the shop and back as long as its close. Fit Avons 3000+ with tread left.

Top End power I dont care what anyone else says it suffers from lack of puff once you are getting there. Time for a Power Commander and custom map.

Stock Exhaust I was not aware I was buying a Scania Truck exhaust system. Replaced with a excellent Two Brothers slip on in Carbon set up.  Sorry Ackprovic as nice as your set up is £1250???????)

A few other points that you may want to consider. 

The Mud Guard fowls a paddock stand so its best to loose it with a tail tidy.

The George Formans are butt ugly and nasty plastic and do require replacement with Carbon Fibre

FIT a radiator Guard as a replacement rad is £500+ not including fitting.

Would I buy another one Damn Skippy I would it is easily the best overall does everything nutter package out there.  Best thing is you dont have to tell everyone they made it like that because its aerodynamic (poor Busa owners).

24 July 2009 17:26

madbiker1000

madbiker1000says

zzr1400/zx14ninja

put in a pwr commander,a full tyforce ex'system,double bubble screen, lose secondry butterflys n well fastest by far luvit yes i do!

02 March 2008 22:57

aZooZa

aZooZasays

New 2008 Busa and ZZR1400

So, how is this going to play out? I was convinced that I was going to get a ZZR1400 until the 2008 Busa appeared. Just waiting to see what the ZZR will pull out of the bag after the Paris show. I have always been a Kwaka man but the Busa in orange looks fit as does the on-board video on here of it screaming around the Salzburgring. I can't make my mind up.

29 September 2007 20:19

tullizzr14

tullizzr14says

21 September 2007 17:31

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