KAWASAKI ZZR1400 (2006-2012) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Not only the fastest, most powerful motorcycle you can buy, but happens to be an extremely capable all-round machine too"

Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding

"Not only the fastest, most powerful motorcycle you can buy, but happens to be an extremely capable all-round machine too"

Overall Rating 5 out of 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

 

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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 Its builder says the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400's the first of a new generation of engines which owe nothing to the outdated ZZ-Rs of he past. 197bhp with ram air is an astounding figure.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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 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 group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

41 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZZR1400 (2006-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI ZZR1400 (2006-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

10 June 2016 by Steve

Fantastic bike. A true hyperbike and a good looking one too. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Better than most out of the factory on the suspension but a modest rework front and rear works wonders. No need to spend mega bucks getting Ohlins fitted.
Engine
5 out of 5
Rocket ship engine but the early ZZR's are choked a bit by the secondary butterfly valves which takes away grunt from this big engine at low revs. This is remedied using one of two methods. The original old school method is to remove the secondary butterflies and do some remapping but the more recent method is a full ECU remap that does not require the secondary butterflies to be removed as the ECU is coded to open them much earlier. i went with the full ECU remap on my 2007 ZZR and the difference is night and day. Forget about the horsepower what you want at the lower rev range is tourque which is what the remap gives you.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

ZZR1400 You don't need any other bike

03 June 2016 by Monk

Yes, excellent performance and presence. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
2 hours between breaks
Engine
4 out of 5
the 1352cc version lacks a little bottom end grunt. But to honest the rest of the rev range more than makes up for it. Driveability is not compromised.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Never broken down, however some exposed components could do with better protection, oil cooler, headers etc
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Not bad for such a powerful bike. Just tyres, brakes, plugs, oil and filter
Equipment
3 out of 5
This model lacks sensible bungee hooks (like those fitted to the zzr1100 c/d models), tyre choice is endless
Buying experience

Dealer, paid £5k, the advertised price (but they did fit new tyres and brake pads)

5 out of 5

Kawasaki zzr 100 let the good times roll

13 May 2016 by Bikerman

Where to start 10 years away from motorcycling for genuine reasons hadn't stopped me continually looking to see what I would like if the day came when I could afford another bike that day came and there was only one bike I wanted zzr 1400 never rode... Read more one, never saw one up close but allways admired from a distance. I love the front end, it's the stuff of legends, I travelled to Taunton from Cumbria to pick up the bike of my dreams and jesus the 350 mile journey home was a mixture of euphoria and trepidation in equal messure had I made a big mistake the first 100 mile I thought Yeh after a break the rest of the journey put a massive smile on my face which I've had ever since this is without doubt the best bike I've ever had the pleasure of owning by a mile big thanks to kawasaki purs like a big cat mile after mile

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Fantastic all rounder comfortable fast quiet economical
Engine
5 out of 5
Engine is sweet as a nut happy pottering in traffic or cruising at high speed
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Quality finish not allways the case in the past with kawis but the 1400 is spot on in every way
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
No more expensive than any other bike I've had
Equipment
5 out of 5
My bike is standard apart from rear hugger fender extender Bridgestone BT023s tyres I prefer new battery discs and pads in a year considering its 10 years old it looks and rides like new
Buying experience

Bought the bike private for £4450

5 out of 5

19 March 2016 by Stuart Carter

AS stated by others the bike is a little heavy to move around the garage but once moving gives a solid planted feeling on the road. It'll never match a sportsbike for handling but is far more comfortable and good for a couple of hours continuous... Read more riding between fill ups.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Cannot fault the ride quality in any way. Sometimes travel with a couple of sportsbike riders and it's always them who want to stop long before I find the need.
Engine
5 out of 5
Low speed requires the right gear and the right speed. Personally have no problems with this but once out on the open road it really comes to life. The engine seems bombproof. Stopping such a lump at high speed is done effortlessly as the Nissins do their work.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No issues whatsoever with paint or any other finishes. As long as its cleaned regularly and maintained properly I don't envisage any problems. Always starts 1st time but does clunk into 1st gear no matter how gently you try to engage it.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Tyres another £250 on Bridgestones. Servicing is done religiously whenever the time or mileage dictates.
Equipment
3 out of 5
The on-board computer is more than adequate. Storage is next to nothing. Otherwise I just love everything about it, always leaves me feeling positive after every ride.
Buying experience

Bought privately with very few miles on the clock. Showroom condition with a FSH. Advertised for £5500 but got it for £5100 cash.

5 out of 5

Best overall bike out there

27 January 2016 by Tony

Best bike I've ever owned by a mile!! It does it all from pulling your head off it's shoulders (0-60 in 2.5secs) to cruising all day at motoway speeds in comfort. My wife loves going on the back, we can be in traffic at 50 and just effortlessly twist... Read more the throttle in top to nip back up to 70ish. handling around corners is as good as most people would want to try, any faster and you should really be on a track!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brakes and build quality on the whole are excellent, watch out for warped front discs (warp due to very high temps cooling quickly) and the only other criticism is the seat, gives me bum ache after about 1.5hrs, better padding needed.
Engine
5 out of 5
Just awesome!!!
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Never hic-cuped
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I do my own servicing, so pretty cheap really, The price new is a tad high, but when you take into account how well they hold their price, it's not too expensive to swap.
Equipment
4 out of 5
By today's standards (2016) it's basic. I find Angle GT tyres are best, I've also fitted heated grips, bar risers, full Givi luggage and exhausts.
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer

5 out of 5

Awesome machine

20 August 2015 by Daz Atkinson

I cannot fault this bike's performance or reliability, think millenium falcon and Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, and you will be close, only build quality lets it down a little Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Great for cruising but not the comfiest, break every 100 miles or so, but i am over 50, bar risers and peg lowering kit a must for older riders
Engine
5 out of 5
smooth and bulletproof
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Rust around small components is the only let down, lever screws, brake line brackets, luggage hooks etc
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Never done main dealer service but easy enough to do small annual service at home
Equipment
5 out of 5
Beware putting sport tyres on unless ya can afford a new set every 2k miles or so, square off quickly, Pilot roads are good dual compound and give higher mileages
Buying experience

Bought privately for £5.2k when 4 years old

4 out of 5

Rapid

17 July 2014 by plumbgod

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... Read more 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

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

1 yr on update

11 March 2012 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

gentleman's express

05 September 2011 by piwake

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Early views

21 May 2011 by tman39a

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... Read more economical...its early days but so far happy with the change.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 41 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £10,613
Used price £4,300 to £8,700
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £300
Performance
Max power 197 bhp
Max torque 113 ft-lb
Top speed 187 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Specification
Engine size 1352cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium monocoque
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 215kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZZ-R1400 motorcycle review - Riding
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