MCN Fleet: Swapping ZX-10R for ZZR1400

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My ZX-10R has clocked up over 8000 miles now, so it’s been back to Kawasaki for another service. 

While the ZX-10R has been away I’ve hung on to a ZZR1400 we’ve been testing for a ‘fun tourers’ feature (expect to read that in MCN in a few weeks). It’s been interesting to compare two of Kawasaki’s fastest motorcycles.


The ZZR1400’s natural habitat is fast sweeping corners and dual carriageways. It’s devastatingly quick and loaded with grunt, but it has one of the smoothest engines and throttle responses of any production bike. It paints black tyre arcs into the tarmac every time you ask for the power and makes the ZX-10R seem asthmatic by comparison.

It’s a glorious engine to use, but it’s all too easy to stray into three figures when you’re not looking.

As you’d expect, it’s comfier than my ZX-10R and I’d have paid good money for the ZZR’s wide, generously padded seat on my big trips to the Sachsenring and Ibiza this summer. But the actual riding position isn’t too different – the ZZR still puts you in a superbike crouch, so it’s no roomier than my bike.

But the ZX-10R feels like a 250 in the corners next to the long and heavy ZZR and is much more fun to scratch on, but the Brembo brakes on both bikes share the same electronic ABS vagueness and inconsistency.

It’s nice to have my ZX-10R back, but I’ve got new-found respect for the suave, but brutal ZZR1400 after spending a few weeks with it. I think my licence has breathed sigh of relief, too…

If you want to read more on my ZX-10R updates click here


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