Kawasaki ZZR1400 will not be available after 2020

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Kawasaki have announced that the ZZR1400 will no longer be sold after 2020, 14 years after the first generation was launched in 2006.

The ZZR1400 was part of a generation of mad, large-capacity missiles and picked up where Honda’s Super Blackbird and Kawasaki's own ZX-12R left off in taking on the mighty Suzuki Hayabusa.

Kawasaki ZZR1400 bike reviews

At its launch in 2006, the ZZR1400 was the most powerful road bike money could buy. With an incredible 197bhp on tap, the bike would hit its limited top speed of 186mph with a gear to spare.

An update in 2012 meant an extra 3bhp and cemented the ZZR’s reputation as the king of speed, now with ABS, riding modes and traction control as standard.

Kawasaki ZZR1400 knee down

But with the more modern and cleaner-burning supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX taking on the hyper-tourer mantle in Kawasaki’s range, the ZZR1400 finds itself going the same way that the ‘Busa went last year.

Michael Neeves, has ridden many ZZR1400s in his time as Chief Tester at MCN, saying: "Cramped and surprisingly heavy on the wrists I never understood why the ZZR1400 was such a mecca for big riders or two-up touring. The brakes were never all that, either, especially when asked to haul up its not inconsiderable bulk.

"But for sheer, unrelenting acceleration, crazy top speeds and truck-like stability, nothing could touch it. A supercharged H2 has the same kind of performance now, but its power will never be as thickly spread, buttery or majestic as the ZZR1400's."

Martin Fitz-Gibbons has also spent time riding ZZRs in his time at Bike Magazine and MCN, adding: "I’ve two standout memories of Kawasaki’s ZZR1400. One is riding the 2008 bike with Suzuki’s Hayabusa, up and down the astonishingly glorious, infamously dangerous Ronda road (A-397) in southern Spain.

Kawasaki ZZR1400 and Suzuki Hayabusa

"For a day and a half the ZZR ran rings around the powerful-but-ponderous Busa, the Kawasaki’s lighter steering and faster-revving engine making it feel more engaging and alive.

"The other is covering three miles in a minute (averaging 180mph) at the Nardo Ring on the updated 2012 model. The way the ZZR1400 made obscene speed seem so lurid and yet so languid, then the next minute could vaporise its pegs mid-corner, might never have been bettered to this day."

Kawasaki ZZR1400 top speed at Nardo Ring

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Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Staff Writer, hick for life, two cylinders max