Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R: Long term review
“So you’re the guy on the 14R!”
Yup, I’m the guy! I had a mid-life crisis, got myself the big green missile and two weeks after getting it road registered I sent it to the Chennai race track to do the California Superbike School. Not the most sensible ride for the CSS you’d say but, as the coaches said, “you’re not going to ride an Apache on the road, are you?”
I’ll be honest, the first session on the 14R, I was scared as hell. The bike has massive power. And it is massive. Compared to the RR 310 I rode last year, this one is a whale and I whined about how it would not turn. Turns out, if you apply the CSS drills, any bike will turn. And once I got over the fear and started tipping it in I found out that the 14R corners beautifully, though there isn’t much you can do about the Daytonas overtaking you round the outside on C7. I ate them up on the straights though.
Over three days at the CSS, I got more and more comfortable, so much so that I had it on full power and traction control at level 1, opening her up hard, leaning her into corners and generally having the best time I’ve ever had on a bike at the track. The great thing about the 14R is that it is supremely comfortable and my body wasn’t screaming in agony. Actually scratch that. The great thing is the power. It’s faaaaast. Stupidly fast. It’s hard to put into words the thrill of unleashing 200 horses (gulp!). It’s also massively torquey and you can do the entire MMRT in third gear – straights and C10, the slowest corner. And since it is (still) bog stock it hardly makes any noise while rocketing down the straight, something that the 8-year-old in me will address soon enough.
Before that the Battlax’s are finished and I have a set of Michelin PP5’s on the way.
Price when new: Rs 19.7 lakh
Km clocked this month: 430km
Fuel efficiency: 13kmpl
Repairs: Front brake pads
Cost incurred: Rs 6,000
Running total: Rs 9,200