The 636 looks so-so. I mean really, another 600cc (or so) rocket bike with minor mechanical improvements, and BNG? Umm, wow, I guess. Squid bike. The ZX-14R pretty much lays down the gauntlet for the 'busa, at least that's what I assume. Pretty much a strip bike, no real world application. Heck, there isn't even a FIA superbike equivilent. I think the "cutting edge" has gone too far. At this point I'd like to see the major manufacturers hold power as is and focus their effects on making a bike as light as possible.
I agree -- I'm much more interested in the light bikes (upcoming supersingles, Triumph Scrambler, etc.). The Big Zed looks like a halo bike aimed squarely at the sandals/shorts/backwards ballcap crowd. And it's ugly.
What happened with the styling? Isn't it just as expensive to build a good looking bike? That cheese grater glued on the side was poorly thought out (ok, it helps make a black "Z" if viewed from the left side -- big deal). The front end reminds me of that horrible BMW cruiser/tourer thing -- too many holes.
Bottom line: Big Zed looks old, bloated and boring.
Where's the adventure bike? Wife just bought a BMW F650GS this year and is pestering me to buy a dual sport, Rode the R1200GS and didn't like it, ride a friends new V-Strom regularly and it's OK but don't like the chain. I really like the Ulysses, just waiting for my dealer to break their's in so I can test ride it. But how come Kawi, Yamaha and Honda are no shows. And I don't consider the KLRs or DRs in this category. I have dirt bikes already, I definitely want something more street oriented, so unless they coem out with something soon, it'll be an XB12x in my garage. BMW is supposed to be announcing a parallel twin derived from the K series sometime soon. Anybody know anything about that?
I wonder how long it will take for Suzuki to answer the challenge with a redesigned Busa? I mean, I was under the impression that development of hypersports bikes was kind of in limbo. No major changes to the Busa, Blackbird, or ZX-12 have ever been made.... and then, out of the blue, Kawi comes out with this thing.
Also notice that it didnt announce the 14 along with the new 650 and 10, it held it in reserve. Hell, it hasnt even officially been announced.
Suzuki still hasnt weighed in, officially, with its 06 models. I wonder if they'll be caught off-guard for a year until they can revamp the Busa, if they'll just ignore the 14, or if we'll see a revamped Busa in a week or two.
I also wonder if Honda might be holding announcement of its rumoured V5 blackburd/VFR hypersport in reserve until after the other manufacturers have played their trump cards.
I would really like to see a new Blackbird. My current ride is an 02 FZ1, which I really love for its practicality. It's fast, comfortable, and cheap. I don't have a real passion for it like I did the 97 XX that was stolen by s*****. Not that I'll have the money for a new bike if it comes out though.
As a life long big Ninja fanatic, I bought an '00 ZX-12R inspite of early warnings about it. It was a phenomenal motorcycle, but a flawed one. It was an unfinished product, obviously rushed to market without thorough development.
I hope the ZX-14R isn't like that.
But my greater disappointment with the 12 was the realization in the light of the GSXR1000 and others, inluding the ZX-10R, that this bike didn't need to be this heavy. Bikes of this category are an excuse for the manufacturers to be lazy about weight control. I am large and tall and appreciated the 12's spacious ergos, and accept that the power and space had to make it a bigger bike than the 1000s, but it weighs 540lbs wet. thats just sheer laziness on the part of engineers. Now it looks like the ZX-14R is also going to be a fat pig.
It would serve Kawasaki right if suzuki came in with a rival that under cut the 14 by 75lbs. I am not looking for a 1000cc class type featherweight. I do want real world comfortable ergos and wind protection. But I am not convinced that these bikes need to be this heavy and this big to give me that.
I will get excited about the ZX-14R if its significantly lighter than the 12, doesn't take as much muscle to get it to change direction, is lots more flickable, isn't top heavy, has spot on throttle behavior, and has a perfectly refined and smooth engine with no harshness and nasty vibes.
nearing 20 years as a kawasaki fan, I have now lost the need to forive kawasaki its sins. Do it right if you want my respect. The ZX-14R looks huge and heavy, so I am not holding my breath.
PS. look at its swingarm. it looks primitive compared to the arm on the 6 and 10. I don't know what it means in technical terms, but it does look like the ZX-14R is making do with "good enough" because they haven't bothered to make it a respectable trackbike. what about those mufflers?
The ZX-14R is depressing me because it looks like Kawasaki is sticking by the rules of the uberclass:
high horsepower, heavy, far from cutting edge chassis because these things are "for straight line bragging rights anyway".
THe low handlebars and windscreen look like its not going to be particularly brilliant in terms of comfort either.
so lets face it. its a bike for the drag strip and for people who want to know or be seen to be riding a top dog.
Geez,why not just put a JATO[jet assisted and takeoff rocket] on these bikes and let all the new kids break the sound barrier,like the fool who put a jato on top of his car in arizona.The car actually took off from the ground.and smacked into a canyon wall.