Well I suppose it depends on what you're looking for. No doubt the 10R is going to be a better handler, and I would be VERY suprised if the difference is 30hp... seems like the 10R is dyno'ing at 160 rwhp or so, and isn't Kawi claiming like 190 or so for the 14? Of course thats crank hp, so I'd imagine you're really looking at significantly less difference than 30. maybe 10 or so. I'd say if you like drag racing or sport touring (in very rapid fashion) the 14 is the way to go. If you like track days or running hard in the corners, then the 10 is probably the way to go. Either way the vast majority of either bike are probably going to be bought by people that really don't pursue any of the above, and I suppose that's just fine too.
To me the ZX14 is more about straight-line stability, comfort and speed. It's look has substantial presence, offering that big-bore bike look that the Hyabusa has. It's about bragging rights, being the most powerful bike. The ZX10R is more about being race-inspired with less comfy ergos, but better cornering flickability. I haven't seen the 14 in showrooms yet, but the ZX10 is incredible looking. I like the lamborghini yellow!
What gets me is what you guys never mention about these bikes with mega horsepower. The cost to insure them. My $20k + BMW R1200RT costs about $1k here in Texas to insure. The Kawasaki ZX-14 would cost me $4200 for the same coverage. My insurance company isn't quoting the ZX-14 so high just because it's a Kawasaki. The quote I got for the BMW K1200S was $4180. Do you folks with these bike just not get full coverage insurance? Do you all pay cash for the bikes? In case you're wondering I'm an MSF instructor and my last ticket was in 1988. The exuberant cost of insurance on these bikes really pisses me off because I wouldn't mind having a ZX-14 in my garage but don't have 12k to plunk down on the dealer counter so I'd have to get full coverage insurance. That is not an option. Not $4200 a year.
That baffles me as well, we've all seen 20 something squids on GSXR-1000's etc getting pulled over left and right. How in god's name do they keep insurance on the bike????? I ride a clunker that's paid for just because of the insurance.
And here I thought one was for running wide on turns and crashing hard, and the other was for running headlong into things and crashing hard. If this guy is worried about not having enough horsepower at 160 for the ZX-10, I think that both of these bikes will be used exactly like I described above.
Who is your insurance company? Are you sure they're legit? Did you tell them you live in Antarctica and only have 1 day a year that you ride down to the ocean to watch the penguins? Are you actually 400 years old with no tickets or accidents ever?
I've NEVER heard of anything less than about 3k for full coverage on a Busa...
My 2004 ZX-10R is $27/month for full coverage with a major insurance company. I'm 41 though. In a way, the insurance companies kinda do what the government won't - make it hard for younger inexperienced riders to buy expert bikes. As far as ZX-10R vs. ZX-14, they are completely different. I'm selling my 10 to get a 14 simply because I figured out I don't need to ride a race bike on the street to have fun. I wouldn't want to sacrifice the power or sure-footed handling though. 14 is BIG and comfortable relative to the 10.
Your insurance costs for Texas are way too high. I has very full coverage on my new ST1300 for $374 per year, that insurance company wants $570 for the same coverage for a 'Busa and $700 for a Yamaha R1 LE. I'm 54, completed MSF, not a ticket in 4 years, no accidents in 8 - live in urban area and report 10k annual mileage
Call BLUEBONNET in San Antonio - they handle like 6 different bike insurance companies and will get you fixed up cheap
Both bikes are very different from overall riding experience. I have a Hayabusa and K5 GSXR1000. The Busa is ridden on the street, touring, and occasional track use. The GSXR1000 is tuned for track and that is where it is ridden about 80% of the time. Very different experience on each bike. The Busa has tons of torque and is a smooth riding bike with decent handling. The GSXR is light-weight, quick, and agile that likes to go around corners fast. If you want a solid street bike with comfort, power(torque is best on the ZX-14), and a touring platform, I would pick the ZX-14. The ZX-10 will be bouncy on the street and less usable. By the way, you can probably go around a track at a decent clip on the ZX-14 so don't rule out its capability. But if you've got to have it all, then buy one of each.
Hmmmm, I'm running full coverage on my Blackbird, $500 deductables, 150k/300k/150k coverage. My last ticket was a year and a half ago, and I'm spending around $650/year with State Farm. Try several different agents: some will insure based on engine displacement as opposed to motorcycle type.
My buddy's CBR1000RR is $200 cheaper to insure than my Blackbird...