Motorcycle Review of the 2007 Kawasaki ZX14

roadtest

Dave Hatch | Host 

david-hatch-whistle

 

2007 Kawasaki ZX14 Motorcycle Review

2007-ninja

First we start the show with our ride of the week – a 2007 Kawasaki ZX14 Ninja…WHATS THAT YOU SAY? Did you just say we’re going to look at 2007 model in a year when Kawaski just launched an all new ZX14? Well you heard right because this week our roving reporter Paul Kaunert insisted that we show off the motorcycle he currently uses. Why should you care you ask? Well Because Paul ordered this 2007 model from Kahuna Cycle in Toronto right after road testing the 2006 model here on the show. Paul tossed off his previous set of wheels a Hyabusa and fell helmet over boots in love with the Kawi’s, fuel injected 1352 cc inline 4. Bolted to a steel frame sporting fully adjustable suspension pieces including a 43mm inverted cartridge fork with duel semi floating 310 discs. Now sure at the time this big bore Ninja was one of the most powerful street legal motorcycles on the planet. Bone stock it could easily crush the quarter mile in under 10 seconds, but Paul loved this motorcycle for another reason. He saw potential, a blank, or in this case metallic blue, canvas if you will – an opportunity to make this Ninja his personalized street weapon of choice. And that’s something he wants you to consider the next time you go shopping for a new motorcycle.

David Hatch
Now Paul, four years ago we invited you out to be on the show to road test a new ZX14 and as you wrapped up you said, I love this bike so much I’m going to buy one. And I was like, yeah sure. Bu you actually did.

Paul Kaunert
I did and it’s four years later and I’ve got over forty thousand kilometers on it. And I really enjoy the bike.

David Hatch

Yeah well I invited you back to be on because this looks a whole lot different, probably works a whole lot different than stock. And I guess the theme of this picture is, you know, if you buy a motorcycle you’re not necessarily stuck with what you buy, you can personalize it, so this is a great example of that. So let’s go through the motorcycle and look at some of the things you’ve done. For instance what did you do to the bike to fit you, to fit your body size?

Paul Kaunert
Well first of all I raised the bars an inch and a half. And that you can’t even tell that it was done. You rode it, it’s comfortable. I lowered the foot pegs an inch an a half and I got a gel seat from a Kawasaki Concourse – it’s an after market for the Concourse – but I changed the seat lock and it just snapped right into place. You can go 800 to a thousand kilometers a day on this bike. No problems.

David Hatch
Well I did take it for a spin earlier today and I got to say those three changes alone really made the bike more comfortable for me. That’s a really nice example right there. Now let’s get into the performance of the motorcycle. You know, we have these long cold winters. What a time to work on your engine. Clearly this aftermarket exhaust system is something you’ve purchased and it sounds awesome.

Paul Kaunert

I like the four and the two rather than the four and a one. It’s not quite as loud and you still get the breathing. And I got the KMC air filter and the power commander and I had it tuned on the dyno. Now these come very very restricted. And when I put those three things and had it tuned on the dyno it actually got better gas mileage on longer trips. Hard to believe.

David Hatch
Right.

Paul Kaunert
I got worse gas mileage on the track because of all that extra power. But it works very efficiently, it works well.

David Hatch
When you look at the bike, there’s some cosmetic things that you have done and you were bragging the other day, ‘I didn’t spend a lot of money doing it.’ Just show us some of the things…for instance this. This is not stock.

Paul Kaunert
Well you can buy aftermarket bolts for your tank. Uh they’re usually about thirty or forty dollars or you can take them out yourself and paint them with a spray bomb. For you know pennies. And that’s what I did. I also, you can spend thousands of dollars on wheels, five hundred dollars a wheel. It’s not impossible to spend. Now I spent a hundred and fifty dollars to polish the wheels, uh about two hundred dollars to paint them and I painted the roters as well just that colour. So you can do a lot yourself.

David Hatch
And they look trick. And match the bike.

Paul Kaunert
They match bike…they’re the stock wheels. You know, so there’s no safety issues.

David Hatch
There’s also some more polished pieces here.

Paul Kaunert
Yeah well this is off a Kawasaki Vulcan, it’s the same size oil tank so you just screw that on. This is your heel guard. That’s the stock heel guard. I had it polished for fifteen dollars. You’ve got the bar ends, which were black. I just had them the guy throw them in the chrome tank. That was twenty five bucks. Um. Lots of little things like that.

David Hatch
That stuff didn’t cost you an arm and a leg, what about these louvers here?

Paul Kaunert
I had those painted by a friend of mine. I guess they were a hundred bucks each. He matched the paint. He also did the wheels as well.

David Hatch
What about those protectors?

Paul Kaunert
These are the crash mushrooms. Now I got them from Great Britain. They are expensive but they’re real. A lot of crash mushrooms or frame sliders have a single bolt and are wiped off. And this has on the inside has a built aluminum, two bolts, it’s very strong. It’ll protect you know, your faring. It’ll protect thousands of dollars worth of faring.

David Hatch
Finally Paul, tell me about this image on the tail section. I’m surprised to discover, it’s not an airbrush.

Paul Kaunert
No it’s a decal and if you wanted to get an image like that airbrushed on your motorcycle it’ll cost you thousands of dollars and I got this decal, it’s an electronic image that you can find or come up with can be made into a decal and put onto your bike. It’s just limitless. [01:07:31:00] Um the story behind this decal: The bike is blue, and what’s blue? The sky is blue, there’s clouds in the sky, there’s wind and I thought of the story in 1274 the Mongols invaded the Japan and here’s a gentleman preying to the divine wind. Now the divine wind came in the shape of a typhoon and wiped out the Mongol fleet and the rest were hacked to death when they came to shore. And you know how you say divine wind in Japanese?

David Hatch
I would not know where to begin with that one, no.

Paul Kaunert
It’s Kamikaze.

David Hatch
Ah okay.

Paul Kaunert
So it’s kind of a double meaning.

David Hatch
Right. Very nice. I know you’re very proud of this motorcycle Mr. Kamikaze pilot because Cycle Canada featured it, what was it, last year?

Paul Kaunert
January 2010 it was a showcase bike.

David Hatch
We’re bragging. Hey great stuff, you’ve done a wonderful job, it’s a beautiful motorcycle.

Paul Kaunert
Well thanks to you I bought one.

David Hatch
Yeah hey there’s a positive.

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