Nice Day Ride, Including a Spin on a ZX-14 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 7:03 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Nice Day Ride, Including a Spin on a ZX-14

It was a really nice day in the Bay Area today and I took a ride with a couple of friends up through the Santa Cruz Mountains and out to the coast for lunch. Sunny skies, upper 50s - low 60s, road mostly dry, and very little traffic - That's what I like! This was the first real ride on my GS since putting it back together (rebuilt shocks, flushed and new brakes, Givi topcase, Rick Mayer seat, etc.) and it was a MUCH more comfortable and fun ride this time. It turned when it supposed to, it stopped way quicker, and my ass wasn't killing me after 60 miles! We rode up and over highway 9 in the mountains, then a bunch of little backroads to the coast then up to Gazos Creek for more twisty backroads. We had lunch at Duartes in Pescadero with a bowl of cream of green chile soup and a crab melt on sourdough, very tasty! Then more backroads to highway 84 (my favorite road ever), up to and across Skyline, then back to 9 and home. about 140 miles of high quality scootin', just what the doctor ordered!

My friend Nick has a Kawasaki ZX-14 that I had been itching to ride, so we swapped bikes for about 25 miles going up the coast highway. I don't think I can make the font big enough, but all I can say is
WOW!!

It's been a long time since I rode something that scared me (in a good way) and this little jewel did it. The first time I rolled the throttle on at around 60 I braced myself for the power delivery; it still almost pulled my arms out of the sockets, not to mention went thought 100 mph before I could even think about it. I passed a couple of cars and had a fairly long clear stretch with a gentle right-left at the end, so I stayed in it to get a little flavor for what it could do. I was in 6th gear doing 110, and the tach was showing 6000 rpms. This thing redlines at 11,000! I downshifted a couple of gears and rolled it up to around 8000 rpms (power delivery was just sick, it was absolutely awesome) and went through the corners somewhere just north of 135 mph, and the bike was smooth, stable, compliant, easy to handle, and just rock solid. Oh, and it was a BUNCH of fun, too!

And as good as the motor is, the brakes are just as impressive. He warned me to try them a couple of times before I really needed to use them. I rolled up to around 85 and applied 2 fingers of pressure, about what it takes and slightly more travel as it is to press a key on a keyboard. The speed dropped to about 50 in nothing flat. When I tried this again the same way at around 120, it had me back to 75 in about 2 seconds. You do NOT want to grab a handful of brakes on this thing at any speed, but they are the best brakes I've ever used on a bike. Couple all of this with a really comfortable riding position (sport bike-ish, but well done without putting pressure on your arms, very comfortable and would be for a long day) and it's a really excellent machine, one of the best I've ever ridden. If this is the package they're putting in the new Concours, watch out!

All in all we had a really fun day - good weather, great friends, excellent food, and fun bikes to play with (even got to ride Rob's Bandit for a while, he wanted to play on the GS)! We all agreed we need to do more of this, so I think we will.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
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post #2 of 14 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 9:06 pm
 
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Thumbs up

Sounds great Dave! Can't wait to get out there this Spring. And tell Nick that I wouldn't mind swapping him for a mile or two.
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post #3 of 14 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 9:12 pm Thread Starter
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He's planning on going to Cambria, so he'd probably let you pilot it for a stretch.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
AMA, BMWMOA
Booze Brother #4

The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!



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post #4 of 14 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 9:21 pm
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David last time I was up there I fell in love with the little town of Boulder Creek. We spent 4 days in the redwoods at Big Basin. Took the narrrow guage down to Santa Cruz and did the boardwalk. You guys have some of the best riding up there........

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post #5 of 14 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 11:26 pm Thread Starter
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I went throught Boulder Creek yesterday, Been camping a few times at Big Basin as well. Next time you're up thie way give a shout and we'll sample a few of the really fun ones.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
AMA, BMWMOA
Booze Brother #4

The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!



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post #6 of 14 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 5:58 am
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Thanks a lot, Dave.

A few bikes previous, I had a ZX-10 in my stable. I've always regretted selling it but managed to hold the feelings inside. When Joe (Messenger13) sold his ZX-11/12(?) I thought I could finally put it out of my mind once and for all.

Then I read your post and BAM, like a 2x4 upside the head, my wanton lust for speed has come rushing back again! My wife is not going to be very happy with you!!!

Lurch
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post #7 of 14 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 6:03 am
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Nice Day Ride, Including a Spin on a ZX-14

Maybe the ZX-14 has the bed side manners that the Hayabusa never had?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #8 of 14 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 8:28 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
Nice Day Ride, Including a Spin on a ZX-14

Maybe the ZX-14 has the bed side manners that the Hayabusa never had?!
Hhmmnn... I understood the Hayabusa (Eye Abuser) to have good bedside manners. It was just heavy steering. From a guy I know (Bob Shammas) that knows bikes very well (a member of the 200+ mph club) he owns a (2) ZX-11 turbo's, a Hayabusa turbo, and now a ZX-14 that is about to be turbo'ed. He LOVES the ZX-14. His opinion of that bike is why I'm so hot over the coming Concours14. Of course, Bob never owned a BMW either.
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post #9 of 14 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 12:08 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch102
Thanks a lot, Dave.

A few bikes previous, I had a ZX-10 in my stable. I've always regretted selling it but managed to hold the feelings inside. When Joe (Messenger13) sold his ZX-11/12(?) I thought I could finally put it out of my mind once and for all.

Then I read your post and BAM, like a 2x4 upside the head, my wanton lust for speed has come rushing back again! My wife is not going to be very happy with you!!!
Don't tell her it was me! I have enough trouble keeping my wife happy; I can't handle yours, too!

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
AMA, BMWMOA
Booze Brother #4

The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!



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post #10 of 14 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 1:58 pm
 
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I think this signature look SOOO much better!!!

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post #11 of 14 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 2:15 am
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Hhmmnn... I understood the Hayabusa (Eye Abuser) to have good bedside manners. It was just heavy steering.

Some of the crotch rocket boys don't seem to like the 'busa's manners in the canyon.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #12 of 14 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 10:54 am
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I don't doubt the ZX-14 is an awesome bike. What I'd like to learn from those who own and/or know a lot about Japanese bikes is
... how do they make claims about power without publishing the specs?
"KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-14: THE WORLDS MOST POWERFUL PRODUCTION MOTORCYCLE ..." I didn't see a published HP spec. Hmmm, is their claim based upon one or two track races?
How does BMW's K1200S do against the ZX?
... not that this old man wants one, just curious.

Regards,
John
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post #13 of 14 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 11:49 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
I don't doubt the ZX-14 is an awesome bike. What I'd like to learn from those who own and/or know a lot about Japanese bikes is
... how do they make claims about power without publishing the specs?
"KAWASAKI NINJA ZX-14: THE WORLDS MOST POWERFUL PRODUCTION MOTORCYCLE ..." I didn't see a published HP spec. Hmmm, is their claim based upon one or two track races?
How does BMW's K1200S do against the ZX?
... not that this old man wants one, just curious.
Now don't go around confusing marketing hype with actual data, that's just wrong!! I don't think they publish the HP specs on the corporate site to avoid liability issues and having the safety-crats climb up their butts about making such a powerful bike. I noticed they don't publish them for any of their sportbikes. You can do an online search of motorcycle magazine tests and the general consensus is around 187 HP, with 195 - 200 HP with ram air assist. The K1200S falls short about 30 - 45 HP, depending on which number you use.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
AMA, BMWMOA
Booze Brother #4

The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!



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post #14 of 14 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 12:56 pm
 
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John,

Let's just say that comparing the Kaw ZX-14 and a BMW K1200S is ... well ... not comparable. They aren't in the same league. The 'S' is really fast. But the '14' is scary fast. It climbs to 150mph like most bikes climb to 80 or 100 maybe. Bone stock, it pulls the front wheel off the ground in just about any gear at will. I want one. I just can't afford one. Not while owning my GT.
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