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Old 06-02-2014, 05:57 AM   #1
Gasolinejunkie OP
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Where are all the widow-makers gone?

We all ride big road bikes to scare us, at least I do.
I love the feeling of pinning the throttle in second while the front wheel hovers just enough for the bars to feel weightless, I like the rear wheel kicking out between shifts and more than anything else I love hanging on for dear life while I accelerate from 0-100 faster than any yellow Lamborghini can dream of.

For a few years I had an 06 Honda Blackbird which did everything right, never broke down and put a grin on my face every time I put the pedal to the metal, but I wanted more. I wanted a bit more soul and as much power as I could possibly get my hands on. I was pretty close to getting a turbo Hayabusa but for financial, reliability and commuting reasons I bought a 2014 Kawasaki ZX14r.

My first impression of the 14 was, wow it's light and it feels a lot smaller than it actually is. But in the first 500km I realized that it wasn't the fire breathing monster that all the reviews portrayed it as.
It's quick if I ride it flat stick over 7000rpm but how often do you ever get there on a road.
Under 7k it was docile as a water buffalo, even the Blackbird was more rev happy at road speeds.

This aggravated me greatly and I began researching reasons why an old ZX12r was so much more of a handful than it's bigger brother. Turns out that these new bikes are 'tuned' to be ridable which means a second set of electronic throttles that stay closed till 7000rpm, retarded ignition timing down low and a whole heap of other safety maps.
Why this lunacy??? I hear cries from the enemy camp too. The K5/K6 Suzuki GSXr1000s told you who's boss, the newer ones with three riding modes was a tooth fairy compared to the older bike.
Official information is, they're made to be more ridable and handle better - why not make smaller bikes then??
And word on the street is pollution and noise emissions are taken under 7000rpm and these bikes are programmed to behave there.

Whatever it might be, I want more from my 20 grand that fancy reviews and a chick magnet. I've installed a Woolich Racing chip that I'm still working on, to turn off the safety maps and get more mid range out of the bike but if it doesn't deliver am I better off selling it and getting a K6 GSXr or an early Busa?
And what is you're opinion about this? Anyone else feel the same about their new bike? And what do you riders like more - crisp acceleration or the assurance of safety maps & rider aid holding you back from your bike's potential?
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:34 AM   #2
bk brkr baker
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You could write to KHI and explain that their offerings are to mild and that you would like the Supercharged 1400cc mill from the watercraft slipped into a ZX14 just for you. Remember to say ,"Pretty please."
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:36 AM   #3
torags
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My widow maker...

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Old 06-02-2014, 08:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torags View Post
My widow maker...


That bike sucks.

You should totally just give it to me. I will ride it for you and spare you the shame of having to ride it yourself.

No, no, no need to thank me, I'm just acting out of compassion for a fellow rider.

I'm helpful that way. It is a totally selfless act of generosity.

No, really.

Let me help you.

Just ship it to me.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
LuciferMutt
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As long as the nanny state requires manufacturers to put limiters on motorcycles, the aftermarket will be there with a solution to modify, remove or over-ride it. Thank god for that.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
jules083
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I kind of like my 14. My dad has a 2004 GSX-R 1000, hate to say it but it's almost too much.

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Old 06-02-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
RCmoto
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I don't have any experience w/the ZX14, but it sounds like you haven't successfully uncorked it yet?

Financially I can't afford more than 1 bike right now, and will end up having to sell my 07 ZX10 soon. It will be a sad day as I always come back from a ride on it shaking from the rush it gives me, while a little bit scared Getting older I'm trying to make the wiser decision and not become one of those widow maker stats
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:41 AM   #8
Contevita
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I noticed you only mentioned I4 motors, have you tried some of the new vtwins such as the Ducati, KTM and EBR?
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:37 AM   #9
DSTEVENS
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I thought the newest ZX14 was fastest bike on planet Earth as far as production models go? After reading post I am disappointed D.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:55 AM   #10
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For me, riding a sports bike through the mountains around here is an exercise in futility, unless you count doing 3 mile wheelies down the interstate. A 600 is a great choice and a liter bike is really a waste of power.

But my personal preference is to uncork the bike. However, I can see that a lot of riders really need a neutered mid-range to keep them from ending up on their heads just past an apex.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:41 AM   #11
Gasolinejunkie OP
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycb2bSltg0g this video explains my point

Thanks for the info guys, I'm new on ADV rider and I'm blown away by how understanding and informative everyone are.
On the Kawasaki forum I copped a fair bit of heat over this discussion because people didn't want to talk about flaws on their bike and preferred to keep their head in the sand while bragging about riding the fastest bike in the world.

I'm still trying to decide weather to sell it and get a K6 GSXr / something similar or keep it and mod it to do what I want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
You could write to KHI and explain that their offerings are to mild and that you would like the Supercharged 1400cc mill from the watercraft slipped into a ZX14 just for you. Remember to say ,"Pretty please."
I believe Kawasaki applied for a US patent (or permission, I can't remember) to make a 1400cc supercharged mill so I presume the next generation ZX14r will come with a blower.

I have thought about forced induction, there are plenty of turbo kits from $4000. 3psi boost is supposed to be safe for everyday riding and it should give another 50 horsepower.

However my problem isn't power, it's power delivery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCmoto View Post
I don't have any experience w/the ZX14, but it sounds like you haven't successfully uncorked it yet?
You're right, I haven't. But I'm working on it. I first did a bit of work to get the inlet & exhaust to flow better.
This week I'll change my fuel maps and that should make it ride better. At the moment I'm calculating fuel consumption and mixture settings so I'll know how much I gain or lose after playing with the mapping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSTEVENS View Post
I thought the newest ZX14 was fastest bike on planet Earth as far as production models go? After reading post I am disappointed D.
You're disappointing reading my post?? Imagine how disappointing I would be after buying one. Hahah
Actually it's not that bad, it is the fastest bike in the world but it's too controlled. It's a bit like a BMW, and I want a Mustang!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Contevita View Post
I noticed you only mentioned I4 motors, have you tried some of the new vtwins such as the Ducati, KTM and EBR?
Now you're talking! I only thought about this after I bought the 14. I always liked I4 motors so didn't think of anything else before I bought the bike.
I've ridden a few Ducatis but didn't love them enough to want one.
I'm beginning to think I should've got a Buel.

However, I hear that with the newer Ducati Panigale in order to chase horsepower figures the stroke was shortened, which made it rev faster. So on a track it was great but they weren't as much fun on the road.
I did ride a few snappier bikes that I was considering like the Z100R & Speed Triple, they weren't torquier they were just geared lower.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post
For me, riding a sports bike through the mountains around here is an exercise in futility, unless you count doing 3 mile wheelies down the interstate. A 600 is a great choice and a liter bike is really a waste of power.
I believe 600s are geared for the track, I do a lot of touring too so I like the torque of the big 4s. But hey, each to their own.

I'll keep you all posted after I get some ECU work done to the bike

Gasolinejunkie screwed with this post 06-03-2014 at 06:50 AM
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:11 AM   #12
Crilly
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You want torque. EBR should have it. Different cams might help.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:27 AM   #13
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Not really a fan of the term "widow maker". I had a K5 GSXR-1000 and a 1999 Hayabusa. Both very fast bikes. I just took home a KTM 1290 Superduke a couple of weeks ago and it is an impressive bike. Yes, it is ride by wire and has electronics to tame it, but those can be turned off. Also the BMW S1000RR is insanely fast. So I don't see any problem.

BTW the KTM 1290 is a torque monster. Of the bikes I have owned previously the torque output reminds me of my 1999 Busa.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:48 AM   #14
trevorf
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THe one and only "Widow maker"!
They were called the "widow maker" not only for their speed but mostly because they handled like shite. Speed wobbles, terrible suspension, no brakes.
Wheelie monsters too!!
With all the brake and suspension, traction control etc of new bikes...you can hardley call them "widow makers" IMO


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Old 06-03-2014, 09:59 AM   #15
BrookTrout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasolinejunkie View Post
We all ride big road bikes to scare us, at least I do. ...am I better off selling it and getting a K6 GSXr or an early Busa?

And what is you're opinion about this? Anyone else feel the same about their new bike? And what do you riders like more - crisp acceleration or the assurance of safety maps & rider aid holding you back from your bike's potential?
My widowmaker is a Gen 1 Busa. It's never disappointed. Aside from the fact that I can never justify the full price of a new toy, I don't like any of the "extras" that come with the new stuff. I don't like traction control, tire pressure monitors, electronically adjustable suspensions, seat heaters, pleasure rings, or even ABS. I know that some of these are "safety" features, but I didn't buy the bike to be safe, necessarily. I just want to pull open the throttle in 6th gear at 70 mph and still pass a car in 2 or 3 seconds without finding the "right" gear. I think the era of old school widomakers is gone.
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