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Old 02-26-2012, 07:00 AM   #1
motoracer51 OP
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Torn between 2 bikes - ZX14R and BMW S1000RR

My situation:

I live in western Colorado. My last new bike was my 2000 RC-51, and although it was a neat bike, it wasn't the arm pulling rocket it was trumped up to be. I've been lusting for a new bike. I want something that will accelerate almost violently putting a smile on my face when called upon.

In this region it's mostly straight roads and hardly any tight twisties. We do have some decent curvy sections, but they are higher speeds, and the risks are great - usually a cliff or armco rail. There is quite a bit of long, straight roads out of the valley here to get "anywhere". There is also a slight possibility of doing some track days at Miller Motorsports Park. I raced from 1995-2000, so the track environment isn't all that unfamiliar to me.

More than likely, the bike will be for spontaneous jaunts of a few hours or less. With a business, wife, house and newborn, I don't have the free time to go on epic multi-day rides. I'd like to get the wife on the back ( ZX would be better I guess in this situation), but there is a chance that she will not be interested in it, or we just won't be able to both get enough free time to take off together. I also have a KTM 950 Adventure as a two -up mount.

I want something exciting, but also comfortable and nice looking. I'm 145lbs, so the weight of the big ZX worries me. The torque is what attracts me to the bike, along with the almost sport touring comfort. Being an ex racer, the BMW S1000RR is the ultimate race bike for the street.

I know that the two bikes are in different categories, but I also think that what my criteria is almost touches both categories equally. On one hand, I want the fastest, most powerful race bike for the street. I think this comes from my racing years, and always wondering what it would be like to ride a Superbike. The BMW S1000RR is a factory Superbike (power at least ) of just a few years ago. The thought of possibly doing a track day sounds like fun. On the other hand, hopping on the ZX and just rolling on and feeling the 120 ft/lb of torque sounds like it would be exhilarating and make the bike easier to ride.

I'm hoping that some one here will have ridden both and can give me an accurate opinion about how the two compare


What would you buy?
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:26 AM   #2
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I ride a BMW K1300S, so I'm a fan of the "hyper" sport tourers, or whatever they're calling the ZX/Busa/KS now....

But having said that, of the two you specified, it would be the s1000 hands down.

I've never ridden the new ZX, but it sounds like manic power is what that bike is all about. I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed.

I HAVE, however, ridden the RR, and it's a staggeringly fast, intuitive, living and breathing thing. It - in my mind - is the perfect bike for the rides you described. It doesn't have the visceral "character" of, say, a Ducati. But it's hard to imagine a bike that is more fun to ride.

IF you think your wife might have some interest - neither would be my choice. Too scary (for her).

Good luck! Great choice to have to make, IMO.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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The riding position of the S1000RR is extremely sport oriented, my back was aching after half an hour of riding it, I couldn't enjoy the ride.

You might want to have a look at the Ninja 1000, which is a sport bike purpose built for the street. Gobs of torque at all speeds, wheelies at 100 mph and a more comfortable riding position. If nothing else, check it out when you're checking the ZX14R, which is a lovely bike, but getting up there weight wise.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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If the riding position isn't a problem and ya don't have a passenger the S1000rr is my choice. Super fast and waaaayy lighter than the zx14r. But really if ya are just bombing down straight roads with big sweepers the zx14r has more than enough grunt to rip your arms off and will do it in relative comfort, even two up. Really two very different bikes, your call???
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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I will completely disagree with the other posters and say that for your usage, the ZX14 seems like the hands-down obvious choice. I've ridden neither, but the differences are obvious. The ZX14 gives up road course capability precisely to be able to do what you want to do: higher speed, less twisty, road rides. The BMW is not at all designed for this kind of work. Modern sportbikes are so good that you can ride them almost everywhere, but that doesn't make it the right choice.

Frankly, if I was in the market for a S1000RR-ish bike, I'd just buy a slightly used R1/1000RR for like half the price and 99% of the performance. For non-pro-race use, the difference will be completely lost on all of us, and it's not like you pay for visceral character and soul, it's just a BMW copy of the Japanese bikes with 0.5% more "everything."
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321 View Post
I will completely disagree with the other posters and say that for your usage, the ZX14 seems like the hands-down obvious choice. I've ridden neither, but the differences are obvious. The ZX14 gives up road course capability precisely to be able to do what you want to do: higher speed, less twisty, road rides. The BMW is not at all designed for this kind of work. Modern sportbikes are so good that you can ride them almost everywhere, but that doesn't make it the right choice.

Frankly, if I was in the market for a S1000RR-ish bike, I'd just buy a slightly used R1/1000RR for like half the price and 99% of the performance. For non-pro-race use, the difference will be completely lost on all of us, and it's not like you pay for visceral character and soul, it's just a BMW copy of the Japanese bikes with 0.5% more "everything."

This.

I COMPLETELY glossed over/didn't notice the "straight roads" portion of the OP's description after reading "Colorado". The ZX was designed for roads like yours. Take it for a test ride if you can, and report back. After reading all the magazine reviews of the thing, I'm interested to hear some real-world reports.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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I'm ordering a 2012 Black ZX14R tomorrow. I imagine it will be a few weeks before I get it and its decent enough to ride, but I'll certainly share my opinion!
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hank.SD View Post
I'm ordering a 2012 Black ZX14R tomorrow. I imagine it will be a few weeks before I get it and its decent enough to ride, but I'll certainly share my opinion!
Looking forward to hearing what you thin of the new bike. I'm sure the performance will be breathtaking. Good luck keeping your license.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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I used to have a rc-51 too. If you found the ergos on it ok, then the s1000rr. If not, the zx14r.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank.SD View Post
I'm ordering a 2012 Black ZX14R tomorrow. I imagine it will be a few weeks before I get it and its decent enough to ride, but I'll certainly share my opinion!
Sweet! Looking forward to hearing your reports.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:00 PM   #11
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Based on your described usage, I think you will be much happier with the ZX-14. Don't discount 'Busas, either.

The SS will be fun for the two corners but you will be bored to death getting there, plus you won't be nearly as comfortable. You say you raced for 5 years, so why would you want to ride what is essentially a race bike on the street? You should know better than most that you won't be able to exploit anything close to its capabilities on the street and will get bored with it until you take it to the track which will happen, what, several times a year at best?

The ZX, in your situation, sounds like it will be more fun more of the time. Nothing wrong with tracking that bike if the mood hits you anyway.

Yes, it's a heavy bike but you're an experienced rider. You'll be fine.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoracer51 View Post
My situation:
...
More than likely, the bike will be for spontaneous jaunts of a few hours or less. With a business, wife, house and newborn, I don't have the free time to go on epic multi-day rides. I'd like to get the wife on the back ( ZX would be better I guess in this situation), but there is a chance that she will not be interested in it, or we just won't be able to both get enough free time to take off together. I also have a KTM 950 Adventure as a two -up mount.

I want something exciting, but also comfortable and nice looking. I'm 145lbs, so the weight of the big ZX worries me. The torque is what attracts me to the bike, along with the almost sport touring comfort. Being an ex racer, the BMW S1000RR is the ultimate race bike for the street.
...
What would you buy?
According to MCN, the ZX-14 has a 23ft/lbs torque advantage versus the S1000RR, but the S1000RR weighs 100lbs less (wet). From the saddle, the "feel" might not seem that different.

How about this. It's a warm June day. You've been given a pass to go have a blast. Hmmm...

- The De Beque Cutoff?
- CO 65 through the Plateau River Canyon?
- CO 65 over the Grand Mesa?
- CO 330 out to Collbran and beyond?
- Little Park Road?
- Douglas Pass?
- Sweeping CO 141 to Gateway/Uravan?
- Utah 128 to Moab?
- Colorado National Monument? Not cool to fly here.

Now, if these are your primary sporting destinations, which bike would you rather have waiting for you in the garage? If your intentions are (and frequently so) to go beyond these fine roads, like perhaps past the Grand Mesa, to McClure Pass or to the north rim of the Black Canyon, or farther, would your answer be the same?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BCC View Post
I used to have a rc-51 too. If you found the ergos on it ok, then the s1000rr. If not, the zx14r.
After 30mins to an hour, I hate the RC51. I'm hoping the BMW is better, but perhaps they're birds of the same feather?
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoracer51 View Post
After 30mins to an hour, I hate the RC51. I'm hoping the BMW is better, but perhaps they're birds of the same feather?
If you find 30 minutes on an RC uncomfortable due to geometry , then another race replica isn't going to provide you with much relief.

I'd find it hard to turn down an S1KRR, but your preferences and roads seem better suited for the big super tourers. And the handling isn't as bad as people like to proclaim. Getting your ass "totally" handed to you the second you hit some curves on a ZX or Hayabusa is user error.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:28 AM   #15
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Don't think for one second that the ZX14 will be lazy or 'gives up' anything in the corners. I have a wieght advantage (220pounds), so I could probably throw it around more so, but you can still wear the tires up to the edges. Compared to the S1000RR it might not handle as well, but that doesn't mean it won't be fun in some twisties. Remember it's still a 57" wheelbase (s1000rr is 56) and a 23 degree rake (bmw is 24 degree). And it has fully adjustable suspension.

People do trackdays with the ZX.
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