Friday, October 23, 2009

2010 Kawasaki 1400 GTR riding impression


The much improved Kawasaki 1400GTR is a brilliant sports-tourer...

It’s been a terribly boring week. Nothing much seems to be happening at the Tokyo Motor Show – Kawasaki aren’t there, Suzuki are showing a fuel cell-powered scooter and Yamaha are showing a chassis wrapped in a bunch of rags. Indeed, apart from the Honda VFR1200F and CB1100 (both of which had already been unveiled before the Tokyo Show), nothing new or exciting seems to be happening this year. Guess we’ll have to wait for the EICMA in Milan next month for some real action…

In the meanwhile, Motociclismo recently had the opportunity to ride the 2010 Kawasaki 1400GTR, which comes with traction control this year. Here are some excerpts from what they have to say about Kawasaki’s hyper-tourer:

Thanks to the electronics, the 1400GTR has taken a big step forward this year. Kawasaki have listened to their customers and the result is that the bike now comes with second-generation ABS and a traction control system. The bodywork has been given a minor redesign for better dissipation of engine heat, the windscreen has been reshaped and its height has been increased by a bit, heated grips have been added, the glove compartment has been made more spacious and on-board computer can now be controlled via controls mounted on the handlebar.


The new 1400GTR’s chassis remains unchanged, but the suspension has been revised so that it works better with the bike’s anti-lock braking system. The new set-up works very well and is very communicative, and the bike feels very stable on the highway at high speeds. Of course, it’s a heavy bike (304kg claimed kerb weight) and you have to be careful with how you maneouver it at lower speeds and while suddenly braking hard.

Kawasaki’s K-ACT combined braking system, with ABS, works very well and with the bike fully loaded, provides powerful stopping performance from the twin 310mm front discs and single 240mm rear disc. While riding alone, however, and with the luggage bags removed (hence reduced weight), the ABS can be a bit more intrusive at times. The traction control also made a very positive impression – at no time does it cut in abruptly or suddenly interrupt the bike’s power delivery. It’s smooth and effective, allowing you to ride with more confidence on wet, slippery surfaces.

The Kawasaki 1400GTR’s 1,352cc inline-four remains perfect as ever – 155bhp and 136Nm of torque is a lot of power. But the engine is free from vibes and power delivery is smooth and consistent. Also, there is an eco mode that’ll help you get up to 10% better fuel efficiency, though performance suffers a bit. But it’s nice to be able to make that choice.

The new GTR will be priced at around 17,000 euros (US$25,500) and seems to be quite worth the money. Now the only question is if it’s a better sports-tourer than the new Honda VFR1200F. For that, you’ll have to wait for a few more weeks – a shootout between the two bikes should settle that one!

For the original article, visit the Motociclismo website here
 
A promo video for the new 2010 Kawasaki 1400GTR
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