Kawasaki 1400 GTR review: 600 miles in 24 hours. By Paul Hood — Cars and…

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Kawasaki Concours 14 / 1400 GTR

Kawasaki 1400 GTR review: 600 in 24 hours. By Paul Hood

In the Top Gun, Tom Cruise’s choice of transport was a Kawasaki GPZ900R. And it because he couldn’t afford a It was because the GPZ900R was the fastest sportsbike on the planet.

F-14 who rode the GPZ900R reckoned it was faster off the line and to 100mph a Tomcat on afterburner.

If like me, you the mighty GPZ900R, you’ll that Kawasaki has a long and history of building many of the most iconic and cutting-edge The Z1 in the 70’s, ZXR750 in the 80’s and the in the early 90’s — that re-wrote the sports rule book.

Kawasaki’s on building world-beating sportsbikes however mean that don’t have as much of a of producing sports-tourers. Kawasaki did a couple of shaft-driven touring in the 80’s, [the GT range] but the is undoubtedly best known for out out sports motorbikes.

So the 1400 GTR is an important bike. It Kawasaki’s re-entry into the popular sports-touring category an absence of almost 20 years.

The category is fiercely competitive. The ST1300 ABS, the Yamaha and BMW’s R1200RT are all evolutions of that have been in for at least 15 years. Kawasaki has got serious catching up to do.

To give a world’ review, I rode the as potential buyers will covering big miles over a of different roads in a short of time.

A 600-mile round from Colchester to Liverpool via the Cat Fiddle pass.

Here’s how I got on.

First impressions

The GTR is a stylish-looking bike. Despite physically imposing, (at 1400cc, the is the biggest engine in its class) it appears less bulky than some of the other in the same class (Honda’s and BMW’s R1200RT).

For a large it has clean lines with detachable panniers. The layout of the and switchgear is similarly clean and An LCD dash displays useful including fuel economy tyre pressures and a useful indicator.

A clever ‘keyless system offers enhanced plus the benefit of not having to about with an ignition

Motorway riding

The riding is very natural and the seat comfy indeed — well padded and supportive. The tall, electrically adjustable does a first-class job of cocooning the in an envelope of still air, windblast right over the helmet. It’s a plush, comfortable ride — impressive.

The real trump card of the is the engine. It’s an absolute A direct descendent of the engine powers the iconic ZZR1400, it is powerful, responsive and effortless.

It may had its power reduced from 200bhp to 155bhp, but that builds strongly from delivering instant torque translates to eons of immediate

Variable valve timing the power seamless and extremely Kawasaki’s long history of tuning large-capacity motorcycle is evident in this engine. Try as I — I can’t pinpoint a flaw in the way this engine 10/10

Kawasaki Concours 14 / 1400 GTR

The Cat fiddle pass for 15 miles between the Derbyshire of Buxton and Macclesfield in Cheshire. one of the most famous biking in the UK. A great mix of fast sweeping and tight hairpins, it is a good of the agility of a large sports-tourer.

The big Kawasaki performs well, the end in particular gives a good of feedback through the tighter The physical size of the bike is a reminder of the need to exercise but even pushing on doesn’t the bike.

We stop for a quick at the Cat Fiddle pub atop the moors and get chatting to a motorcycling veteran, racer ‘Doddy’.

Doddy to guide us down the final 5 of the Cat Fiddle pass, and sets smooth as you like, but at quite a aboard a 13-year-old VFR750. Doddy’s flowing lines on a CBR600RR, Matt Kelly an abundance of natural riding by keeping up well —hardly the brakes through the tight and turns.

And although the big Kawasaki can’t hold a perfect line the very tight turns, the powerful engine proves to compensate. This type of isn’t typical of the territory large sports-tourers will every day, but the Kawasaki well. 8/10

The 1400 GTR is a new entry into a competitive It’s a category that Yamaha and BMW have invested over a long period of honing flagship models.

been absent from the scene for so long, Kawasaki has no right to be fielding a class-leading at the first attempt. But that is what the 1400GTR is. A genuine

It cossets the rider, whooshing him on an effortless tide of instantly power. The 1400 GTR offers an ride. It goes, handles, and far better than a bike of size feels like it

The 1400 GTR has made the sports-tourer even more competitive. If in the market for a big sports tourer, the absolutely deserves a test

PRICE/AVAILABILITY: £11,699. On sale

POWER/TORQUE: 155bhp @ 8,800rpm / 100 @ 6,200rpm

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