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Old 12-26-2008, 06:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thinking of buying a ZX-14, need opinions

First let me start off by saying hi

A little about myself. I have been riding for a little over 26 years now. My last sport bike was a 2001 Honda CBR 929RR. Loved the bike but was getting uncomfortable on 200+ mile rides. I have problems with my lower back. I parted with the bike a little over 2 years ago and have missed it since. While owning the 929RR I bought a Harley Davidson (HD) Soft ail Deuce in the summer of 2002 and since then have purchased a 2007 HD Road Glide (Bagger).

Over the past couple of months I have had my eye on ZX-14, BMW K1200S,Hayabusa, and the Concuors 14. I have tried to find a place that would rent the ZX-14 and have been unsuccessful in my searches. Sitting on the bike in the dealership with the salesman holding the front end for one minute tells me nothing. When I was looking at the HD Road Glide, I was also looking at the HD Street Glide. A four-hour rental on each bike was enough for me to make an educated decision.

I have narrowed the bike search down to the Zx-14 and BMW K1200S. The Hayabusa felt uncomfortable sitting on the bike ( I am 5'10" at 200lbs). The Concuors was boring to look at. I like the looks of the ZX-14 and the K1200S. The K1200S looks as though it will be eliminated due to lack of dealers and final drive problems. I work in law enforcement and all the motors drive BMW's. Several of them have experienced final drive failures and they just took delivery of 2008 bikes earlier in the year. To be fair they ride their bikes harder than a recreational rider would and they pile up the miles quick.

What am I looking for in the ZX-14:
- Better performance then my HD, I knew buying the HD that it would not be there but boy do I miss the power of my 929.
- Better handling
- Looks, which is subjective to the buyer. I have to say that I think the K1200S is the better looking bike of the two. Just my opinion.
- A fun bike to ride
- Things I wish the ZX-14 had, some storage capacity but I quess that is what a tank bag is for. (I need to take my lunch with me to work).

I am looking for any and all replies. I can get a great deal on a brand new silver 2008 Zx-14 but I like the looks of the 2009 ZX-14 limited edition (black/orange)

Sorry for such a long post.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!
I've had surgery on my lower back and the 14 is actually more comfortable for me. I never get sore or have any problems on longer rides. I've added the handlebar risers.
I also sat on the busa and found it uncomfortable. The Concours just didn't appeal to me, not at this time anyway. Haven't had any experience with the BMW.
Storage? If you find some, let me know.
I use a tank bag which works out fine and a back pack for longer rides.
Performance? Hope you can hold on.
I forget the price but someone else here just bought an 08 for about $9000. I bought a leftover 07 for $8600.
Good luck
And i love my bike, no regrets.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I Ride: 2007 ZX14, 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade 1400

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I'm 6'1" a bit 'fluffy' at 220 and traded in my GPz1100 for the 14. I,too, loved the idea of the style, the exclusivity, and the wow factor of the K-bike, and came close to actually pulling the trigger on one. However, what sold me on the 14, besides the great price, was the familiar feel of the bike, and the comfort of the whole package. I'm 52, have been riding for about 35 years, and with the simple addition of a bit taller ZG windscreen, a set of Gen-Mar handlebar risers, and a set of the Cordin peg lowering brackets, I have a ride that really fits me wonderfully--a sort of 'Gentleman's Express' if you will. About $200 in mods that made a great ride even more satisfying. I'm not the least shy now about triple-digit rides at triple-digit speeds. Take the 14 and pocket the cash you'll save.

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Old 12-26-2008, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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After spending 3 years on a 99 ZX7R it was time for something with a bit more comfort. The 7 was really cranked over in the rider position department. Loved the bike but on longer rides it was painful. I set out to look for another bike, I wanted more power and comfort. I also wanted the planted feeling the 7 had to offer. I ride with a bunch of newer 1000's. Rode most of them. Just felt to hyper. Found a black 2007 14 and after sitting on it for what seemed like hours at the dealer I traded in the 7 and have not looked back. What a bike. Since I was looking for comfort to go with the performance I installed a set of Heli bar risers and a double bubble. Now a 500 mile day is no problem, a bit of monkey butt near the 400 mile mark but not bad. The performance of this bike is truly amazing. Smooth as silk and everywhere. I added a full Akropovic race exhaust, pulled the secondary butterflies and added a power commander. With the power on tap there is no problem ridding around town at slower speeds and cruising is a breeze. Pull the trigger and let the best out and there are few that can keep up. There is a bit of a learning curve, getting used to accelerating that fast, and always hanging on. Not sure how Kawasaki is going to top the 14.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a friend who traded his beemer. Even though we live in a large metro area, He occasionally had to wait for parts for six weeks. That just doesn't happen with a jap bike.

When I bought mine, I had my choices narrowed down to an R-1, 14, busa, and a 10R. I picked the 10R and I'm very happy. I don't care about luggage space. I only do short weekend back road rides. If i could buy a 2nd bike i think it would be a green '09 ZX14. Maybe I'd take some long rides then.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I Ride: 07' ZX14

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I've had my 07' for almost 2 years now. In that time I've put nearly 20k miles on it ( most of that mileage 2 up). It's comfortable, plenty of power, handles extremely well ( we do alot of mountain and twistie riding) and stops just as good as it accelerates. My wife says it's the most comfortable bike for a passenger we've ever owned and thats quite a few. Me I say it's the best all around and best rounded sport bike I've ever owned. Don't know what else to tell you except be prepared to replace tires these things are like women they love new shoe's.

If you have any specific questions throw them out there.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I traded my z750s in because of comfort (6'4 @248lbs) i have an 06zx14 with a corbin in it. Ive rode from home to Grand Island NE (260 miles each way) round trip and i dont have issues on my 14. im not 52 however im 37 and beyond the crazy stages. I love the fact that its so strong i dont need to run through the gears like im racing, and the longevity for road trips with confort. I truley can say " I have no reason to change bikes"
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have ridden my friend's 14 (PC, remap, Muzzy M-10, Forged wheels) and I was impressed with the smoothness of the motor and the supple suspension. If I ever wear out this 12, The 14 will be tops on my consideration list although I would have to add the LSL handlebar kit, taller screen and Givi hardbags (all of which I have now) to make it .long-distance comfortable. Oh, and did I mention it's ungodly fast?
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thumbs up which bike?

I'm 55,170,6'1". I LOVE my 14.Also had a fusion in my back(L5/S1).Best bike I've ever owned(had Harley's,zx12,zzr1200).Got my 14 in 07. Pulled the flies,PC 3,16/42 gearing,LSL Bar kit-Superbike High Bars,Connie14 seat(modded to fit with rear cowl),4degree advance(muzzy's),bmc airfilter.Speedohealer.If you're lookin' for performance and reliability,the 14's got it.I've never been happier with a bike.14's just ROCK(forgot -I just put a Throttlemiester on er also!).Ride safe!!((also have Zero Grav ST screen,and a PUIG DB)

Last edited by jollyroger; 12-27-2008 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I appreciate all the replies. I will be 43 in March and it is good to hear from older riders that are enjoying the ZX-14. My lower back (L5/S1) has its good and bad days. I will be looking at adjusting the handlebars higher.

The real dilemma is if I should buy a new 2008 in silver for $10,999 out the door or get the 2009 limited edition orange/black for $12,700 out the door. Being frugal (cheap) I am leaning towards the 2008 silver for the savings. To throw another wrench in the decision process my wife likes the 2009 green ZX-14.

On a positive note, I was surprised that the insurance (full coverage) for 6-months through USAA (I have had bikes insured with them since I have been with them and I am grandfathered in for future bikes) will only be $175.00.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Unless the color is a must have on the 09, that savings of $1700 sure can buy alot of gear or mods. I don't think they changed anything in performance between the 08 and 09.
I'm always surprised at the prices of insurance that some guys are getting. I'm 51, have a perfect driving record but not perfect AT driving, high credit score and full coverage for $682 a year with a $1000 deductible. Progressive was the highest at $1000. I guess it's time for me to shop my insurance again.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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new bike

Hey Grunt-you'll do well with the LSL KIT from Speigler.Superbike High Bars will give you a 4" rise,and a 7" pullback.You can contact them and tell em to substitute the High Bars for the Kit bars.They'll probably e-mail you saying they can't guarantee the fitment with the supplied brake lines-their supplied brake lines WILL fit however.I'm really happy with mine!! You will have to install bar inserts as well to attach your stock bar ends on,that's no big deal-ACERBIS makes some inserts,as well as a few other companys.Ride safe(get the 14!)

Last edited by jollyroger; 12-28-2008 at 11:30 AM.
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