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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, 2007 zx14 with 18k miles. I’ve owned this bike since last spring, and while it has been absolute blast and leagues faster than my old 6r, I can’t help but feel there’s a significant chunk of power this bike should be making that I’m not feeling. I also feel like it has slowly degraded over time since I got it. When I first bought the bike, under full accel the front wouldn’t come up at all regardless of what gear I was in, until I changed gears at redline. When I did that, the wheel would come up a little then go right back down. Maybe I’m expecting more than I should, but I’ve seen videos of guys on highway on ramps that pop right up every time the throttle is twisted. Those bikes are probably tuned with an exhaust, but still the difference is pretty stark. Furthermore, fast forward to today and now it doesn’t even pop up at all, even when I shift at redline, and overall just feels a little sluggish from what should be a monster powerhouse. There’s no overt problems like rough idle or weird bogging going on, just overall seems slower than it should and slower than it was.

Some things that might be related, might not (just want to get out everything I can think of just in case it connects. These have all happened since I took ownership):

The gas tank has since been removed, repainted, de-dented, and reinstalled

The mufflers have been replaced with Coffman shorty slip-ons (however it should be noted I tried putting the stock ones back on and didn’t really notice any gains)

When I bought it it had no fairings at all, I have since installed a full set

Changed the oil and flushed the coolant system

The engine makes a rattly noise when fired up, this noise slowly goes away over the first 30 seconds of engine idling

I’ve squirted a water spray bottle on the four headers after running engine for a minute, all four seemed hot


That’s all I can think of for now. I do not have a power commander, and while it might help I’m strapped for money and don’t want to drop $300 on a part that might fix the problem, might not. If anyone has any thought or recommendations I would greatly appreciate it!
 

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Replace the 'weaker than Aunt Tilly's handshake" cam chain tensioner with a manual one from APE and consider that a stock-tuned bike will perform worse with an aftermarket exhaust system than it did stock. Mine had a PCIII with a slip-ons map, a Muzzy adjustable timing wheel and a Gipro ATRE that eliminates the timing retard in lower gears. Wind it out in first and the front wheel would paw the sky like my old H1 500.
Short exhausts can yield more power on top, but without tuning, they fall flat at low- and mid-range rpm.
 

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Rattle on start up is normal for the crappy chain tensioner
Sounds like you bought a wrecked bike so I'm guessing on some possible answers
Bad chain
Brakes dragging
Gas tank was off, plugged filter
Have you checked air filter?
Is it stock gearing?
If the front wouldn't come up in any gear under normal acceleration then something is wrong from the start
1st gear is super EZ to get front tire up. 2nd gear same. 3rd if you force it.
I doubt you could get front end up no matter how hard you tried in the other gears.3rd gear at redline is already 125 mph
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for your answers, I'll start looking into them.

If the front wouldn't come up in any gear under normal acceleration then something is wrong from the start
1st gear is super EZ to get front tire up. 2nd gear same. 3rd if you force it.
I was worried that was the case. Short of dumping the clutch, nothing I do in any gear gets the wheel up in the air. It was like that when I first got it, when it still had a stock exhaust.

Speaking of exhaust and tuning, I called up the closest dyno to where I live and they quoted my $450 not including the $300 power commander, which is absolutely out of the question for me right now. Is this a normal amount for a what a dyno tune would cost?

I'm not a complete novice but I'm certainly in the teach myself as I go kinda category. How does one check to see if the chain is bad? how about if the brakes are dragging? I replaced the front brake pads myself for my first time a few months ago, with that revzilla video to guide me. Is there anything in particular that I the installer could do that would cause them to drag?

I'll look into cleaning out the fuel filter here soon.

I checked the air filter yesterday, looked pretty gross with some bugs in it. I vacuumed it out best i could and put it back in, didn't really notice a difference. I will plan on replacing it here soon though, as I suspect it's the same one from the factory lol.

I presume its stock gearing, but I honestly don't know for sure.


Replace the 'weaker than Aunt Tilly's handshake" cam chain tensioner with a manual one from APE
Thanks for this, I had a deeply set fear that what I was hearing was pistons firing without oil haha. Does this affect power at all, or does it just get rid of that awful noise?

I also should mention that yesterday I took out the secondary butterfly valves, and man was that a good choice. It doesn't affect anything I've mentioned here as it doesn't really change the power just makes it hit sooner. Front wheel still never leaves the ground.


Thanks again for all your help!
 

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Chain elongation is gauged by measuring a certain number of links and comparing that figure to the service limit figure given in the shop manual.

If the brakes drag, the excess heat will expand the fluid and lock the brakes.
 

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Be EZ to tell if brakes are dragging just by rolling the bike or get it on a stand and spin the wheels
Chain could have kinks in it if it's never been maintained
Those probably won't cause your low power problem but they can add to it
Hard to say what someone else may have done to it before you
If your bike is from california it could have extra emissions like mine did and someone could have tried to remove it and created other issues
Does the ECU look like it's been flashed?
Take it out and usually there will be something written or a decal on it
Can't say if any of that happened but it's a guessing game for us
 

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$450 for a dyno check? Those guys are rip off artists. I used to live in Daytona Beach and during the bike weeks, they had a dyno at the speedway. They only charged $40. That was in 2005.
 
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