Friday, May 26, 2006

Its been a while since my last entry as I took a ride on my B12 (Suzuki cycle) up to Mission Viejo to see and take care of mom after knee surgery. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of the scars and the doctor’s model of the transplant but sometimes you blow off the details when someone else’s needs are at stake. Anyway mom is doing much better and I am back after leaving LA at 4am and arriving back in Bullhead City at 8am beating the summer heat, which kicks in here about 10 am. It turns out that there are two types of knee and hip transplants that are available now according to mom’s surgeon, titanium supports with plastic bearings which last about 15 years or all titanium which last 100 years. The doctor told me that if in the future I need a transplant to be sure to opt for the all titanium to avoid a second surgery, even if it requires out of pocket expense.

     While away I received my new “Superbrace” fork brace for my B12. It is supposed to help eliminate head wagging of the front end on full power take offs and hard acceleration out of a sharp turns. I have been considering selling my B12 to purchase the new Ninja ZX14, the first street sport bike that is 90% road race ready. First bike with drive by wire throttle control (no cables), 200 HP, ¼ mile in under 9 seconds and computerized accelerator to keep you from making a mistake with the throttle. It’s just a consideration of fun but looks sweet in the picture above. Here are the specs and reviews:

Engine Type: 4-Stroke, 4-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4 Valve Cylinder Head
Displacement: 1352 cc
Bore & Stroke 84.0 x 61.0 mm
Maximum Torque: 113.5 lb-ft @ 7500rpm
Horsepower: 187 bhp @ 9500 rpm + 197 bhp Ram Air @ 9500 rpm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel Injection: DFI with Mikuni 44mm Throttle Bodies (4)
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: 6-Speed
Final Drive: X-Ring Chain
Rake/Trail: 23 degree / 94 mm
Front Wheel Travel: 4.6 in
Rear Wheel Travel: 4.8 in
Front Tire Size: 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire Size: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 57.5 in
Front Suspension: 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with Adjustable
Preload, Stepless Rebound and Compression Damping
Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, Stepless
Rebound and Compression Damping, Ride Height
Front Brake Type: Dual Floating Petal Discs with 4-Piston Calipers
Rear Brake Type: Single Petal Disc
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.8 gal
Seat Height: 31.5 in
Dry Weight: 474 lbs.

If ever a brand of motorcycles was defined by the sheer power that’s just what the company has done with the ZX™-14 Ninja, a 1352cc motorcycle that is its most powerful ever, and succeeds in setting the performance standards for others to follow.

Kawasaki engineers and designers have created a motorcycle that turns its Ram Air and fuel-injected engine into the core of a powerful, torque-producing, aerodynamic stunner and accelerates with ease, handles with assurance, and exudes an aura unmatched by anything else on the street. This most powerful of  all motorcycles was created to do everything right. Right from the beginning. Its aerodynamics reminds users that Kawasaki is indeed an aircraft maker. A twist of the throttle delivers a seamless spread of torque that is so linear, the “power band,” per se, ceases to exist. Those that have ridden this newest Kawasaki flagship marvel at the torque response that makes pulling away from a total stop in almost any gear a possibility. The ZX-14’s chassis design unique aluminum monocoque frame, this sophisticated approach gives the ZX-14 a responsive handling quality and incredible highway stability. The ZX-14 uses an inverted 43mm cartridge fork and new Uni-Trak® linkage rear suspension to complement the highly rigid frame, thus offering both great controllability at high speeds and superb road holding when sport riding on twisting hill roads. Does this ultimate combination of engine performance and chassis design make the Kawasaki ZX-14 rider-friendly? The engineers and designers sought to combine the utmost elements of today’s motorcycle technologies, yet still provide a package that is both approachable—and usable. The ZX-14 delivers seamless power, a smooth ride, and friendly ergonomics. Offering a very relaxed sport riding position, it is compact without being cramped, and the bars are positioned so riders don’t have to stretch to reach them. The narrow engine, monocoque frame, and fuel tank make it easy for the rider to keep his knees close together in any riding conditions. Footpegs are low-set to give ample legroom and the low seat height and narrow seat front make planting feet on the ground when stopped a cinch. All told, the Ninja ZX-14 lives up to its predecessors, and far surpasses them, as the meaning of the word “ultimate” has found a new definition.