SAN DIEGO, Calif. - “Kawasaki Strong” was the key message as the OEM kicked off its 2014 national dealer meeting. Kawasaki aims to continue to expand its presence in all of its efforts, but the top brass was quick to point out the product is the driving force behind our industry. To that end, Kawasaki unveiled something for every one of its dealers, whether they were focused on the PWC market, off-road, street, or all three.
Continuing the theme from the Times Square event held last year in New York, the San Diego Gaslamp Takeover featured all the new 2014 products on display for the public to check out, stunt riding from Jason Britton and Team No Limit, a well-received appearance by World Superbike points leader Tom Sykes, and plenty of high-energy music and swag giveaways.
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The message to both the general public and dealers in attendance was simple: Only Kawasaki has the ability and the chutzpah to stage such an event. Based on the reactions we saw from both dealers and fans in attendance, it certainly appears that Kawasaki has found a unique way to successfully reach its constituents and excite them to a fever pitch.
Here's the update on the new Ninja 1000.
Kawasaki continues to lead the Big Four when it comes to advanced features such as traction control with each year’s model lineup. For 2014, the street-focused Ninja 1000 (Z1000SX in Europe) received a hefty dose of technology from the supersport side of the family tree. The changes for 2014 are aimed at making the sporty sports-tourer into a better all-around distance mount while still improving the machine’s sporting credentials.
While the 1043cc inline four engine powering the Ninja 1000 did receive minor changes for 2014 to improve output, such as new cams and internal ventilation holes to reduce pumping loses, the real story is found in the electronics package now standard on the Ninja. KTRC traction control with three different modes makes its way onto the 1000 for the first time courtesy of its big brother, the ZX-14R (as compared to the more advanced S-KTRC system found on the ZX-10R superbike).
Selectable power modes make an appearance as well, with a new half-power option selectable for poor traction or foul weather conditions. A taller sixth gear completes the engine changes for more relaxed highway cruising.
The rest of the 2014 Ninja 1000 updates follow the same model: no major changes, but rather targeted upgrades to improve performance and touring functionality. Revised bodywork includes more efficient cool air ducting for the airbox, but the large 5-gallon tank, comfortable two-piece seat, high bars and adjustable windscreen all remain. (continued)