For 2014, Kawasaki’s entire street lineup returns except for the Vulcan 1700 Classic—only baggers will be in the Vulcan 1700 cruiser lineup. Tweaks to paint and prices will be the extent of changes.
The splashiest news for the upcoming model year is a major update to the street-oriented Ninja 1000 sportbike. Introduced for 2011, the Ninja 1000 was developed at the same time as the Z1000 naked bike and they’re powered by the same 1,043cc in-line four. The Ninja has a full fairing, a manually adjustable windscreen, cushier seating, higher fuel capacity and various concessions to rider comfort (read our test of the 2011 model here). ABS was added as an option for 2012, and earlier this year we tested a non-ABS model with accessory saddlebags (read our test of the 2012 model here). ABS will be standard for 2014.
Although the Ninja 1000’s inherent simplicity has been part of its appeal for some riders, for 2014 it joins the electronic revolution, adding KTRC Traction Control (3 levels) and dual selectable Power Modes (Full and Low). The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve engine holds steady with 1,043cc of displacement, but it gets revised intake cams to boost low-to-midrange torque, while additional airbox vents and new cylinder connecting pathways are said to improve mid-to-high rpm performance. An updated cool air intake system, higher-flow air filter, equal-length velocity stacks and Digital Timing Advance are all aimed at improving the potency and versatility of what was already a smooth, powerful, tractable engine.
Other changes for 2014 include one-piece monobloc radial-mount front brake calipers, a taller 6th gear for more relaxed highway cruising, a remote rear spring preload adjuster and a new analog/digital instrument cluster. The LCD display has readouts for KTRC, Power Mode, ABS and Economical Riding (ECO), among other functions. The Ninja 1000’s rear subframe has been beefed up to accommodate the new accessory saddlebag mounts. Optional Kawasaki Quick Release (KQR) 29-liter hard saddlebags have been redesigned to match the lines of the bike, and when removed, they leave a clean, rack-free tail section. Also, the passenger grab handles have been reshaped to provide a more comfortable hand-hold.
The 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 will be available in Candy Lime Green and Candy Cascade Blue, with an MSRP of $11,999. Pricing for the accessory saddlebags is TBD. We’ll get a chance to ride the new Ninja 1000 in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for our impressions.