2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS First Look

September 6, 2013
Justin Dawes
Justin Dawes
Digital Media Producer |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Raised on two wheels in the deserts of Nevada, the newest addition to the MotoUSA crew has been part of the industry for well over 15 years.Equal parts writer, photographer, and rider, "JDawg" is a jack of all trades and even a master of some.

Kawasaki unveiled an upgraded Ninja 1000 ABS to dealers at the manufacturer’s 2014 dealer meeting in San Diego. The more sensible Ninja now gets KTRC Traction Control, dual power modes, more engine power and better binders. Overall Kawasaki is aiming to make the Ninja 1000 ABS a more useable mount for a wider range of riders.

The Ninja’s 1043cc Inline Four engine gets a boost of power in the low-end and mid-range, where most street machines spend their time, via a revised intake cam. However, it also gets more top-end performance as well thanks to additional airbox vents. New cylinder connecting passageways also bolster mid and high rpm efficiency by reducing pumping losses inside the crankcase.

A new non-woven air filter element increases airflow to the four 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies for better high-rpm power. New equal-length velocity stacks provide snappier throttle response for 2014. Digital Timing Advance also creates more low and mid-range potency.

A KTRC traction control system promises to keep the Ninja 1000 ABS’s newfound ponies under control using three modes that are similar to both the race bred ZX-10R and the sport-touring Concours 14. The first two modes maximize forward traction for the best possible acceleration, like the ZX-10R. A third, low-traction setting is calibrated for wet and slippery conditions and was modeled on the Concours 14’s settings. The KTRC system is controlled by a handlebar-mounted switch that also allows the rider to turn the traction control completely off.

Working in conjunction with the KTRC are two power modes giving riders the choice between a full and low power setting. This lets the rider tailor the Ninja 1000 ABS’s delivery to suit their preference.

The 2014 Ninja 1000 ABS features a new sub-frame that allows for installation of Kawasaki Quick Release 29-liter saddlebags. These bags feature aggressive styling that matches the look of the Ninja in comparison to previous offerings. An easier reach to the ground is also achieved by the new sub-frame’s elimination of side covers for a narrower midsection.

Suspension specs on the 41mm inverted fork remain the same with pre-load and rebound adjustments, but the rear shock gets a new remote pre-load adjuster to quickly dial in the ride height for a passenger, luggage or both.

The ABS-equipped disc brakes get new ultra-rigid monobloc calipers that squeeze 300mm petal-type rotors. Hydraulic pressure is fed via a radial mount race-spec master cylinder. At the rear, a single 250mm petal-type rotor is mated with a single-piston caliper.

For better highway manners a taller sixth gear has been added to drop the revs during work on the super slab.
Surprisingly, the 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS will retail for $100 less than the 2013 model at $11,999. MotoUSA’s Road Test Editor Adam Waheed will be sampling the 2014 Ninja in three weeks time. Stay tuned for a full first ride review.

2014 Kawasaki Versys ABS

Kawasaki returns its 649cc Versys back for the 2014 model year with standard ABS. MSRP is still to be determined for the mid-displacement standard.