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2012 Hypersport Motorcycle Shootout Conclusion

Monday, April 30, 2012

Adam Waheed – 6’0”, 175 pounds – Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R 

I’ve always loved Suzuki’s Hayabusa. For sure it isn’t the
While the brakes worked fine on the street at the track they would faded during hard use.
The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R was the clear victor in the Hypersport Shootout.
best looking bike on the road but it’s so big and over the top that I love riding it. I enjoy the stretched out seating position and it’s one of the few motorcycles I can ride that makes me feel like a smaller rider. Overall it’s a great machine: fast and easy to ride it just lacks a little bit of feel and responsiveness which make it not quite as friendly to ride as the others. But if I came across a good deal on one I wouldn’t hesitate to make a purchase. The BMW is one of my all-time favorite sportbikes and it is one hell of a machine. Only problem is that it’s just too uncomfortable to ride every day. And that’s where the Kawasaki really excels. Not only is it fast as hell, it is mega comfy and with its well sorted electronics, it feels like you could ride it with both hands tied behind your back. It really is the ultimate Hypersport bike and the machine I would purchase.

2012 HypersportShootout 1/4 Mile
2011 Luxury Touring Shootout 1/4 Mile
2012 Hypersport Shootout Braking
2011 Luxury Touring Shootout Braking

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lou30088   June 4, 2013 10:23 AM
Objective engine performance for the BMW.... a 7 ?? Are you kidding me ? The kaw has 10 more horsepower than the BMW with 441 more cc's !!! The BMW makes far more HP per cc than any production bike on the planet !!! The BMW makes .175 hp per cc, the Kaw makes .129 hp per cc of engine displacement and you gave a 10 to the Kaw and 7 to the BMW. What gives !!!
Dduck   April 7, 2013 01:35 PM
Driving the 14 and busa they are both awesome. Haven't driven the Beemer yet. 14 feels more explosive and radical, busa feels smoother and more controllable. Both felt equally fast but delivery just different. 14 was a bit more comfortable, busa has guages below the windscreen making it hard to see when riding aggressively (I'm 6'1"). Riding either bike will make you want one. For me they are too close to call, go with the one that looks better to you...
r1vmax   June 7, 2012 10:01 AM
I own and have logged thousands of miles on both of these bikes (2012 ZX-14R & 2008 Busa'), and I can tell you first hand that they are not comparable. The ZX-14R is head and shoulders above the outdated Busa. A lot of the numbers in this article are inaccurate or just don't make sense. Horsepower for the Busa' is 170.8 not 178. The Busa's brakes are rated higher numerically, but are shown to stop slower and are mentioned in the article as not being as good as the ZX's. Same with handling/suspension. No rational person, after riding these two bikes would ever say the Busa' has better handling or suspension. Did this guy actually ride these bikes? I guess these numbers might make sense to someone who thinks 58" is almost 6 feet. If you're seriously considering buying one of these bikes, do yourself a favor. Forget trying to make sense out of this article and go down and ride these two bikes. You will discover that Suzuki has a lot of wok to do if they want to stay in this game.
CowboyTutt   May 17, 2012 06:57 PM
Thanks for including the BMW. I know it doesn't really belong but it helps to address the question: "Are Hyperbikes like the 'Busa and ZX14 obsolete when compared to the new 1000cc Superbikes?" I think the answer is NO! They both still have a place and have very different engine characteristics. Good article! -Tutt
dailyriderX3bikes   May 4, 2012 07:46 AM
Hutchy - thanks for the great explanation and for following up, I appreciate it.
Piglet2010   May 3, 2012 09:07 PM
Honda should make a high-output version of the VFR1200F, and BMW and Yamaha should strip the touring stuff off the K1600 and FJR1300 and build the engines to a higher state of tune. That, along with an updated 'Busa would be "interesting".
Maxx   May 3, 2012 05:50 PM
Good article, great bikes the BMW seems out of place. Generally anyone looking at a ZX14 or Busa is not looking at the BMW. The 14 and Busa both handle decently but cannot compare to the BMW in the twisties.
rogase   May 3, 2012 04:54 PM
As much as I enjoy reading motorcycle shootouts, I dont really get the point of this one. Surely someone will not be weighing up between the Kawi and the BMW, they are suited to completely different puposes. Bring on the Superbike Smackdown so we can see how the BMW goes againt the new Ducati. That is the BMW's true peer group.
firedad   May 3, 2012 11:49 AM
Wow... While I understand the premise behind including the 1000rr in this, I just can't agree with it. It's comparing a supersport to hypersport touring bikes. If you are going to throw a BMW into this test, it should have been the K1300S. Twice was mentioned the low end torque produced was higher than the BMW. No kidding, smaller motor designed for a completely different purpose. Another earth shaking surprise would be the 1000RR isn't as comfortable for long distance. The comparison between the Kawi and the Suzi was nice to read as it was an actual comparison. Just basically ignored the stuff about the BMW since it shouldn't have been in this to begin with.
Hutchy   May 3, 2012 08:23 AM
Props & Quarter Mile Times: Thaks to everyone who enjoyed the test. Heed worked his tail off on it. Quarter Mile Times: As much as we would like to be 100% consistent all the time, here's the scoop. During the press intros we ran the bikes at the drag strip with electronic timing, with perfectly clean tracks and 10-20 passes on the same bike over & over again. That helps the rider get in tune with the bike and cut those bad-ass times. In the case of comaprison tests, we usually have to run them on the race track, paddock, airfield, highway, etc and use our GPS-based data systems to get the times. In this particular test we took the bikes to Firebird Raceway in Phoenix Az and got roughly 4 passes on each of them. What those quarter mile times really show is how easy or difficult a particular bike is to launch and run quickly down adrag strip. What results is some variation despite our best efforts. All I can say is consider the times as they relate to each bike in a coparison because they will all be tested on the same day with the same rider. Which poses another problem. We usually have time constraints in our own shootouts so we have to limit the number of runs on each bike. Plus, we can't just grab another bike if we fry a clutch or something to that effect like we can at a press intro. And further to the point, hopping from bike to bike with drastically different launch characteristics plays a part in making the job tough as well. Last, but not least, Adam (and I) are not necessariy the best drag racers. We had ultra-fast & ultra light (140lb) Steve Atlas doing quarter mile runs for a few years and neither Adam or me at 180-lbs can match his times from the 09-10 tests.
ric   May 2, 2012 01:00 PM
Posted comment to wrong place--I'll try this :). Why is the wheelbase of 58.3 inches stated as "almost" six feet? Did you mean almost 60 inches? And how come the Ninja didnt' hit the nines like the ones on the magazine covers tested in Las Vegas? Did they have electric shifters, lowered, geared etc, etc meaning they are not "showroom stock" like your test bike? Enjoyed article--keep 'em coming.
ric   May 2, 2012 12:54 PM
Enjoyed article but I'm missing something: why does an "almost six foot wheelbase" measure 58.3-inch? Did you mean an almost 60-inch wheelbase? And do those Ninja times we see on the magazine cover in the 9's at Las Vegas (higher altitude than Firebird) come on bike with electric shifters, lowered, etc, etc? Or are they as stock as your test bike? Thanks!
Jaimeb   May 2, 2012 10:54 AM
Dailyrider - to answer your question, consider track conditions, temperature, humidity, altitude, rider abilities, etc. If none of the three broke the 9 second barrier in this track, so what? What is important is how they compare to each other.

On your "daily riding", quarter mile times are irrelevant.
mi2tom   May 2, 2012 02:55 AM
When is the superbike shootout?
midnitelamp   May 1, 2012 09:20 PM
one of these days BMW will hot rod that six cylinder. then the race will be on.
guambra2001   May 1, 2012 08:00 PM
thanks moto-USA for the review, can't wait for the naked bike review. Hint hint. You guys do an awesome job.
dailyriderX3bikes   May 1, 2012 07:58 PM
We all enjoy these shootouts - thank you for a superb job. I can say that I've bought 2 of the bikes in my garage partly due to the reviews over the last few years. I'm wondering why the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times vary so much year to year? how can a bike rip 9.6s and 9.7s and with no major changes end up with a 10.2 for example. were those inflated numbers with a stopwatch.. I believe my 2009 CBR1RR and 2010 1198S can without a doubt do under 10 seconds consistently but in 2011 the CBR was a higher time than 2009, the 2011 1198 saw a 10.4 same with BMW getting 10.25 this year, I don't see why it would vary that much
brankom5   May 1, 2012 06:38 PM
Thank you :)
brankom5   April 30, 2012 05:29 PM
Why did the BMW got only 7 points for 0-60 it was faster then suzuki (3.12 BMW - 3.21 busa) ?????????????????????????????????????????????