7 questions to the ZZR1400 engineers

Does it need traction control? Can it really crack 200mph and will the next model be supercharged?

Click here for the Kawasaki ZZR1400 review and see the 186mph onboard video here.

The UK journos sat down with the team behind the ZZR-1400 to talk about the new bike in detail. Here are seven interesting nuggets of information from the guys who saw the project through from start to finish.

Does the new ZZR1400 need traction control?
No, the new ZZR doesn't need it, it works perfectly without it, however, with this much horsepower, we knew that traction control and adjustable power modes would make the ZZR easier to live with every day.

You've changed 50% of the chassis parts, why?
Thew new ZZR has more power and it accelerates faster. We wanted to improve the frame's rigidity to make the suspension work better. Some people - mainly in the US - said they wanted the ZZR to be more stable at high-speed, so improving the chassis rigidity helps us make the bike more stable too.

The new bike's engine features oil injectors to cool the cylinders, is this a first for Kawasaki?
Yes, this is the first time we've used this technology. The new engine is 89cc larger than the last ZZR and develops more power, which in turn gives off more heat. We have already used a larger radiator and changed the header pipes, however the oil injection also helps keep the engine cool.

You claim the new engine can be 20% more fuel efficient than the last one, how?
For a while now we've had an 'Eco mode' feature on bikes like the GTR which the rider can turn on, however now we have made this an automatic feature. The ECU predicts when to run in 'Eco mode' and changes, among other things, the ignition timing. This makes the engine more efficient when full-power isn't required.

If Suzuki bring out a larger capacity Hayabusa, will you counter with an even larger engine or will you use a supercharger or turbo?
ZZR customers want a big engine, they want a big bike. We could make a bike with a smaller engine that makes as much power as a larger one if we used a supercharger or a turbo, however the ZZR is aimed at people who want the biggest and I don't think that will change.

Did you have 200bhp in mind when you first developed this bike?
No, 200bhp wasn't our first aim. We wanted to produce an engine with lots of low-down torque, as some owners said the bottom-end was weak. In order to achieve this we increased the capacity and a higher outright bhp is the result of this.

Restricted, the ZZR1400 will do 299kmh (186mph) but what have you got out of it unrestricted?
We've not tested it on a track where we're capable of squeezing every last drop form the bike, however we have comfortably seen 315kmh (196mph) on our test track in Japan and think, given enough space, it could do 200mph.