Kawasaki added a new limited edition 30th Anniversary Ninja model, revealing the 2015 ZX-14R in a special Firecracker Red and Metallic Graystone color scheme based on the colors of the original 1984 Ninja 900, the company’s first fully-faired sportbike. Kawasaki had previously announced 30th anniversary editions of the ZX-10R and ZX-6R, both bearing green livery remembering the company’s World Superbike and Supersport racers.
Only 300 units of the limited edition Ninja ZX-14R will be produced for the U.S. and Latin America, each bearing a uniquely-numbered badge on the gas tank. Another 30 units are being prepared for Canada, with its own specific numbering. No other markets will get this limited edition color option.
Kawasaki is proudly showing off the anniversary edition model at this weekend’s WSBK race at Laguna Seca. Starting July 15 at 9 am PDT, Kawasaki dealers will begin taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis with a $1,000 deposit (full MSRP is $15,899, a $200 increase over the 2014 model.)
Kawasaki says it considered applying a modern re-interpretation of the Ninja 900’s colors, but in the end decided to stay true to the original, adding only gold pinstriping to further define the two colors. The same gold tint was applied to the brake calipers.
Mechanically, the anniversary edition ZX-14R resembles the 2014 model. The engine remains Kawasaki’s behemoth of a 1441cc I-4 engine. Two selectable power modes help rein in the ZX-14R’s power, with the Lo power mode restricting output to 75% of maximum. A back-torque limiting slipper clutch helps avoid wheel-hop and torque effects caused by downshifting during hard braking.
Kawasaki also equipped the ZX-14R with its three-level traction control system; two settings are similar to those found on the ZX-10R and the third is a low-traction setting inherited from the Concours 14 for use in wet or slippery conditions.
Fully-adjustable 43mm upside-down forks and an adjustable rear shock handles suspension duties. Braking is supplied by radial-mount calipers gripping twin 310mm discs up front, while a 200mm rotor is mounted to the rear wheel. Anti-lock brakes are equipped as standard on all anniversary-edition ZX-14Rs.