Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kawasaki GTR 1400 2011

The mirrors aren't ideal either, now showing Scrolling through the on-board computer means taking your hands off the bars too, to push a button below the rev counter. We panned the Honda VFR1200F for its range of only a little less than that, and the Honda doesn't even pretend to be a full-on touring bike – with the GTR this is unacceptable, especially when rivals cover 200 miles before you even think about a refill. The on-board computer is unusually accurate, but it only reads around 40mpg in general riding which, combined with the 4.8-gallon tank, results in a range to empty of 190 miles. Switching to Economy Assist mode makes it slightly worse and lends the engine a flatter feel, and while the economy does improve by about four per cent, it's still not great.

On top of that, the GTR's fuelling is imperfect, with a snatchy throttle off-on response that is irritating in traffic and at low speeds, and uncomfortable for a passenger. Indeed, Suzuki's cheap-as-chips GSX1250FA, tested last week, will feel faster and more relaxed at the engine speeds most riders will be using, despite making a mere 97bhp. It's fun, but when you're negotiating new, scenic roads with a load and maybe a passenger on board, it's not what you'll be doing or need. When it does, it's wildly fast, searing down the road like a comfortable missile.

In normal riding the motor spends its time in the 3,000-5,000rpm zone, but it's half asleep here and doesn't wake up until the top edge of those numbers.

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