200+ HP and wet roads, an interesting combination!

August 4, 2019

Riding in the rain and on wet roads is something that divides the riding community. Many riders are "fair weather" riders and an ever decreasing number are riders who ride no matter what the conditions. There have always been both of course but I would suggest that in the 70's, 80's and early 90's the majority of riders rode no matter what. With the increasing number of weekend riders bikes are often laid up for sunny day use only.

 

 

When I first starting riding the ZZR 1100 in the 90's I used it just as I had all my previous bikes. That is riding in rain, no matter how heavy. I have to admit that I really enjoy the challenge and the requirement for total concentration. No traction control, nothing to assist you negotiate the extra hazards. I took it as a badge of honour to get to my destination no matter what was thrown at me. That was in the days of a "mere" 150 hp and 70+ lbs of torque.

 

Things are different now. The Zx14 (pre 2015) produces 225+HP and a staggering 120+lbs of torque. The goal posts have moved. Of course the ZX has adjustable power and 3 traction control settings to aid the rider. In the dry I always ride with the power on full and traction control on either 1 or zero (the lowest settings). The fact is that in the wet on roads with dubious surface grip it is impossible to ride a ZX14 with these settings. There is just to much power and more importantly torque. It just spins up the rear wheel at the slightest touch of the throttle. Even with traction control on higher traction settings it will spin up. The indicator telling the rider how much the traction control is operating lights up like a Christmas tree.

 

 

 

The other day, I tried to accelerate in a gentle manner and I found it almost impossible to increase speed with out the TC stepping in. That may have been a reflection of the quality of road surface but in the real world that is reality. Now, as I have said, I like riding in the rain and can ride the ZZR quickly in wet conditions. So why the difference? It must be down to the extra torque. The low power setting reduces the power output to 75% (approx 180hp) which is only 30hp more than the ZZR but I cant find out if the torque is affected. I suspect not. It is that, I believe that makes riding the ZX14 such an interesting experience wet the heavens have opened.

I know most individuals dont ride these powerful bikes regularly in the wet but I would like to hear about other peoples experiences.

 

 

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