The Kawasaki GTR 1400 is one of the best sport-touring motorcycles available.
It blends mind-blowing performance and rider comfort and is at home on either the highway or track. But like every other motorcycle, the GTR 1400 has its own weaknesses, which we will analyze in this article.
Let’s dive into it!
Here are the most widespread issues owners of the Kawasaki GTR 1400 face:
1. Multiple KIPASS Issues
The Kawasaki Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System (KIPASS) acts as an advanced wireless key (immobilizer) feature.
In this system, the key fob signals the motorcycle’s ECU via a short-range antenna.
If the key fob and the bike’s ECU don’t communicate, the ignition key switch lock won’t turn. So even if you insert the ignition key, the motorcycle won’t come to life.
With the KIPASS, your bike won’t start unless it receives a signal from the original key fob. This protects your motorcycle against theft and gives you the assurance that your bike is safe.
However, there are a few problems with this feature, including:
I. Potential Starting Problem
If the key fob’s battery runs out, the bike won’t start.
And trust us, it’s very easy to have your key fob battery run down. Say, you stored the key fob on your bike.
The key fob will continue to signal the bike ECU, which will drain it of power.
Once the key fob dies, it becomes impossible to start the motorcycle, as the key switch lock won’t rotate. To prevent this, it is advisable to avoid keeping key fobs on your motorcycle.
Some owners have reported difficulty in turning the key switch lock, even after the key fob has communicated with the ECU. This can be frustrating for owners in a hurry.
From reports, the problem occurs when the microswitch in the key switch lock gets stuck. The issue causes the system to enter a fault mode, preventing riders from pushing down and turning the key.
A Few Solutions:
Knock on the key switch with a hard object.
This will dislodge the microswitch, allowing for normal operation.
Disconnect the wire connecting the key switch and reconnect it. This will “reboot” the system and let you start normally.
Replace the internal spring in the microswitch with a tougher variant. The stock spring is often weak, hence the tendency to malfunction.
This fix is so effective that even Kawasaki often asks dealers to use it.
II. “Immobilizer Error” Message
Many GTR 1400 owners have experienced the dreaded “Immobilizer Error” message.
Usually, this message signals a failure in communication between the key fob and the bike’s ECU. If this happens, the bike may cut out while riding or may not start all.
The problem usually occurs when the key fob runs out of battery power, although this isn’t the sole cause. For example, a weak battery connection or a faulty ECU could also be responsible.
Here are some DIY fixes for this problem:
- Check the battery connections and ensure they are not loose. If they are, you can use an open-end wrench to tighten the terminals.
- Replace the bike’s battery. A weak battery could prevent the ECU from communicating with the key fob. In the event of this, you will have to get a new battery.
- Check battery fuses.
2. Rear Brake Could Overheat
Having the brakes on a motorcycle overheat while riding can cause many problems for riders.
On the affected GTR 1400 bikes, the rear brake can overheat and may cause the rear wheel to lock up. This can put the rider at risk of losing control of the bike and suffering a crash.
Multiple diagnoses reveal the problem to be caused by a defect in the bike’s design. Because of this defect, road debris e.g., stones, could get trapped between the rear master cylinder rod and a rear brake pedal.
The resulting ‘brake drag’ will prevent the rear brake from fully releasing.
In a worst-case scenario, the rear brake could overheat and suffer a full-on lockup or failure. If this happens, chances are the rear wheel will lock up, too, putting riders at risk of a crash.
Recognizing the grave danger the problem posed to riders, Kawasaki issued a recall for the affected bikes.
The problem was solved by replacing the rear master cylinder rod end and removing the brake guard.
3. Warped Brake Rotors
Early Kawasaki GTR 1400 bikes were notorious for having brake rotors that warped repeatedly.
According to owners, these warped rotors often causes a handful of problems, including:
- Pulsing sensation: A common symptom of warped brake rotors on GTR 1400s is a strange pulsing sensation through the brake lever. Typically, riders experience this sensation in either the front or rear brakes under gentle braking.
- Excessive vibration: According to owners, the GTR 1400 vibrates under hard braking. Depending on the severity of the problem, the vibration may be manageable or lead to the violent shuddering of the bike.
- Brake noises: When the brake rotors get warped, riders start to hear strange noises when braking. These sounds can range from a low-pitched squeak to a heavy thumping noise.
Brake rotors are made to last long and don’t wear easily.
However, with continued exposure to heat from the brake pads, the rotors will show signs of wear.
Often, the wear affects certain spots on the rotors, making the surface uneven and causing warping.
Brake pads comprise different materials, but all these components have stickiness and hardness to them.
These brake pads can get hot when the bike is ridden at top speeds for long. The heat will soften the brake pad material, which will eventually make its way onto the surface of the brake rotors.
Mechanics call this process “glazing.”
Because of the material buildup on the rotor surface, the brake pad won’t grip the metal properly, as it should. This will reduce braking power and can be very dangerous in emergency braking situations.
Some Possible Solutions:
First, clean the surface of the rotors: If you detect glazing on the rotors, your best bet is to rid the surface of any material buildups.
Below is a DIY guide on how you can clean the surface of your GTR 1400’s brake rotors:
- Set your bike on a stand where the wheel can spin freely.
- Remove the tire(s). If you suspect both the front and rear brake rotors are warped, remove both tires.
- Check if the rotor is worth cleaning. Rotors don’t last forever and will wear out at some point. Therefore, ensure that the warping of the rotors is not because of regular wear and tear.
- Clean the rotor. Something as simple as steel wool or sandpaper can help you remove material deposits from your rotor’s surface. We advise spraying brake cleaner liquid on the area before you scrub away.
You could also use a power tool such as a drill-mounted rust removal pad or lathe.
These remove rotor deposits faster, but you must be careful not to create surface unevenness while grinding.
Pros of The Kawasaki GTR 1400
Here are pros of the GTR 1400:
1. Impressive Ride Comfort
One of the unique qualities of the GTR 1400 is a combination of exceptional performance and outstanding ride quality.
To start with, the upright seating position ensures riders remain comfortable while riding over long distances. Also, the seat is sculpted for comfort and allows riders to place both feet on the ground easily.
There are even grip heaters that keep your hands warm while driving in frosty weather!
2. Complete Rider Control
With the GTR 1400, you, the rider, are always in control, regardless of the road conditions.
Much of this is because of the Kawasaki Traction Control (KTC) system.
This feature enhances rider control by providing good handling and road grip on all surfaces.
3. Advanced Safety Features
As a rider, your safety is paramount.
Kawasaki recognized this and outfitted the GTR 1400 with modern safety tech designed to ensure safe riding.
A good example is the Kawasaki Advanced Coactive-braking Technology (K-ACT).
This brake system uses electronic brake force distribution to enhance the overall brake performance. It also features anti-lock braking to prevent wheel lockup under hard braking.
Another safety feature on the GTR 1400 bike is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS uses sensors to track air pressure levels and displays the information on the LCD meter.
If tire pressure drops to a certain level, the TPMS will alert the rider.
Cons of the Kawasaki GTR 1400
The following are some shortcomings of the Kawasaki GTR 1400:
- Multiple KIPASS Issues
- Rear Brake Could Overheat
- Warped Brake Rotors
What Do the Reviews Say?
“Not a one-trick-pony, the big GTR 1400 also has impressive handling credentials in the twisties, allowing you to keep up with most riders in any situation. The large saddlebags are useful, and a 47-liter top box is optional, and the only thing a hard-core tourer will miss is the lack of cruise control.”
“The Kawasaki GTR 1400 ABS motorcycle offers far more than its punch of power. It also defines the sport-touring category by remaining at the top of its class with incredible performance and nimble handling. It’s incredibly capable of both carving canyon roads and cruising comfortably along state highways.”
What Is the Resale Value On the Kawasaki GTR 1400?