Orange County Choppers, this...
Orange County Choppers, this is how you make a motorcycle marketing tool.
Perhaps you might remember being a kid sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, idolizing racers in brightly colored leathers running elbow to elbow on the TV; or maybe you had an uncle with a screaming sportbike who never failed to blip the throttle after thumbing the start button. The cacophonous buzzing of WOT rattled through your eardrums and you were hooked. Bringing back the bikes that inspired us while adding a modern twist isn’t a fresh idea for builders but it’s always a relevant one when done right. When the first images of Icon’s throwback ZX-14R came across the SSB desk goosebumps of nostalgia had us fixated on the paint. Branded bike or not, it conjured childhood memories of pure two-wheeled awe so we had to get the scoop—one that traced back to the golden age of wicked rides.
In the early ‘90s, the race for superbike stardom had manufacturers scrambling to come up with something new to dominate the roadracing field. In 1990, Doug Chandler clenched the AMA Superbike championship aboard a ZX-7 inspired superbike. Shortly after him, Scott Russell repeated victory, grabbing the 1990 AMA Supersport title on a lightly modified ZX-7. It was a romantic era of sportbike speed that left a lasting impression on riders across the board.
A touch of gold works right...
A touch of gold works right into the retro theme.
After handing the competition their heads in 1990, Kawasaki felt the pressure to create a machine that could continue to flee the pack with ease. In 1991, they reinvented the ZX-7. Twenty-one years later, this machine would become one of the most sought after commodities for restoration or, shall we say, duplication.
Icon Motorsports is a company crazy about sportbikes—project builds litter its home base. Nostalgia played a major role in designing a ZX-14R with classic cool paint that could pass as a limited edition OE model if you didn’t know any better. Based on the same passion that inspired Kawasaki to re-engineer the ZX-7 in 1991, Icon sought to share its take on making a class leader better as if they were at the manufacturer’s helm.
Putting lipstick on this ridiculously...
Putting lipstick on this ridiculously fast pig actually made a world of difference.
It seems only logical to properly pay homage to the era that spawned present day performance by finding a way to insert old-school flavor with new school technology. You have to go big when attempting to resurrect history, so Icon adapted the ZX-7’s retro slick colors to the world’s new face of stupid speed.
“We have a passion for early sportbike design and colorways. The ZX-14R throwback colorway is recognizing Kawasaki’s mark or stamp on that era of sportbikes. Now that they have come out with the new 14 we’re recognizing that they have put another stamp on sportbike culture and celebrating it with this colorway,” said Justin Knauer, Icon Operations Manager.
You have to go big when attempting to resurrect history, so Icon adapted the ZX-7’s retro slick colors to the world’s new face of stupid speed. "
Fitted with a Roaring Toyz 240 Wide Tire Conversion Kit and LeoVince titanium exhaust system, the ZX-14R has flare way past paint that carries the old school colors into the future like a time machine. Öhlins suspension components front and rear are extravagant accouterments that speak to Kawi’s racing past.
A plush seat makes this 14...
A plush seat makes this 14 Cadillac comfortable for the road ahead.
Additionally, the bike was fitted with PSR accessories that work their way from the levers to the gas cap. A green-tinted Hotbodies’ windscreen blends perfectly with a color scheme that flows across the stock plastics. Galfer front and rear Wave rotors along with green powder coated PM wheels add another refined touch to the build.
Kurt Walter, Icon Brand Manager and mastermind behind the ZX-14R project design knew the final product would get the OEM’s attention and show them how cool retro colors can be. “We wanted them to ask, ‘Why don’t we have that,’” said Justin. While the old school look is reminiscent of AMA’s hay day, if you look closely you’ll find a take on Kawasaki’s modern day flames weaved into the green paint for a subtle blending of time periods.
Tuned with a Leo Vince Fast...
Tuned with a Leo Vince Fast Box, it sounds as good as it looks.