We don’t expect anyone but baby boomers to get the joke, but this signature line on TV’s Laugh-In became a societal catchphrase, and even spun off a Pontiac GTO muscle car called “The Judge.” What’s all this got to do with the Ninja ZX-14R? Well, it’s Kawasaki’s very own Judge, baby! Long committed to outlandish performance, Kawasaki for 2006 poured impressive resources into making this oversize superbike a legendary one. Displacing 1,441cc, a DOHC inline-four hangs from a unique aluminum monocoque frame and offers two power modes, a 75-percent “low-power” option and a full-afterburner 100-percent setting.
Unusual for hyperbikes today, instrumentation includes a traditional separate analog tachometer and speedometer, in addition to an LCD display for ancillary data such as gear position, power mode, traction-control settings, and more. Premium features include a 43mm cartridge-type fork and Brembo radial-mount front brake calipers. But the Big Thing, besides the engine, is the bodywork. With its huge ram-air scoop, quad headlights, and body-side strakes reminiscent of Ferrari’s seminal 1985 Testarossa, there’s no mistaking the ZX-14R ABS SE for any other bike.
Likes: Explosive acceleration, devours entire continents, reasonably comfy
Dislikes: With its claimed 593-pound curb weight, this judge should go on a diet
Verdict: When only absolute power and authority will do