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5 of the best big-bore bruisers

By James Keen -

First rides & tests

 04 March 2009 17:26

Kawasaki recently revealed their new for 2009 Kawasaki ZRX1200. The good news is that the bike had been brought up to date with fuel injection and revised suspension, new six-speed gearbox and four-piston calipers. The bad news? So far it's a Japan-only model and there's no news on a UK version. 

But if it's a big capacity muscle bike you're after, there are some great examples on the used market for a lot less money.

Big naked muscle bikes may not have what it takes to cut it on the track, but on the road they make a lot of sense.

Big torquey engines pull at any revs so you can forget about cog-swapping and concentrate on enjoying the ride. Wide bars and well-padded seat make them comfy over distance. Classic lines and retro styling are timeless.

Here's 5 big capacity used alternatives to the new Kawasaki ZRX1200:

 

Honda CB1300S

Honda CB1300S (2005-current)
"Classic early superbike lines crash head-on with a practical top fairing and an inexpensive ABS option to make the Honda CB1300S a competent tourer-cum-commuter that’s a pleasure to ride with above average handling, plenty of practical touches and a low seat height. Read any Honda CB1300S review and you'll find nothing but praise."

 

Kawasaki ZRX1200

Kawasaki ZRX1200 (2001-2007)
"The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is a big, beefy, retro styled bike with plenty of grunt, a comfortable riding position and good looks (especially the Eddie Lawson replica). But the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is really heavy, has a notchy gearbox and the handling and braking feels outdated compared to other 1000-1200cc sized naked roadsters."

 

Harley-Davidson XR1200R

Harley-Davidson XR1200R (2008-current)
"Basically, perhaps very basically, the Harley-Davidson XR1200R is a good bike. Dynamically the XR1200R performs and handles better than any Harley before. It’s brisk (if not exactly fast), fun to throw around and looks good, too. The main disappointment is that it’s finish and spec is pretty crude. But whatever it’s fault, because of the XR1200R, the motorcycling world is suddenly a better place."

 

Yamaha XJR1300

Yamaha XJR1300 (1998-current)
"Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper man’s motorcycle with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor. And it’s especially lovely in the SP’s Yamaha speed block colours complete with Ohlins shocks, just the sort of thing that sunny Sundays were made for. A motorcycle to make you feel good."

 

Suzuki GSX1400

Suzuki GSX1400 (2001-2006)
"Biggest and blingiest of the retros. Plus the Suzuki GSX1400's engine’s got the most low down torque by a decent margin. If you want a 70s style motorbike that’ll do everything except cruise at illegal speeds or lap race tracks at a searing pace the GSX1400 is well worth a look."

 

If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare.