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Kawasaki ZRX1200 Naked Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ZRX1200 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is a big, beefy, retro styled bike with plenty of grunt, a comfortable riding position and good looks (especially the Kawasaki ZRX1200 R version, which pays homage to the Eddie Lawson replica Z1100R of the '80s). But the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is really heavy, has a notchy gearbox and the handling and braking feels outdated compared to the newer Z1000 Kawasaki, or a stack of other 1000-1200cc sized naked roadsters.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Derived from the ZZ-R1100 of the 90s, the Kawasaki ZRX1200 motor is tough, does high mileages with ease and has more than enough power for a naked/half faired machine. The Kawasaki ZRX1200 breathes through old school carbs, rather than fuel injection, which some prefer, although it can be thirsty when given some stick. The five-speed gearbox is adequate, but the Kawasaki ZRX1200 feels like it could be made slicker somehow.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is approaching its sell-by date in terms of ride and handling. The forks are multi-adjustable, but soft and the front end of the Kawasaki ZRX1200 loads up with weight and pushes the front tyre around when you corner hard. It also has a bit of a `bouncy castle' back end. In short, the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is fun to ride, but not too fast.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 S version has a decent half fairing, which makes the bike an acceptable solo touring machine, or commuter. The Kawasaki ZRX1200 also has a good underseat storage space, plus there's a good sized pillion perch and grab handles for the passenger. Soft luggage would fit the Kawasaki ZRX1200 pretty easily too.

Kawasaki ZRX1200 (2001-2007)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£2,890 (2002) - £3,600 (2004)
Private used prices
£1,980 (2002) - £3,280 (2004)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1164 cc
Power 123 bhp
Top speed 155 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 motor will last forever with some regular oil changes. The chassis parts aren't quite so durable though and the short front mudguard allows plenty of wet weather road muck onto the matt black downpipes and engine cases. Various Kawasaki ZRX1200 fasteners also suffer from corrosion quite easily. It isn't any worse than many other budget big retro bikes, but needs some TLC.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The big naked roadster sector of the market is highly competitive these days and the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is starting to look a bit old fashioned now. Rivals like the Z1000, Fazer 1000, Ducati Monster S4R, Honda CB1300R or Yamaha XJR1300 all arguably offer more bang per buck than the Kawasaki ZRX1200. Find a Kawasaki ZRX1200 for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

2001: Kawasaki ZRX1200S launched.
2002: Kawasaki ZRX1200R appears; same bike with bikini fairing, old school clocks instead of full dashboard, in blue or traditional Kawasaki green colour scheme. No major changes to date.
2007: Kawasaki ZRX1200R deleted

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Max power 123 bhp
Max torque 11.4 ft-lb
Weight 223 kg
Seat height 790 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 125 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1164 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 5 gears
Frame Steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake Single 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Kawasaki ZRX1200 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZRX1200

21119 miles

£3,599

Kawasaki
ZRX1200

miles

£1,795

Kawasaki
ZRX1200

57800 miles

£1,100

Kawasaki
ZRX1200

30000 miles

£2,399

Kawasaki
ZRX1200

23010 miles

£2,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(5 reviews)

  • muscle

    coombyzed

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    on my 3rd zrx , love it

    18 August 2014

  • Top bike

    billy big skid

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I'm on my second one, the first was an S model, this is a modified R model. My main beef with the S was the wallow when cornered enthusiastically and the build quality. The R has been fitted with a USD front end and i'm chasing some different rear shockers to sort the back end. I'm replacing the fasteners with S/S ones. I love these bikes because they are practical and will tour (as long as the uncomfy seat has been replaced)and scratch well enough to induce huge grins. Some modern "streetbikes" such as the Z1000 offer better handing but without the pillion provision or underseat storage of the ZRX. But then again the ZRX and other bikes such as the XJR were never intended to compete with the streetbike class. All in all, a lot of bike for a relatively small amount of money.

    29 October 2008

  • So good, I bought it twice

    MarkMac

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I bought mine brand new in 2004, Ptx'd it 16 months later and bought it back a year on from that, from the same showroom, cuz I missed it's abilities. Mine was/is a 1200S version and is probably the most versatile 'real world' bike I have ridden, (Even after my VFR800). In June 2007, I rode it from N.W. Engalnd to Le Harve, France (via ferry of course), and then down to the Pyrenees, and into Spain and onto Alicante. A 3000 mile journey taking, 2 days there and 2 back on foreign soil,riding 600-700 miles per 10-11 hour day, with 2 days rest in Alicante, The bike didn't miss a beat. It's soooo comfortable and the 'S' fairing does a proper job of keeping you cacooned at silly speeds. Over these distances at high speed the fuel dropped to approx 30 mpg and I was filling up every hour, or sometimes less. Which meant day time, mid week fuel runs through France. The bike handled well on the none motorway stuff, but I've turned my eccentric axle cams upside down and dropped the forks 12mm, and then wound in front preload to max and rear to 4, just to try and speed up the steering and enhance suspension performance, as standard settings give it a Q.E.II kinda feel. The engine has huge dollops of pull (torque) and on the fast roads allows you to stay in top (5th) and ride it like a 'twist and go', overtaking every thing like some kind of video game. It was happiest at 5500-6000 revs for this sort of game, that being 90 ish, but it would happily drag you passed anything at warp factor 9 from 60 onwards. This will bring on the need for brakes, which are pretty good. The front wears 6 pot callipers and are the same as on Huyabusas, but need regular cleaning to keep all pistons sliding properly. I've found that the overall build quality is average to OK, but it doesn't get much better for any other muscle bike. I've replaced all my fasteners with stainless to keep it looking half decent, and with most ZRX's, you can buy an' bolt on a lot of blingy toys, and there are plenty of 'I'm a ZRX owner' web sites, some good, some blatantly run by mid 40's guys stuck in the 80's, maybe that's your bag! The 'Rex' is a great bike around town too, easy to balance 'n' filter with a standard riding position, allowing you to see properly without straining your black visored Arai noggin into un-natural positions only a ballerina could attempt. Overall it's nothing fancy by today's standard but is very comfy and very reliable and parts are easily sorted and easy to fit. It's 80's technology (carbs too!!) tweaked a bit, using more modern knowledge and components. Not hyper fast, but will probably out perform your 'real world' needs..I would buy another. Mac

    05 August 2007

  • touring

    darn do

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    just back from a 7 day 2166 miles tour through france,belgum,switzerland & italy on my 06 zrx.a fantastic bike.rideing & handling was spot on. total petrol cost £203 which was great for a naked bike with tent,hard luggage & a pillion on board.

    03 July 2007

  • Totally disagree

    jdunphy

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    The ZRX is the near perfect do it all motorcycle. I have ridden 600 miles in a day on it . I have taken it to track days and suprised the heck out of many a plastic fantastic. With a little bit of suspension work new front springs and some revalving , it can be made to handle surprisingly well. I get great mileage , about 43MPG on a commute. It apparently works as a great drag bike to. visit zrxoa.org or the UK zrxoc.com to learn what this bike can do . Awesome bike ,some bikes may come and go , but this one stays. Plus I got it for a song an 02 with 9K for < 3000 english pounds .

    13 March 2007

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