I wrote last month about the ZX12 that I had recently bought, and I've now been on my 1300 mile sojourn through France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium and thought I'd drop a few lines down here on my thoughts of the bike and how it performed.
Naturally, I'm biased because I bought the bike - so I arranged to be accompanied by a buddy who was riding an Aprilia Caponord. He would also comment on the ZX from an unbiased position - However, after one short ride on my ZX 3 weeks ago, he went out and choped his in for a 2002 model... there went impartiality!
The ride! We took the tunnel from Folkstone and darted all the way down to Strasbourg using the French Autoroutes - 690km door to door and in the last hour we were beginning to ache. Mainly in the bum department, but it was 7 hours in the saddle so it was to be expected. The neck ache from high speed windblast was addressed with the use of an Alpine Stars "Neck" brace. Speeds on the way down probably 'averaged' 100mph and the ZX ate that for breakfast (and lunch). The run then took us though the Black Forest, which was an excellent ride location in the late sping sunshine, but in the twisty roads that took us up over the top of the hills the ZX's weight and high CoG made it's self apparent (added to by probably another 50kg of gear) and the fast hairpin decents became a little too hair-raising. The blast along the B500 to Baden Baden was a blast to behold!
From there it was up the Rhine to Koblenz and then down the Mosel valley to Luxembourg. On the short autobahn stretch we were comfortably able to chase a porsche at 160mph (with luggage!!) and then comfortably cruise up the river roads... the ZX's took it all in their stride and really were a pleasure to ride.
The final 400 miles, yesterday, in the wet, were great too. The ZX's were comfortable, and the levels of weather protection were better than I thought they would be. I got home, safe and sound, but more importantly still able to move and walk after 4 long days in the saddle.
The ZX can be a beast, but is relatively easy to tame and an absolute joy to ride.... However, it's eaten an almost new Dunlop D207 in a little over 2,000 miles...