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Kawasaki ZZR1100 Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The ZZ-R11 long reigned as speed top dog, but that all changed in 1996 when Honda’s Super Blackbird assumed the title of “Fastest Production Motorcycle”. Intriguingly, however, the ZZ-R continues to impress, aceing the the Blackbird in top gear roll on tests, remaining a great all-rounder and now being better value than ever.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5
5

One of motorcycling’s greats. Open its throttle with anything more than 4000rpm on the clock and the world gets thrown over your shoulders in a blur of colour. The bike also provides its own sound track, growling and snarling with pleasure as it comes on song. The rush of power is awesome, and the bike hurtles forward maniacally at an eye-popping rate.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The ZZ-R is surprisingly easy to ride. The riding postion is typical Kawasaki – the forward stretched riding position comfy for most, especially for taller riders. And the power available might be intimidating but the bike is actually a real sweetie, just as easy to take to the shops as blast to the Bol. Sweet, neutral handler, too.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The neat fold-away bungee hooks are well postioned and very useful as the flared tail-piece doesn’t take throwovers easily.The mirrors are blissfully vibe-free with clear views of what lies behind. Essential kit when piloting a motorcycle that can hit the national speed limit in first. Fuel consumption is an excellent 45mpg which allows 200 miles between fill-ups.

Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 (1990-1997)

Detail Value
Used price range View Kawasaki ZZR1100 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1052 cc
Power 147 bhp
Top speed 172 mph
Insurance group 16 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Later (D, made in America) versions are the best, with sumptious paint and much improved detailing. Reliability-wise, ZZ-Rs have always been pretty solid, like.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The ZZ-R 1100 may not be top dog any more but its pedigree is impeccable and the mere fact its been de-throned by the Super Blackbird makes it even better value. All this for around £2500? That’s some kind of bargain  in our book. Find a Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 16 of 17

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Model History

1991: C1 model launched.
1993: D1 model launched. Now with new frame and bodywork, larger tank and brakes, twin intake fairing, different exhausts and improved instrumentation.
2002: Model discontinued.

Other Versions

ZZ-R1200: Introduced in 2002 with larger engine, revised styling and new lighting. Retained ability of original but lost some of its integrity. Discontinued in late 2004.

Specifications

Top speed 172 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.7 secs
Max power 147 bhp
Max torque 80 ft-lb
Weight 233 kg
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Average fuel consumption 31 mpg
Tank range 144 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 16 of 17
Engine size 1052 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload and rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

See all Kawasaki ZZR1100 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZZR1100

30187 miles

£1,999

Kawasaki
ZZR1100

10 miles

£13,999

Kawasaki
ZZR1100

36000 miles

£2,800

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(15 reviews)

  • Ballistic Missle with whiskers

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Had my ZZR1100 D1 for about four years now. It is a truely astonishing bike in just about every respect if you use it for what it was meant to do, that is Sport Touring. It is not a Sports Bike and has no pretentions of being so. Yes it is fast, unbelievebly fast, it is reasonably nimble, but not as flickable as a 600cc sports bike. Comfortable, well that depends on your size and shape. I am 5.11 and in truth it is a little short from knee to peg, it is a bit of a streatch to the bars but this can be cured by fitting a set of bar risers. The seat will get a little firm after about 150 miles but then what bike dosn't. But now the good bit, stick a set of hard cases and top box on this thing, slap a tank bag up front, dump you better half on the pillion behind you and head for Jean Claud's back yard and this thing comes to life. You can Sport Tour, two up with a full set of luggage, Girlfriend and all her dresses, shoes and makeup safely stored and have a blast. The engine has so much grunt that it will eat the A6 down to S France in a flash, or toodle along the country lanes like a pussy cat. 6th gear will take you to interstella speeds and right down to 25mph if you so choose, it is just as stable at either. The added wieght of all that makeup is shrugged off as if it is not there, it hardly affects the fuel consumption at all which is brilliat for a bike this size, ( I get about 53mpg on a run) In short, if you want to hoon it up with your mates, buy an R1 if you want to do a bit of touring at interstella speed you couldnt do better than a ZZR1100. They are as cheap as chip to buy, you may have seen comments about some dropping the crank on number 3 cylinder but I have done 51.000 miles on mine and with regular oil changes and basic maintenance this wont be a problem. Be prepared to staple your top lip down as it will be stuck to your teeth when you grin like a Chesire Cat on acid as this thing rockets you towards your destination while your sports bikey mates are still leaving the rendevou point.

    27 May 2014

  • trip to Finland

    gouchoplus1

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have a 1996 d4 zzr1100, bought her with 9000 on the clock 4 years ago, last year i rode her to Finland to see some friends who live there,from my door and back, i did 3028 miles in 7 days with a 7 day break in Finland, and she never missed a beat at all, she was fantastic all the way and back,especially on the German autobahns where i could let her rip, where i had a great dice with a maserati clocking 155mph which was great until i pulled in for the next fuel stop where i found i had completely ripped the ass end out of my water proof covers on my panniers, what the hell it was worth it for the grin factor, considering i was fully loaded with two big throw over panniers plus a big rear seat bag, she did me proud, but 155 mph was the fastest i could take her because with all the luggage i had packed on her any faster and i had a bit of a wobble starting in the bars, not to bad but enough to steady me up, but if you want a great bike with loads of character get one of these bikes, and they still get looked at if they are in good nick even along side today's pocket rockets, happy riding all . goucho

    21 May 2010

  • Bullet Proof

    ned799

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have had my ZZR1100D for 6 months now, we did not have the best of starts, with me loosing the front end in France and still having 300+ miles to go. Even battered and not in the best of health she got me home. After a few searches of E-bay, got her patched up again so that I could truely enjoy the experiance. She may not look the best, but she still goes like stonk. Excellent to ride, not as nimble as my Sprint ST but a fantastic place to be. The world is a constant blurr, and when you get to 140mph its time to get behind the screen. One of the most relaxing and easy to ride tourers going.

    25 December 2008

  • Big Comfy Ballistic Missile

    waz68

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I've owned my 1997 ZZR1100 for 6 months now, I bought it with 13000 miles on the clock. My previous bike to the ZZR was an R1..... and I love the ZZR more. I am 6ft 2", and I find the riding position very comfortable, the only thing I have changed has been to add a double bubble screen, as the standard screen is too low for someone of my height. The power of this bike is awesome, and completely effortless, you do not have to rev the t**s off of it to gain triple figure speeds, the 6th gear roll on is mind blowing. I recently rode down to Donnington for the MotoGP, and managed 201 miles from a full tank before I stopped to fill up, and I still hadn't switched to reserve. The finish on this model is lovely mine is a dark metallic green colour with chrome decals. It is very sensitive to tyre pressures, I follows the tyre manufacturers directions and run with 42psi front and rear, I actually rang Bridgestone who confirmed this is correct. The front brakes are not over clever and get worse if your riding hard, they would definately benefit from being upgraded. All in all this bike is great, it does everything I want it to do, cruises effortlessly, and with the right rider will surprise a few sports bikes on the twisties. This is definately a keeper !!

    16 July 2008

  • d7 1999

    andrew arends

    wellingborough , UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have owned this bike for three years now, one problem i had 6 months after was the exhaust splitting where the main joined the extensoin exhaust( there's probably a better phrase for it but i dont know what it is lmao....beer goggles and all that) but any way got another off ebay, far cheaper than the dealer, didn't know a metal fabricator until i got the replacement......but since then no prob apart from that time that we got that dodgy fuel which did something to my carbs and god knows what else, so it got a dealer service which sorted everything out, lets face it if you know the spec of your bike and know what it is capable of, look at what is on offer at the dealers new, and there still isn't alot that can touch this bike, personally i like carbs and none catalists maybe i'm old fashioned but i dont care

    31 May 2008

  • A Touch old and outgunned ?

    sepulchre

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have a 2005 ZZR1200 and have had the pleasure of piloting this touring laviathon for some time now. In and around town the bike is pretty agile and the overall size of the bike is very comforting, and running on carbs make low rev control very easy, theres no snatching or lurching of that which a fuel injected bike suffers from. The ZZR1200 comes into its own when out on the open road for which I feel there is two modes of performance, sensible, sure footed and very predictable and then there is the ZZR's somewhat evil streak - Crack open the throttle and rev it hard and you will be reaching break neck speeds in seconds, for a big bike you can make the ZZR handle far above its lardy appearance, The front brakes will wash off masses of speed in seconds and turning the bike in is very easy indeed, and if you have the nerve to get your backside off the seat your knee will touchdown Overall I reckon the ZZR is great bike and would have another one again if they hadn't gone and built the ZZR1400

    22 March 2008

  • old muscle hard to beat

    quacker2

    sutton in ashfield , UK

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    although these bikes are "old hat" now,they are still bl***y fast. great on fuel reasonably comfy(i am 6ft 4in)easy to work on-not that often! if i had bought one of these when new, i dont think i would be here to tell they tale.service parts are reasonably priced ,spares still easy to get.its just agood all round bike-so many testers over the years cant be wrong.the only thing i can pick out as a fault is that its a tad heavy around any slow traffic,but in a low enough gear and good throttle/clutch work it is easy to get used to. i remember the write ups it got when new- i have to say i agree,its awesome,even by Blade/R1 standards set today. cant wait to test a 1400!

    31 December 2007

  • ZZR1200 - Ba-Boom

    sepulchre

    Average rating rating is 4

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    My ZZR1200 experience is pretty good, If your looking for a machine that can lay some seriously balastic pace in comfort the ZZR1200 fits the bill, there's bonuses too! for a big bike the ZZR turns in very quickly and ridden well can raise sport biker eyebrows, the wind protection offered by the fairing is ompressive even at 130mph + theres no drama to mention, overall a damb fine bike

    30 June 2007

  • Not a fan

    spondonste

    Average rating rating is 2

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    I'll start by saying my time with the ZZR was NOT the best biking experience I've ever had. I like sporty nimble bikes and the ZZR isn't that. I had 2 engines go due to poor manufacturing tolerences on internal oilways to the bottom end. Have heard of at least 14 other ZZR11 engines that had this problem. Mine was fitted with a 4-1 exhaust. Not sure if that was the cause but there was a massive dip in power from 3700-4500rpm that the bike struggled to pull out of. Rode other stock ZZR's and they to had this flat spot but not quite as bad. Carbs DO go out of synch fairly quickly and need resetting around every 3000miles. Chassis was long, low and heavy which meant hussling it round corners was limited by wheelbase and ground clearance. On open sweeping roads it can keep up but tighter stuff then don't bother trying to keep a good pace as it can't handle it. Gear linkage was positioned so that you either had to break your ankle or sit at the back of the seat to use. The girlfriend refered to it as a grand dad bike and that pretty much sums up my thoughts about it.

    07 March 2007

  • A total mile muncher

    EricFisher

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Goes like a rocket and good in town aswell. Great tourer,stable with hard luggage and a big tank.i'm 6'4" and don't get leg cramps. A bit of a handful under heavy breaking. Strengths: Power, comfort, tank range. Weaknesses: Finish, brakes.

    08 November 2006

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AK65

AK65says

ZZR 1100

 I own one of the very first D1 ZZR 1100 on a K plate with a genuine 17000 miles it rides beautifully and makes a mockery of spending 12k plus for say a ZZR 1400 which I have ridden so can compare the two.

Mine is black with the original exhausts which sound wonderful and if you've never heard a ZZR before is one of the best things about the bike. I always describe it as like a jet fighter!! It is such a smooth bike and can be used to commute or a trip to Europe or even further. Mine even qualifies for classic insurance but she's not a pensioner yet especially when you open her up she's like the Millenium Falcon!!

great bike highly recommended what a bargain easy to maintain no dramas with these bikes just brilliant!!

30 May 2014 04:40

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