KAWASAKI ZRX1100 (1997-2001) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"An old school, take-no-prisoners hoon machine on which you can surprise yourself"

Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding

"An old school, take-no-prisoners hoon machine on which you can surprise yourself"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki ZRX1100 is one of those bikes which doesn't look that exciting on paper, or even parked up, but once you grab a big handful of throttle down a twisty road the thing comes alive. It's an old school, take-no-prisoners hoon machine and you can surprise yourself - and random sportbike riders - with its combination of solid braking, decent handling and raucous speed.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki ZRX1100 takes some work, some serious weight-shifting, to get the best from it, but when you feel in the mood, it does play ball pretty well. On slow corners the sheer weight of the ZRX seems to make it want to `fall in' on itself, but otherwise, it can hang on in there with other big retro bikes.

Engine 5 out of 5

The Kawasaki ZRX1100 engine is derived from the ZZR1100 motor, which dominated the 90s with its raw, locomotrive power, the ZRX's 1052cc engine has loads of oomph in the midrange and will eventually blast you all the way to an indicated 150mph - if you can hang on behind the bikini fairing. A highly addictive engine, very reliable too.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Apart from the finish on some of the chassis parts - a typical 90s Kawasaki failing - the Kawasaki ZRX1100 is solidly built and wears well. The exhaust downpipes rust pretty rapidly however and the braced swingarm and brake caliper arm at the back are all exposed to a life of grime.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The traditional Kawasaki green models seem to fetch a price premium and the ZRX1100 seems generally more popular than its successor, the flabbier looking ZRX1200S/R. Because it didn't sell well when new, used prices are that bit higher for the Kawasaki than for contemporary retros like the Bandit 1200 or Yamaha XJR1200/1300. Find a Kawasaki ZRX1100 for sale

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki ZRX1100's tiny nose fairing actually works very well, and it gives the big ZRX a distinct advantage over blunderbuss bikes like the GSX1400/XJR1300/Triumph Speed Triple 509 etc which have nothing at all to protect the rider from the force of the breeze at 100mph plus. Great 6 pot brakes on the Kwacker, nice stepped saddle, grab handles, but no centrestand.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their KAWASAKI ZRX1100 (1997-2001) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI ZRX1100 (1997-2001)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

The best of the bargain nakeds

20 January 2006 by warbird

Stonking power, great looks and more than adequate handling and brakes. That just about summs up the big Rex! Big Kawasakis are known for their bullet-proof engines. The rex is no different. I have performed some simple mods, such as installing ZX11... Read more cams, K&N pod air filters, Muzzy Stainless Steel header and Titanium end can, and an Ivan's Performance jet kit. This has taken the mild mannered 93RWHP sleeper to an amazing 129RWHP with NO loss of low and midrange torque. Even though it is rather heavy compared to current sport bike standards, properly set up it will not embarrass you in the twisties. A side benefit of the size is all-day comfort for two-up riding. Strengths: Stone reliaility! You can't kill it. Eye-catching great looks. Tons of great mods available. Best owners association in the world: http://www.zrxoa.com Gobs of power from 3k on. Weaknesses: Weaknesses? There AREN'T any!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1997
Year discontinued 2001
Original price -
Used price £3,000 to £3,500
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 98 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.6 secs
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 125 miles
Specification
Engine size 1052cc
Engine type 4 stroke, in-line four, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 222kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm disc
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

1997: Kawasaki ZRX1100 launched.
1998: RRP reduced by £1200.
2001: Model replaced by ZRX1200S/R.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki ZRX1100 motorcycle review - Riding
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale