Early Kawasaki ZX-9Rs weren’t good. The Kawasaki ZX-9R ‘B’ series from 1994 to 1997 was too heavy. Fingers were pointed at the rear swingarm and suspension too. It’s the least sporty of the bunch by some margin. Kawasaki ZX-9R ‘C’, E’ and ‘F’ suffix bikes are all much lighter but still stable and relaxed enough to make excellent road bikes. Brakes are effective unless neglected.
Always a strong point on Kawasakis even when chassis development fell behind the competition. The Kawasaki ZX-9R's engine is a classic with modest low rev torque, no major fireworks in the midrange but enough urge to keep the Kawasaki ZX-9R swift. But rev hard and very little will pull away. The Kawasaki ZX-9R has a pleasing growly nature too.
Reliability is good – Kawasaki ZX-9Rs will clock up huge mileages without letting owners down. But build quality can be patchy. Paint is so thin on the wheels even regular use of a lock can rub it off. Corrosion and stone chips are a common sight on Kawasaki ZX-9Rs. Shocks go off quickly and steering head bearings can wear fast.
The Kawasaki ZX-9R makes a good buy for two reasons. First, as it was always a close-but-no-cigar sportsbike, it’s seen as undesirable so can be cheap. Second, owners who do go for a Kawasaki ZX-9R are less likely to crash or thrash their bikes than those with GSX-Rs or R1s. Look for a bike with a Fenda Extenda and buy with a smug grin. Find a Kawasaki ZX-9R for sale.
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Depends on your perspective. The Kawasaki ZX-9R’s well equipped for a sports bike, quite poor for a sports tourer. The fuel tap is an antique idea with little to commend it but is useful when removing the Kawasaki ZX-9R's tank. Grease nipples on the Kawasaki ZX-9R's rear suspension are a simple, superb idea which few other machines have.