Kawasaki ZRX1200: Long term report

Published: 18 March 2002

THEY say you can’t put a price on love. I can. It’s £2201.

That’s how much my insurance company wanted from me to keep my ZRX1200 on the road with comprehensive cover for the next 12 months.

Even shopping around couldn’t reduce the costs to an affordable level. Despite being a year older, having a year older bike and now an extra year’s no-claims, I couldn’t find cover at less than £1500.

The ZRX is garaged overnight and I do less than 6000 miles in a year, so why does it cost me so much? I’m 24. I was 23 last year, but since then I’ve bought a house and the insurance for the ZRX is a luxury I can’t afford. It will have to go, but I hope to replace it with something I can still get my kicks on, but which I can insure as a relatively young rider.

A supermoto or enduro bike springs to mind.

It’s a shame. I had really bonded with the big Kawasaki. Solo or two-up, there’s so much torque that overtaking and fast touring is blissfully easy.

The awesome engine made the bike an exhilarating ride and, in the damp conditions we Brits are used to, powerslides are only a twist of the wrist away.

And there’s little sensation of speed, either, thanks to the mega half-fairing. Even bolt upright the screen tips the wind blast over my head, so all I’m conscious of is the growl from the can... and the twinkle of speed cameras in my mirrors.

After having to fight for speed and acceleration for so long on little 400s and screaming two-strokes, with the power of the Kawasaki at my right hand it was only a matter of time before I got some points - and a couple of weeks ago one of the grey guardians of Her Majesty’s roads nabbed me.

I know there’s no excuse, but there were mitigating circumstances. Honest.

The dual-carriageway was under repair and the sign picking out the new limit had been blown, or kicked, over. The camera was conveniently hidden behind a road sign and it was only after the dreaded double flash that I realised my error. Arse.

My insurers have told me that they won’t load my premium for just three points, but that’s scant consolation really considering the huge hit a 24-year-old like me is up against.

I’m hoping to get over £4000 for the ZRX. I bought it for just under £6000 so I’ll probably end up losing between £1500-£2000 which, when I look back at the fun I’ve had, seems like good value.

It’s clean, with a full Remus exhaust system. Judging by how many e-mails I’ve had from readers thinking of buying one, I shouldn’t have too much trouble shifting it for a good price.

I’ve enjoyed every second of owning it and I’m convinced that it would be the perfect bike for anyone... with a few more quid for insurance... or a few more years on the clock. The brakes are amazing. The six-pot front stoppers have performed almost faultlessly and if they worked by themselves on the approach to speed cameras they’d be perfect.

The handling is good for a big bike. It’s never going to run rings around a CBR600, but the wide bars give you plenty of leverage to chuck it about. The only fault is an erratic neutral light. I’ve tried fixing it with judicious spraying of WD40 but the problem

lies buried under the bodywork. I’ll get it sorted before I sell it.

So, if anyone fancies a well looked after ZRX1200 send me an e-mail at my address in the panel.