KAWASAKI ZRX1100 (1997 - 2001) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 98 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: Medium (490 lbs / 222 kg)


New N/A
Used £4,500 - £6,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price £4,500 - £6,300
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 98 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.6 secs
Tank range 125 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

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

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ZRX1100 (1997 - 2001)

5 owners have 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 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
5 out of 5 The joys of riding a Zrx1100
19 March 2021 by T Rex Dave

Year: 1998

Great looks, steam train pulling power, a big cheesey grin on my face when riding through local village or watching other bikers and people looking at my bike instead of newer sports bikes parked along side while I'm in cafe having my latte

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Grunt when needed, effortless overtaking and surprises a few sportsbike riders when they see me in there mirrors! Needs seat up rated for more comfort and longer rides

Engine 5 out of 5

Endless mid range grunt

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Works best with michelin tyres

Buying experience: From a private seller but through a garage, now worth double what i paid for it

5 out of 5 super nice green monster..
06 November 2020 by Rodrigo Escobar

Year: 2000

build rear sporokets smaller than 42T.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

bags to trip.

5 out of 5 New lease of life.
05 October 2015 by Andy Lawton

Year: 1997

Bought 3 years ago and I'm the 7th owner ! Loads of great goodies had been fitted but none of them matched to each other. Full race Muzzy system. Nissin brakes. 7 feet of useless and dodgy wiring. Naff led's. A boat horn , a cigarette lighter, a dodgy rear torsion arm. 5 month rebuild back to nuts and bolts last winter, K&N filters fitted. Frame, wheels, forks and springs stove enamelled. New fork innards, fork brace. All tolerances checked. New original pattern lights. Battleaxe tyres. all nasty bits removed and genuine parts refitted.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Standard brakes are OK but a lot of folk upgrade. Mine came off a GSXR750 and she'll stand on her nose now. Tyres make a huge difference. Bridgestone Battleaxe are excellent but each to his own.

Engine 5 out of 5

Tons of torque. Standard cam with Muzzy pipe and K & N's, tuned carbs and jets to match exhaust. Dyno'd 119.7bhp (rear wheel). Many owners fit ZZR cam and can get up to 150bhp with no loss of reliability. Unburstable.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Provided you keep her clean and don't leave road salt to eat into the frame these are very solidly built. The engine? Incredibly strong. 17 years old . the bores are untarnished, the pistons cleaned up like new, gears unmarked, crank like new, oil-ways all like new, no adjustment needed to shims.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

£1600 gets you an old snotter which you could spend another £1500 to transform or pay £2500 and get a good condition bike with a stonking engine. Expect anywhere between 30 and 44mpg. Change the oil and filters every 3000 miles.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Looks and hugely surprising performance. Great in the twisties. Pulls, pulls and pulls some more.

Buying experience: Private purchase. Paid £1800 but have subsequently paid about £1200 making her look and feel like new. I wouldn't sell her because I love the soul and feel of a fairly big muscle bike that will last for years and surprise many pocket rockets.

5 out of 5
22 August 2015 by apples

Year: 1999


Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 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 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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