KAWASAKI ZRX1200 (2001 - 2007) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
Power: 123 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: Medium (492 lbs / 223 kg)


New N/A
Used £4,000 - £7,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is a big, beefy, retro styled bike with plenty of grunt, a comfortable riding position and good looks (especially the Kawasaki ZRX1200 R version, which pays homage to the Eddie Lawson replica Z1100R of the '80s).

But the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is really heavy, has a notchy gearbox and the handling and braking feels outdated compared to the newer Z1000 Kawasaki, or a stack of other 1000-1200cc sized naked roadsters.

Ride quality & brakes

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

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is approaching its sell-by date in terms of ride and handling. The forks are multi-adjustable, but soft and the front end of the Kawasaki ZRX1200 loads up with weight and pushes the front tyre around when you corner hard. It also has a bit of a `bouncy castle' back end. In short, the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is fun to ride, but not too fast.


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

Derived from the ZZ-R1100 of the 90s, the Kawasaki ZRX1200 motor is tough, does high mileages with ease and has more than enough power for a naked/half faired machine. The Kawasaki ZRX1200 breathes through old school carbs, rather than fuel injection, which some prefer, although it can be thirsty when given some stick. The five-speed gearbox is adequate, but the Kawasaki ZRX1200 feels like it could be made slicker somehow.

Reliability & build quality

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

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 motor will last forever with some regular oil changes. The chassis parts aren't quite so durable though and the short front mudguard allows plenty of wet weather road muck onto the matt black downpipes and engine cases. Various Kawasaki ZRX1200 fasteners also suffer from corrosion quite easily. It isn't any worse than many other budget big retro bikes, but needs some TLC.

Value vs rivals

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

The big naked roadster sector of the market is highly competitive these days and the Kawasaki ZRX1200 is starting to look a bit old fashioned now. Rivals like the Z1000, Fazer 1000, Ducati Monster S4R, Honda CB1300R or Yamaha XJR1300 all arguably offer more bang per buck than the Kawasaki ZRX1200. Find a Kawasaki ZRX1200 for sale


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Kawasaki ZRX1200 S version has a decent half fairing, which makes the bike an acceptable solo touring machine, or commuter. The Kawasaki ZRX1200 also has a good underseat storage space, plus there's a good sized pillion perch and grab handles for the passenger. Soft luggage would fit the Kawasaki ZRX1200 pretty easily too.


Engine size 1164cc
Engine type 16v transverse four, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 223kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake Single 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £200
New price -
Used price £4,000 - £7,500
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 123 bhp
Max torque 11.4 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Tank range 125 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2001: Kawasaki ZRX1200S launched.
2002: Kawasaki ZRX1200R appears; same bike with bikini fairing, old school clocks instead of full dashboard, in blue or traditional Kawasaki green colour scheme. No major changes to date.
2007: Kawasaki ZRX1200R deleted

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ZRX1200 (2001 - 2007)

7 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZRX1200 (2001 - 2007) 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 ZRX1200 (2001 - 2007)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Equipment: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
4 out of 5
06 July 2016 by tom sarris

Year: 2001

Yes, have recommended to many friends. Suspension might have to be updated depending on your weight.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Awesome Engine. Power on tap, and I have the tickets to prove it.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 16 Year long Term ZRX 1200S Test. ...........Very Long term test 16 years one Zrx two shorter ones.3 yrs and four yrs
27 April 2016 by dennis newland

Version: ZRX1200S

Year: 2001

Annual servicing cost: £200

Bike corners exceptionally well with right suspension set up and tyre and pressure maintenance. Lights are brilliant for night riding

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Perth WA to Mount Hotham Victoria return SA Border to Perth 1500 kms 14hrs twenty minutes in one day no aches no pains just wanted to ride. Did trip later picked up another 2002 ZRX from shop in South Moran did mountain trips in winter just at commencement of snow season before road closures. Magic ride even fully loaded. and another border run home. Absolutely brilliant ride after scraping frost of bike. No it wont do 300km an hour, been there done that, quite frightening on some bitumen. ZRX has the right power in the right mid range place for enjoyable and cornering.

Engine 5 out of 5

Easy to tune, easy to replace cam chain and other parts. Have polished one set of pipes and found stainless beneath paint looks good. Brakes are brilliant but need the right pads. Bike fell over in garage cracked side cover over intake air box remainder all OK. Slipped over on dead animal at 25kph on my immaculate ZZR1200 just before a junction - Bike Written off (very sad). Tried Suzuki 1400 strangled by minuscule valve downsize (why). tried XJR1300 a nice motor (especially for touring) but ZRX has it all in spades for road use.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No corrosion anywhere, Has Yoshimura muffle. sounds perfect. Has run on synthetic since 5K. Fitted belly pan on one, wavey discs on another, Painted red wheels with Polished sides on one Similar to dark silver wheels polished sides on another. Difficult choosing ride of the day. Also have W800 (brilliant Nostalgia and quite pokey despite write ups) and a KLR 650. That may have to go soon as age is beating me, not the bikes. Tried track day back in 2007 kept up with most specifically cornering. Anyone who says this bike wallows needs to reset the suspension settings.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Do all my own servicing. Have one ZRX for 15 years keep trying others but the smoothness of this bike that has shared my rides is still brilliant after 129K. and nine trips around the Pilbara and the North West Cape of WA. Has only stopped after 15 kms on diesel petrol mixture after a tantrum pump rage incident. towed back to garage By a Ha err Ha err Harley, cleaned out and refilled tank, has run perfect ever since. Possible the new triumph 1200cc Bonneville 120 might tempt me but the ZRX1200 mat soon rest in the garage just in case.

Equipment 5 out of 5

One of the point that made me buy this bike were the powerful twin headlights for night riding and the half fairing which does the job of keeping the wind at bay, suggest to stick to Bridgestone latest sports or sport touring tyres for good results. Belly Pan looks the part along with Matching red grips, Yoshi muffler definitely frees up performance. Oil consumption is still negligible. I replace chain and sprockets at around 40k sometimes earlier simply to keep it in good condition but adjustment is rarely needed..

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer in Australia got it for $12000 cash. It had been on a pedestal in shop for a long time. But people clamoured for the sports bikes in 2001 (been there done that) a mad moment seduced by a lone 1600cc cruiser (soon departed).

5 out of 5 muscle
18 August 2014 by coombyzed

on my 3rd zrx , love it

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Top bike
29 October 2008 by billy big skid

I'm on my second one, the first was an S model, this is a modified R model. My main beef with the S was the wallow when cornered enthusiastically and the build quality. The R has been fitted with a USD front end and i'm chasing some different rear shockers to sort the back end. I'm replacing the fasteners with S/S ones. I love these bikes because they are practical and will tour (as long as the uncomfy seat has been replaced)and scratch well enough to induce huge grins. Some modern "streetbikes" such as the Z1000 offer better handing but without the pillion provision or underseat storage of the ZRX. But then again the ZRX and other bikes such as the XJR were never intended to compete with the streetbike class. All in all, a lot of bike for a relatively small amount of money.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 So good, I bought it twice
05 August 2007 by MarkMac

I bought mine brand new in 2004, Ptx'd it 16 months later and bought it back a year on from that, from the same showroom, cuz I missed it's abilities. Mine was/is a 1200S version and is probably the most versatile 'real world' bike I have ridden, (Even after my VFR800). In June 2007, I rode it from N.W. Engalnd to Le Harve, France (via ferry of course), and then down to the Pyrenees, and into Spain and onto Alicante. A 3000 mile journey taking, 2 days there and 2 back on foreign soil,riding 600-700 miles per 10-11 hour day, with 2 days rest in Alicante, The bike didn't miss a beat. It's soooo comfortable and the 'S' fairing does a proper job of keeping you cacooned at silly speeds. Over these distances at high speed the fuel dropped to approx 30 mpg and I was filling up every hour, or sometimes less. Which meant day time, mid week fuel runs through France. The bike handled well on the none motorway stuff, but I've turned my eccentric axle cams upside down and dropped the forks 12mm, and then wound in front preload to max and rear to 4, just to try and speed up the steering and enhance suspension performance, as standard settings give it a Q.E.II kinda feel. The engine has huge dollops of pull (torque) and on the fast roads allows you to stay in top (5th) and ride it like a 'twist and go', overtaking every thing like some kind of video game. It was happiest at 5500-6000 revs for this sort of game, that being 90 ish, but it would happily drag you passed anything at warp factor 9 from 60 onwards. This will bring on the need for brakes, which are pretty good. The front wears 6 pot callipers and are the same as on Huyabusas, but need regular cleaning to keep all pistons sliding properly. I've found that the overall build quality is average to OK, but it doesn't get much better for any other muscle bike. I've replaced all my fasteners with stainless to keep it looking half decent, and with most ZRX's, you can buy an' bolt on a lot of blingy toys, and there are plenty of 'I'm a ZRX owner' web sites, some good, some blatantly run by mid 40's guys stuck in the 80's, maybe that's your bag! The 'Rex' is a great bike around town too, easy to balance 'n' filter with a standard riding position, allowing you to see properly without straining your black visored Arai noggin into un-natural positions only a ballerina could attempt. Overall it's nothing fancy by today's standard but is very comfy and very reliable and parts are easily sorted and easy to fit. It's 80's technology (carbs too!!) tweaked a bit, using more modern knowledge and components. Not hyper fast, but will probably out perform your 'real world' needs..I would buy another. Mac

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 touring
03 July 2007 by darn do

just back from a 7 day 2166 miles tour through france,belgum,switzerland & italy on my 06 zrx.a fantastic bike.rideing & handling was spot on. total petrol cost £203 which was great for a naked bike with tent,hard luggage & a pillion on board.

Ride quality & brakes 5 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 Totally disagree
13 March 2007 by jdunphy

The ZRX is the near perfect do it all motorcycle. I have ridden 600 miles in a day on it . I have taken it to track days and suprised the heck out of many a plastic fantastic. With a little bit of suspension work new front springs and some revalving , it can be made to handle surprisingly well. I get great mileage , about 43MPG on a commute. It apparently works as a great drag bike to. visit zrxoa.org or the UK zrxoc.com to learn what this bike can do . Awesome bike ,some bikes may come and go , but this one stays. Plus I got it for a song an 02 with 9K for < 3000="" english="" pounds="" .="" 3000="" english="" pounds="" .="">

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
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