1985 Kawasaki ZL900 Eliminator

Summary:

Fun and exciting

Faults:

Absolutely nothing as yet.

General Comments:

It is great.

Fantastic to ride in a straight line; corners are a bit dangerous though.

New seat makes it a lot more comfortable.

Still working on it changing / cleaning or repairing parts as it was stored for 3 years.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2009

15th Aug 2009, 23:07

I love the ZL900's as do so many other people. Why can't we get Kawasaki to build a new Gen2 ZL with a 1500cc ZX motor so it can wax the new Vmax that has been generating so much interest since its recent release.

If Kawasaki would build it... I surely would buy!!! Anyone else out there feel the same?

Kevin K

South Carolina USA.

29th May 2013, 20:00

I would ABSOLUTELY buy one if they came out with a new one. Maybe a de-tuned version of the ZX-14 motor?? Would definitely be an awesome bike with fuel injection, and today's suspension at both ends. Maybe add a steering damper for safety's sake. But definitely something Kawasaki should think about, instead of imitating Harleys...

30th Jan 2014, 14:15

I have a red one and a black one. They are super fast, even by 2014 standards. I love them. Getting rare because they are worth more if you sell in parts than the whole bike. I am keeping both of mine.

1985 Kawasaki ZL900 Eliminator

Summary:

As a weekend rocket it is brilliant

Faults:

Battery needed replacing when I bought it, wrong type (too small) fitted.

One out of the four carburetters needed a replacement butterfly valve.

Electrical connectors had corroded and needed replacing as well as some electrical cables.

Overheating due to blocked cooling system, needed good flushing.

Fuel pipe from bottom of tank to carburettors needed replacing.

General Comments:

Kawasaki designed this bike (ZL900 Eliminator) to be a dragster, and BOY CAN IT DRAG!

Most people will recognise it as a chopper of sorts in style. It is quite long with a low seat, wide stance and straight bars. The engine is slung low in the frame and sits upright.

Under full acceleration the low centre of gravity stops the front wheel from lifting so you can give it full throttle with confidence.

With 120HP and nearly 90LB/ft of torque (the engine is from a GPX900R) and no fear of wheelies it can out-drag nearly 95% of bikes on the road (personal experience).

Having praised it so much, I would also like to mention the other side.

It is not a lightweight at 260k, and because it is long, it is hard to corner fast and to keep up with more modern bikes. You have to use a lot of counter-steering and be brave.

The low silencers have a tendency of bottoming out when you least expect it. The seat numbs your bum after about 100 miles and the pillion seat is useless.

The brakes are brilliant, but when you brake hard, it is very easy to lock the back brake because of the weight transfer.

The fuel tank only holds 11 litres of fuel, enough for about 80 miles or 50 miles if you are riding hard.

Because of its age, 22 years old, it requires a lot of regular maintenance, which can be expensive, and the parts are getting hard to find and tend to be expensive as well.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2007

25th Feb 2009, 13:54

I had one of these for about 6 years. Fuel consumption, I averaged about 37mpg, but worst ever was 22mpg.

120 BHP, err, more like 105, it was quick.

29th Sep 2010, 04:59

As a weekend rocket, it is amazing. Had my 900 for about 8 months now, and I do not stray too far from home. I found you need the roads to be quiet to fully enjoy this bike in the UK, and with the small tank and all round weight of the bike, long distances can be uncomfortable. But boy does she out accelerate anything else on the road.

4th Jul 2012, 22:22

Had mine since new (27 years!) in high school. Off the road for 10 years as I bought a more cushy Superglide, but putting on road again this year. Put 65000 kms on it. Only change I would make is to put 2" risers and t-bars on. Took it on (2) 1500 mile trips over 6 days, and my only problem was sore spot between thumb and finger (hence raising the bars a little). Will NEVER sell it!