2002 Kawasaki ZZR600
Battery discharged several times when still connected to the machine. However, with the battery disconnected, the battery retained its charge. Suspected immobiliser problem.
Engine wouldn't turn over due to a faulty connection between the immobiliser and starter relay. The solution was to remove the immobiliser altogether, in the hope of improving reliability.
Other than the suspected immobiliser problem, nothing has gone wrong with the motorcycle.
Despite the dry mass of 195kg, one is able to forget this, as the handling of the machine becomes quite easy, and corners are taken without too much effort.
Acceleration is quite impressive, and I have surprised many owners of larger bikes.
I have to admit, I expected the braking to be a bit sharper, but then the brakes are progressive and not fierce.
The seating is comfortable, and at motorway speeds, which is what the bike is designed for, it becomes a pleasure.
The luggage tie hooks are most certainly worth their weight in gold, and I have been able to tie heavy items onto the back seat with ease.
The gearbox is a bit clunky, but then that's just a characteristic of the machine and not a fault. Many bikes have clunky gearboxes, such as several BMWs and Moto Guzzis. The positive neutral finder makes finding neutral when stationary easier.
The engine is very flexible, and doesn't bring the worst out in you as do some of the other 600s, which demand to be revved. This engine pulls well low down at 1500 RPM in top gear without hesitation. Above 4000 RPM, it livens up. Above 7000 RPM, it gives performance to make you think you are on a full bred sports bike and not a sports-tourer, and there is a fantastic howl from the air box. If the oil is changed regularly, then these engines should easily achieve 100000 miles, as they rarely need to be thrashed, and the spacing between the cylinders are sufficient to enable good heat dissipation, therefore reducing the likelihood of a blown head gasket.
As for economy, around town with short trips I get around 45 MPG, but don't forget this is by far the least economical way of riding. On the motorway with hard riding, I got 52 MPG, but taking it more sedately, I've achieved 60 MPG. If I did a few tweaks, I could possibly increase that figure.
As with all faired bikes, servicing can be a bit of a pain, but an experienced mechanic such as myself shouldn't find this a problem.
There is a reason why these ZZRs are so popular, and that is because they are comfortable enough for daily use, and have the performance to take you just about any distance with ease.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th July, 2012