2000 Kawasaki ZX-12R
My favorite torture rack
Fork seals blew immediately.
Suspension only adequate for a 150 lb person.
Other than that, call Traxxion Dynamics and tell them your weight, passenger and all accessories weight, and they will build your front springs to spec and will rework your rear.
Nothing performs like this bike. I can ride it like it was a moped. Slow and do 25 or womp on it. Nothing on the highway can touch it. Nothing. She's ultra quick, light and shifts like a Swiss watch. This is a marvelous machine as far as the running gear is. Suspension is not adequate; needs to be tweaked and upgraded to be adequate. She gets 33 MPG.
Now comfort - I call this my torture rack. I'm 5'5. It's horrible on my lower back, shoulders and wrists. My thumb and index finger on my right hand went numb a month ago. It's numb and I can feel it radiating from my shoulder. Additionally, this bike has a horrible vibration at highway cruising speeds. It makes my feet numb. It's not so bad on the knees, and I've had bilateral knee surgery.
My previous bike, the ZX11D and this are nothing alike. I could do 10 hour days on the ZX11. It was way heavier and no vibrations or buzzing; no pressure on my knees, wrists or shoulders. The ZX11 only had one speed. 0-100 immediately. It couldn't be driven conservatively. The 12 kills me after the first 20 miles. A 45 mile ride to work and I want to get off it and never get back on. I'm having a Spiegler handlebar conversion done and hope it gets better.
With all that said, I wouldn't sell it, the drivetrain is so flawless and unlimited that it's worth the back pain. I just had to replace it as my daily driver. I do a 100 mile round trip daily and this bike had me ready to quit my job. I replaced the commute with a $800 82 Honda GL500. I hope my hand numbness goes away; it's been a week off the ZX and still no relief.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th May, 2016
22nd May 2016, 21:35
UPDATED BY OP:
I had a shop install a Spiegler handlebar conversion. When they were done and I picked it up, they commented on how it was the first one they installed and it was well engineered. They said it was a significant change in riding position and they hoped my riding gets better; they would be surprised if it didn't, the change was so drastic.
My normal commute is 45 miles of pure torture, well, I had a 65 mile ride ahead of me. The change is so drastic, you won't believe it's the same bike. No back pain, no neck pain, your head is in a neutral position, your back is fairly straight, there is no discernible pressure on your shoulders, and you aren't doing an inverted pushup the whole ride. There was marginal pressure on the wrists, but it was not triggering my index finger/thumb to be numb any worse and it still seems to be subsiding a little still. I even noticed that the seat isn't really uncomfortable as before; I may forego ordering a Corbin. I was originally intending to have the kit put on and only then actually going to Corbin in Hollister (around the corner) and having a custom fitting done. I don't think the expense is warranted any more; the pressure points have changed and the stock seat even seems more comfortable.
This has made it to where I can now ride the bike fast and hard. I used to have to baby it because the pain was so intense I could barely brake or shift the further I rode. It's like someone gave me a new bike. I have a ZG Sport touring windshield and couldn't feel any wind on my chest or any discernible wind buffeting of my helmet. I didn't really feel much wind wise and I'm 5'5".
Thanks Speigler, I can't stress how transforming the conversion kit is.
13th Jan 2018, 16:47
UPDATED BY OP:
Almost 20k miles on the bike. No problems other than the fork seals keep blowing.
17th Jan 2018, 08:25
I have used the seal mate tool to fix leaks on my Ninja 250R twice, with several months in between. It seems to have cured the leaks. Best investment ever, instead of going to have it repaired for maybe 400 USD (equal amount to about 3500 NOK here in Norway). A friend also cured a leaking fork seal on his Ducati Monster, the same way.
May be worth a try, if you haven't: http://sealmate.net/