Kawasaki ZZR 1200 Reviews from United States of America

2004 Kawasaki ZZR 1200

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired2 miles
Most recent distance55000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha FJ1200

Summary:

I just love the heck out of it

Faults:

The only failure was a flattened intake cam lobe at approximately 47,000 miles.

General Comments:

This bike is flawless in just about every category. The acceleration is intoxicating... so much so that it is very hard for me to consider my next bike.

This bike offers a great amount in all the pertinent categories... excellent range and fuel quantity, good comfort, beautiful styling, great reliability, and again that phenomenal acceleration.

This bike has a consistently great running demeanor in either blazing hot weather or freezing cold weather... it never fails to start or stumble and surge due to changes in the environment... and that is an incredible feat for a carburetor-equipped bike.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd October, 2012

2003 Kawasaki ZZR 1200

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Distance when acquired8000 miles
Most recent distance9000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda GL1800S Gold Wing

Summary:

Superfragilisticexpialidocious

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the Zed.

General Comments:

Great bike, that is getting harder to find. This is a quick bike with 140 to 160 hp. Suggested upgrades; Corbin seat, HeliBars.

This bike is not for beginners. It will kill you if you are stupid.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2012

2004 Kawasaki ZZR 1200

Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.1 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 miles
Most recent distance33000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki GPZ-750 A2

Summary:

Excellent all-rounder!

Faults:

Since I have owned it, nothing has gone wrong. I've done basic maintenance, new tires, brake pads and a valve adjustment, but otherwise she starts every time and goes without any fuss!

The speedometer broke during my test ride when I was considering buying the bike, but a replacement gauge cluster from ebay ($80) did the trick, and it's been fine ever since.

The headset bearings are beginning to show signs of wear, but at 30,000+ miles on such a heavy bike, this isn't really a surprise.

General Comments:

I have enjoyed every mile on my ZZR. It's a long and heavy bike, but Kawasaki did a great job at making it feel nimble and not nearly as big as it is. Around town in traffic, it can be a little bit of a chore, but once you hit the open road, the bike really comes into its element. Hours of high speed riding in the hills and backroads are effortless on this bike.

The engine responds instantly at virtually any RPM, and thanks to the fat torque curve, most situations don't require a downshift to get going. For being a sport touring bike, this thing accelerates surprisingly fast. As one reviewer has already said, will gladly do 180mph+ and click off a 1/4 mile run in the mid 10's. Even at 100mph a twist of the throttle produces instant and vicious acceleration... Hold on tight! The real beauty, though, is that you don't have to spin the engine very fast to get moving at an illegal pace. It's perfectly happy loping along between 2500-4500rpm, which is what Kawasaki was aiming for. It's a big engine, and it makes a bunch of power up top, but despite having fairly large carburetors and wild enough cams to breathe efficiently at 10,000+rpm, it's still very civil and torquey at low engine speeds.

Suspension is firm, but still fairly comfortable on most surfaces. At high speed on the highway it really shines, and it's very planted through big, sweeping corners. The brakes are powerful and easy to modulate, but the stock pad compound didn't have enough bite for my liking, so I switched to the EBC HH pads and I have no complaints. The stock riding position is a little sporty for longer rides, but with 1" Gen-Mar risers and a Corbin seat, it's pretty comfy.

The ZZR tends to "suffer" from little bit of buzzing in the handle bars right around 4500-5000rpm, which is right about where the engine speed winds up at 75-80mph. This seems to be the most common complaint about these bikes, but it can be mostly remedied by using different grips. Other than the little bit of buzziness, it's a great bike for long distances, and the bodywork does a very nice job of keeping you from getting beat up too much at high speed.

I've ridden mine as much as 650 miles in a single day through the mountains of Colorado, and at the end of the day I wasn't crippled! If I had been on a literbike, I'm sure it would have been a different story. I was also able to average 53mpg during that trip of mostly 70-90mph highway, and a couple of blasts well beyond that. Around town I average about 40mpg. I live in Colorado, so sometimes I can't ride, but as long as the ground isn't covered with snow, I try to ride my bike every day, and it never gives me any trouble. The ZZR1200 is somewhat of a well kept secret.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2011

2004 Kawasaki ZZR 1200

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired800 miles
Most recent distance20000 miles
Previous motorcycleHarley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200R

Summary:

This is a great looking, fast, reliable, and well handling motorcycle

Faults:

Some scoring of the cam lobes.

General Comments:

This bike is fast by any standard with breathtaking acceleration.

It handles very well, and feels solidly planted all the time. It is a very stable bike.

The bike looks great. One of the better styling jobs by Kawasaki.

The acceleration is linear, and the engine doesn't need to be revved that high to get this bike moving.

You can cruise at 90+ all day long on this bike, and it's not even breaking a sweat.

The wind protection is very good.

The braking is very good.

Reliability is excellent.

This is a sport tourer, however the emphasis is on the sport side.

I've put about 20,000 miles on it, and I'm still very happy with it.

Depending on you size, age, health etc. it will be comfortable or not.

The stock seat is horrible for long rides.

There is one known problem that many of these bikes had, and that is the cam lobes pit severely. Some owners have replaced the cams, others continued to ride without replacing them with no apparent failures or other ill affects.

The bike is rather heavy and has a sizable wheel base.

Gas mileage is typically around 42 MPG, assuming you're reasonably gentle with the throttle.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd August, 2008

Average review marks: 9.0 / 10, based on 4 reviews