2003 Kawasaki ZZR 1200 from Canada
The ZZR 1200 is a fast, powerful and comfortable bike for a fun ride or cross-country adventure
I've not had any problems with the bike. Change the oil, fill the gas, and go.
I've had a number of bikes over the years and this one is a keeper. It is very strong and can run with many modern sport bikes. It pulls very hard with no detectable dips in the power delivery. Very tractable from idle to 11,000 RPM.
One magazine said it likes an F18 on afterburner - it just keeps pulling and pulling and pulling. Kawasaki advertised them with 160 HP at the crank and bike magazines report 140-145 HP at the rear wheel pretty routinely. Before the ram air had any chance to help build power. Strong.
The rumours of a slight buzz in the handlebars between 4500-5500 RPM are true. 100 KM/h is about 3600 RPM so whether this will affect you depends on how fast you want to cruise. You can lose your license quickly if you want to.
The bike is fairly big but handles well. Very stable at high speeds (so I'm told) and more nimble than you'd expect for the weight. The brakes work well on the street, although I've had some squealing develop under light use. Goes away with a few hard stops.
It is heavy as a sport bike goes, but very reasonable as a sport tourer. You'd have to be well beyond reasonable limits for the street before you'd run into suspension limitations. I've got Givi bags hard bags on it and they fit very well. I've also installed Genmar bar risers, which were an excellent addition. The stock windscreen works well.
As for durability, I know people with over 100,000 KM on the bike with no signs of power loss or other problems. I've seen more than one for sale with over 160,000 KM. I'm aware of reports of cam failures, but I've never spoken to anyone who has had that problem. Steering head bearings can need tightening around 40,000 KM. Valve adjustments every 12,000 KM, which is a bit short. Otherwise they are very strong and incredibly reliable.
Overall, if you like this style of sport bike, it is hard to find something better.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd June, 2017
4th Jun 2020, 16:54
Has anybody had brake problems? I've had all 3 calipers cleaned, split and rebuilt at 50 k. Brakes were horrendous and back brake seized whilst driving, back wheel locked up solid... seem OK now, but I am concerned it will happen again. I've lost faith in those calipers.