Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (9)
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2009-11-05 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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Having lived with the big Super-Kaw for some time now, I've had the chance to really evaluate its pros and cons. I've piled on an additional 6000-plus miles since getting it and I can more accurately comment on it. First off, it's still one heck of a machine. However, I found that it took me a while before I could really dial in the suspension to my liking. The rear shock is easy to adjust and getting the right pre-load and damping was made easy to do by Kawasaki's design team. The front forks took quite a bit more time to find the right setting. Part of this is due to the fact that you can only adjust pre-load on the front, so finding the right balance can be a little trickier. Where I live (I commute on highway almost daily) there are a number of pronounced expansion joints in the road. There was too much jolt on the front forks when I hit them. I learned that part of the problem was the fork oil needed to be changed (every two years according to the maintenance schedule). That made a huge difference and now it's really nice... good damping and excellent control, plus stability for cornering. While the weight of the big Kaw wasn't a huge issue with me, I nonetheless got rid of the stock exhaust and purchased an Akropovic Titanium and Carbon Fiber exhaust. This dropped about 20-25 pounds off the unsprung weight of the bike and made a huge difference in the handling, especially with less than a half a tank of fuel. Darn thing felt as light as a 600 underway (almost...). Did I mention the Akropovic exhaust sounds really sweet? And finally, although pretty comfortable to begin with, I got a pair of GenMar risers (raised the bars up about 1 1/2 inches and back a scosh) now it is indeed just perfect. All told, I'm still quite pleased with my Super-Kaw. It remains an economic, ultra reliable, mega fast, well handling, X-country express that is also still a looker. Money well spent.
- Bob H., Chesapeake, Virginia

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2006-09-06 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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Had her almost a year and put 14000 miles on so far. Even though there should be more but I didn't ride much for a few months. Had a 2400 mile trip to the Smokies in 5 days. Pulled 12 hour ride days and had no problems the whole time. This is a great bike. I would like something a tad smaller for running errands around town, but otherwise would not trade this bike for anything. She never lets me down. I wish there was more of an aftermarket, but otherwise great.
- ray, omaha, Nebraska

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2004-11-01 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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I have just clicked off over 5000 miles in a year. The bike seems to run better every time I click off another 1000 miles. Acceleration, handling, braking, everything that I expected and more. There are some extras that I have not tried - new seat - it does push you forward. I do want to try to add new pipes and a less restrictive air filter. Back to the bike... this is the most predictable and easy to control bike I have ever rode. When you do hit the digits above 160 it never seems to want to stop. It truly is the sleeper of the Kawasaki line. One more thing... love the insurance rates. What I saved in the first year, I could buy all the upgrades I just mentioned. Check it out, that is all I can say!
- David , Tampa Bay, Florida

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2004-07-26 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the one bike in the Kawasaki stable that should be called Ninja, it creeps up behind you like the silent assassins and assaults you, the only difference is that this bike leaves you grinning like an idiot. This is truly the stealth bomber of the biking world. It has none of the loud and racy graphics of the sports bikes that seem to attract the attention of the law. It looks like it should be driven by sensible people in business suits. Suckers, this thing goes, the handling is tight and compliant and that engine just pulls from 2000rpm up to the redline. I cannot imagine ever wanting a true sport bike again, when this bike does all I ask from it, in comfort. Biking shouldn't be uncomfortable but should be this much fun for everyone, the sports bike fraternity just don't know it yet.
- martin, vancouver, British Columbia

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2004-03-15 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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Riding the ZZR1200 has been a revelation. My eyes have been opened to the Zen of motorcycling. If I were 30 years younger I would take up motorcycle racing. The ZZR1200 is a near religious experience (especially at 150mph+ or when taking curves silky smooth). I can't and won't compare this bike to the myriad other sport or sport/touring bikes since my experience is limited. I test drove the ST1300 and I had no "wow" experience (bah humbug, the high pitched whining sent shivers up my spine). I test road a Suzuki R600 and it beat me up miserably, my hands and back ached after the tiniest of test rides (a medieval torture device inspired that bike). I called on insurance rates for the Hayabusa and R1000 and nearly fainted. Undaunted, I continued my search for something wilder and wickeder than my beloved, but now outdated, Suzuki Intruder 1500 LC which sputters and screams in agony at a mere 115mph. (My intruder is still the most comfortable riding game in town, for me, with it's "comfy chairseat from factory heaven - I'll keep the intruder for my decrepitude and retirement days). While stalking out the used bikes at a local dealership, I spied a dark-blue beauty, said "wowand wanted it before I knew what it was I wanted (I grabbed for my wallet instinctively). The "wowis a used 2003 low miles dark blue ZZR1200 beauty. The price was incredibly right and I took her home with a feeling I had stolen half of her. I could insure three ZZR1200s for the outrageous insurance rates of one hyped up Hayabusa, and yet, the performance of the ZZR1200 is but a small margin less than the Hayabusa (can you really tell the difference between 180 or 200 mph with your eyes closed, young man?). Thankfully, Kawasaki markets the ZZR1200 as a "touringbike and insurance companies have taken the bait. A mountain lion for the price of a kitty cat. The ZZR1200 has great looks, incredible performance, and marginal comfort for a sport-touring bike in stock configuration (the stock seat relentlessly slides you forward while gusts of wind blowing over the stock windshield thrash you back). To be able to ride with greater comfort, I am investing in a Corbin seat, aftermarket touring windscreen, Genmar risers, Givi bags and Throttlemeister to tame the beast enough for long distance comfort. I can image already the joy of riding this beauty in the twisties of the Colorado Mountains that beckon me for this summer's tour. Originally created for the German autobahn, the ZZ1200 beast craves speeds that can only be enjoyed in illegal stealth with risk of mandatory court appearances and oodles of points against your driver's license for years to come if caught. Nonetheless, if you dare own this beauty, and can always ride her at the posted speed limits, then you must be made of sterner stuff than me, or are nearly dead. Madness takes over me when my hand touches the throttle and power surges in the ZZR1200 with a vengeance and effortlessness that is intoxicating. Yes, the wondrous feeling of recapturing my lost youth - who needs viagria with a ZZR1200 - to enjoy the wind blowing through what's left of one's hair (yes, even wearing a full-face helmet the wind somehow manages to blow through your hair when riding a ZZR1200). What I am trying to say is this: Do your homework, dear friend. This bike should be on your short list of bikes to consider if you want a sport bike that won't tear your old bones up and spit you out like the tired old flabby middle age paunch bucket that you probably are. Put a few more bucks into this beast and spruce her up for comfort and long rides - it is still a deal compared to the Honda ST1300 or Yamaha FJR1300. You will fall in love with the bug-eyed taillights, I promise. Strangers will drool. Law enforcement will instinctively point radar guns in hatred at you, so beware. You will regain your lost youth - or if you are young, buy a ZZR1200, ride it a thousand miles a day for the rest of your life and you will never lose your youth, no matter how old and flabby you become. (Hope this unbiased matter-of-fact review helps).
- vbwiz, Columbia, Missouri

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2004-03-13 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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I really enjoy riding this bike. For someone my size though a recommend a zero gravity screen and a Corbin seat for supreme comfort. Stock this bike is a strong 8 to hit 10 you need to invest in the Holeshot pipes, seat, screen and a fork brace. I did them all. I can run with any bike out there and blow out all of them on the quarter due to the early power build up. The weight keeps her stable on high speeds and the fairings work better than any other bike out in its class. Handling is heavy but it's a small sacrifice. If you want huge improvements on handling get better tires with a progressive shock and look out. This bike is ideal for larger riders who can't fit on the CBR or R1. The carburetor set up rival's fuel injection and it's easier and cheaper to tinker with. With this bike you won't go wrong. You won't see many on the road so you'll stand out. And the Holeshot pipes will shame any 900 or 1 liter. Invest the extra 1500 on this bike and you'll love it as a daily rider or commuter.
- A Zakarian, point mugu, California

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2003-11-04 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned a ZZR 1200 for about a year now, and this bike is absolutely awesome. Plenty of power and low end torque, but most important, comfort. I am 44 and enjoy a good ride, but comfort is getting harder to find on these sport bikes where they keep lowering the handle bars. This bike handles, accelerates like a missile, and all with good riding comfort. I may buy a cruiser one day, but I will never get rid of this bike.......too much fun!
- Tim Mallard, Wake Forest, North Carolina

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2003-10-11 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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Although I have much to say about the ZZR1200, I can't wait to get back out on it and hit speeds I am not sure are legal except on a race track. If you are looking for a Sport-tourer and get the urge to keep up with that Suzuki Hayabusa that just passed you, the ZZR is your bike. Handlebar risers, Corbin Bettle Bags and a Corbin seat is about the only items needed for motorcycle perfection. I test rode the BMW GT1200, Aprilia Futura 1000, Ducati ST4, Honda ST1300, and even Yahama FJR1300, and I have a Kawasaki ZZR1200 in my garage-enough said..
- CB, New Hampshire

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2003-05-12 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is hands down one of the best motercycles I have ever owned. If you loved the ZX1100 your going to fall in love again.
- Chuck, Narrowsburg, New York

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