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Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200 reviews

4.8
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Reliability
4.8
Overall quality
4.8
Performance
4.8
Comfort
4.7

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26 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Coombesy

Hawaii

Reviewed on 2020-09-12

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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4.5
Been riding bikes since 15 lots.im 59 live in new zealand.had the 02 z 4 months love it.big grunty beast of a thing but smooth as silk.standard everything why change it.bit low for me im 6-2 with long legs had to ad cheap online cushon now its sweet still get sore ass after 2 hours.last of old school style tourers.bit low on sweeping bends toe scrapes on road but handles ok.sucks the gas if you open it up gets a bit boring at leagle speed.sits nice in the garage nice to know 160 hp 175 mph.whatch out taking fairing off srcews fall down get lost somewhere.tried to take tank off gave up too much going on.at 30000 ks its a keeper.enjoy
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Jayson Trewburg

Land O Lakes, Florida

Reviewed on 2005-12-20

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
I have been looking for a long time for a motorcycle that fits me, and one day I stumbled upon the ZZR1200. When I got on, it fit me like a glove. I have looked at Hondas and Yamahas and they didn't come close. I have a 2002, this thing is like a rocket when it takes off - it has a lot of power and handles like a dream. It has great gas mileage and awesome performance. Too bad Kawasaki won't be making anymore. They moved up to the zx-14. Ride Safe.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Pwrslave

missoula, Montana

Reviewed on 2005-03-16

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
First off I gave the bike a 4 star rating for reliability due to a lingering issue with the cams. It's a minor problem with pitting that has never left anyone stranded, but it's out there. And for comfort I took off one star for the stock seat. This bike is a powerhouse. Not many people know this bike is one of the fastest in the world. A published 187mph in some reviews and 145 rear wheel horse. What I most enjoy about the bike is its motor. This thing is a steady pull with no defined power band, it just keeps pulling. It's fun to pull up beside the young bucks on there ultra light sport bikes and then blowing there doors off. You can even spank the bottom of the 1000cc super sport bikes. Really shocks the youngsters that a big bike with a wide fairing whips up on there once thought to be invincible super bikes. Big, fun, powerful, comfortable and a sleeper if speed is your thing. They'll never see you coming till it's too late.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Danimal

K falls, Oregon

Reviewed on 2004-07-16

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
The Zed is a unique bike. that's why I love her. You don't see many on the road, and not many folks are talking about them, but i don't think that is any fault of the bike. It has more to do with the lack of press this bike actually gets in the mags. But be thankful, becuase what the mags. choose to overlook could be the best kept secret in the sport touring world. Sure it doesn't have FI, a shaft drive, standard hard bags, ABS, or an adjustable windshield, but it is a darn good value. Lots of good deals can be found on these bikes if you can find one that's been sitting on a dealer floor for a about a year. (not hard to do really). For the kind of perfomance you get at that price it think it's a really good deal. Not only that, but when you compare performance of the Zed to other bikes that are in its class, or the bikes that have all the "bells and whistles" it will eat them up, or at least give'em a really good run for their money, both figurativley an literally. And I don't just mean in a straight line either. I chucked the stock bridgestone 020s and got a set of Avon 45/46 ST tires and it transformed the bike from a school bus to a sport bike. I couldn't belive the difference. It feels like it shed 20lbs and the ride is better too. I am scraping pegs and toe sliders and I would have never done that with Bridgestones. Those tires downright scared me. I never had any confidence in them. Not only is she a hoot in the twisties but she can go distance too. All of my last 6 rides have been over 400 miles/day. The longest being 550 miles in about 11 hrs. stopping for fuel and lunch only. I did a 1500 mile trip on a four day weekend once too. 250 miles between fillups. On my old bike (MG V11 sport) I used to make the 2hr ride on the curvy mountain roads for some lunch and then come home. Now I ride to the coast for lunch! 5+hrs away over the mountains, through the valleys, by the rivers, in the canyons etc. Hello sport touring! (It's box stock except for big rubber Oring I use for my cruise control, and I get a sore butt after a couple hours but I'm only 28 and can deal with it. A custom saddle is not far away though. Wrists can get a little sore from pushing on the bars after riding her hard through the twisties, and the clutch gets a little tiresome to pull in when doing the same after a while. I kinda short shift it though, and let the 80+ ft/lbs of torque launch me to the next corner. Some folks would rather rap it out... depends on your riding style I guess. You choose. I'm also going to try the genmars. The fairing does an awesome job at protecting its rider from the elements. Some folks switch to a touring style windscreen but, the stock has worked fine for me. The motor makes a little buzz around 5k rpm but barely noteworthy. Chuck the thin/hard stock grips for some thick soft gel grips and problem solved. FI? ahhh who needs it?!If you have good FI from the factory it's great, but if it's not, then your hating life. Ask a BMW rider if you don't believe me. The carburation on the zed is really very, very good. I rode it over Lassen pass at 8500' elev. the motor/carberation was an after thought. The ONLY hiccup is a little flatness around 3k rpm, but that can be tuned out by shimming the needles and turning the fuel screws out a couple turns. Problem solved. She just keeps pulling all the way to redline. The bottom and midrange is strong and plentiful with a typical Kawasaki screaming top end. The motor simply rocks. Brakes do a good job of slowing her down. Reliability has simply been a non-issue. Some folks have complained of pitted cams, but to me it seems more like cosmetic issue than a performance/reliabilty concern. This bike has been worry free for the last 6000 miles. It's really a great bike if you find a good deal on one. If I had to pay retail I might look at other bikes though. I'll admit standard hard bags would be nice. A little more adjustability in the suspension would be nice too(compression damping), but realistically how many of us ever tinker with that? The preload and rebound damping adjustments fill the bill for most riders. I haven't really even messed with mine yet. No need. This a is a bike I plan on keeping for a long time. It can only get better from here. I'm looking forward to lots of miles with my silver sweetheart. Enjoy!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Steve Brookshire

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Reviewed on 2003-04-07

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
Bought an 02 ZZR-1200 last May 02. Warratny just about up on year one but no warratny work required to date. Have 7500 miles on her so far and just got valves adjusted and third oil/filter change. Three valves out of 16 needed adjusting. In Iowa we only ride about 5 good months. Anyway took her out on a a few 1000 mile weekends and one 4500 miler over 10 days with Harley buddies. Their commnets were always about the locomotive headlight and how they could see me a mile back in the group amongst everyone else. Went to Montana from Iowa by way of Yellowstone,Grand Tetons and stopped through Sturgis a couple of days. She is bulletproof and wants to run. I agree she will be doing a 100 and you have got to watch out because you won't know. I added GIVI saddle bags, and Corbin seat the first month. Stock seat just hurts in a short amount of time so I store it in my basement. My wrist hurts a little after all day rides I added a Throttelmeister for cruising/touring which helps a lot. Still need the 1 inch risers I have heard about but haven't found to take the load off my wrists. Its not unbearable thoguh an much better than my old 1992 ZX-11. She is supposed to do 169 but I don't know personally, but I think she would. Took her to teh top of Beartooth Pass,Wyoming. She climbed it like nothing. I love her.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Jim A

Little Rock, Arkansas

Reviewed on 2002-09-25

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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4.0
I have had my ZZR for about 7 months and have 7,300 miles on it. Overall, I am pleased with the quality and workmenship. Kawasaki builds a good bike. Performance and handling is at least at par with its compition. Being a relatively short rider (5'6") the bike can be a handfull in the parkinglot. Once on the road, I experienced no problems, the 600+ pounds of the bike seem to disappear. from day one I replaced the stock seat with a Corbin so I have no experience with the stock seat. I can say that with this setup I can ride all day, stoping every 200 miles to re-fuel. The only problem I had with the bike was after riding 10+ hours in the rain, water entered into the airbox and caused some fuel delivery issues (The bike wouldn't run). Had it repaired and has been performing nicely. The only thing I would alter is the handlebar position. It is a bit of a strech for the vertically challanged. I can see a pair of risers in the future for me. Overall, the bike is a good value.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Leighton

Invercargill, New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Reviewed on 2002-09-24

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
Fast. Good handling in moderate cornering, be aware with sharp cornering at higher speeds. Not really suitable for pillioning on long winding hauls. Awesome torque up-hill and into stiff headwind! Relatively economical for a big bike. Unfortunately still doesn't o'haul the big Suzi Hayabusa...though perhaps getting closer!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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George Spinali

San Diego, California

Reviewed on 2002-09-23

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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4.0
Just put 3000 miles on the ZZ-R1200 last week inclusive with Givi saddle bags and Corbin seat. Although a bit on the crude side the ZZ-R redeems itself with the yahoo feeling I get when rolling into the throttle coming out of a sweeper, Wow! The bars are just a bit low for me and I will raise them a bit for the long distance runs. Maybe this will help keep my right hand from going numb, due to engine vibration. After about 2500 miles I let go of the bars to rest the right hand and noticed a little shimmy in the front end. This trait was not there when new. Hopefully it is the front tire. The bike takes a bit to muscle it in to the very tightest of hairpins but it is killer in the sweepers. This bike deliver's the adrenaline I need and I can take the wife long distance as well. We will be flying the bike to Europe next summer for a jaunt through the alps. My VFR is refined, my kawasaki is RAW! George
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Brian

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Reviewed on 2002-09-19

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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5.0
I've got just over 1,500 miles on my zz-r and just love this bike. To answer other riders complaints about the buzz from the fairing: it comes from the tip of the fairing, below the windshield, in the center of the headlight. For some reason, there is no rubber gasket on the top of the headlight, which causes the fairing to rattle. My dealer installed some foam under the fairing and cured the problem. I also will be getting the handlebar risers to relieve stress on my wrists. Otherwise, this bike is such a blast, it should be illegal!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Eric H

Peoria, Illinois

Reviewed on 2002-09-11

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZZ-R1200

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4.0
I have 1,000 miles on my bike in 10 days. I confirm all that everybody else has said: 1. Huge power. 2. Great handling. 3. Great looks/fit/finish. 4. Seat not comfortable - will goose you. Want to replace with Corbin asap. 5. Bars need to be higher - will try the 1" risers and see. 6. Threat to wellbeing of driver license.....one ticket on 6th day. The thing WANTS to go over 100. The trooper gave me a break "because I stopped" and only wrote it for going 70. 7. Rattle in front fairing - headlight loose? Will know on the 20th when shop will remove fairing. 8. Throttlemeister will be installed. 9. Windscreen is nice. I am 6'2", always wear an ARAI, and there is absolutely no helmet shake. Might consider a little bigger screen from Zero Gravity. They are cheap and easily installed or removed - might make long distance even better. 10. Good mileage and range. Expect 250 miles on a tank/reserve. 11. The gas gauge needle didn't move from full at all until 80 miles. Then goes to E in 120 miles or so.....then reserve. 11. The goofy taillights are growing on me. 12. Love the hazard flashers....use them in construction zones, etc. 13. Bright lights are awesome.....like a river barge. Email me if you can give me input on Corbin seat.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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