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!