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Kawasaki ZZR1200 reviews

4.9
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Reliability
4.8
Overall quality
4.8
Performance
4.9
Comfort
4.5

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26 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Lane

Montrose, Colorado

Reviewed on 2010-04-27

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
36 years of riding and this bike is second only to my 95 gpz1100. Back to zzr1200 just bought it 2 days ago. It is an amazing machine. If you are going to use it as a sport-touring bike you will have to do the following to it to make it on a long haul. Heli-bars, or at least gen-mar risers, or like I did on my gpz1100 high bend dirt bike bars. This will put you in a more upright position, "no back ache" as we are not all 20 something anymore. Seat selection is very important if you want to log a lot of miles. Mine has a corbin on it now, but, "I have no butt" as my wife says. So I will be switching it out for a Day-Long Touring Saddle by Russell. I rode this bike from Vegas to Colorado, just a short 584 miles. It performed perfect. It loves to cruise comfortably at 100 mph. It has great roll-on power, going 75 mph and grab the throttle and before you are done passing that semi you look down and you're at 130!!! Maybe because I have no butt, but I was not able to ride it longer than 60 miles before my rear hurt soooo bad. The day-long saddle will cure that. I have bad knees also, so I will be lowering the pegs 1 and 1/2 inches also. On the last 50 miles, a guy in a retired police car flew past me. I was running a nice and easy 90 mph. So he had to be doing 130. I couldn't let this happen so, I grabbed the throttle and caught and blew by him doing 175. "You should have seen his face". But listen here folks, not everyone is a speed freak like me. This bike is "without sinking thousands of dollars in", the best bike you can get your hands on. Previous bikes: CB1100 supersport Gs1100 gs1150 454ltd 1400 intruder chopper GPZ1100 intruder 700 virago 1100 and about 20 other street bikes and another 30 dirt bikes. You can't go wrong with a zzr1200 but from stock will take some fixing to make it touring ready. But a 160hp sport-touring bike, What a thrill.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Bob H.

Chesapeake, Virginia

Reviewed on 2009-11-05

Motorcycle reviewed2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Noah Reed

Roseville, California

Reviewed on 2009-08-04

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
What's a motorcycle for anyway? GPS, XM-Radio, heated grips & seats, cruse control, etc. I just jump on this baby and go! Since I picked it up a few weeks back, the BMr has not seen the light of day for a while. I bought the ZZR to re-sell but I've got to say the performance (crazy acceleration), low maintenance and simplicity of this craft has me philosophizing the true meaning of the two wheeler. Ultimately I'd love to keep both but space is an issue. The BMW is a caddy compared to the ZZR sadly parts, repairs and regular check-ups are costly. In its defense I must say those little blue and white insignias affixed to it does wonders for my ego. The ZZR is rated as a Sports Tourer but it's not. It's one of those in-betweeners that can't really be appreciated unless you have one or the other. My verdict, the ZZR is a great machine. It looks great, handles and runs like a leopard chasing down an infrequent meal. I suppose this is what motorcycles are really for ... well, that until I need to do LA or Portland again in style! Enjoy it!
Reliability
2.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Ray B.

glendale, Arizona

Reviewed on 2007-03-26

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
I purchased my 2004 ZZR1200 last October 2006. When I bought the bike it had approximately 2800 miles on it. Now being March 2007 I'm approaching 10,000 miles. I love this bike! It's smooth and powerful. The first thing I did was buying the Converibars for the bike, and the double bubble windscreen. These improvements have made this already comfortable bike to something you could ride coast to coast, which I'm planning to do this summer! The ZZR is a heavy bike and once you get used to it, the bike is quite agile. All in all I'm very happy with it!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

john

hilton head, South Carolina

Reviewed on 2006-11-20

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
Have had a Honda 1100 Ace for 7+ years and wanted something with definitive power. After A LOT of research, the ZZR1200 seemed to have the right stuff. After 1000 miles, I am sooo happy, (SEE GRIN) under helmet. This is a smooth, reliable, comfortable for 6-8 hours space ship. There are others, BMW, ST, and the FJR that are in the neighborhood but this is more power, has a sportier feel and to say the least it is simply explosive. Crack your wrist and you're gone but remember not too much crack. Drive smart!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Keith Schath

Placerville, California

Reviewed on 2006-11-17

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
Hard to find as there doesn't seem to be very many of them. I have three friends who all want one, they never knew anything about them until they saw mine. A Sacramento dealership owner got a used one in and parked it in his own garage and it's his opinion that it's the nicest bike he's ever ridden as well. I fully understand and agree with the raves you read about on these reviews and you will understand too when you see, hear, and ride one yourself. Did I mention fast? As fast as you want it to be.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Madmusician

North Wales, Pennsylvania

Reviewed on 2006-09-21

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
This bike is off the hook, plain and simple. If they make them better than this, I don't want to know about it. I'm having way too much fun at 45. If you have the means, get one. This bike is a sleeper. It draws unbelievable attention on the streets. I had an 87' Concours before this and I thought that sport touring couldn't get any better on that bike. Long live the "Mighty Ninja",uh ZZR1200!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

ray

omaha, Nebraska

Reviewed on 2006-09-06

Motorcycle reviewed2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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4.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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John Imm

Sylvania, Ohio

Reviewed on 2006-02-10

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
What a Bike!!! This is the third bike that I ever owned and by far the most practical. I purchased it the day after I sold "My Tractor" (1998 Fully Customized Sportster). My wife's first impression of it was that I was looking at another sportbike. When she got on the back, she was much more accepting. Then, when she finally sat on it with the Corbin seat and backrest, it was worlds better than my other two prior bikes (Other one being 1997 ZX-6R). It isn't a Road King, but one up with the guys on a bike trip for a week is no problem. I've had this bike since July of 2002 and enjoy it every time. I'm a physician and I commute to work on it daily (weather permitting). There are so many things to say about this bike. The Twin Headlights are so incredible that I only use the low beams during the day because they are so bright (even before adding Silver Star bulbs). The taillights are huge (excellent lighting from behind). Performance is incredible for a "Sport Tourer". Want more? Add the Muzzy Full System and a jet kit and it will boost the HP by about 13%. It's like having a new first gear! The weight is the only mild setback for this machine. At over 600 lbs., it is a Sport Tourer and won't handle like a 400 lb. sportbike in the twisties. It screams going straight, but you need to enjoy the turns a little slower because of the extra 200 lbs. The extra weight - all the better for the trips. Problems? Nothing mechanical so far...I keep the oil changed every 3,000 miles, synchronize the carbs once a year, change the fork oil annually, and have used Dunlop D208's on it after the original tires were changed at 9,000 miles. Front tire cupping seems to start about the 7,000-mile mark, despite regular air checks. The brake pads and chain are still original and plenty of wear left to go.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Kyle Cottengim

Denver, Colorado

Reviewed on 2005-09-24

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki ZZR1200

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5.0
I've ridden for about 20 years now and have owned 4 bikes prior-my most recent being a very crotchety 750 Virago. I had decided to buy a new/fairly new bike. I was tired of the unreliability of an older bike and dealing with zip ties and duct tape. So the pennies were saved and off I went. I checked out the Concours, FJR, and the BMWs. My budget for a used bike lived in the 6k range, but it could grow a bit for a newer bike that sang to me, and it would have to belt out an aria. We needed two up riding capability and comfort for shortish touring. I went to Boulder with the wife to "just look at" an 03 with 16 miles on it. I explained all the way there that we probably weren't going to buy it since this was definitely NOT a touring bike, it was just sort-of a touring bike, besides, I just knew she wouldn't like it enough to trade in a comfortable touring/cruiser seat. I tried like mad not to let the sales guy see the huge smile on my face when I looked at it. I tried really hard not to belt out a "whoo!" when we fired it up. When we went out for a test ride, it was a looking like it was going to be a big argument/convincing to the wife-no way that seat would meet with her approval, no backrest and all. When we returned she got off and said "I like this bike-we should buy it." Well so much for playing hard to get with the sales guy. Needless to say I bought it that day and have loved every minute. It is fast like no tomorrow, comfortable for the everyday travel, and even when I'm juicin' the throttle I get no worse than 40, and that's a lot of Evergreen, Turkey Creek Canyon/Decker juicing. I keep telling myself that I'm a mature father and husband and that this is my practical, high mpg commuter bike. Then I twist the throttle and that smile from my teenage years comes back. You can really have it both ways with this bike.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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