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ZRX1200R - Kawasaki's Naked Muscle

Every era produces a motorcycle that stands above its peers. For example the Kawasaki 1982 KZ1000R, known for its styling and performance, and Eddie Lawson's superbike of choice. The 2005 ZRX1200R is the direct descendent of Kawasaki's fearsome ZX-11 and the championship winning Superbikes with upgrades to make it even more potent and agile. Its howling engine packs 1,164cc of DOHC four-cylinder horsepower into its linerless cylinder block and sharpens the response with K-TRIC ignition and a retro 4-into-1 exhaust that looks - and sounds - like it came right off the Daytona banking. For 2005 the ZRX1200R returns in the candy version of the original Eddie Lawson Replica - Lime Green, Kawasaki's racing color.

As the "muscle car" of the motorcycle world, the Kawasaki ZRX1200 has the good looks of yester-year's Japanese standards. Combined with a relatively upright seating position, the torque of a big-bore engine and sturdy chassis, just looking at its inviting contours makes even the most casual observer want to ride.

In addition to its unique styling, horsepower separates the ZRX1200R from other standards, thanks to an engine tuned with emphasis on low- and mid-range rpm performance. The ZRX1200R engine features electroplated cylinders, which transfer heat much quicker than steel, allowing tighter tolerances to be utilized to generate more power. Pistons with concave domes are found in the lightweight, all-aluminum cylinder block. This translates to a user-friendly street personality and amazing roll-on performance on the highway.

Building on the ZRX1200R's already incredible torque is the bank of large-bore 36mm Keihin carburetors featuring the Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC) throttle position sensor. K-TRIC is connected to the digital ignition system and varies ignition timing according to throttle position and engine rpm so that the ignition compensates for differing engine loads. The result is crisp throttle response and better fuel efficiency, plus the carburetors have coasting enricheners to prevent backfiring.

With so much power on tap, engine vibration had to be reduced, especially in the 2,000-rpm range. Kawasaki accomplished this by designing a diaphragm spring that is placed between the primary gear and clutch housing. The spring not only provides smooth low-rpm operation, it also works with the shift drum and cam profile to help improve shifting of the five-speed transmission.

The four-into-one exhaust system is constructed entirely of stainless steel with a polished muffler. California models have a catalyzer in the exhaust system to reduce emissions without cutting power.

The ZRX1200R's engine rests in a tubular-steel, double-cradle frame with an additional gusset behind the steering head for greater rigidity. The swingarm pivot is positioned for excellent rear suspension action and to reduce chain-torque reaction. The swingarm features an underside-braced design, and is shaped for increased rigidity.

Driveline lash is reduced with the use of a urethane rear-wheel damper borrowed from the NINJA® sportbike design. Exceptional braking is provided by the dual 310mm front discs with opposed six-piston calipers, while the rear brake uses a single 250mm disc clamped by an opposed twin-piston caliper. Hollow three-spoke wheels grace both ends.

For rider comfort, the ZRX1200 features an upright riding position, while hollow footpegs and rubber-mounted handlebars reduce vibration and make the ride even more enjoyable. Aluminum grab rails are located on both sides of the seat to accommodate a passenger, and the 5.3-gallon fuel tank is specially designed so that a tank bag can be easily installed.

Four-Cylinder, 16-Valve Engine

- Aluminum cylinders are electroplated for quick heat transfer, allowing closer tolerances for more power
- Compact combustion chamber for increased compression ratio without detonation on today's gasolines
- 16-valve design boosts low-end torque and provides maximum valve area for optimum flow

Gear-Driven Engine Balancer

- Smoothes engine vibration for comfort on the road

Liquid Cooling

- Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power during hard use
- Automatic fan keeps things cool even in traffic

36mm Carburetors with Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC)

- A throttle-position sensor tells the ignition-control unit how hard the engine is working so that its micro-computer can determine the best ignition timing for more power and better fuel economy

Digital Ignition

- Microprocessor controlled timing, never needs adjustment

Large-Capacity Fuel Tank

- 5.3-gallon capacity for extended rides without refueling

Bridged Aluminum Swingarm

- Rectangular design is large and stiff
- Eccentric chain adjusters

43mm Cartridge-Type Front Fork

- Exceptional rigidity for more precise cornering
- Features threaded preload adjuster and 12-way compression and rebound damping so the suspension can be tuned to your riding style and road conditions

Large Rear Wheel

- Rear wheel width allows use of wide rear tire

310mm Dual-Disc Front Brakes

- Feature opposed, six-piston calipers for well-modulated, confidence-inspiring stopping power

250mm Disc Rear Brake

- With opposed-piston caliper, produces quick, sure stops

Adjustable Clutch and Front Brake Levers

- Enhance rider comfort


Engine

Type: Four-stroke, DOHC, inline four, 16 valves
Displacement: 1,164cc
Starting: Electric
Bore x stroke: 79.0 x 59.4mm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin CVK36 x 4
Ignition: Digital with Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC)
Transmission: Five-speed

Chassis

Frame: Double-cradle tubular steel
Rake / trail: 25° / 4.2 in.
Suspension, front: 43mm cartridge-type fork with preload adjustment and 12-way adjustable compression and rebound damping
Suspension, rear: Braced swingarm with twin shocks, five-way adjustable preload and four-way adjustable compression and rebound damping
Wheel travel, front: 4.7 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 4.8 in.

Tires/Brakes

Tire, front: 120/70 x ZR17 tubeless radial
Tire, rear: 180/55 x ZR17 tubeless radial
Brakes, front / rear: Dual hydraulic discs / Disc

Measures/Weights

Overall length: 83.5 in.
Overall width: 30.7 in.
Overall height: 45.3 in.
Ground clearance: 5.3 in.
Seat height: 31.1 in.
Dry weight: 492 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Wheelbase: 57.7 in.

Color

Candy Lime Green

Source: Rubber Magazine
 
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