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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to hear from ZZR 1200 owners. My friend has a seriously built busa. Built motor, long arm, air shifted, slipper clutch, nitrous. It runs 8.90's at the strip. However he tweaked his back and the riding position of the busa hurts him. Also, the slipper clutch isn't really streetable. He'd have to change the clutch back and forth from street to strip use. So he's looking to get a ZZR for his street bike and keep his busa as a strip only bike. How's the riding position and overall comfort on the ZZR? Performance? Brakes? Any input at all will help. Thanks.

990 Posts
Here is some useful info:

The ZZR1200 never seemed that popular especially as the ZX-12R beat it on looks & was more sporty but the UK mags voted it a far more practical all round bike. Prices in the UK seem reasonable for a top of the range big bike. If the money does not allow me to stretch to a ZZR1400 I will seriously be considering a 1200 as my next bike.

1 Posts
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48 Posts
I'm looking to hear from ZZR 1200 owners. My friend has a seriously built busa. Built motor, long arm, air shifted, slipper clutch, nitrous. It runs 8.90's at the strip. However he tweaked his back and the riding position of the busa hurts him. Also, the slipper clutch isn't really streetable. He'd have to change the clutch back and forth from street to strip use. So he's looking to get a ZZR for his street bike and keep his busa as a strip only bike. How's the riding position and overall comfort on the ZZR? Performance? Brakes? Any input at all will help. Thanks.
The ZZR 1200 was Kawi's little secret - It did not receive much attention or advertising. Hense you don't see many on the road . Which is a good thing.
They were in production from 02- 05 until it was replaced by the 1400.

They started with the ZRX 1200 engine and tweaked it quite a bit,
Starting with 4x Keihin CVKD40 flat slide carbs
Full specs here.

Make Model
Kawasaki ZZR 1200


Liquid cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.


Bore x Stroke 79 x 59.4 mm

Compression Ratio 10.6:1

4x Keihin CVKD40 carbs

Ignition / Starting
Digital electronic / electric

Max Power
160 hp 116.6 kW @ 9500 rpm

Max Torque
124 Nm @ 8200 rpm

Transmission / Drive
6 Speed / chain

Front Suspension
43mm telescopic fork

Rear Suspension
Bottom-Link with gas-charged shock with adjustable preload

Front Brakes
2x 320mm discs 4 pistons calipers

Rear Brakes
Single 250mm disc 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre
120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre
180/55 ZR17

236 kg

Fuel Capacity
23 Litres

Consumption average
20.3 km/lit
Standing ¼ Mile
10.4 sec

Top Speed
277.4 km/h

I have had mine since 03 and every time I get on to ride it brings a smile to my face . For me the bike is very comfortable ( 5'11) it's semi aggresive riding postion suits me. Ergo's are very good and that never ending power and torque just blows me away. Brakes are fine when I want to stop it stops- suspension front is OK. The rear works well absorbing the bumps it just is ridged on the damping - an aftermaket shock would greatly smoothen out this ride. I rode west and back - 6,400 miles in 19 days this past july. The big Z performed flawlessly.

No you can't go wrong in choosing this bike.

Here's a good read that sums it up

Monday, 27 October 2003
I never intended to ride this bike. Indeed it wasn’t even on my must try list, but it should have been. In riding this bike I gave in to peer pressure, a number of friends, vague acquaintances, and even total strangers (though very few of my family) were suggesting, and some insisting, that I hop on this bike and take it for a spin. Peer pressure is a great way to get into trouble - I highly recommend it in well-timed doses.

Until this recent wave of “word of mouth media” the ZZR-1200 was not even on my radar. Kawasaki has successfully made this the least publicized sport-tourer/super-tourer I had never heard of; maybe I missed that month’s bike mags while on the road or something, or just never got to the end of the alphabet to look up it’s specs.

On paper the bike makes a mixed impression. Touring periodically takes me over mountain passes in questionable weather so carburetion had me concerned. Plus carbs require a bit more tune-up time than FI; more money out the door over the long term. Plus, in mankind’s race to digitally re-master the world, carburetion seemed a bit old school against fuel injection. Topping off the carb concerns is the fact that everything else on the ZZR-1200 spec sheet seemed borrowed from other Kawasaki bikes, namely the ZX-9 and ZX-12, left this ride with the feel of a parts bin bike.

But parts binner it is not. Think of the ZZR-1200 more as a ZX-12 all dressed-up and ready to go out for a night on the town. The styling is distinct, with smoothed lines and headlights that many have commented resemble a certain well-trademarked cartoon mouse, a Mercedes C-type, or a Power Puff girl all grown up. But strange as it is I think the looks could grow on me – I tend to like bikes that stand out in a crowd.

Stand out it does, in 160 ways at the crank and 130’ish at the back wheel. Those ways are, of course, horses; that puts the ZZR right up there with the likes of the Blackbird and Hyabusa for output, but it does so in a much more comfortable and relaxed fitting wrapper.

Once on the road the true nature of this bike was revealed. Test riding this bike was sort of like going to dinner with a charming, relaxed, well-dressed stranger… and then realizing that your dinner date is actually a hired killer; it may all be bright conversation now, but in an hour you’ll probably be dead.

This bike has a comfortable chassis, good suspension that makes for a solid ride, a front-end that soaks up the road but still gives you a good feel, and 130 horses in the rear that are ready to go at a moment’s notice with a pull that comes in strong from the merest twist. The transmission needs a bit of work; shifting into first occasionally ground just a little – this might have been a lack of break-in on the part of the test bike, which had only 145 kms on it.

The ZZR, like the Blackbird, falls into the license-killer category for me. The vast, huge, helpings of power are smooth but come on strong; kudos to anyone who uses the full range of this throttle. I’ve been riding a K1200RS for some time and am used to liberally applying throttle when coming out of the corners. With this engine a gentle dab will do you, lest you unsettle the rear tire. In a straight line however, feel free to revel in the bass of the engine note and the occasional sonic boom.
So, given the power to the rear wheel you may conclude I scared myself on the ZZR. The answer is - yes. It was brilliant fun! It had me simultaneously wide-eyed and giggling. For the entire duration of my test ride I left nothing but a trail of pee. This bike is fast, and it handles well, though it would have been improved if my ankle were fully healed so I could properly weight shift or hang off (this is a sport-tourer where you can do this without looking like a poser).

Sportbike-style front-brake-only stopping is a little soft and I found myself needing to use the back more than usual to haul the bike down from speed and in panic stops. There was, however, no fear of stoppie-ing (no hope of the spell check catching that) with the bike’s long-ish wheelbase. But the soft front binder is a weakness.

So Kawasaki certainly got the sport part right; twisties, cloverleaves and any other asphalt beware, the ZZR is out there and chewing you up. So what about the touring aspect?

Well the ergos are good, the bars positioning left my wrists were ache-free after about an hour out. Vibration was minimal through the bars and the suspension compliant to the road without being soft. The seat was comfortable, but then this was not a month long tour so I can’t really say if that would maintain. And of course there is hard luggage available, colour matched Givi or Givi-alike. Unfortunately the wind noise was overwhelming; the aero dynamics are such that my head and chest were completely exposed and no amount of laying on the tank or shifting about could rectify it.* I found it too uncomfortable for any duration with the stock screen and would probably have to seek an aftermarket solution.

This bike is closer to being my choice than the Blackbird simply because I found the ergos better suited to my frame, though both bikes would require aftermarket screens for my use. The price point is also alluring, this being an unsung sport-tourer in Canada ensures that bargains are to be found or created in the purchase dealing. Unfortunately, the power for me is actually too much (gasp - there I put it in print!). This is a bike I would need to build up to, especially after my recent accident. But once I’m there I most certainly would consider another date with the assassin, I mean I survived the first one – that’s a good indication right? Maybe it likes me?

A little read

432 Posts
Actually I had placed an order for the fantastic looking...and performing...black[dark blue?]/gold version ZX12R in late 2001, but after reading a road test and seeing pix of the ZZR , changed my order to that bike. My 02' is now passed the 100,000lm/62,000 mile mark with nary an incident or inconvience being recorded. An absolutely fantastic machine.

Each year I make the trip from Sarasota, Forida to Parry Sound, Ontario..a distance of some 2,900km/1,800 miles to attend the annual SportBike rally held there. Normally I do at least 1,600km/1,000 miles on day 1, with a time of some 13-15 hours on the bike. The remaining 1300km is just a short 'sprint' done in some 10-12 hours the next day.

As a super long distance/high speed mount the ZZR seems to me to be without equal. Sure, there are bikes with better weather protection, shaft drive and the like...but none can compare to the ZZR's fierce acceleration, blistering top speed, comfortable riding position, elegant attractive styling, superb handling and braking, ..all while providing a fuel economy at triple digit mph speeds that has to be experienced to be believed.

Truly a remarkable machine..an updated ZX11 I suppose..but what's bad about that? It was THE original 'superbike' afterall. The ZZ-R1200 is a worthy extension of that legacy.

10 Posts
I rode my ZZR12000 across the country this summer and it was awesome. I have HeliBars which brought the bars up and to me about 4" closer than tstock. GenMar also makes shorter and cheaper risers.
I also use a Corbin seat and while is isn't a Russell Day-Long for comfort it is better than most, and it shortens the inseam needed to flatfoot the Zed while in the seat.
I love my Zed and would only replace it with a ZX-14 or a C-14, for a mile munching machine.

1 Posts

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12 Posts

zzr1100- 1052cc (1990-2001) 12years(90-93Cmodels:94-01Dmodels)
zzr1200- 1164cc (2002-2005) 4years(Cmodels)
zzr1400- 1352cc (2006-20??)

1)semi flush mount frt/rear signal lights
2)pillion bar
3)dual exhaust
4)single banana seat
5)low foot pegs/high handle bars
6)Hydraulic clutch
7)ram air
1 - 10 of 10 Posts