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> Kawasaki ZZR1100, The good, the bad, and the ugly
dragonninja
post Dec 18 2004, 03:12 PM
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Kawasaki ZZR1100

(i know chrismk will pounce on this)

how is it - really ... i know the specs, but what is it like day-to-day. How does it ride, how does it stop, what breaks most often, how comfortable is it ...

this is linked to my post about touring to UK ... thats what i want to do with it ... if it was'nt for my tour plans, i'd be looking at a litre-class superbike, but thats out of the question for cross-country riding i suppose ...

how about luggage? ive seen ZZR's with a topbox and panniers but whats the biggest you can safely put on a ZZR?

I found one yesterday and I think i might be able to iron things out with my parents ... its a 1998 ZZR1100 in really good condition and the price is 17500 SR = 2500 GBP.

so what should i know before i buy one ... what should I look for ... and most of all, is it the right bike?

i want to do everything on it, i dont think i'll buy another bike ... commute, backroads, weekends ... and that trip across to dover
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devilpaint
post Dec 18 2004, 05:21 PM
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Not the same i know but back in june i did just under 3000 miles in 8 days on mine.
never missed a beat-unlike some of the other bikes on the tour :LBHH:

i use mine for commuting, scratching, touring etc etc.
the weak points? none.
not for nothing was it undisputed top dog for 10 years.

although mine has relatively few miles on it (25000) the wheel bearings have been changed, as have the head bearings-the chain is still original , but equiped with a scottoiler-the cush drive on the rear wheel isnt the strongest-i would replace it for the trip your planning.
as to luggage-dont use soft panniers -they tend to "fall" into corners just after you have set the bike up.(not really what you want as you co into a long sweeper at 100mph+ :fcrossed: )
i would go for givi top box & panniers myself, just remember the ZZR is a stable platform, but putting a lot of weight in the top box will affect the handling of any bike.
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ZOMB!E
post Dec 18 2004, 08:19 PM
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Buy a decent one and you cant go wrong. do everything anyone could ever want and do it well. gixer six pots and braided lines on the front are a good investment and a replacement stainless four into two.

Best bikes ever.
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chrismk
post Dec 18 2004, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE(dragonninja @ Dec 18 2004, 03:12 PM)
(i know chrismk will pounce on this)

how is it - really ... i know the specs, but what is it like day-to-day. How does it ride, how does it stop, what breaks most often, how comfortable is it ...

this is linked to my post about touring to UK ... thats what i want to do with it ... if it was'nt for my tour plans, i'd be looking at a litre-class superbike, but thats out of the question for cross-country riding i suppose ...

how about luggage? ive seen ZZR's with a topbox and panniers but whats the biggest you can safely put on a ZZR?

I found one yesterday and I think i might be able to iron things out with my parents ... its a 1998 ZZR1100 in really good condition and the price is 17500 SR = 2500 GBP.

so what should i know before i buy one ... what should I look for ... and most of all, is it the right bike?

i want to do everything on it, i dont think i'll buy another bike ... commute, backroads, weekends ... and that trip across to dover
*




The ride is unique to THIS bike, remember its a sports tourer and not a sports bike
so handling is not on par with say a ZX7 or such but even if you did have a sports
bike you'd never ever be able to use all that handling, any road no matter where
will not provide for bikes as is the case with race tracks, saying that it does handle
very well, any bike takes getting used to so its all up to the rider.

As what to look for... well cushion drive, swing arm bearings, head stock bearings
check bottom of screen around edges for cracks, if it has its been hammered to
death and wheelies comes into the equation.
Check oil cooler, its easy just turn the steering either way and look for blocked up
cooling fins and damage, then peep through the left side of the lower fairing and
look at the back of the cooler, if its got a leak you'll see it.
I suggest a fenda extenda for this bike, the oil cooler is so easily damaged with
the cooler being so exsposed, especialy where you are.
A chain luber of some sort is a must, this bike will chew them up like its going out
of fashion, I've yet to fit it to mine and its my winter project cos its already on its
way out.....
Reliabilty is so far great, I should bloody hope so but there can be a issue with the
number 3 crank bearing, so far what Ive seen and read on other forums is it all
points down to one thing, hammer it 100% all the time and it will give problems.
I fee lits fair to point out that no matter what bike you hammer 100% of the time
something is going to give.
As for luggage I'd go hard, like GIVI but I would keep the top box as small as
possible due to turbulence but with a set of side cases you'de be better off.
Its a comfy bike to ride, depending on your height it fab, Im 5'4 yeah a short arris
but Im so well protected behind the screen its doodle to ride.
I would stick to the original screen for a very long haul, double bubble is great for
looks and slip streming but thats about all.
Kwakers were at one time famous for burning oil so check the exhaust for high
carbon deposits, use your finger to feel, no good just looking.....

Original brakes are plain out right crap, cheap and very effective improvement is
to replace the front pads with a sintered type, major difference to the brakes is
noticed straight away, then come the hoses, Im changing mine soon for the
braided type.
If you want to tour this bike then I would go for a hard compound tyre, front and
rear, you'll chew up a back tyre in no less than 2000 mls on a soft tyre in that
heat, we wont metion the potential tempreture of roads in the region.....
When test riding her take it up to 70 then 80 and feel for any vibration, if there is
then the balancer shaft is out and will need to be timed back in, knock it off the
price and its easy ro remedy, dont take the hype '' Its a Kawa vibration thing''
There's so much more as it is with bikes, it all depends on you end of the day..
Here's alink for some good reading on these bikes, I find it very informative to
trundle through http://www.zx1112.bigbikeworld.com/forum/index.asp
Click on chat and see what the other peeps are doing and check out the 4sale
stuff, this will give you a good indication with the stuff riders are selling.
Then click on on the ZZR1100 maintenance link and you can loose your self
forever. I go by the alias of Chrisuk in there..... happy reading
Come back and let us know/ask some more if you want.
Dont get anythin less than a D5, newr the better
But do you really need a 11 for that trip ????? fuel....range=200mls maybe....
just a thought.

Im over the moon with my bike, I think its the bees knees..

Cheers
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devilpaint
post Dec 18 2004, 09:59 PM
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couple of things
the no3 bearing is a concern on the "C" models-not the "D"s
fenda extendas tend to load the already flimsy support for the rear half of the front mudguard.
original brakes if well maintained are OK-i've never had any scary moments with mine-i have fitted braided hoses, but sintered pads are for girlies, & they will wear the discs out pronto. the six pots are a fav mod but you need to fabricate brackets.
the original screen is fine for anyone from 5'4 to 6 ft a double bubble will give you increased turbulence if your any taller. also the "dirty air space" is increased with a bubble.
just my 2 penneth.
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chrismk
post Dec 18 2004, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE(devilpaint @ Dec 18 2004, 09:59 PM)
couple of things
the no3 bearing is a concern on the "C" models-not the "D"s
fenda extendas tend to load the already flimsy support for the rear half of the front mudguard.
original brakes if well maintained are OK-i've never had any scary moments with mine-i have fitted braided hoses, but sintered pads are for girlies, & they will wear the discs out pronto. the six pots are a fav mod but you need to fabricate brackets.
the original screen is fine for anyone from 5'4 to 6 ft a double bubble will give you increased turbulence if your any taller. also the "dirty air space" is increased with a bubble.
just my 2 penneth.
*



So now Im a girlie, cheers for that :sniffle:
I han'vt noticed any rapid increase in disc wear so far...
"Dirty air space" is this behind the screen and at what speed does this come in to
play, Im curious cos I'd like to know what Im losing out on
and Im not a girlie, no really Im not (cheek)
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Runningwild
post Dec 19 2004, 06:00 AM
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im also considering getting this bike in the near future. cant really say much more than what the knowledgeable guys already said. id also like to know more about this bike. i also read (on the mcn web page) owners having oil starvation problems on the 3rd cylinder.
Id like to ask you guys how fun is this bike in the twisties. we know its awesome for transcontinental touring, but how good is it in a very twistie road when you are thrashing? just a thought, but maybe a light SV 650 or even a gpz 500 could be more fun? i also wonder if having such a powerful mill, you end up using only a small fraction of throttle range, i mean even if you are going really fast, i assume u cant (or shouldnt) really whack it in a tight twistie road. am i right?
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dragonninja
post Dec 19 2004, 06:20 AM
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apprentice mechanic, web designer, bike trader
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thanks guys i think i get the picture here ...

i've made my mind up ... maybe i wont get this particular one i saw the other day but i will eventually get a ZZR i think .... ive been reading about and it seems it used to be the autobahnmeister for a while till the blackbird and hayabusa came along ....

but a good point you put forward about the fuel range - its definitely something to think about ...

and about these problems you mention, i suppose (correct me if im wrong) it depends on the use not the mileage, i.e. a looked after 30,000 mile one is better than a thrashed 5,000 miler ,,,, (?)
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chrismk
post Dec 19 2004, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE(dragonninja @ Dec 19 2004, 06:20 AM)
and about these problems you mention, i suppose (correct me if im wrong) it depends on the use not the mileage, i.e. a looked after 30,000 mile one is better than a thrashed 5,000 miler ,,,, (?)
*



''i.e. a looked after 30,000 mile one is better than a thrashed 5,000 miler ,''

So awesomely right of you to say.
The problems as mentioned is only like I've said, has it been thrashed, NO bike is
without its problem.
On the link I provided you'll notice very few if any UK members have cried about
the number 3 issue, not being prejudice against another nation but you'll find the
yanks are more abussive towards their bikes than we are, the forum proves just
that.

As for the twisties this bike aint really got what the 'other' lighter bikes can do bit
it yet agin depends on the rider but I've yet to be out gunned on bends cos these
bikes have so much torque it just rings out of bends, the other side of lighter bikes
I once tried a R6 which are notorius for eating bends but I didnt like it cos you're
always changing gears for the bends, not just kicking down one but normally two
or even lower, the torque just isnt there on smaller bikes, dont like em, never will
bit it doesnt mean you wont, if you are big and heavy then the smaller bikes wont
do it for you......

Cheers

Edited later: ZZR1100 held the top speed production record for 9 years...... no
other f**ker could come close to it that took some serious beating when they eventually cracked it. Still a nice bike though and I love mine to bits.
Im not anti other bikes I think Im beyond that stage, end of the day who really cares if another bike is faster than mine or if mine can do x trick....
Blackbird nice, Hyubusa death trap.
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devilpaint
post Dec 19 2004, 07:48 PM
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dirty air space behind the screen, at sub 100mph its ok for me (i'm 5'10) over that with a double bubble its getting uncomfortable as the turbulence is directed at my head.
also i noticed worse buffeting directly behind hgv's increased with a bubble.

the flip front screen is worse apparently.
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dragonninja
post Dec 20 2004, 06:34 AM
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so i shouldnt ge a double bubble screen? im i'm 5'11 ... i would have thought the db screen would improve air flow?
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