When I was a kid the first bike I really admired was a ZX9R, I’m seriously tempted by the much older models around 94-96, there’s just something about them I really like - mainly the look.
I’m a little concerned though as I don’t know the bike that well, i’ve read stuff in mags, but no one I know has ridden one either. Which makes buying one a bit of a cautious move. They’re pretty cheap(ish) pending on how good nick they are. I know they will need a bit of TLC but it’s something i think I could give.
Is there any absolute reason why it’d be a dire decision? It’s worth noting I’m not the most mechanically minded person, I can change a sproket set and get an exhaust off but I could do nothing to an engine.
The older (B1 to B4) models have a bit of a reputation for needing head gaskets doing.Usually around 30k.
It’s an easy, if time consuming, job to do at home if you’re halfway handy with the spanners and if you do it properly it’ll be fine after that.
Apart from that, they are great bikes if a little heavy.
The C models (98-99) are much, much lighter, more powerful and handle better (although they are all sprung too hard at the rear) - and faster top-end than the equivalent R1 or gayblade.
The E and F models that followed are much like the C, but with twin headlights and other tweaks.The F model got 4 pot Nissin calipers which were much better than the Tokico 6 pots.
All models are brilliant bikes, and in the real world will easily keep up with the newest litre bikes.
Everyone on here drives one… get in touch.
Mine is a 10 year old E1
She’s always been rough but that’s how I got her cheap, but I’ve looked after her and she’s been a fantastic ride.
I’d recommend it, if you have the time/inclination to do some maintenance.
If you want a bike that doesn’t need to be looked at and you have the money to pay someone else to do everything for you, buy a Honda
Honestly, a ZX9 is for someone who LIKES playing with bits and getting dirty… there will certainly be work to put into an old 9 to keep her going.
TBH, the only thing apart from the usual consumables that’s gone wrong with mine is the cam positon sensor.
I’ve got 65k on the clocks, and it’ll still get to just under 190 indicated (a tad over 170 real miles-per-hour ) and wheelie all day if you want.Handles well enough to keep up with most, is stable and comfy.I’ll never sell it - will probably give it to my lad when he’s old enough.
The engines are massively strong, and just do not go wrong.Keep the gear change controls lubed and you shouldn’t have problems with 3rd gear on the C models (some say it’s a common problem… it’s not)
Like Toby-wan said, come on over to ZX-9R.net - you may even find a good one for sale…
If you’re local, you’re welcome to have a quick spin on mine (I’m in Slough)