I’ve had the ZZR a month now, which is just about long enough to offer some thoughts (well, you did ask!).
Do I like it? Yes, is the unequivocal answer. I adore it, even when it frightens me.
It’s my everyday bike, taking me to work and back, doing the shopping and general pootling about, as well as long distance runs to Scotland and back. I did have reservations about how manageable it would be, especially after the uber-convenient Silver Wing, and it has taken a month of daily riding to really get used to the difference in handling.
The ZZR is heavier than the Honda, but not by much for the superscooter is a bit of a pudding muncher. That said, it is of course harder work to manoeuvre the Kawasaki at crawling speeds and for a few days I became reacquainted with the discomfort of ‘clutch hand’ and wrist ache whilst my body readapted to the sports touring riding position. Also, I managed to drop it once whilst at a halt when the fan switch packed up and it suddenly vomited antifreeze out the back. Distracted, I looked round to see what was the awful noise was and lost it. No damage and a dispatch rider and van driver stopped to help me lift her. Fan switch replaced for £12.
The panniers stay off for London filtering, but the top box and a rucksack bungeed to the seat are ample. However, they went back on at the weekend as I had to nip up to Scotland. I ran straight up to Glasgow stopping only twice for fuel and a stretch. By the time I hit Tebay and the final 140 miles I was feeling a bit sore, but nothing a paracetamol couldn’t sort. On the way back I stopped overnight with friends at Buxton and had the pleasure of a morning run through the Peaks national park. Fabulous fun on the ZZR and I smiled and sang all the way back to London. This time I wasn’t sore at all.
Motorway riding is a revelation on the ZZR as there is simply no need to drop a gear, just open up a tad and you’re gone. Someone who may or may not be me … may possibly have used a very, very empty bit of the M74 to see what the ZZR would do. This person swiftly realised that she’d do far more than is entirely sensible - and yet feel just as rock solid as at … er, more legal speeds.
Last week I changed the rubber to Michelin Pilot Road 2, which are splendid. Never even a hint of slip in the wet (it rained plenty as I flashed through Lancashire and Cumbria) and very smooth and sure in the dry.
It’s a strange combination of brutally quick and disarmingly smooth, heavy and a potential handfull yet remarkably it gets far easier to live with as I adapt to it. I’m still thrilled.