I've got the hots for a ZZR1100 - is this wrong?

So, I already have a bike that is entirely practical, comfortable, capable and economic to run. Which is almost certainly the reason why I suddenly find myself with the hots for a Kawasaki ZZR1100 - which may or may not be any of the above.

I’ve read the MCN review, which says it’s a great bike. Is it really? Have you lived with one? Are you still happy together?

I’m test riding one or more of them tomorrow (gosh, is that the time already? … umm, make that today), but aside from knowing that it is very reasonable to insure (female, 40s), the later D model is better built and that fitting luggage requires expensive wing racks, that’s about the sum of my knowledge so far.

What should I be looking for? Are there any known issues or faults - weepy forks, nightmare electrics etc? And are there any dealers I should particularly visit or avoid?

As for size and comfort, I’ll find out tomorrow whether it suits. But as it will be my everyday and only bike, any and all advice on living with one would be most welcome.


Just read the MCN review and I’d say it’s pretty spot on. Fast, big, heavy and a great bike. If you have managed to ride one you may know this by now :PSome real cheap low mileage, good condition ones out there, so no need to buy an old nail unless its real cheap and you want to.

Had a C model up to 68,000 miles, then it was stolen!

Got a D model with 60,000 miles on it - D model is best of the two and are from '93 on, with the full power unrestricted model starting with the D5 in '97. Brakes are OK, fuel economy excellent, suspension soft as standard. D models built in USA and Japan - Jap made is best. Big wheelies will destroy no 3 rod (more or less bye bye engine), but its so heavy that cracking the throttle just sends you forward very quickly.

Solid and dependable - its never let me down.Phil

Mine suffered from a spongy front brake, despite replacing all the seals and fitting braided hoses. Otherwise a great, comfy bike. I did a 3500 mile trip around Europe on mine and didn’t have a single problem.

GAH! Now I want one even more. Thanks a lot for the advice - very useful indeed.

Yes, I’ve tried and I like - being a tall bird I need a bigger bike or I’m all knees and elbows (and it’s not dignified).

And you’re absolutely right, there are plenty in very good order on the market - although mostly oop North. I forsee a journey…


Got one! Yay! A ZZR1100 D4. Pick it up when I get back from holiday next week. Cue smiling and bouts of childish overexcitement…

Nice one :cool:

Well done on the new bike , hope you enjoy it


Fab :DHow are you getting on with it?


Hope you enjoy the bike. I have a '99 D5 and had it four 4 years and nothing has gone wrong that was’nt through wear and tear.

A new rear shock for this year has made it all the better and dyno time last week restored mpg to 45 at faster speeds.

My tyres last well and the chain was changed at 24000 miles.

Depending on use the oil and filter is changed twice a year.

The only real achilles heal in normal use (no wheelies, burnouts etc) is the exhaust rotting around the Y piece area…

Sites for info www.zzr-international.co.uk www.zzr-rg.co.uk

Hope you enjoy.


enjoy your Kawa, I bought one 3 weeks ago and still like it:cool:

Nice day @ all


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.


Feeling sore with still 140 miles to go to Glasgow … you’ll get used to it and on something like that it’ll be no problems at all.

Now I need something comfier for my twice yearly run up to Aviemore - more than a paracetamol is needed after doing that in a day !!

May need to look at something similiar to the ZZR1100 in the next year.