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Kawasaki ZRX 1200R

Kawasaki ZRX 1200R

4.9 from 13 reviews

See the Best Sport Touring Bikes in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

A blank canvass with some issues

First the issues.
The alternator drive chain tensioner is not up to the job, poor design & needs an aftermarket fix
The Fuel tap has a tendency to leak.
The cams on my bike were pitted when I bought it 18,000 km, had to get the cams refaced, not cheap

The good things.
As I said the bike is a blank canvas & there are lots of aftermarket bits available.
Bike is nice to ride with lots of low down torque
Comfortable riding position.
Besides the issues mentioned above the bike is solid & reliable.
I have had 16,000 trouble free km.

Date PurchasedMar 2011

10 Year ownership Review on Kawasaki ZRX .

Did a review in 2009 on My ZRX , @ 35,000 KM .. I still own my 2005 Kawasaki ZRX1200 , I bought New . Ive covered 68500 km Now. Still a great Bike , goes well , only problem Ive had is the ZRX has fouled 2 spark plugs since the last review ,.and blown a few globes in the speedo and tacho gauges . After 10 Years Im still happy with the Bike , have done numerous rides to the BorderRun Motorbike meeting @ Bordervillage SA / WA Border , and various other rides .

Allrounder bound for collectable status

Bought brand new back in 2008, the last of what I reckon is the best colour, closer to the original Z1000R2 which I also owned for over twenty years from new, selling in 2008 for over $10,000, not too shabby. Sure I would have loved to have kept both in my shed side by side but finances didn't allow for this. Anyway time for someone else to appreciate it. When I heard kawasaki were discontinuing the zrx range I took my Honda CB1300 straight down to the kawasaki dealership and made the trade. Anyway seven years later no regrets, totally reliable, as Robbie would say "looks horn" and responds really well to modifications. Full Akrapovic exhaust with stage one factory jet kit, mild air box mod, gives massive weight savings and power increases, now dyno tune with 134 rear wheel hp. Ohlins piggybacks, braided lines with 4 pot suzuki tl 1000s front brake calipers provide two finger braking, hate the six pot standard brakes..probably my only complaint, very wooden feel. Front fork Ohlins internals with fork brace and great tyres...mich power pures work great!!!!!. Getting carried away now but this bike has that effect on you. To all you owners lucky enough to own one of these soon to be classic bikes, hang on to it, they just don't make them like this anymore. 06/06/17 Just going to do a little up date on the zrx. Improved the braking power once again and we all know you can never have enough brakes. Put on some zx14 radial calipers on the front, got them from a tidy wreck and totally rebuilt them, brakes are now another step up from the Suzuki four pots great mod very powerful feel. Still ultra reliable love this bike.

Date PurchasedMar 2008

12 years ownership and not a single fault to report

The most awesome bike I have ever owned bar nothing. Handles, stops and more low to mid range than a booze bus outside a church social. Takes a bit of effort in the tight stuff but open sweepers will have you laughing inside your helmet.
Stylish looks too, love riding it.

ZRX 1200 Lime green 2008

I bought this about 6 months ago....had an issue with it coughing and splurting at first but problem sorted.....I previously owned a ZRX 1100 in nz..........But had been looking for the lime green one, since coming to Perth....Hard to find one here ....so when i spotted it...I grabbed it straight away...Lime green does it for me..The lime green with gold wheels and the Roo can ,always blow me away every time i look at it.........it has more tourque than my old 1100 and has potential to go absolutely mental if you grab a handful!.....In fact ,i did that in 2nd one time and i felt all the blood rush from my face.....it has been jetted as well as the pipe......Handles really well....better than my 1100, maybe due to the wider back wheel and beefed up swing arm..Brakes are good and pulls the bike up well......I was concerned it would wheelie freely but at 105 kg it doesnt ,unless you want it too.....pretty good on fuel too.....I use and recommend the shell 98 high performance fuel......certainly attracts attention from onlookers...Reliable.....Love it.
Looks stunning...Great Acceleration..Handles well...Good on fuel..Upright position(no strain on wrists)..Good 2 up.
No clock..seat can be a little uncomfortable on a long ride but not serious....Bars can be buzzy(probably due to add on pipe)and like Rob Said, especially when wearing thin gloves..

Living the dream

I bought an '06 with 4000kms on the clock in 2010 and haven't looked back. After a fistful of '80s bikes (FJ12's, 1100 Katana's etc) I had a bit of time away from bikes to start the family. Family completed I saw the ZRX and had to have it. Bought it sight unseen and apart from a couple of blown globes I haven't had a problem with it at all. Plenty of torque to get off the mark and handling which is predictable and inspires confidence on the winding bits. Could do with a bigger tank...but it's a small price to pay for a bike that is fun to ride around town as well as on the open road.
Plenty of pulling power (me and the missus and all our gear)
Could do with an extra 5 litres in the tank

Excellent retro rocket!!

OK, I'm in my late forties, done the Harley thing and needed to get back to my roots. I owned a GPZ 550 as a young man and always wanted one again...anyhow, I love the way old things look, but the way new things go. I saw a ZRX 1200R for sale, the Eddie Lawson replica with the gold wheels and engine trim, and decided to go for it. They gave me a near new bike and cash in return. WOW, it's an absolute joy to ride! The torque in any gear down low is addictive. She handles like a dream and is modestly comfortable in an upright UJM, old bloke way. I've fitted 35mm risers that bring the bars closer and added a sheepskin seat cover (with a little foam underneath). I bought this bike in as new condition with 8,000 k's on it and have done 4,000 k's in six weeks. I spent nine hours and 620 k's on it and was still able to crawl to the bar at the end of the day without any issues. Cheap, cheerful and and lots of fun. This is motorcycling!!!
Initially the retro looks. Now, the torque/power, the handling and lastly the comfort.
Missing two engine mount bolts. Can be "buzzy" and cause numb fingers with thin gloves.

Still loving it after five months and 10,000 k's!!! Put on a set of Pirelli Angels and she handles like she's on rails.OK she has 27,000 k's and I still look forward to throwing a leg over. Absolutely no issues (except for damn chain maintenance), and she still goes and looks a treat. I have since bought a Triumph Speedmaster for the wife but prefer the ZRX any day solo riding.


Bought my ZRX1200R Kawasaki brand new in April 2005 , covered 35000KM with no major issues , The ZRX is a great all rounder , Only problem i had with the ZRX was it would occasionally foul cylinder number One , spark plug when it had sat around for a while . But after putting in another hotter plug it elimated the problem . Kawasaki has elimated the ZRX 1200R from it product range for 2009
Great all rounder , Straight upriding position, Great for touring , Comfortable able to handle 1000km ride day
19 litre fuel tank , The Horn is next to useless


Great bike!!! I bought a 2001 Black one which hadn't done many miles. It had sat around for awhile with the previous owner and the battery was on it's last legs and it oiled a plug. I was busy at the time and got it fixed at the local dealer's. I'm not sure what plug it was. No problem since. I had been only back in the motorcycle scene for two months after an absence of 18 odd years. I broke the ice with an old R80 BMW. I had no intention to buy when I test rode the 2001 model (3000miles/5000ks), but was just checking it out for a possible future purchase. I managed to go home without it, but my resolve weakened and in a week or two and I bought it. I am very happy with it and got a thrill evertime that I pulled the cover off. They need to be ridden at least every month or so for 40-50 miles to keep the battery topped up (Or charged). Great bike around town, but probably not for the feint hearted as they are a heavy critter going around roundabouts, but once you get used to the bike, easy peasy. The standard suspension set up is very good (if you think the suspension is lacking at high speed, you are probably on the wrong bike).
Great at gobbling up highway miles and not bad on the twistys. The huge power factor and good suspension gives you very controllable and easy to read cornering once you set up for uourself.
It has only five gears, but with all of that power, four would do. I'd like a top gear light to stop checking to see if your in top, but am used to it now and do a quick tacho check.

Overtaking is a twist the throttle deal, unless you want to really impress. The roll on power is great and makes for easy highway blasting. The temptation to gun it is always there and a less controlled individual would be in trouble with the law in no time.I'm glad I didn't have this machine as a young guy, cause I wouldn't be typing this. The evil crackle on decacceleration is fixable I remember, but it will have the kids waving as it does it's voo doo that it do so well.
I liked the bike so much I bought what is thought to be the last one shipped by Kawasaki Australia last December.. Lime green, gold wheels, etc, just the way I like them. I still get a thrill when I slip the covers off my new one.
Power, looks, dial a wheelie throttle, awesome growl (especially with my full Akropovic system), low speed smoothness and ability to trickle along at walking pace. seamless stonking gobs of power, load her up with big load and it doesn't seem to matter, just goes, not at all twichy. So good I bought a new one last Christmas.
Seat looks comfortable, but seems to lack a bit after awhile, sliding my goolies into the tank, crushed nuts so to speak, kawa Australia won't import pannier frames, seems to be hard to sell, my old one is still sitting in the store.

Great Bike

Bought a 2006 model new. Has now done 83,000kms (inc Sydney to Perth twice). Bullet proof reliability, great torque and power and good handling.

What makes this bike stand out is the amount of power available. And because the power is available down low - from as low as 2,500rpm - the thing fires away from the lights and out of corners without any effort at all. It's fast around town without trying but really comes into its own on the open road. Be warned though, with the R-model you need wind protection or you'll end up with bulging neck muscles - extended windshields are available (MRA make a good one with an additional wind deflector/foil that is good enough for long rides).

Road Pilot tires seem to work great with this bike.
Power and torque
After 2004 the fork cartridges are sealed - cannot revalve with Racetech or other valving

1 comment
Fenster, have you still got your bike? How many k's and any major issues?


overall this bike is very comfortable ride. with these sophisticated machines that make this bike efficient and powerful

so, not in vain if you want to buy this bike because you'll get when driving pleasure
the bike is very unique, powerful engine, and efficient
Could be larger fuel tank


Best bike I've ever owned, fast, comfortable and reliable. The ZRX is not for everyone, she is a heavy bike and the steering is slower than a dedicated sports bike. But the seating position is comfortable and you won't be cramping up after 45 mins like you would on a sports/pretzel bike. She pulls "well" from about 4 grand and keeps going and going...no probs achieving serious warp factor. Lifting the front wheel is a matter of twisting the wrist, no need to muscle or badger the girl, just feed it on (at the appropriate rate)and she'll lift. She's like the perfect woman, great curves, reliable, very passionate and capable, loyal to a "T", who growls with the appropriate stroking. Now if only my wife was as good.
Effortless power, great acceleration and breaks. I have the "S" model and she's georgeous.
Exhaust POP on over-run, had the local dealer look at it, replaced a seal to no effect...suppose I've just gotta live with it. Other than that she's pretty much bullet proof.


Passenger friendly, bullit proof, wheelie machine. Setting off from the traffick lights, without doing a wheelie takes a lot of restraine.
Racing, with a passenger is not recommended, as you can't keep the front wheel on the ground.
Get yer Rocks off, with this retro M.C.
Big & beefy, unburstable.
Heavy, but controllable.

Questions & Answers

Did all Eddie Lawson replicas get gold rims?
3 answers
I believe the early models had black rims but the last models (2008), had gold.The very original 1982, 1983 and 1984 ELR (KZ1000R1) came out with gold rims. The ZRX1100R and ZRX1200R have black rims and had black exhausts up until 2004/5...BUT some models had gold rims but I can't find which years that was. I've seen 07'/8 models with both...strange but true. Not sure which were original or which were after market painted... not much help I'm afraid...Ive got a 2007 model with gold wheels.......she"s my princess but a bit evil at times.


Kawasaki ZRX 1200R
CategorySport Touring Bikes
Release dateJan 2005

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