- The flagship
- In the saddle
- Road by night
Unveiled in its new livery at the World Cup
of the 2001 Two-Wheeler, the ZZR 1200 is Kawasaki’s flagship: a
GT which does not deny its sporting origins, with a clear desire
announced to travel far. Five-day, 1,500-kilometer test
between Paris and the Ile d’Oleron.
streamlined, the ZZR 1200 imposes its stature and presence.
The bike appears long, full, rewarding with organic and rounded shapes,
in accordance with the canons of Grand Tourism. In its blue livery,
it is both sober and visible, highlighted by the rims
golden. We notice the large almond eyes at the front
and the headlights at the rear. Passenger handles
are long, and provide side and rear grip.
In the saddle
Sitting, feet touch the ground for the standard 1.70m pilot,
the fault of a very wide saddle. The bust falls slightly
forward to grab the half-handlebars, more than on a roadster
but less than on the Triumph Sprint
Under the eyes, a meter graduated up to 300 km / h (but
without the number 300), a tachometer with a red zone at 11,000
rpm, gasoline gauge, oil temperature, topped
neutral, flashing and full headlight warning lights. The witness
of oil is incorporated into the tachometer. No witness
changeover to reserve, which is carried out manually. Well
visible, the digital clock. We appreciate the quality of the painting
edge, rewarding. We will simply regret the traditional unique trip
and the absence of warning for a motorcycle of this type. Mirrors
ovoid are easily adjusted and offer a very large
field of view.
four cylinder slowly awakens and purrs…
Clutch, start … The bike appears very light
from the first turns of the wheel: a real surprise
compared to the exterior impression of the motorcycle.
The handlebars barely push and the bike lets itself be guided from the end
fingers. Knees literally curl around the tank
ergonomic. Getting started is quick and pleasant.
The first is short, like the other speeds. Each pass
speed is felt suddenly if you are not careful,
and the clutch play then becomes important. The result
gives the impression of being more on a sports car than on a GT.
If the selection is a little hard on the first two reports,
the following gears go up and down easily.
well it rolls quietly at two thousand turns,
with a good kick in the ass barely passed the bar
of the four three thousand towers. It never stops then,
and we find ourselves too quickly at reprehensible speeds.
Despite its size, the ZZR 1200 sneaks around, accepting
to move even in high gears at low speeds.
The almost upright driving position with light pressure on the wrists
allows never to suffer even trapped in traffic jams.
Clutch is easy and gears shift without thinking.
Leaving Paris, direction Tours, the ZZR 1200 takes its turns and continues
to purr. At 6000 laps, it tickles 160 km / h, at
7000 laps, it has just passed 200 km / h … At these speeds
the bike remains unperturbed, despite the wind or overtaking
heavy goods vehicles. The screen perfectly protects driver and passenger
and would almost allow to stay a long time at these speeds
if the license was not in danger of fading (especially since the
twins, they are present). And when the highway is
more tortuous, the ZZR tilts effortlessly to follow the curves
fast with astonishing ease.
Back on departmental roads, the ZZR 1200 does not let itself be disconcerted
and its liveliness makes it possible to attack on small roads, always riveted
on the ground.
saddle, long and padded, is very
comfortable, for the pilot as for the passenger. On the other hand, Kawasaki
lives up to its reputation for suspension settings
hard, and the bike clearly prefers good roads.
On a rough road, the motorcycle gives the impression of transforming itself
in a trestle. If the result in terms of road holding is
flawless, whatever the conditions, it hits the nail on the head
a little behind the back despite everything.
first braking tests give an impression of spongieu to
the rear and lack of feeling at the front. In fact, after
the handling of the machine, its acceleration capacities
and its liveliness, we expect a braking with a lot
of feeling. If this is not the case, the braking is on the other hand terribly
efficient, especially at the end of the route, allowing you to stop on
a few meters, having been at speeds
important. The rear is difficult to block is the front
proves to be enduring. In short, do not hesitate
to grab the brake lever.
We already suspected by day with the double frontal optics,
permanently on. At night, it feels like daylight
dipped-beam headlamps, with a particularly
large. So, in full lighthouse, it is safe to drive
and with comfort.
saddle opens to reveal a central tool kit.
A furnished space allows you to place an anti-theft device, a small
bomb and some accessories.
The passenger handle is ideal.
The large 23-liter metal tank can be used to secure
a large magnetic bag while keeping the vision on the
The switch to reserve is operated while driving, without too much
of difficulty, but ask to slow down to seek it and find it
We appreciate the center stand, even if the 236
kg dry do not make it easy to put on the plant.
tank size associated with an appetite
bird can practically travel 400 kilometers in one go.
In fact, it will initiate the red zone after 280 kilometers
and still allow about forty kilometers before the passage
in reserve, itself allowing another seventy kilometers.
In short, she consumes 5.7 on average. One might think that it is
then of a concomation in leek driving. It is not so. At speed
stabilized at 170-180 km / h it still does not consume
more than 6 liters per hundred. You have to really attack to make it climb
to seven-eight liters.
ZZR 1200 is not a motorcycle you learn to love, it is a
motorcycle that we appreciate from the first moments. Pleasant
while driving, it authorizes all the sets and characters according to
mood, going so far as to easily forgive mistakes.
It is clearly a motorcycle with which it is possible to go far, in all
security, and who will not risk breaking your marriage
- firm rear suspensions
Competitors: Yamaha FJR 1300
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