GT Kawasaki ZZR 1200 motorcycle test


The flagship

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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200Widely
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

Kawasaki ZZR 1200
Kawasaki ZZR 1200

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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200the
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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200And
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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200The
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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200The
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.

Kawasaki ZZR 1200Road
by night

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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200The
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
on hand.

We appreciate the center stand, even if the 236
kg dry do not make it easy to put on the plant.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200The
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.


Kawasaki ZZR 1200The
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
in duet.

Strong points

  • motor
  • liveliness
  • consumption

Weak points

  • firm rear suspensions
Kawasaki ZZR 1200

Competitors: Yamaha FJR 1300


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5 thoughts on “GT Kawasaki ZZR 1200 motorcycle test

  1. Yum … !!, (Intelligently Accoutree & Motorise Moto) is so rare these days.

  2. Well, it’s been a long time since the presentation of a new motorcycle had made me want !

    I find it rather successful, even in photos and aesthetically (not that, obviously!) Less heavy than the previous version. At this price, given the services and the level of equipment (integrated heated grips!), It’s a real deal.

    If I didn’t know that I would be disappointed with the V4 (not my thing, I had the Vtec for 3 years), I would go try it.

    Just a tip: why did you abandon the brilliant coupled braking system ????

  3. Fift, I will forward you in full the response of Honda press officer Bruno Skotnicki regarding the disappearance of combined braking: "After analysis with many VFR customers around the world, the R&D department wished to give a more sporty character а VFR800F and conventional braking is more suited to sportier use, especially with customers who are generally experienced and therefore more comfortable with braking. Conventional ABS braking is also lighter and contributes to the improvement. the agility of the 2014 version. "

  4. 6th generation of VFR, emblematic model of the brand if it is and absolute reference of the sport-GT segment for almost 30 years now. A myth, a legend, particularly appreciated for its versatility and reliability, also elected queen of motorcycles, excuse the little and in view of the various European tests, we have a very great vintage.

    Aesthetics have gained a lot (I did not like the 2002/2013 Vtec models at all) I particularly appreciate this return to the roots of the 4 in 1 side exhaust as in the good old days of the 750 Carat and the 800 FI 1st version but also the front face with its panigal-style boil, its X-shaped projectors, its side indicators (which looked ugly and poorly integrated before) now integrated into the mirrors which greatly alleviates the visual aspect of the whole.

    And as always, the level of equipment and technological excellence respond more than ever before (height-adjustable saddle, ABS, traction control, ultra-complete and modernized dashboard with a superb display with gear indicator engaged, engine temperatures and exterior, fuel consumption indicator etc … but also warning, heated handles, central stand, projector and led lights, 21.5 L of fuel tank with + 350km of autonomy, automatic flashing signal reminder dependent on the level and speed, HISS immobilizer and the latest optimization of the Vtec system and mapping) All this original! To which we can add an optional shifter to change gears without cutting the throttle or engaging and equip it with luggage with a single key via the ignition key with direct integration of the cases via the rear buckle hooks without the need to install a unsightly carrying structure as on many motorcycles.

    On top of that, 10kg saved compared to the 2013 model and for almost the same price. (while the technological paraphernalia easily justified a possible increase, especially since the old model had already fallen from + € 13,000 to € -12,500 in concession)

    Finally we must underline the excellent quality of assembly and finish worthy of the premium model it is to which is undoubtedly grafted the usual Honda ergonomics (the famous total control) which immediately allows you to feel and domesticate the beast in a way natural and spontaneous.

    I am astonished all the same by the loss of the coupled braking yet appreciated by all and perfectly in adequacy with the philosophy of the machine. (nobody is perfect!)

    Some argue that the VFR is playing on its reputation for spoofed reliability earned with the cascade-pinion models long gone from the catalog. False! I rebel! How many VFRs with conventional distribution have several hundred thousand km on the odometer? A package! And certainly more than most competing motorcycles.

    We just remember that more than 95% of motorcycles on the market are classic distribution precisely.

    No inverted fork either one hears here and spat it like a criticism … The good thing, it is better to have a non-adjustable inverted fork as we see everywhere or a classic fork of quality with adjustment?

    Sport-GT, a dying category in the current hyper-repressive context? No more than the angry roadsters all resulting from sports engines and yet monopolizing the sales podiums in France.

    Any motorcycle of any capacity or category that it is does not endanger your license with a simple turn of the handle today?

    For my part, this machine has made my mouth water and it is with undisguised impatience and enthusiasm that I await its arrival at the dealership.

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