Top test Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

Top test Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R
Jahn

Top test Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

Greetings from Eddie

The Kawasaki tradition of the strong in-line four-cylinder is not embodied as emphatically as the ZRX 1200 R. Because behind its small handlebar fairing you still mutate into Eddie Lawson in a fight with considerable force.

The 80s are all the rage again.

Music, clothes: everything heavy again in the style of the »eighties«. Kawasaki seems to have foreseen this revival. Not because they have one or the other gem in their program that was offered 20 years ago. But because the predecessor of the ZRX 1200 R ?? the ZRX 1100 ?? the trend of the 80s.
Of course only externally. Introduced in 1997 as the 1100, Kawasaki increased the displacement last year and also worked on the chassis. Longer swing arm, offset swing arm pivot point, wider rim with wider tire, changed triple clamp offset ?? The ZRX should be up to date in terms of driving dynamics. With an almost sacred humility, however, the otherwise zealous Kawasaki designers left the drawing pens in the drawer, and the accessories that make the R a real ZRX were declared untouchable. Bikini costume and duck tails stayed as they are? and as they always were. Angular, angular, honest. As with Eddie Lawson’s 1000 Superbike, like the Z 1000 R from 1982, like the 1100. Like a ZRX.
Why Steady Eddie walked this striking piece of plastic skin in front of the handlebars is not immediately apparent to his legitimate successors in the spirit. It can hardly have been the windbreak. At least not beyond 160 km / h, a speed that is sometimes exceeded even on the most winding racetracks in the world and only marks a waypoint in the civilian life of the heiress in the middle of speed regions that are usually reserved for fully wired conspecifics. At 242 km / h, the driver reaps the storm that the 1200 giant sowed under him ?? and which starts in the lower speed regions, in which the massive fronts of power and torque conglomerate, only to swirl violently through the speed range from now on.
The performance curve with its exemplary course up to the peak of 120 PS at 8400 / min may serve as evidence for this, this torque plateau may serve, which starts with well over 80 Newton meters just beyond 2000 / min and ranges between 3000 / min and Nominal speed practically always moved well over 100 Newton meters. However, this feeling of abundance is most emphatically conveyed by a very casual overtaking maneuver on the country road, just shaken off the wrist. In fifth and last gear. A gear that would theoretically reach up to 293 km / h? and still allows pulling power that is very high even in the modern motorcycle world.
Anyone who thinks that he should bow down in front of so much power is wrong? Eddie here, Lawson? immense. Because the ZRX is also a child of its role model when it comes to ergonomics. Sitting upright, the tubular handlebars safely at hand: What earlier racing drivers might not have liked is now cheap because the relaxed posture combined with the powerful engine allows you to concentrate on what really counts. The search for the right line, the optimal braking point.
The fact that those looking for something will find what they are looking for on the ZRX 1200 R is due to the almost traditional qualities of the chassis. The double loop frame made of good old tubular steel does not shine because of its low weight, but its solid stability, which is only tarnished when the rider, in a desperate attempt to defy the hurricane beyond the 220 mark, induces unrest in the handlebars. Below this rather theoretical mark, it guarantees, in conjunction with the typical reinforced swing arm and the massive 43 mm telescopic fork, that both wheels stay in exactly the same track as the boy scouts above.
Even when the ZRX is walking on winding paths, spring elements that can be adjusted in every respect ensure that there is plenty of ground contact. A property that, despite the expansion tank, one does not trust the suspension struts in particular because of their conventional arrangement. They take the athletic attitude even further. Because regardless of the setting, they always have sufficient reserves ready, but the response behavior of the hindquarters leaves a lot to be desired, especially with short, hard hits. A characteristic that the much more comfortable fork only partially shares, but is still not a model in terms of low breakout force.
In return, the spring deflection at the front and rear counteract the well-groomed road rush under all circumstances. And that’s not so easy, especially for the fork, given the force with which the six-piston calipers bite into 310 millimeter brake discs. Both reach their limits? Fork and brakes ?? only when measuring in the top test course. Under these extreme conditions, the pressure point begins to slowly migrate towards the handlebars, while the front wheel sometimes lapses into indignant stamping due to the lack of remaining spring travel. Nevertheless: The values ​​of 39.1 meters of braking distance and an average deceleration of 9.9 m / s2 are hardly inferior to those of the very new, very good ZX-6R. In the handling test, the fully fueled ZRX 1200 R even tops its little sister, weighing a quarter of a ton, with a lead of 0.4 seconds in the fast slalom.
How come? The secret of success is the wide handlebar in combination with a chassis that doesn’t collapse every time you change direction. The high steering forces are compensated for by the large lever, while the easy-to-handle and grippy Bridgestone BT 020 and the great lean angle for a naked bike do the rest.
Pleasant properties that can be easily understood in everyday motorcycle life, especially since there are not measurable but noticeable advantages. The transmission, for example. It is seldom used, but when it does, the gears snap after a short distance, not as smooth as butter, but precisely. Or the bench seat, which still pampers you with plenty of comfort after hours of tours. Even the front passenger, who, thanks to two handles, does not have a secure fit, but lacks legroom due to the raised stainless steel silencer. In this case, the reserves of the spring base adjustment are useful for driving behavior and ground clearance and would allow more than the meager 176 kilograms of payload.
The fuel consumption is not meager at all. At least with those racing historians who turn every ride into an Eddie Lawson memory drive and give the fat foursome the speed whip. Then on the country road over eight, on the autobahn even more than ten liters per 100 kilometers through the 36-series constant pressure carburetor, after almost 150 kilometers the fuel tap, which is still present despite the fuel meter, needs to be switched to reserve.
W.he, on the other hand, takes it a little more calmly, but by no means slowly, gets significantly further. The 1200 consumes 5.9 liters with a relaxed driving style, massages the palms and soles of the hands with fine vibrations in the middle speed range, documents its full liter displacement with self-confident babbling from the silencer and would make God a good man. If it weren’t for that little piece of plastic in front of the handlebars. “Think about Eddie,” it whispers to you. Every time a conspecific shows up in front of you. Then a vigorous pull on the cable is enough? and you’re over Sincerely yours.

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Top test Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

Top test Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R
Greetings from Eddie

What else stood out – Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

PlusUnregulated catalytic converter and secondary air systemBrake and clutch levers adjustableLuggage hooks on the upper strut mount and on the grab handlesDeep storage compartment under the seat bench in the frame triangleDamping adjustment of the suspension struts via practical handwheelsEasy oil level controlMinus Visible shock absorbers Compression damping 2 clicks open, rebound damping 2 clicks open, spring preload level 1

MOTORCYCLE readings – Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

MOTORCYCLE Measured values²Braking and driving dynamicsBrake measurementBraking distance from 100 km / h 39.1 meters Average deceleration 9.9 m / s² Comments: In principle, the ZRX delivers good deceleration values, but with high manual force and a slightly shifting pressure point, a little more must be added. When braking hard, the front wheel can begin to stamp. Handling course I (fast Salom) Best lap time 20.6 seconds Vmax at the measuring point 103.2 km / h Comments: Despite its high weight, the 1200 can be wagged very easily through the fast course. The high steering forces are compensated for by the wide handlebar. Movement in the front when changing lean angles quickly. At the rear, on the other hand, the spring elements respond a little hard. Handling course II (slow slalom) Best lap time 28.4 seconds Vmax at the measuring point 57.4 km / h Comments: The footrests only hit the ground when the vehicle was at an extreme angle. The turning point can be passed through the fastest by pushing the motorcycle.Circular path d 46 metersBest lap time 11.1 sec Vmax at measuring point 50.7 km / h Comments: The Kawasaki does not drive completely neutral in an inclined position. In order to maintain the desired line, you must noticeably counter-steer. Low set-up torque when braking.

Conclusion – Kawasaki ZRX 1200 R

It’s amazing how much such an angular piece of plastic can make. Not functional, because in terms of wind protection you are not much worse off with the completely naked version of the ZRX, but significantly better off with the sister S. But emotionally. The R is a number all of its own. And technically a muscleman at a high level. What more do you want?

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