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the ZX-12R is THE most powerful bike in the world.

You said:

The ZX12 is not old styling or technology wise. The motor was designed to beat the Hayabusa, and would have, had Kawasaki not had to throw the fight.
The motor DID beat the Hayabusa's. The ZX-12R has the most powerful engine of any production motorcycle in the world, and ZX-12Rs consistently dyno higher than the Hayabusa. The top speed thing is too murky to call. Early ZX-12s were mysteriously down on speed, following as they did so close on the heels of the top speed speed fiasco. But later bikes are more or less equal in speed/acceleration etc with the Hayabusa. The Busa's better aerodynamics offset the ZX-12R's power advantage and superior ram air system.

Anyway, the top speed thing is academic. The ZX-12R equals the Busa for straightline speeds, and out handles it courtsey of the 2 inch shorter wheel base, and steep steering geometery. However, it requires more skill to ride fast because the monocoque frame is too stiff and runs contrary to the new concept of "designed-in frame flex for better feedback and communication". The steering geometry and frame stiffness has been altered with the 2002 model to tackle this problem.

What's the point of all this? quite simply this: there is a lot more to bikes than magazine tell you or CAN tell you. They do what they must to sell issues at the newstand. Sometimes they are just plain biased or prejudiced (even MO can be accused of that). If you buy bikes and judge bikes based mostly on what the magazines are saying, you're just not very smart. If the magazines were worthy of being treated as gospel, nobody would buy BMWs, Ninjas, Ducatis, Buells, Triumphs.
 

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Re: Futura comment

I test rode the Futura at the Honda Hoot! Very nicely finished, very comfy, very sporty, fast, nice handling, way cool muffler under seat, terrific instrument cluster, less maintenance than the Ducati ST2/ST4. Very minor negatives: more vibration than ducati, no sounds from the exhaust, expensive. If you got the $$$, I don't think you'll have any regrets with the Futura, unless you test ride the ST4 and don't mind the maintenance schedule. The ST4 is more fun to ride in the twisty stuff (just a little bit more fun), and has that awesome Ducati sound, no-vibration engine. The Aprilia is more refined though. Good luck!
 

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Re: Concours

I have a 90 Concours with ~80K miles.

A couple thousand Concours and GTR owners

all over the world would disagree with you

about the buzziness.

I suspect the one you rode needed a tune-up. Any

inline-4 will buzz if out of tune. Contrary to the

stuff copied verbatim from one magazine to another,

the Concours buzzes no worse than any other

counterbalanced I-4.

Seat is soft on older ones, but still useable for

LD riding. That said, most owners upgrade the

seat. But of course, seat upgrades are popular

in any type of LD ride. I have a Corbin.

The bags do bounce, but they NEVER fall off. They

bounce a little less if you actually load them down.

If the tranny shifted funny, you rode one with a

problem. The tranny is very bulletproof, as with

all Ninja-derived powerplants.

What you didn't mention is that the flip in the

windshield causes lots of buffeting on the freeway.

Aftermarket windscreens are available and popular.

I have a Rifle screen, and an array of cut-down

stock screens for different conditions.

-Dave Svoboda, Concours Owners Group
 

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Make your own sport-tourer

Why does every body have to salivate over a factory made ST? With companys like Corbin (great 2-up seats & Beetle Bags), Givi (hard bags), Rifle (windscreens), National Cycle (windscreens), and Heil (clip-ons w/more rise & pull back) you can create your on ST from almost any sport or standard. This is what I love about the motorcycle market. If you don't like your stock bike modify it. You don't have to wait for the companies to come to you.
 

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Because they6 want to emphasize the SPORT...

in sport touring. Shaft drive, while low mainenance and convenient compared to a chain, is inefficient and creates torque reactions that are not desired for midcorner high lean angle adjustments. Chains are better for more sport oriented sport touring bikes and Kawi knows this.

Shafts are nice too, don't get me wrong, I like them, but they're not sporty.
 

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It's a chain drive bike.

For a Sport TOURING bike like a Concours or ST1100 a shaft is fine. But for a SPORT Touring bike like the ZZR a chain is preferable.

Besides maintenance on modern O-Ring chains is a breeze!
 

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Some people like the clean look of a stock bike.

Givi accessory bag mounts completely RUIN the look of ANY bike they are on. I've seen them on VFRs, GPZs, etc, and they look so ugly they riun the whole look of the bike. And let's admit it - few of us want to be on an ugly bike.

A factory sport tourer doesn't have this problem. And Kawasaki is definitely doing the right thing with the ZZR1200 and the ZR-7S. They have small integrated mounting system for factory Kawasaki branded Givi OEMed luggage. A nice clean integrated look and Givi quality is a good thing.
 

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I agree this is functionally similar to the GPZ-1100

Which is an absolutely fantastic motorcycle.

The GPZ got universally great reviews everywhere, including honorable mention in Cycle World's Ten Best of 1995. There is small, but extremely loyal user base for this bike. Mine has 45K miles and runs like new still, motor incredibly strong (did someone say midrange?) and smooth.

This looks like an updated GPZ which fixes all the shortcomings of that bike, (small questionably designed saddlebags, old frame and suspension, small fairing, could use more motor [that actually makes me laugh]). The GPZ was and is a great motorcycle. The ZZR1200 will be also.
 

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Re: Make your own sport-tourer

I havent seen too many good comments about the beetle bags. Many complaints about being too small and the bag cracking though. I'll admit they look good, but dont seem too practical with there small size. I was looking to pick up a VFR and order a set but after reading about the beetle bags I decided against said plan.
 

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Well, I have to disagree with you on a few items, first, "better built" is subjective. I don't buy into the "Honda is God" crap that so many seem to mistakenly believe. Build quality across the board of all Japanese bikes is first rate nowadays. Secondly, while the Superhawk is a nice bike, it's a lousy sport tourer simply because the gas mileage is so atrocious. How can you go 135 miles on a tankful? That's really not sport tourerish at all. And lastly, being a twin is not everything to everyone. Personally, I'd rather have a nice smooth inline four anyday.



YMMV, but I'll take a look and a ride on the new Kawi come Americade in June.
 

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Re: Concours

My '00 Concours is my favorite ride ever -- that being said, it sure seems to me that it would be really nice if just once in a while you could by a product that didn't need imediate alterations.

I haven't done the seat or windshield, but a 400+ mile day here and there does indeed make the stock seat seem a bit too soft.
 

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Re: "Most Sport Tourer

I didn't know most sport tourers had a shaft. Actually I believe it's just the ones you mention. The new ones coming out have chains, as do the Triumph Sprint ST (sport oriented) and Trophy (tour oriented but still runs circles around ST1100 and Concourse in the sport area).
 

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Re: EX revamp--why not a 650cc triple?

"What if you were to go back to the 1984 Ninja 900, and instead of cutting off two cylinders, cut off ONE. Do a little tinkering to get everything balanced again, and you suddenly have a triple of about 650cc's."

Don't know if it's feasible, but damn - that sounds tasty. I'd buy one at $6300.
 

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I thought this bike was going to replace the Concours, but to do that it'd need shaft drive and a more comfortable seat.

The Concours needs an update, and I am certain that Kawasaki has existing parts in the bin that can adequately update the Connie for a few dollars more (actually a few hundred dollars more at the showroom, which would still seriously undercut the competition pricewise while producing a competent sport tourer).

It would be interesting to see the ZZ-R1200 engine and brakes in the Voyager, although the engine just might need further detuning to not break the chassis under hard acceleration...

But the Voyager and the Concours have their own faithful, and they, like the faithful of another brand out there, say: "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand..."
 

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Re: I must be really out of it...

...because Kawasaki and Suzuki have the lineups that come the closest to what I want.

Kawasaki has the Super Sherpa, the EX-500, the W650, the KLR650, the Vulcan 750 Tour, the Drifters 800 and 1500, and the Voyager.

Suzuki has the GS500, the SV650 and the Savage (although I hear conflicting reports on the reliability of the Savage...). I would appreciate a Bandit 600 without fairing, but they don't make that.

A Bandit 1200 with a full fairing, hard bags and shaft drive would be a good way for Suzuki to get back into the touring market...
 
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