Ok, to put the cat amongst the pigeons, you say it's a terrific all-round machine. How about comparing it not to the Hayabusa but to that other terrific all-round machine , the VFR 800. The ZX12r is lighter (according to the table printed), the same money (especially in real, how much you would pay a dealer money), and is aiming at the same sort of market if you would believe Kawasaki's PR. Oh, it also makes about 70 more hp. I will seriously be in the market for a new bike at the end of the year and I want to know! I know magazines like Motorcyclist would never do this type of comparo, not with their editor having worked for Honda etc so this would be a good opportunity for you to show that you are different from the paper rags, you do not cater to the lowest common denominator and that you are the most credible source of information out there. How about it?
I own both a 2000 VFR and a 2000 zx12r. I was intrigued to see how they would compare in handling and sport-touring capabilities.
Even though they weight about the same and have the same wheelbase the handling is remarkably different, the VFR handles much better. Weight distribution plays a large role in how a bike handles, and the zx12r is lacking in the serious cornering department.
But I guess the question is which one do I ride the most. The ZX12r gets more ride time here in the Florida straights, we have very few decent roads in our state, and sometimes we ride for 2 hours just to get to them, so on the interstate (yuch) the 12 is as stable as a rock when passing semi's, and makes quick work of a 100 mile run. The VFR however is a much better choice for places like Deals Gap, is easier to ride, and sticks to the road like glue.
Here is one biker hoping that the 2002 zx12r closes the gap on the monster HP vs. the finely tuned corner carving do all machine we would like to keep in our garages. That would make one less bike payment for me, and one less aggrivated wife....
Ah, what the hell, I still say every man should have at least two bikes!
It's fascinating to me how Kawa can make a big bike with that much torque and hosepower so rewarding in so many ways: Linear power curve, Instant response from low speeds in 6th gear!, Capable of superior top end speed, Comfortable enough for all day riding. Kawa, you definitely have got your [email protected]# in order.
Good deal. I've ridden the 2000 ZX12r and the one thing I noticed about it (apart from its terrible seat) was that you sat up very high on it, it felt like a long way down when you heeled it over for a sharp corner. But maybe the handling gap has changed with the 2002?
I have been all over Kawi's home page and there is no indication of blue coming to the US. Just red and black/gold. Is this first ride from an international press introduction or did you guys wrangle a Canadian test bike?. How can I get one in blue?
A good question there, P-Ratt. We were kind of wondering why the blue wasn't listed on Kawasaki's own web site. Of course, we could have been good journalists and called them up to ask, but that that would break tradition. So the phone remained on the hook.
However, now that you've prodded us as such, we'll be on the horn to Kawi tomorrow morning and report back to you with our findings.
And, since you mentioned it (even if you didn't, I'll still tell you), the blue looks even better in person than it does in any of the photos. Even the blue rims are nice and not nearly as tacky as the words "blue rims" might indicate.
Why you're at it, ask them if their European models are the same mechanically as those sold in the US. I can get a European model in Japan, but not the US model - too expensive for the local market due to all the safety stuff. I simply love this bike.
I am afraid that the riding impressions write up reveals very much the preference and bias for race track oriented sportbikes, even though no direct comparisons are made. They say its not a Laguna Seca sort of bike, but the writeup certainly reads like they judge it by those standards. There is little aknowledgement of its superb versatility and street usability, its EXCELLENT suitability for tall riders. I question the credibility of an evaluation that so obviously favors the personal preferences of the reporter. Objective it was not.
and another thing: "for all intents and purposes still born"? how do you define still born? didn't sell or didn't get media acclaim? I'd say it was still born only in that it didn't make legions of sportriders lust for it. But that is hardly the measure of success. I don't know the sales numbers, but unless they are dismal for its class (which includes the Busa and the Blackbird), I refute the "stillborn" assessment.
It's true that those 3 bikes have never sold too many units in comparison to the liter size or especially the 600cc sportbikes. Now that all of those liter bikes (except the Kawi) are over $10K, these true open class motorcycles are more attractive in price. Hell, you can't get a new 600 for less than $8000 out the door nowadays. Why not spend an extra$40 a month or whatever to get the bike of your dreams if you want? I think the sales numbers should go up in the future for this class of bike. Oh wait, I forgot about the largest legal scam in America, Insurance.
You make a good point! Can anyone out there give a realistic ballpark figure for what insurance runs on these kinds of bikes. I checked Progressive online and not sure I believe the quote... close to $4000 o year!?!
Gotta agree that insurance has a large part in sales figures. Most of the young guys here would love to have 900 to 1200 cc bikes but their insurance company won't even quote a bike that big. 600 is a large as they can get and still get insured, which is mandatory in Illinois. The only thing bigger than the insurance scam, is lawmakers shoving the scam up yer arse sideways with gravel as the lubricant!
What I love even more about insurance is the ignorance of some companies. I ride a Buell M2, but I also looked hard at several other bikes and checked out insurance rates. My insurer bases its rates almost entirely on engine displacement. So I payed more insurance on my 1450cc Electra Glide than I do my new Buell. I would have paid significantly less for the ZR-7s I looked at, less for the Duc ST-2, and a great deal less for the last-year's VFR 800 I would have bought if it had touched me on an emotional level at all. Point being, my insurance company doesn't consider the type of motorcycle in the least, though brand may play a small role in comprehensive (not, it seems, liability).
My insurance company lists various rates by age and length of riding experience. The rates are much lower for riders over 35. My insurance for my GSX1100 runs about $150 (liability only) per year. A 19 year old's insurance for the same bike runs $7,000!!
The rates go down by age, but a 25 year old still has to pay around $1500 per year.
Search out quotes on the internet. Progressive quotes me over $1500 per year for my truck while I'm currently paying about $600 with Farmers. Farmers doesn't insure bikes. But that's just an example of the diaprity in rates.
Yeah, I use USAA and they say the base rates only on displacement, so my R6 is cheaper than say, a sv650. THe plastic on the R6 is much more expensive to replace, so this shows you that some companies charge way to much and insurance is a scam.