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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:20 pm 
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There's a review of the B4 above, but this is when the C1 came out (from this site: http://reviews.preloved.co.uk/fuseaction-reviews.showreview/productID-583/2a89d81e.html )

Kawasaki must have been a bit gutted. They'd redesigned their biggest sport bike to make it radical: the fastest 900-class bike reduced to the weight of a 600, using magnesium, titanium and other dramatic weight-loss processes. Then they restyle it to look sharper, and increase the power just to make sure.

Then Yamaha announce the R1. It's lighter, more powerful, and more radically engineered and styled! The early road tests are glowing, and it's beginning to look like the ZX-9R is dead before it's born.

Of course it's not as cut and dried as that - the big K has a legion of fans who value the unique Kawasaki qualities of solidity, that howling induction roar and the long history of musclebikes. To them, perhaps the ZX-9R is the ultimate - 600-small, but with more welly than the old version. The best ZX-R yet?

Initial view
First glances at the ZX-9R certainly don't reveal anything radical to start with - the new 9 is certainly a member of the family in terms of styling. A sort of evolution rather than revolution has lead to a slimmed down rear end, and slightly widened front, along with larger air vents.

But look a bit closer and you can see why the bike weighs so little - there are big gaps of space where parts used to be on the old bike. The seat is jacked up a bit and narrower, and there are what seems like huge holes underneath - not that anything needs to be in there, it just seems incredibly easy to get a the rear shock, for example. The frame is all new, as are a great deal of the engine parts - and everything has been downsized; where the old ZX-9R was definitely on the chunky side, the new bike is much more Firebladey.

Equipment-wise, everything is standard Kwacker - functional without being exceptional - with span-adjustable levers for both clutch and brake. All new for this year are the clocks, which include a digital clock, trip and odometers, and an LCD bar-type temperature gauge. (So it's a tourer then - as it's got a clock...).

Further weight-saving includes the gold-coloured magnesium engine cases and the titanium exhaust (which has a big TITANIUM stamped on it in case your mates don't believe it).

Sitting on the thinner and firmer seat, you feel quite high, and pitched towards the front end. It's quite a stretch to the bars, which are quite a bit lower than the older bike. The seat is also narrower, which means you have the choice of sitting forward and getting a sore backside, or sitting back and having to stretch further for the bars. However there's plenty of room to move around, which obviously helps on longer journeys. The footrests seemed a bit high for long journeys, but it's not the worst we've had.

Firing the motor up shows it to be a noisy beast. There are lots of rattles, grumbles and rumbles, probably because of the weight-saving on the engine cases. But it's definitely a Kawasaki - the deep throaty roar is there, even blipping the throttle at a standstill.

Flying tonight...
Click it into gear (standard pretty good gearbox) and feed in the clutch and the bike flies. Sorry - FLIES! The engine is very free-revving, and the surge of power is simply e n o r m o u s - we had a Fireblade on test at the same time and it felt like the ZX-9R had at least double the power, if not more.

It takes a very brave person to rev the bike out in each gear on anything other than a motorway - it's simply too powerful, and you are going way too fast! Tucking behind the fairing is easy due to the space available, and then you can just watch as the speedo drifts easily up to an indicated 180mph, with more to come. Yes, 180mph indicated - the fastest bike we've had under normal road conditions (in Germany of course, officer). Not only that, but it would do it easily and whenever you wanted, and you didn't need a run up to get there either. This is one very powerful motorbike.

All this action was accompanied by the usual Kawasaki howl - a great sound which just enhances the experience. The engine was a little vibey in patches, but again that's really part of the Kawasaki deal; you need to feel the engine is working away below you.

Fortunately the brakes are also up to the enormous performance. Strong and progressive, with great feel, you can brake pretty much as hard as you like (so long as you don't mind stoppies) and we didn't find any fade even after a mega 200-mile seriously hard ride back to back with the Fireblade. There's perhaps a little initial feel missing, but they're very powerful all the same.

At very high speeds the handling is also very good - it's stable, the front end doesn't wander too much (with a bit of weight towards the front of the bike) and the suspension works well. But at lower speeds the suspension lets the side down a bit - it's too stiff, and the damping is too hard. After a lot of playing we found a few clicks off compression on the forks, plus a couple off the rear shock certainly helped matters, but it was still a firm ride overall.

Quick Steerer
At lower speeds the bike steers very quickly - almost too quickly, in fact. There was a definite tendency to drop into low-speed corners, which made it more difficult to corner smoothly at very low speeds - it was easier to turn quickly and then stand the bike upright again to get back on the power. Definitely a point-and-squirt bike, and very quick at it too! However it was not unstable - long sweepers could be tackled with confidence - but the sheer power available meant that under hard acceleration the front end was so light that a steering damper would be an advantage.

That's not to say the bike handled badly; far from it. But where some bikes seem very neutral, the Kawasaki has definite "characteristics" that take some getting used to before you feel confident to really push it. And push it we did - a couple of rides in particular were, well, let's just say " extremely naughty". But the bike seems to encourage that sort of behaviour - certainly a license-risker if ever there was one!

Fuel gets a hammering under all this pressure - a couple of times we ran onto reserve at 110 miles, giving 32mpg, while the best we ever got was 149 miles before reserve, giving 40mpg. It's a big tank, and with the roomy seating and good wind protection from the fairing, high-speed, long-distance touring is certainly possible - and the bike has fold-out bungy hooks and a pillion seat, which make it easier to strap stuff on, though I'd pity any pillion who was stuck on the back for a long distance ride - the footrests are very high indeed.

The quality of finish was typically Kawasaki; very high, with plenty of nice detail touches. It's easy to see how Kawasaki owners tend to stay with the brand; there is a definite "Kawasaki feel" which permeates all the ZX range.

The Verdict
The ZX-9R is the fastest bike we've tested. Not just for absolute speed, but also in the way it gets there - no hesitation, glitches, twitches or moans - just straight up to the max. It is very, very powerful. The brakes can handle it, the chassis can handle it, the suspension is too hard. But overall it's the power that dominates the bike, and will be the abiding memory.

There is an argument that bike performance is getting too high - particularly as the accident statistics indicate an increase in the "born again biker" who is exactly the sort of rider likely to buy a bike like the ZX-9R. There is also an argument which says that we need to have bikes which can give the ultimate performance and that any legislation against such machinery is a invasion of personal liberty.

Sticking my neck out a bit here, I reckon the ZX-9R is just too much for many riders. Talking to people at Kawasaki, I was told that their British Superbike championship rider Chris Walker has been given one, and even he has diffculty using all the performance available! It will take a very experienced, or a very stupid, rider to use the maximum performance available on public roads. But is that a reason not to make them? Of course not - the more the merrier! But inexperienced riders need not apply...

Engine:Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke,DOHC, in-line 4 cylinder
Bore x Stroke:75.0 x 50.9mm
Displacement:899cm3
Compression ratio:11.5:1
Carbs:Keihin CVKD40 x 4
Max. Power:143PS
Ignition:Digital
Starter:Electric
Transmission: 6-speed
Final Drive:'O'-ring sealed chain
Dimensions (LxWxH):2,050 x 720 x 1,155mm
Wheelbase: 1,415mm
Seat Height:810mm
Wheels:Alloy 3 Spoke

Tyres:

Front - 120/70 ZR 17
Rear - 180/55 ZR 17
Suspension:
Front - 46mm conventional forks adjustable pre-load, compression & rebound damping
Rear - Uni-track with adjustable pre-load, rebound & compression damping
Brakes:
Front - 2 x 269mm discs with six-piston calipers
Rear - 184mm disc with single-piston caliper
Dry Weight:183kg


Sounds spot-on to me! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Location: devon, newton abbot
very good nice write up =D> =D> =D>

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:40 pm 
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that's sold them for me. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Is anyone these days still putting things like "We did 180mph on public roads" in their reviews? :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Moto GP Rider
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great write-up!

Something I always wondered...was there a reason to skip letters in the series. i.e. B C E F etc. What happened to D?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:47 pm 
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There was a D but it was the German model iirc

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:35 pm 
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good read that =D> =D> just goes to show why we all have em :D :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:58 pm 
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After reading the review it makes me want to go out and buy one :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:09 pm 
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mrnsb wrote:
After reading the review it makes me want to go out and buy one :lol:


and me. :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Yep sold it to me as well in fact maybe i shouldn't have, as I am a born again but it was too good an offer to refuse. £1500 C2 13000 on the clock and in pretty good Nick. The crappy Ohlins And Akra stickers have been removed!!

I have two questions if anyone can help-

Seen it advised to bin the standard Rear Shock and that a Standard ZX10 04-06 will just bolt on, is this the case?

Also does the End Can come with an exhaust Gasket as mine is blowing a bit i removed it and refitted using Exhaust paste seems to have stopped it but i have a feeling that a gasket would have been better does anyone know where to get one from?
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Gasket here.

Item Qty Cost Each Subtotal
110601213 GASKET, MUFFLER CON. £9.60 £9.60

http://www.cornwallkawasaki.co.uk/shop/ ... am&id=4494

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Locking it up
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:53 pm 
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WSB Rider
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Location: Memphis, Tn Green C1
I've been on here for almost a year, just reading this article. People that don't ride a zx9r don't understand the bike. I was very lucky to get mine when it came available and honestly I had no idea what I was getting. Once the bike came home with me I started cleaning up everyone else's abuse. I've owned several bikes but this one is just amazing. I'm gonna copy and paste this and send it to my buddies that ride Busas :lol: :lol:

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1998 zx9r C1 green......Greeen.......GREEEEEEN...........(and some black)

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If you're new to the zx9r you should read this.......


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Me like =D> .... Me agree :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Location: Stalybridge Cheshire C2 and E1
For once a road tester that tells it like it is and doesn't bang on about track this and track that, we all know that a track focuses bike is poo on our damp, cold crappy roads. =D>

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