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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:24 am
Posts: 13
Location: Blackfoot, ID
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2000 & 2002/Kawasaki ZX-9Rs
2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9R*

Rating: 5 of 5 stars for Reliability, comfort, handling and control, quality and craftsmanship
Pros: W-I-D-E powerband, well balanced sportbike, with superior handling, vibration (no!), capable of 50 - 55 MPG & ~266-275 MPT.
Cons: 3,000 RPM carburetor surging (stock), but easy to correct with a carb sync and/or raising the jet needle 0.8mm - 1.3mm.
Conclusion: The ZX-9r, a surprising sportbike: as fast as fast bikes, as comfortable as touring bikes, smooth as glass, and more economical than all of them. The best motorcycle ever built.
Recommended: Yes

What an awesome motorcycle! I was looking for a liter bike and had my eye on the CBR-1000RR Repsol Honda or GSXR-1000. After doing a lot of research I was surprised to find much of what I was looking for was available in the 600cc class. However, easy highway touring won out and the bike that had it all was the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9r.

My criteria was this: a sport bike that could handle 150+ MPH, with good handling - fun in the corners, ample power, nice looks, fully faired, not buzzy like a 1200+ bike or screamed at high speed like a 250, allowed for comfortable long stint rides, and could cover 175 miles between fill-ups. The 9r is all of that and more! It's capable of 170MPH, has a well balanced ride in stock form that makes me appear to be a better rider than I am, slides predictably when pushed, downshifts and brakes like a dream, (for me) frightening power delivery below 2000' with an exciting ram-air rush about 8K RPM, sweet looks Lime Green, Metallic Purple), great wind protection with a Zero Gravity touring shield (about 2" higher than stock), so smooth at normal speeds its hard to believe, riding position comfort that makes 200 mile runs a piece of cake, 400 mile runs tolerable, and 240+ miles between fill-ups -- it actually out runs a majority of the touring bikes!

Unfortunately the 9r production was stopped in 2003, so there's a finite number of them left. And because most motorcycle squids want bikes that are reviewed as 1MPH faster or can quarter mile 0.25 seconds quicker, they always overlook the 9. This makes 9r sellers think they need to lower their price to attract a buyer. I picked mine up for below low Kelly BB, probably because I was the only one attracted to this old small bike. Ha!

I added a tunable Supertrapp exhaust and made only minor (as prescribed by Kawasaki for high altitude operation) for better throttle response and power delivery. I can't imagine a better bike or anything I'd rather ride.

In summary, I've owned a CB-175, CB-500T, KZ-400, Maxim 550, KZ-550, GS-550, ZX-1000R and now the ZX-9r and you couldn't make a combination of any of my previous bikes that could add up to the 9. And in one year I rode my 9r more miles than all those other bikes combined.

* The 2000 ZX-9r model E1 and 2001 E2 are mechanically identical, so this review and its conclusions should apply to both.
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Magazine review <here>


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:24 am
Posts: 13
Location: Blackfoot, ID
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2000 & 2002/Kawasaki ZX-9Rs
2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9R*

** This is my second attempt due to my first thread about the 2002/2003 ZX-9R being mysteriously removed. Don't know why. ???

My review of my 2002 ZX-9R F1 would be nearly identical to the previous review of my ZX-9R E1, with a few minor exceptions. Both bikes look similar, but it's their minor changes that makes them feel related, but not identical.

The F1 has arguably the most appealing paint scheme of any of the 9R line. Its crank has been beefed up, while its flywheel weight has been reduced. Along with hard mount engine mounts and new locations to prevent undue frame stress from stunt type riding, the F model is much more buzzy than the silky smooth E. Still not bad, just comparatively more. Its carbs were changed from the E's back to the more standard 9R CVKD. The bike is able to idle on its own quicker than the E, probably due to a larger pilot air jet, being that jetting is mostly unchanged from the E. The chain and sprockets are 525s, from the E's 530s, but gearing feels identical and the fuel consumption numbers come back very close to the E. Gone are the rider handles, which makes for difficult garage maneuvering and standing the bike on a rear swingarm stand. Instead there's a strap on the passenger seat, which begs the question of how a cowled bike's rider would be able to balance the bike for a swingarm stand. It may appear cleaner looking, but functionally very difficult to balance.

The most notable of the small changes are the stiffer suspension, larger and more ridged rear swing arm, larger and different rotors/calipers and a slightly flatter rider seat. The bike feels like it's ready to be ridden fast or taken immediately to the track. The brakes on this model are unquestionably superior and magazine reviews raved about them. Like newer bikes, stiff suspension makes for an uncomfortable freeway slab ride, but again like the E, it can be ridden all day on standard highways.

* The 2002 ZX-9R model F1 and 2003 F2 are mechanically identical, so this review and its conclusions should apply to both.
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