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owners' comments sought - zzr1200, cbr1100xx, gsx1400, zrx1200r, cb1300s

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by mrnamjama, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Hi all :)

    I'm finally off the restrictions and looking to buy a new (second hand) bike. I'd be looking to spend around 8k with a little bit of flexibility.

    I'm 6'5" and find myself disconcertingly cramped and uncomfortable on a bike such as a hornet 900. I rode a cbr1100xx as well, which was very pleasant and comfortable.

    My question is - given my approximate budget, can existing owners (or other knowledgeable persons!) give some feedback as to the likely condition or known problems of the following bikes?

    zzr1200 (don't like the 1100)

    My preference would be for the gsx, zxr, then the zzr, cb1300s and finally the cbr.

    any experiences, caveats, warnings, advice? For example, I know i could get an '04 zrx with 30,000km, aftermarket suspension, pipe etc for $8500 - but it's been raced. Never dropped, however should this be a concern?

    some bikes might suffer from being raced if they're highly strung, but i'm under the impression that a big bore 'lazy' bike like this might not. am i right?


    thank you karl for pointing out the obvious omission... i should have mentioned that i commute 5 days a week (12kms of easy riding and very few traffic lights), and expect to go on a few shorter trips with and without a light pillion, plus maybe a trip to melbourne (from canberra) every now and again.

    I'm a pretty lazy rider and don't feel the urge to go as fast as possible, but do like to be able to get to the speed i want rapidly.

    i had absolutely no problems filtering on the blackbird, and that's a big bike - so i'm not concerned about that with any of the bikes.
  2. What sort of riding do you do and what is the reasoning behind your stated preferences?. I would ride each bike on your shortlist and go from there. Typically the final choice becomes self evident. Then you can look for the best second hand bargain you can find.

    My advice about the BB. Smooth, reliable, cheap. Not so good is the suspension for the larger gent and the cost of fairings if you drop it. Good fun in the twisties and very tourable but will not do either quite as well as a supersport (RR) in the twisties or an armchair on a big tour.

  3. thanks karl - updated the first post.

    my preferences are in that order because i like the old school look a tiny bit more than the fully faired bikes

    i'll be test riding all of these bike as soon as i can find them, but i really want to hear some things i wouldn't get from a test ride - like known issues
  4. My thinking would be this: The ZZR and CBRXX both excel at high speed twisties work, fast sweepers, 100-180kmh and beyond, that sort of thing - but they're not as easy to pedal around in town. The other three are set up to be easier to manoever at slower speeds, so you can probably throw them around a bit easier in the city. But I found that they'll start to get a bit of a wallow going if you punt them through fast corners fast.

    Then again, if you're not a complete hoon in the sweepers you might not notice any issues at all. And suspension upgrades on the twin shock retros can probably bring them into line; Shawn Giles rides a GSX14 on the road, as does our own Sir Skuffy, and they both get along juuuust fine.

    All are good for long distance rides, although I'd wager you'd find the nakeds a bit comfier and roomier. I always found the Blackbird to be very cramped in the leg area, and I'm nowhere near your height.

    The ZZR has a more exciting engine than the CBR. The GSX wins the usable power battle against the ZRX and CB, in that order, according to my bum dyno. Then again, both the Hondas exhibit amazing reliability, and Honda spares are a buttload cheaper than Kawasaki ones (not sure about the Suzi stuff). Older Suzuki Bandit 1200s should make it onto your list too - they're bloody cheap, bulletproof and that motor is fantastic with the right unrestricted exhaust system.

    Take a bunch of test rides - have fun!
  5. I do not think I can offer much more advice for you, I quite like the ZRX1200R (but not in green), my better half's dad has one and he has had no problems.
  6. i got a gsx 1400z k7 specal edition , bought her new in april so far 6300ks so far .lovely to ride. they have just been discontued but there been around for 10 years, now early models like k1s k2 had some problem, leaking shockys and jumping out of 2nd gear.


    if u want more info check out this forum
  7. Loz mentioned the older 1200 Bandit but I reckon you could talk a seller into letting go of a 1250 for close to that money. They commute very well and will out grunt and handle most (all?) coming off restrictions.
  8. Yeah, my contribution was gonna be to suggest adding the Bandit to your list, too, but I arrived a bit late. It's the only one I have experience with, and my use of my bike similar to yours, and I'm absolutely in love with it. Did a big review here somewhere if you wanna search for more detail.

    They're all good bikes, of course, but the nakeds and semis are definitely better adapted to your needs.
  9. I used to own a ZRX1200R and a Bandit 1200S, the Kawasaki motor was a bit smoother and it had a little more top end but the seat was terrible (way too thin and the edges were just the wrong shape) and the twin rear shocks were awful, any sort of bumps or potholes and they'd launch you out of the seat into the air above it unless you were just trundling along.

    The Bandit is a better bike in just about all areas except for fuel consumption and vibration.
  10. Sorry to complicate things but have you considered the Yam xjr1300? Old school looks with plenty of mid range power and surprisingly good handling especially around town. They got fuel injection in 07 but the later carb models are in your price range. Very happy with mine.

  11. As the former owner of the ZZR I know youre looking at, I cannot rate it enough. The primary reason I sold it was my wife was not ahppy pillioning on it - and that is a big part of my riding.
    As you also know, youre only a couple of inches shorter than I, and I found the ZZR perfectly comfy to ride long distance, through the twisties, and around town.
    I commuted on that bike for nearly a year and had no probs. The double-bubble screen helped significantly too.
    The engines are completely bullet proof and very, very reliable.
    The only thing I added was the heated grips.
  12. The 14 my friend.................user friendly, bulletproof and more torque than you can poke a stick at..........extremely comfortable, good for touring, plays well with sportsbikes,.. and looks farrrrking great. LOL
  13. mate, every time I ride in bad weather i remind myself that i want a faired bike... it really does make a difference to have that frontal protection.

    i have to talk to macca again (but canberrariders is down - FIX IT DAMMIT!!!! :p)