2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R: MD Ride Review — Part Two …

29 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R: MD Ride Review — Part Two … отключены
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE

2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R: MD Review – Part Two

Part one of review was published on February 16, Take a look at that summary of our first impressions of the new

When Kawasaki first the ZX-12R in the Fall of 1999, it was met by the and motorcycle enthusiasts with anticipation. After all, had dominated street-legal speed its ZX-11 for years, and Kawasaki had earned the reputation for building of the most powerful, if not the most open-class street bike

While the original ZX-12R was received by the European press, and we also favorably impressed at MD, at least one major U.S. (Motorcyclist) virtually crucified the Sales of the original ZX-12R in the fell below the expectations of and its dealers. Perhaps, Kawasaki to reach a bit too far, too fast, the initial ZX-12R.

Both (with its CBR1100XX) and Suzuki the Hayabusa) had stolen Kawasaki’s in the top speed competition. The Hayabusa, in was a big step up from previous of street bike engine and top speed.

Under the circumstances, you expect that, after two of engineering refinement, the new 2002 would be a significantly better It is, but it is also moving towards a different category, as well.

the original ZX-12R was, a sport tourer at heart a very fast one), the of the new ZX-12R are more aggressive — rear end (thanks to a swingarm relocated 2 mm lower) and lower (by 5 mm), put the big Kawasaki’s ergonomics closer to those of a pure (the ZX does give you room between the seat and the than most sportbikes).

It is these aggressive ergonomics seem a bit puzzling, given intention to position the 2002 as a machine appealing to a wider “by improving its everyday riding In almost every other Kawasaki succeeded (as we will below), but the ergonomics may have a step in the wrong direction. riders will be happy the handlebar position, but those to change it face the added and hassle of replacing the top triple because the bar mounts are cast the triple clamp itself, a new triple clamp and a set of clip-ons to the bars to a less aggressive

The rest of the bike, however, obliterates the ergonomic issues positives. Although the original had more engine performance most sane riders use on the street, the 2002 model has improved engine performance, in usability and breadth of power.

its 1198 cc capacity, the old model had a peaky power delivery. It pull nearly as hard as it have below 5,000 for instance. The new model pulls hard from very low — seemingly, without sacrificing the top-end rush of the original

This rather dramatic in power delivery is attributed to ignition mapping and a heavier shaft, although, the change is enough that it is hard to Kawasaki did not make further to the engine to achieve it.

Further inertia was added to the new by repositioning weight on the flywheel. changes, coupled with a cable pulley that is now rather than round, smooth and progressive power rolling on the throttle. While an throttle cable pulley seem like a bandaid for fuel injection mapping, the package works seamlessly.

performance, of course, is what the ZX-12R apart from other street-legal motorcycle the lone exception of Suzuki’s I don’t care what you been riding, the way the 2002 inhales straight-aways with a whiff of throttle will your mind. In the process, you about as much control as you can the circumstances.

Unlike some open-classers, the front-end stays when you want it to, but will easily and progressively if that is choice. The broad spread of makes downshifts completely for passing maneuvers, as well.

this much power and (Motorcycle Online’s published chart showed nearly 165 at the wheel, coupled with a of 92 foot/pounds of torque — more 75 foot/pounds all the way from 4,000 to rpm) you have some of being a flea on the back of a but vigorous, bull rhino. It is an feeling, to say the least.

It wasn’t the engine performance that attention from Kawasaki year. The frame and suspension revised to improve performance, as The frame, of course, is Kawasaki’s aluminum monocoque (essentially, a aluminum backbone design).

to make the ZX-12R narrower, and aerodynamic, than the competition, the is also relatively light and stiff.

When wind tunnel proved the Hayabusa even aerodynamic than the older Kawasaki made efforts to the aerodynamics of the new model. They in dropping the coefficient of drag by one (from 33 to 32) — a welcome improvement, but not very significant in light of the declared in the top-speed wars the manufacturers (I believe 186 miles per is the agreed maximum these

What is quite noticeable is a improvement in rider wind provided by the new front fairing and bubble”-style windscreen. Kawasaki did a good job here.

By the way, huge monocoque frame seemingly have a tendency to more vibration to the rider, and the model did seem to transmit more vibration; particularly, the tank. Although the new machine doesn’t match Honda’s for engine smoothness, it is certainly down on vibration compared the older model, and does not present an issue.

Those changes alluded to earlier more aggressive steering courtesy of the raised rear end of the and a 4 mm reduction in fork offset. even reduced the stiffness of the of the steering head, and increased the of the steering head bearings to cornering feel and responsiveness. As a of all these changes, the new ZX-12R handle quite a bit better the old machine.

Steering is lighter and more precise, and feedback the front end of the machine has improved, as

Overall, the ZX-12R has a fluid feel — quick enough, yet and ready to hold a selected through corners.

The stock components are of very high and are capable of delivering an excellent balance. Both the inverted and gas-charged shock are fully for preload, compression and rebound According to Kawasaki, swingarm rear-shock linkage, and spring and adjustments (front and rear) are all new year.

The suspension had a smooth, feel to it. I did have trouble the fork, however. Ultimately, I rebound damping all the way out (to the softest/quickest because the fork appeared to be too slowly. I also increased preload in the fork (from 5 showing to just 2-1/2 to make the fork rebound quickly.

Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE

These changes the overall balance of the suspension stock settings on the shock left alone), and also a tendency of the front wheel to hop hard braking. Ideally, of suspension valving should you to leave the damping adjustments the middle of their range. with these changes, the handled well and felt suspended (with smooth action noted).

Kawasaki made significant changes to the of the 2002 ZX-12R, including a pleasing and integrated look at the of the machine. Indeed, our test (in Candy Thunder Blue) had a and attractive look. The redesigned fairing and front fender will no longer bump objects before the front does) give the bike a and more finished appearance.

the panels added to the inner just below the instruments and provide a much more and refined look to the cockpit.

Some readers have whether the Candy Thunder (yes, it is Candy Thunder not the Candy Lightening Blue by Kawasaki in prior models) option is available in the United The answer is yes, despite failure to show this on its web site and in brochures. The Candy Blue option was added as a color option for the U.S. these promotional materials created (the other two options are shown in this

The large, broad seat is comfortable for the rider, and the newly passenger seat cowl better than last and looks better, too.

we have only touched on of the more than 130 changes by Kawasaki to the ZX-12R, the 2002 is a major improvement overall. The has a much more balanced and feel, and the stupendous engine is much easier to use, as

With its new-found agility and you could be tempted to label the ZX-12R the ultimate street While many riders wait for the next open-class to be published by “Sport Bikes and Compared by Professional Roadracers at Angles You Will Never Monthly”, something needs to be considered. A well-ridden, 600 pound tourer will leave riders (regardless of their behind on a twisty mountain

The ZX-12R has much higher limits than the hypothetical tourer mentioned, and, in trim, cannot be touched in a line by anything but a Hayabusa.

The reach to the stock bars be an issue for some riders, no The ZX-12R, in many ways, is a sport tourer with the of a pure sportbike. Although the and peg-seat relationship are more than most sportbikes, that complement that will be expensive to obtain. well worth it, however.

The is a great machine with beyond the requirements, and needs, of every rider.

Obviously, the is a bike to be ridden by experienced who can exercise some degree of restraint. It helps that the brakes are very powerful and modulated, but, ultimately, from the rider is required piloting a machine this That braking system 320 mm discs in front, gripped by calipers.

You will not find a powerful combination on a stock

For more details on the 2002 ZX-12R, which retails in the States for $10,999, visit web site .

Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE
Kawasaki ZX 130 KAZE

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