I’ve had several requests over the past few years for more information about my ZRX, which has been featured in quite a few of our WRR videos as well as other product tests that we’ve done. So, I guess it’s finally time to pay homage to what is the Mighty Kawasaki ZRX.
I’ve had my ZRX for about 5 years now, and that was after patiently saving and waiting to get exactly the one I wanted. When I had first laid eyes on a ZRX it struck a chord with me – I knew I had to have one some day. I’m sure most of you have had that happen. You see that bike and it’s just YOU. The ZRX is everything I want in a motorcycle. It is capable of long distance rides in comfort (compared to a supersport), and yet it’s capable of fairly high paced riding in the twisties or even track duty. Heck, a team a ZRX at Pikes Peak last year! Then there’s the torque – oh the glorious torque. This is probably one of the most well known traits of the ZRX, if you twist the throttle you better HANG ON. The ZRX makes it’s peak torque at 5500rpm, with nearly half its rev range left to go, it just pulls and pulls and pulls and… well, you get the picture.
Jack of all trades, master of none is definitely a very apt quote for describing the ZRX (as well as many sport-standard bikes). It’s certainly not the best sportbike, or the best touring bike, or the best drag racer – but you know what? It’s pretty darn good at all of them. And what’s really great about it, is you can modify it to suit your individual needs and purposes that you desire. I went several years with my ZRX as my main form of transportation.
Oh, and did I mention that I can fit a gallon of milk under the seat? How many motorcycles can claim that?!
Overall the bike is just fantastic, and unfortunately, largely unappreciated here in America. In fact, the ZRX was only imported to the States from 99-2005, after which it gave way to the Z1000. But the ZRX isn’t quite the same as the Z1000, and the Japanese know this – which is why they still offer BOTH bikes in Japan. This isn’t the only UJM not to make it Stateside.
The Yamaha XJR, Honda CB1300, or Suzuki’s GSX1400 all look like fantastic motorcycles to own and ride – but we just can’t get them. And that’s because they just don’t sell as well here. Sure there’s a good niche of us who really really enjoy these fantastic motorcycles, but at the end of the day we are severely outnumbered by the cruiser crowd, and the sportbike crowd, and probably even the scooter crowd. That’s okay though, it just makes owning and maintaining, and riding my ZRX all that more special. I’ll keep riding it till the wheels fall off – then I’ll find another – they are just that good. And I’ll continue to get a chuckle every time someone at the gas station tells me it’s in fantastic shape for an 80′s bike.