Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Kawasaki ZX12R Long Term Review

I purchased my 2000 model Kawasaki ZX12R just over six years ago and I would have to say that I have mostly loved owning it in that time. There have been only a couple of small problems which ZX12s share, all of which I have experienced
- warped front discs due to seized calipers
- the clutch grumbles like crazy in the early models due to oil   starvation in the clutch basket
- difficult battery access

 The only way to solve the warping discs problem is to regularly clean the pistons in the brake calipers. If you are having hot start problems then it is 99% likely that your battery needs replacing, I have read that batteries tend to get hot because they are fully enclosed and right behind the engine. Access to the battery in the 'twelve' is a painful process which involves removing the tank cover, then five screws on the cover plate and then removing some cables! If your ZX12 gets ridden only now and then, definitely invest in a trickle charger and wire it up so you can plug it in with everything in situ.
It is a brilliant 'highway blaster' being very stable and not to mention comfortable for long periods. I actually bought the ZX12 because I wanted a sportsbike that was comfortable and capable a commuter. It does run fairly hot in slow traffic even on cold days and does not like travelling at anything below 40km/h anyway, so I have yet to overheat it! I live in a fairly warm climate where summer days often go above 40 degress celcius (110 farenheit). My bike is not a high mileage unit having only done just over 36,000km (only having 19,000km when I bought it).
 In the time I have had it, the neutral sender was replaced under warranty, had two batteries, had the  front dics replaced with MetalGear discs, sprockets and chain and both tyres. On the subject of tyres I am now running Michelin Pilot Powers front and rear. The old rear tyre was a 200 wide tyre, but was replaced with a 190 wide tyre to improve turn-in, which is noticeable. I am very happy with the bike because I still own it!

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