Inspired by Eddie Lawson’s race bike replica released in 1982, the ZRX was a tribute to a tribute. This bike and its 1200 successor are some of the best bang for your buck used bikes you can buy today. It had 1982 styling with some late nineties updates, balancing both time period’s style perfectly. That trademark faring at the front gives the bike some reasonably good wind protection, which is rare for the class of bike. The ZRX is, in my opinion, a master class in motorcycle styling.
The 1100 version had a production run from 1997-2001, followed by the brawny 1200R. The bike wasn’t initially released into the US market – it became available to us in 1999. The 1,052cc liquid cooled inline 4 engine created 96 hp and nearly 70 ft-lbs of torque. The engine, which was used in a number of Kawasaki road bikes, was a staple of their line up in the 90’s. Motorcycle News described the Kawasaki mill in 2003 as “dominating the nineties”. The only demerit this bike can get from me is the fact that it was still rocking carbs instead of EFI. I love a good set of carbs, and own two bikes that are fed by them, but for that same reason, I know what a commitment it is. The 1.200cc big brother and following version of this bike was carbureted right up until it was put to rest in 2006. Well, that’s not totally true, the bike continued to live in Japan up until 2016. In 2009 it got EFI, which makes me start thinking about the logistics around importing bikes.
This 1999 ZRZ1100, most notably, is the right color. None of the other colors this bike came with are bad per se, but I couldn’t imagine owning one that wasn’t Kawi green. It’s done 16,880 miles – low enough to be enticing, but high enough to know that the bike has been used. It has a Corbin seat, freshly cleaned carbs, upgraded LED headlight, Two Brothers slip on exhaust, and fairly new rubber.
Find this Kawasaki ZRX1100 in Los Angeles, California for $4,200 here on Craigslist.