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shabeger 05-28-2001 05:07 AM


They need to add fuel injection and loose some weight from the 600 and 900 ZXR bikes a new ZX7R would be nice. Update the concours and Voyager touring bikes. And update their Dual purpose linup (KLR 650 and make a 350/400 size DP bike). Update or drop the ZX6E and ZX11 bikes.

All this form a 2001 ZX6E owner.

moose 05-28-2001 05:19 AM

Re: MO
update the zx6-r & zx9-r, (fuel injection, weight loss, etc...), but keep the riding position.

Dryfly 05-28-2001 05:27 AM

Re: MO
Since Yamaha doesn't have the nads to bring over the FJR1300, team green should update the Concours! ZX12 engine, heated grips, hard bags, ABS, fuel injection, etc! Please give us 40 somethings a bike we long for! I've had all the others, now give me the whole package.

badsac 05-28-2001 06:02 AM

Re: MO
First of all, they need to get rid off the 9R. They were just copying Honda by having their premier sporting bike displacing 900cc. Suzuki and Yamaha has shown that the extra 100cc's doesn't affect handling or weight.

They need to release a ZX1RR to compete directly against the GSXR1000 and R1. Any (japanese) company that can't compete in the premier sport division is at a disadvantage IMHO. I think they should make the ergonomics a bit sharper and the whole bike more race oriented. Super Stock, Formula Extreme or whatever you call open class production racing is becoming more important right around the world. Right now Kawasaki have no real presence in it. That has to change if Kawasaki is going to improve their image.

As for what my next bike will be. I'd say I'll be getting an Aprillia Mille (or another big twin if I like them better). I'd like to see Kawasaki produce a twin, but I doubt they'll do that.

It would be nice to try and think of a way Kawasaki could do something radical and new. But I just don't see that happening anymore. All the bases are pretty much covered. All they can do is start competing directly in the premier categories and try to be the best.

baddog 05-28-2001 06:03 AM

Re: MO
Imagine a bike with looks and handling updated to the FJR1300's level, but with the torque curve of the ZRX1200. Probably high 10's - with hard bags! Wow!

Concours suggestions: ZRX1200 motor. ZX12R front forks. Keep the rear suspension adjustable - but dump the leaking air bladder. Update the fairing (new lights are a must). Update the bags - but don't really change them - using the ignition key for all locks would be great, but by all means don't paint anything heels are constantly swung over! (check out several ST1100 bags) Molded black is fine.

Isn't it funny how review after review finds whatever Kawasaki is in the mix last of the pack - but always the most streetable, most comfortable, and most "real-world" usable.

wwalkersd 05-28-2001 06:06 AM

Re: MO
How 'bout they lose that ugly green? :-) I'm only half joking, here. I'd never buy a bike in that color.

Hyperbikes and cruisers are fine, but they really need to update the entire rest of their lineup for the rest of us. The Concours is ancient, people have complained for years about the KLR's brakes, the ZRX is ugly, etc. Not very constructive, I suppose, but there it is.

desertbilly 05-28-2001 06:41 AM

I'm there
with my checkbook. A thoroughly updated Connie with ZReX engine and solid performance and ergo's, and there's a second Kawasaki in my garage. Otherwise it's an ST1100, or whatever Honda replaces it with.

LoPhatHam 05-28-2001 07:00 AM

Re: MO
Kawasaki has some really nice bikes. The trouble is most other companies have even nicer bikes. I agree with most of the above comments--lighter ZX10-R, new ZX6-R, either a new ZX7-RR or build a 1000cc V-twin (I'd prefer the latter), sport-tourer based on the ZXR1200, and for the love of God, ditch all those antiques in the lineup. The Voyager lists for over $12 grand. Any cheap bastard who can afford to make payments on a $12G bike can afford something better. The Concourse is still a bargain, but for the same price a buyer can get a FZ1 that will stomp it, and still be a decent sport tourer. Or he or she could buy a Bandit, which is an even better sport-tourer than the Concours, for even less money. The KLR still makes sense, but please give it new brakes. It is unsafe as sold.

But most of that is unlikely to occur anytime soon. Kawasaki probably took it in the shorts with the ZX12R debacle. Right now dealers around here are desperately trying to get rid of their 2000-model ZX12-Rs, and are selling them for less than a new ZX-9R. Kawasaki sunk a pile of money into developing the 12, and its lack of market success (if not downright failure) is going to have an impact on Kawasaki's R&D budget for some time to come. Kawasaki is not a huge company with unlimited resources, like Honda, or even Yamaha--Aprilia may overtake Kawasaki in overall sales in the relatively near future. Something like the ZX12 situation hurts Kawasaki a lot more than it would a larger company.

nweaver 05-28-2001 07:03 AM

The VFR Killer...

I think it is time for Kawasaki to step to the plate and make a real VFR killer: What do I mean?

The VFR is widely regarded as the best all-rounder, a sportbike for the real world. And it is a design which sells wonderfully, consistantly, year after year, for a fairly steep price for an 800. The only bike which seems to compete directly with the VFR is the Sprint RS/ST, and perhaps the Aprilia Futura.

Similarly, the Concourse is getting very long-in-the-tooth, and could use replacement. Why not make the replacement a VFR killer: a true touring sportbike, capable of shreading backroads and racking up the miles?

So how could Kawasaki make a VFR killer? Start with the next generation literbike engine. Kawasaki must have a replacement for the 9R in the pipeline, use the up-and-coming engine, a counterbalanced literbike, inline 4 engine. The counterbalancing is important, you don't want concourse-buzz.

Retune it for more low end if necessary, just make sure it passes CARB 2004 and (if possible) 2008 standards. It should be saleable for a decade or more.

Start with that engine, in a good chassis. A couple of departures from the racebike-style however: Single side swingarm with concentric chain ajuster. A built in auto-oiler, ala ScottOiler or HawkeOiler. You want the advantages of chain drive (light weight, no torque effects) without the maintinence hastles.

Definatly have available hard luggage, which is both conveniently detachable AND looks like it is designed-in (not quite, but close to what Corbin offers for sportbikes in look), both side cases and a top case.

And think about the ergonomics: Why not ajustable bar ends (1-2" in height, 1-2" in width, 20-30 degrees in angle) and ajustable footpeg brackes (2" back/forward and up/down)? Thus, a single bike can easily fit a wide range of people.

And 2 or 3 windscreens, which can easily be changed, to suit different styles and levels of wind protection.

It is the little things which would make it a VFR killer: the available luggage, ajustable ergonomics, and near-shaft-drive level of chain maintinence, in factory stock trim.

Why do I want this? Well, in late 2002/early 2003, I'll be buying a VFR or Sprint ST. I'd like there to be plenty of choice. :)

Architeuthis 05-28-2001 01:21 PM

Re: The VFR Killer...
Right on. I would add the bike has to be lighter and the windshield should be adjustable. Heated bars and hand shields go along way for all round use.

It should also be a 'two model' type bike, by that I mean the fairing and luggage should be easily removable for a naked sport bike. This machine should take the market no problem, oh yeah, try to keep it the cheapest tourer. If it isn't the cheapest make it less than a top of the line sport bike unless it will out run the sport bikes in which case charge what ever your want.

Architeuthis 05-28-2001 01:32 PM

Re: Kaw can improve and take market by storm!
I've owned alot of Kaws (more than 12) over the years and am a current owner.

I would suggest being the first into Canada/US with a SuperTT/Super Motard model with variable seat height or a seat height around 32" or less.

Bring in your best 400cc street machine from Japan. There is huge demand here and your best would sell big. Even the GPZ retro, my fav, would sell very well as there are no other top of the line 400cc sporting bikes.

Go for niche markets and do them well and Kawasaki will be around along time!

I hear people say they want the Kaw because after being uncomfortable on other sport bikes they want a change. Light fast and comfy should be good for sales.

Dealer network. In this area almost all the dealers suck big time. Some are down right insulting. There is room to take over the section that wants respect from a dealer. My local Kaw dealer told me to see my Suzuki dealer when I wanted new tires and custom work (ie: rims) for my DRZ. THe susy dealer wasn't interested either and I said money was not that important but quaility was!

rocky 05-28-2001 01:46 PM

Re: MO
Since my interest lies with the more entry level bikes, I'll start there.

First, drop the air cooled 738cc motor from the ZR-7. It's just too primitive. I owned a 78 KZ-650 with a 720cc big bore kit, and they are basically the same bike. If they want to stay cheap, put a 650cc or 700cc version of their Ninja 500cc twin in there, along with the 6 speed tranny. This would get them as much or even a little more horsepower than the old 738cc inline four they have now, plus they can market it against the SV650 twin from Suzuki. Another option, and this would dovetail with a an all new ZX7R would be to take the old ZX7R inline 4 and put it in the ZR-7, but tuned for more torque to compete with the Suzuki Katana 750. The Ninja 500 is probably fine the way it is, so I won't comment on the more entry level bikes. However, with regards to the rest of the Ninja line, Kawasaki should put out an all new ZX7R for starters to compete with the Suzuki GSXR 750. I realize there are reasons related to racing events for skipping this move, but for riders who don't want to check straight into the morgue with the there first step up to a serious sport bike, it would be nice to have something between the 600 cc supersports and the liter bikes. I think Suzuki was smart in coming out first with a bike that doesn't fit the most competitive markets so they can fine tune there technology for the really competitive stuff (600cc, 1000cc) later. Kawasaki should do the same. Fuel injection seems like it's here to stay so have that, but maybe Kawasaki should try something a little different, to differentiate itself. Perhaps instead of the lightest weight, highest horsepower, they could try something like supercharging to get the horsepower down lower in the RPM range for more of a v-twin power delivery. Another avenue to explore could be use of titanium in frames, suspension springs, and motor internals. V-twin like power delivery from an inline 4 plus the lowest wet weight in the bussiness would be interesting. One final thought would be to offer more than just one version of a 600cc, 750cc or 1000cc bike. Something like Ducati does with there 748's and 996's with a sport version, and a race version. (748/748R) You could have 600/600R. I know that Kawasaki, has the ZX-6/ZX6R pair, but they are completely different motorcycles. Something more along the lines of using the same frame, and basic motors, but for the non(R) model have less expensive/less adjustable suspension, less high tech motor internals, (no titanium or ceramics), so the price is lowered by a 1000 dollars or more.

HankMurphy 05-28-2001 03:02 PM

Some Suggestions For Kawasaki
1. KLR fixes. Good niche bike with a very loyal following. Just add in some of the popular after-

market fixes, especially the brakes.

2. VFR killer or FJ1300 competitor sound like good goals when updating the Connie.

3. It's too late, but buy Bimota. Let Kawasaki concentrate on engines and let Italians take care of the handling and looks. Have a true top-of-the-line exotic in the product line, and the halo effect will help the rest of the bikes.

4. Qualify the Super Sherpa in California. Probably good for 2-3 thousand bikes per year forever.

5. Make a new Honda Trail 90. There is an unmet demand for new back-of-the-RV small bikes for putting around; it's a nice, durable market.

6. Techno-geek features. Add an RS-232 interface to your engine management computers. Add a Palm interface. Integrate the GPS. Build in a fairing cam option.

7. is a great idea. Go further and put all the customer's docs online, including service manuals and owner's manuals.

8. If all else fails, sell out to Harley-Davidson.

sculptor666 05-28-2001 03:03 PM

Re: MO
i bought a kawasaki ex250 as my first motorcycle. great little thing, but i'm not staying with kaw for my next bike. how about spacing those valve adjustment intertvals.. a new yamaha i won't have to touch for 26K miles!!! kawasakis take too much maintence. i wish they'd come up with a nice looking bike that wasn't a suzuki or yamaha clone... or if you are going to copy someone, copy aprilia... look at those swingarms... all bikes should have single sided swingarms... is anyone other than bmw going to make a single sided shaftie? take some chances!! use your resources!!! it's so easy to test public opinion nowadays... lets see some drawings or prototypes... keeping things secret until the last minute is old news, generate intersest with input! how about choices? give us options.. or tell us about the ones that exist! when is a manufacterer going to figure out that the entire front of the bike can be the headlight? instead of trying to squeeze light into a form, make the form the lights... stop putting blinkers on stalks too. make nice centerstands. note to all manufacturers: ALL STICKERS SUCK! QUIT RUINING GREAT FORM WITH BNG!... and hire me before i take a desk job.

Gixxerboy 05-28-2001 03:20 PM

Re: MO
As much as I'd like to suggest that the green machine concentrate on powerful comfy bikes, that approach won't work. While I love the zx11 and 9r and have heard that the zx6 is actually a better real world sport bike than any other 600 out there, that won't sell bikes. Sport bike guys like bikes that win races or are the fastest/biggest horsepower/lightest/most painful etc. out there. Why else are R1's GSXR's (mine's really very painful but I love it... go figure), RVF's doing so well when the big K can make NICE fast bikes??? Only because the buying public (YOU and me) want 'hard core' bikes. That applies to cruisers (seen any 400cc cruisers lately???) touring bikes (where'd the silverwing go?) and sport bikes (R1, GSXR1000 need I say more) alike.

So, the green machine needs to do the following:

- 9R - bore and tune the engine, rip 30 - 40 lbs off the 9R and sell it for gsxr/R1 money.

- 7R - sell the thing for gsxr money as they need a 750 presence... or drop the 750 line completely and put the cash in 600... essentially, pick a race series they want to do well in.

- make a really competitive 600 of any type but don't drop the line - they need 600's due to size restrictions/licensing in various countries. I hear 600's are the best selling.

- touring? As everyone has stated before... use the 12R motor tuned for torque to make a ST1100 killer and style it better than the 'x-wing'.

- Cruisers? Don't know much about them but Kwak's got the motor! Just make it more powerful,use a fat rear tyre and chrome it to death.

- do something different... produce the Yam MT-01 super monster type bike or something equally wild.

Finally, hire a stylist... a real stylist. Give these bikes character - like beemer's done. Love em or hate em, they're FULL of character.

Keep the Ninja name though - huge brand recognition. I hate it cuz that's all squids know (what kind of bike do you ride? Uh, is GSXR like a ninja???) but that's a large market and we're talking marketing here.

I like kawasaki (looking for a used zx11 actually - nice two up sport touring bike for me... gsxr doesn't work with the wife!) but they need at least one bike that's bigger/better/faster than anyone else. Currently they're just average.

Do YOU want an average bike?

BigGit 05-28-2001 04:28 PM

Re: MO
<blockquote> Finally, hire a stylist... a real stylist. Give these bikes character - like beemer's done. Love em or hate em, they're FULL of character. </blockquote>

Erm... Kawasaki's stylist was working overtime on the Drifters, the W650, the ZRX1100 and 1200, and the ZR-7...

<blockquote> Do YOU want an average bike?</blockquote>

At a below-average price? Soitenly!! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!!

BigGit 05-28-2001 05:12 PM

Re: MO
Hmm... until recently, when the new LT and Venture came out, Kawasaki was the ONLY import in the US challenging Honda and H-D in the dresser market, and did so by going for cheapskates (like me) with a bike that hasn't changed since 1986. That may not be able to work anymore, but I have to give Kawasaki credit for hanging on when Suzuki and Yamaha abandoned ship (and Suzuki has yet to return, despite the Bandit platform).

The ZRX1200 engine, constantly touted as powering a Concours replacement, could also be used for an upgraded (not necessarily new from the ground up) Voyager. Upgraded suspension pieces from the ZX-11 or the ZRX1200 might help, and ZX-11 brakes definitely would!

An upgraded Voyager would not necessarily have all the bells and whistles of the GL1800 or the LT1200 Icon; it could continue to aim at the more thrifty consumers in the dresser market.

Having no real interest in sportbikes, I had no idea that Kawasaki was behind in that area. I now realize that the Fireblade revolution has yet to hit the Big Green. As much as I hate to say it, Kawasaki should try to make one of those useless things and recapture the Brownshorts Squid section of the market that they first conquered with the Mach I...

I personally think that Kawasaki has a better idea of retro than any other major manufacturer with the possible exception of Harley-Davidson. Sure they're doing the Harley thing as much as everybody else (and, in the case of the Vulcann Classics, rather more blatantly...) but they've also managed to recapture Indian (Drifters 1500 and 800), the British parallel twin (W650) and, ser-prize, ser-prize, themselves (ZRX1100/ZRX1200 and ZR-7).

Yes, the Voyager and KLR650 need to be updated and maybe the Concours needs to be replaced. Yes, they need competitive sportbikes. But they make a lot of very good bikes, have gone into niches that Honda and Yamaha have not thought of, and they've stuck with niches that Honda and Yamaha have fled (the Ninja 500, a.k.a. EX500, comes readily to mind; its only real competition is the Suzuki GS500E, and maybe the MuZ Skorpion). And while they are the smallest major Japanese bike manufacturer, the have the might of Kawasaki Heavy Industries behind them, so they are far from going under.

If I had the money to buy a new bike (and if there was a Kawasaki dealer here), Kawasaki's products would be high on my list.

4in6 05-29-2001 12:04 AM

Re: Kawasaki
Kawasaki needs to dump the 750 altogether dealerships kringe when they see the new ones roll in and they still have the ones from last year sitting there. The dealer buy my house is selling them for $5995 and throwing in gloves, helmets, jacket, and the last time I checked there first born children. Maybe if they quit cranking out the same garbage and update there sportbikes someone besides Bostrom could look fast on one. I read in one of these replys that Kawi seems to have a grasp on the whole retro thing the truth is that is what there entire line consist of. And FINALLY has anyone noticed how crappy there bikes look put together all the plastic on there sport bikes look like they are just kind of thrown together. Even when they came out with the 12 it was just more of the same junk with a bigger engine. At least there dirtbikes don't suck.

Ziffel 05-29-2001 01:20 AM

Re: Kaw can improve and take market by storm!
Architeuthis, you're pretty smart for a giant squid. I wonder if anybody else knows what we're talking about?....

GSparky 05-29-2001 03:53 AM

Re: MO
Being almost 50 and a ZX-11 rider, I feel qualified to say something about the sport touring line. Kawasaki has let the ZX-11 linger too long w/o any developmental changes(9 yrs). It looks great, has a good motor, but on the negative; it's too heavy and the suspension parts are dated. A diet to loose say 30-40 lbs or so, and a good shock/fork upgrade. The Germans have a good approach. Don't start over from scratch; let the machine evolve into something really good; with looks. Would really like to see an upgrade all around and this bike would be leader in sport touring. As it stands, I will consider something better in the next year.

Gixxerboy 05-29-2001 04:05 AM

Re: MO
Stylist working overtime??? Maybe in a museum.

Drifter = Indian, W650 = Triumph, ZRX/ZR = ancient kawks. (gotta admit, I love the zrx12 though).

Below average price... er, um, good point ;-)

Copper 05-29-2001 04:46 AM

Re: Kawi
Niggles and whatnot:

1. Lose the crazy graphics. The big air scoops don't help either.

2. Kawis long have been known to be long on motor, short on handling. The 9R needs help in the handling department should Kawi choose to compete in this market segment. The 7R is an antique. To have a 750cc displacement machine that competes with Suzuki without putting the rider on a rack would be scarfed up by the teeming masses. The 6R is plain silly; it needs to lose weight and get real forks, brakes, rear linkage, etc. There have been enough posts about the shortcomings of the 12R.

3. I think their cruiser line is doing well. I can't ride 5 miles without seeing a Vulcan of some sort.

4. The ZRX is a great bike. Ditto the W650.

5. The Concours has a very loyal following. A great market may be developing this bike into a 21st Century machine.

springerman 05-29-2001 04:47 AM

Re: MO
I dont know much about the sport bikes, but I have ridden green dirt bikes for a long time. PLEASE PUT GOOD BRAKES ON THE KLR 650, I've seen go-carts with better brakes. Also what about a dual sport that is aimed at more dirt rather than street. The KLR 650 is an ok bike, I have one, but its way more street than dirt. I Think if they could make a street leagle bike that preformed like the KX 500 it would do good in the D-S market

jonnyspeed 05-29-2001 05:34 AM

Re: MO
Kawasaki invented the 900cc sportbike......NOT Honda. Kawasaki plans to redo the 9R to compete under the new rules of World Superbike where up to 990 or 1000 cc is alowed.

Arrow 05-29-2001 06:11 AM

Re: Kawasaki
I think Kaws are great, I owned 3 of them up till now, so no surprise there. But I do think Kawasaki is napping, so here is my list of improvements.

I think Kawasaki should...

- Bring a brand new ZX7R, which does not only match but exceed GSXR750's performance. It is arguably one of the most beautiful looking bikes out there so don't change the styling too much. New superbike rules mean they will probably ignore this suggestion but I believe there is a market out there for 750s.

- Update the ZX6R with new suspension/fuel injection. Bring the weight down.

- Do the same with ZX9R. It will probably need a slight capacity hike in order to match others.

- Update the Dual-purpose line. KLR650s are terrific, but I think time has come to completely update them, less weight, more power, sharper handling and better brakes are the way to go. Styling should be updated too.

- Drop the ugly cruisers such as Vulcan 88 and 750 from the line-up.

- Create a new standard based on ZX7R engine as suggested by another MO user. I think that's a terrific idea! Don't neuter the engine either.

- For God's sake stop building current Concours and Voyager. Use the new ZRX 1200 engine and build new tourers. And don't just match the competition, beat them!!

- Update the ZX11&6 with new suspension, fuel injection and less weight (I heard Kawasaki is actually working on such a project).

- Update the current 500 Ninja. Why do you ask? Please look at Suzuki SV650 if you need any convincing.

- Improve the fit & finish, maintenance requirements and decrease the break-in periods. Look at Honda for example.

- Please improve the suspensions on all your bikes. Look at Suzuki.

- Keep improving the bike after you release it!!

Right now Kawasaki seems like a stagnant company, which plays it too safe/conservative. They only try to match the competition, not to beat it. I just hope Kawasaki's top management read all the comments posted in this page and react. We shall see come 2002 if they are at least on the right track.

tbuse 05-29-2001 06:15 AM

Re: MO
After riding my buddy's Concours last Sunday, and then riding with him on my Triumph Trophy 900 this weekend, I have to agree that the Concours is in desperate need of updating. From the styling (it LOOKS late 80s), to the ergonomics (feet too high, butt too low), to the fit and finish (panels that have been loose since delivery) to the engine (buzzy) the whole package needs updating. The basic price is incredibly cheap, but the cost of making the bike rideable quickly adds to the base price.

CUTTER 05-29-2001 06:16 AM

Re: MO
Actually, Kawasaki Heavy Industry, which includes the motorcycle division, is by far the biggest manufacturer of all of them. They have as much money as the higher-ups decide.

panthercity 05-29-2001 06:28 AM

Re: The VFR Killer...
I was with ya right up till the chain thing. Keep it shaft. The torque effect can be eliminated as it is on my current bike (BMW R1100RS). Properly engineered, the weight is a non-issue when you're coverin' 700~900 miles a day, day after day compared to the maintenance issues of a chain.

panthercity 05-29-2001 06:32 AM

Re: W650
Actually, the W650 is an updated version of one of their bikes from the late `60's, early `70's which was a copy of the BSA, not the Triumph.

tbuse 05-29-2001 06:45 AM

Re: Kaw can improve and take market by storm!
The comment on dealer quality hits home in this area. The three buddies I have with Kawis won't take them to the local dealer. The service is terrible and the mechanics apparently know nothing about Kawis. One works on his own (he also drag races old Kawis. Says they're bulletproof.); one takes his two counties over to another dealer; & one takes his to the Triumph/Ducati dealer (A great guy who says half his business comes from Japanese bike owners.).

tbuse 05-29-2001 06:50 AM

Re: The VFR Killer...
I agree with making it chain drive. Personally, I don't like shaft drive and won't buy a bike that has it. (Another pet peeve is I don't like linked brakes. I don't like a bike manufacturer assuming I'm a moron & doesn't know how to use the brakes.) Chain maintenence doesn't take a lot of time or effort. It is also a heck of a lot easier to tell when a chain & sprockets need to be replaced (and easier to replace them) than a shaft drive.

highside 05-29-2001 07:01 AM

Re: Team Green standards
As someone who sold there Vulcan 800 Classic this year and bought an FZ1 I think they need a 1000CC power cruiser and a 900-1000cc standard that is based on a modern sport bike in terms of weight and suspension. I really like the Vulcan in terms of looks and it is good for a cruiser but if it were a 1000cc V-twin with twice the HP, the same weight, triple disc's, adjustable fork and the same looks that would be great. The ZRX was my second choice for a new bike but the FZ won me over with the suspension and lighter weight (the FZ still needs a diet). Something based on the zx9 would make a better standard for those that don't want retro.

Azrifel 05-29-2001 07:43 AM

Re: MO
More competitive new ZX-6R, ZX-9R should be a 1000cc and the ZX-6R engine should be thrown into a bargain light sports naked bike like the Yamaha FZS600, but without the top half.

Make a new 7 or drop it.

Quit Superbikes and build a GP-1 with Fuchs.

Charlie 05-29-2001 07:56 AM

Re: The VFR Killer...
I currently own a VFR800 and love the handling. However even with Heely Bars my 48 year old hands go to sleep if don't hug the tank with my knees at all times. I would buy the FZR1300 in a minute if Yamaha were to bring it to the USA. If Kawasaki were to beat them to it they would get my business. As far as linked braking goes, I love not using the rear brake when braking hard going into corners. (just the oposite of when riding my KTM250EXC where I rear brake slide many corners).

CBR1000F 05-29-2001 08:09 AM

Re: MO
Kawasaki's have been slightly heavier than their competition for quite a while... but they've also seemed to make just a wee bit more power out of the same displacement. I think they should update the Ninjas (all of them) to make them a bit lighter, and make a bit more power... maybe the ZX-9 could be punched out to just under 1000cc's, and an all-new Concours would definitely be appreciated.

El_Flaco 05-29-2001 08:09 AM

Bring the ZXR-400 to the US! A sharpened and updated version of the present model would fill a hole in the market that none of the other manufacturers are presently competing in. (Unless Yamaha decided to resurrect the FZR-400 in the form of an R4, which would be a killer bike! But that's just wishful thinking on my part.)

What would really encourage big K to revise the rest of their models would be the revision of the WSB rules to include four cylinder bikes up to 1000cc. Now Suzuki is even threatening to quit WSB because of this same reason! I think that the Powers That Be will have to change the rules, and sooner than expected, otherwise we could be watching a series without any type of 4 cylinder. Yamaha led the way, Suzuki's threatening, Kawasaki's rumbling about it in their press releases, and the audience is wanting the change as well. It's time! Change the rules for next season to allow liter bikes into the WSB with minimal modifications, much like SuperStock, the World Endurance series, or (they are at a higher state of tune, but similar to the other series) the F-Extreme bikes. That would inject new life into the SBK championship and give Kawasaki a real reason to improve their sportbikes.

CBR1000F 05-29-2001 08:13 AM

Re: The VFR Killer...
Yeah, but you still lose more power to the shaft than you do to the chain.

ZRXRy 05-29-2001 08:16 AM

Re: MO
I hate to say it, but I agree with many of the comments here. I've been a Kawi guy since I was 11 (currently 33), and my last 3 bikes have been Kawis.

Having said that:

Kawi lets some models go far to long without any updates to their features, functionality or style. See Concours (I owned one), Voyager, ZX6, etc.

Kawi lets models go from one year to the next with widely acknowledged shortcomings without doing anything about them. See KLR front brakes, Concours windshield, spotty ZRX1100 motor mount, etc. Then again, so do many other Japanese manufacturers.

Kawasaki consistently uses some materials/parts of questionable quality and/or durability. Valve seats that recede too quickly. Camshafts that pit. Footpeg brackets that snap far too easily.

Their engine designs really aren't cutting edge. The others have engines that are more compact, more powerful, smoother and less maintenance intensive. Most if not all Kawis still seem to want 6,000 or 7,500 mi valve clearance check/adjust intervals. Why not 26,000 mi like new Yamahas or Hondas?

Styling is rather insipid in many cases. C'mon, do something original for once.

What Kawasaki does well is building good bikes for the street, filling niches that no one else is in. At least they bring the ZRX here. Kawasaki seems to have a little better understanding of what riders need out in the real world.

Anyway, unless Kawasaki gets up to speed soon, I expect my next bike purchase will be from another manufacturer. And I'll regret that, because I've developed a familiarity and affinity for Kawi's over the years, but I gotta go with what I like.

CBR1000F 05-29-2001 08:22 AM

Re: W650
Uh... I'm pretty sure it was a copy of the Bonneville.

CBR1000F 05-29-2001 08:26 AM

Re: MO
Don't forget that one of those "useless things", specifically the 600cc "useless thing" is their bread and butter - it's what they sell more of than anything else.

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