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Old 05-28-2001, 05:07 AM   #1
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Default Kawasaki


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.

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Old 05-28-2001, 05:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: MO

update the zx6-r & zx9-r, (fuel injection, weight loss, etc...), but keep the riding position.
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Old 05-28-2001, 05:27 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:02 AM   #4
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Default 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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:03 AM   #5
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Default 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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:06 AM   #6
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Default 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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:41 AM   #7
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Default 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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 07:00 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-28-2001, 07:03 AM   #9
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Default 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.

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Old 05-28-2001, 01:21 PM   #10
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Default 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.
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