‘ They’re bril­liant – a good all-round mus­cle bike’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - CHRIS MALLABER part­ner and ser­vice man­ager at Corn­wall Kawasaki

“As a rule they don’t have any prob­lems. It has a stain­less ex­haust and ba­si­cally the mo­tor’s the old ZZ-R1100 mo­tor so it’s a good en­gine, we don’t get any prob­lems at all.

“Yes, there’s the odd bit of cor­ro­sion, but no more than any other ma­chine if it’s not looked after or cleaned prop­erly.

“The only com­ment I’ll make is when you wash them I’ve no­ticed that, as they get a bit older, the plug caps, where they seal around the rocker box cover, can de­te­ri­o­rate and when you wash them the wa­ter goes into the plug cap holes. We’ve had a few come in mis­fir­ing and when we’ve looked they’ve had wa­ter down the plug­holes be­cause the caps have de­te­ri­o­rated. With age the caps get hot, cold, hot, cold. They shrink and ex­pand and crack, but it’s the only prob­lem I’ve come across. You have to re­place the plug caps but it’s not mas­sively ex­pen­sive.

“It is a big, heavy bike. It’s also fairly tall in the sad­dle and with a full tank of fuel it can be fairly top-heavy so en­gine bars are a good idea, as are mir­ror ex­ten­sions be­cause the mir­rors aren’t par­tic­u­larly good.

“A Fen­der Ex­tenda’s a good idea, too, be­cause the ra­di­a­tor is quite ex­posed so an ex­ten­der en­sures there’s less chance of stones flick­ing up and there’s also less road grime get­ting to it and the en­gine which can cause cor­ro­sion. Also, there’s an af­ter­mar­ket screen that’s about two inches taller and makes a ter­rific dif­fer­ence. It’s an MRA one. I know this be­cause my brother’s got an 1100 and I sug­gested he stick one on and he said ‘God, you’re right’ so a taller screen is a good ac­ces­sory for it.

“Ser­vic­ing-wise they’re fairly straight­for­ward. Yes, valve clear­ances are only ev­ery 7500 miles, but they’re easy to get to be­cause you’ve no fair­ings so it’s not as big a job as it is on, say, the ZZR, ZX-9R or some­thing like that where it’s a lot of work to get into the valve clear­ances.”

‘With a full tank it can be top-heavy so en­gine bars are a good idea’

Taller screens are wel­come and look for ev­i­dence of low-speed top­ples Look here Look here

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