Years sold: 1999-2000 as ZRX1100; 2001-2005 as ZRX1200R
MSRP new: $7199 (1999)
Blue Book retail value: $3185 (’99 1100) to $5245 (’05 1200)
Basic specs: A 1052cc, liquid-cooled, dohc inline-Four with mildly sporty ergonomics, a quarter-fairing, twin piggyback-reservoir shocks and dual six-piston front disc brakes. It churned out 96 rear-wheel horsepower, did 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and 11.19/120 mph in the quarter-mile. A 112cc increase in 2001 gave the tuned-for-torque engine even more oomph.
Why it won: Kawasaki combined the legacy of its past Superbike racing successes with then-current technology to produce a versatile liter-class high-performance machine at a reasonable price. The ZRX offered near-standard-bike comfort, sporty handling and enough midrange torque to make no-downshift passes that would take your breath away. And since this Kawasaki was modeled closely after the famous Eddie Lawson Replica introduced in 1982, a bike that commemorated Lawson’s 1981 AMA Superbike Championship, the ZRX1100 is, in effect, a replica of a replica.
From the Ten Best Story: “The Universal Japanese Motorcycle is alive and well and disguised as a 1980s’ Superbike.”
Useful resources: Googling “Kawasaki ZRX1100” will lead you to quite a variety of related sites, not the least of which are those of the ZRX Owners Association (www.zrxoa.org) and the ZRX Owners Club (www.zrxoc.com). These sites offer loads of information specific to this Kawasaki model, including forums, technical advice, buy-and-sell marketplaces, FAQs and a lot more.