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Thread: Kawasaki ZX10R 04 model

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    Should Get Out More Skub's Avatar
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    Default Kawasaki ZX10R 04 model


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    I've always had a Kawasaki bent. I've bent plenty of Kawasakis too. My mates tell me if you cut me in half there would be KAWASAKI printed through me like a stick of rock. So this account may not be totally unbiased.

    But I'll try.

    Short story first.

    My best ol'buddy and I both had ZX9Rs and many a good time was had in each other's company. In early 2003 rumours were rife that Kawasaki had a bike up their corporate sleeves to replace the 9R. This was reputed to be a machine that would reinstate the big Ks tired performance kudos. The pair of us drooled like schoolkids over lashed up magazine pics of what the thing may be like and both vowed to beat the other to ownership.

    Sadly this was not to be as he was killed on his bike in May 03.

    The launch of the ZX10R C1 in 2004 came and went,but I admired from afar because my heart didn't lie to owning one due to the circumstances mentioned. But you get over shit in life even when the cut is deep and years later when the opportunity arose to buy a ten that had another's cash splashed in extras,I finally bit the bullet.

    This bike is more than a bit mad. Shortshifting under 8k it's a lovely light thing with a very grunty motor,you wonder what the fuss was all about. But the lower half of the rev range is merely the calm before the storm,over 8k the ZX gets very angry. 160bhp motocross angry,and you better be ready. It came stock with no steering damper,I don't see many without them. My prose is sadly lacking in descriptive properties when it comes to conveying in font what it's like to explore the top half of the tacho on the road. It's a wild ride,is my best shot.

    Comfort will divide opinion and I can only tell you I'm 5' 8 and the bike fits me well. I'm a bit creaky after a days riding,but I've had 54 birthdays ffs. Most comfort problems seem to arise where the moaner is a big fat inflexible bugger. I can still run fast enough to chase the missus.

    Front brakes have spongy lever and fading issues that can be resolved in various ways depending on your level of contentment. Braided lines and a good radial master cylinder will help greatly. Changing the calipers to 04 Fireblade or 06 on Nissins from a CBR600R is a good move. A 5mm spacer will be needed,but apart from that it's a straight bolt on job.

    The fuel tank is quite small at 17 litres and you can empty this anywhere between 80-120 miles.

    The mirrors are shit,fitting the mirror and the stalk of a GSXR1000 K3 helps as they are slightly longer.

    Reliabilty on mine has been faultless,but there are things you need to watch for if you are buying.

    Some early frames cracked around the engine mounts.

    Reports (mostly USA) of alternators detonating and taking out the engine.

    All this was sorted by the C2 model in 2005.

    That's about it. In a world of increasingly sanitised bikes calmly capable of astounding speeds,the ZX10R C1 and C2 are a throw back to a less health and safety conscious era. A bike not for everyone,but one you should at least say you tried.
    Last edited by Skub; 23-09-09 at 13:02.

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