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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, great forum you have here.

Let me start out by saying that I plan on buying a new leftover '08 ZX-10R soon, but I'm giving myself an honest thorough assessment to make sure it's not only something I want, but something I can handle before I fully decide. I'm looking for all opinions and personal experiences.

I'm not new to riding, I've been on two powered wheels in one form or another since I was under 6 or 8 or so (I forget). It started with a little Yamaha 50cc clutchless manual dirtbike. I've also owned and had lots of fun on an 80's Yamaha 125cc 2-smoker dirtbike and an 80's Yamaha 250 4-stroke when I was in my teens, and I've ridden my dad's and uncle's cruisers for a couple few hundred miles over the years. I'm an avid believer in ALL the gear, ALL the time (If it's too hot for the gear, it's too hot to ride... but that takes triple digit temps for me). That's helmet, jacket w/armor, gloves, knee/shin guards, boots.

I really only started riding regularly on the street when I bought my '95 GPZ1100 a little over 2 years ago (after taking the intermediate level MSF course), and I've put about 6k miles on it, a mix of city/highway and twisty-ish stuff. If you don't know what it is, it's a sport-touring bike (closer to the side of sport) with a slightly de-tuned ZX-11 engine. It has some mods so it should be about as powerful as a stock ZX-11 (and weighs about the same).
It's a very big bike by sportbike standards, weighs 575 lbs with 2 gallons of gas and has a longer wheelbase. I've learned to handle it in straights and turns pretty well (I installed Metzeler M3's and it has some suspension mods as well). However, being that it's heavy with a long wheelbase and a flat-torque curved powerband, it's not exactly a wheelie-machine compared to how it still accelerates. It will lift the front tire in first if I'm sitting upright though. My co-worker's SV-650, by comparison, accelerates only half as hard and lifts the wheel easier doing it.

Okay, so that's about the closest I've come to riding a street-legal racebike-with-lights. While it isn't a cruiser by any means, it's a FAR cry from a new ZX-10R from what I read, watch, and know.
I'm ready to move on from this GPZ. In addition to being old and getting worn (has 73,000 miles on it), it's just too heavy for my tastes. I'm about average, 160lbs dry, but I'm tired of the heft of getting it in and out of the garage and through any kind of stop-and-go. It's relatively comfy on the highway, but I don't take many long trips (4.5 hours a couple times, very doable).

I've read a lot about the ZX-10R on here recently, watched several videos, read all the reviews (track and street both). I can't get this damn bike out of my head, and Candy Plasma Blue along with a steep discount seals the deal. My loan was approved, and I can pay the insurance.
I'm not interested in a 600, I LOVE the low-end punch of my 1100 and I know I would miss it dearly, and I much like the sound of an I4 liter.
However, I know that I do like to open it up from time to time and want to ride spirited in the twisties, and I know what an insane beast this legal racebike can be. I also know that it's a whole different animal than anything I've ever cracked the throttle on. If I go through with this, bet your arse that I'll treat it with respect (ESPECIALLY before I'm very used to it). I have a loving wife that would like to still see me around for a while. :thumbsup:
I don't intend on mods other than a slip-on to get rid of the stock shiny trumpet.
Also, I can't see buying a racebike and NOT ever taking it to a track day, so figure that in too. :)

So would you say I might have what it takes to Let the Good Times Roll? Or, should I plunk down $3000 for a new 250R so I can actually learn to ride a sportbike? :D

All responses will be considered.
Thanks!
 

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Even the most experienced rider can get into trouble on this bike or let alone any bike. It all comes down to your self/throttle control. If you feel comfortable and have faith in your ability and just take it easy for a while you should be fine. I moved to a 10r "to quick" as you called it, but I did just fine. You just need to take it easy and have self control and have fun. If you love the 10r, your evenutally going to get it, so just go ahead and get it now, and BE CAREFULL!!!
 

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You can ride a 10 like a 250 if you want. It's not the machine it's you.
If you feel like you can keep your wits about you and ride it normally then go ahead.
The trouble is a ZX10 usually sucks your brain out and you can't help being silly.
 

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inappropriate
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your just as likely to wreck as the next imo. jump on board and treat it like a machine that is trying to kill you and youll be good
 

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IMHO, I'd say pull the trigger on the 10r. The ZX-10R is much less of a handful than the GPZ1100 is, and pretty rider friendly at low revs. The throttle control on the gen 3's is excellent and very predictable. Kawi has dialed down the aggression and maniacal nature of the ZX-10R from the Gen 1 to make it a more livable beast. Yes, the insane power is still there but it lives in the higher revs.

The old Gen 1 was a pretty angry raw feeling bike that pulled from tickover to rev limiter. This is pretty much what made the ZX10R legendary. The Gen 3 is a fair bit softer feeling, and with the KIMS system it's definitely Kawasaki's attempt to calm things down a bit for the average rider.

The problem with the ZX-10R however is if you really do wick things up, stuff happens very quickly. Coming from the GPZ, you'll have to reboot your brain at how fast this thing accelerates. Yes, it has the brakes and handling to match, but the way the new bikes, especially the ZX-10R, accelerates past triple digits can get you into trouble very quickly. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders to even question whether you're ready for it. It's this lack of judgement that noobs on literbikes lack, and end up hurting themselves. Respect the power and you'll be fine. Best of luck to ya.
 

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The 10 is the first bike I have "owned" and I'm over 4200 miles and still going strong...Respect her and she will respect you
 

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You'll be fine. Nobody is ready for a 10 when they first get one, most of us come out alright:lol:

After 2 years, you probably have all your riding skills developed. obviously, this is not a newbie friendly bike, but you've got to move up sometime, and obviously you're already familiar with power (those GPZ's were no slouch).

You know how to control a bike already, now it's all about good judgment. Only you know if you have that or not.
 

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By reading the whole post and the way you put a lot of thought into this... you seem responsible and level-headed. Riding the ZX-10R and staying alive is not all a matter of riding experience, its how smart and responsible you are.

Like others said, you need to respect the power and be smart.
 

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I started out years ago on a 98 900RR. I bought it from fun bike center and had a friend ride it home for me. Now you might be asking why I had someone else ride it home. At that point, I had never ridden a bike before. Not a sportbike, dirtbike, 3wheeler, 4 wheeler, or even a moped. I did just fine on that bike by taking my time and not acting like an idiot.

Now I'm sure if you have some experience and don't just jump on a 10 like it's has no power you'll be fine. My 10R's are extremely rider friendly until you romp the throttle and start giving it hell. Once you do that they will lift the skirts and show you some balls.
 

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GPZ1100 to 10R should be all good IMHO. Of course it will take some getting used to, but no biggie.
 

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i think you will be able to handle it but the second that you think you got the bike under control you loose it everytime always respect these bikes there monsters
 

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Go for it.

The thing is geared so tall stock you have to be at the upper end of the RPM range to get your self into any trouble.

You'll be fine, AGAT is always a good policy.

I do recommend better tires than stock, however. Michelin Power Ones or somethig similar will help prevent accidental slides during street riding.

:helmet:
 

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Pull the trigger already!!!
 

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I used to own a gpz1100 b2 back in the 80s. World of difference to the 10r. I have had an 04 now for 4 years, clocked up 50000 km. They are a great bike and quite eays to ride, and i'm sure you will be fine. But heed this warning; while they are quite sedate at the lower rpm (probably more so than your 1100) you can tend to become complacent especially on the gen 1 models. They are a bike that is just waiting for you to do the wrong thing, and they will bite you on the arse big time when you do. Having said all that, you will not find a bike quite like the 10r in any other brand. Do the right thing and you will love the 10. I have had heaps of performance bikes, and the 10r trumps the lot by a huge margin.
 

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You sound like you know what you are doing, so keep the respect for the machine and you will be fine. I say go for it and be prepared to have lots of fun, especially when you get her over 8000 rpm...:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, you guys are quick! (but then, that makes sense, huh? :mrgreen: )

Thanks for all the responses, you guys are confirming what I've been thinking, but I wanted to make sure my better judgment isn't taking a backseat to my emotions (and you must admit, even just sitting on a 10R at the dealership evokes plenty of emotion). I've read people's opinions that say a current literbike shouldn't be touched by anyone with less than 10,000 miles under their belt (and various other 'conditions'). This sounds a bit far fetched as there are way too many variables to consider other than mileage, but as I mentioned, I want a sanity check anyway.

I think the number one thing that makes me nervous about it is that I've never been on a bike that'll land you on your head just from a quick throttle stab. That is controllable on my end, though, as you are all pointing out. It is pretty crazy, though, that I'll have to re-adjust to the acceleration coming from the modded 1100, which accelerates darn fast IMO. (but it's very controllable, the first time I opened it up I thought "Deceivingly quick. I can control this, but that needle climbs up there fast!". That has to do with its very linear power curve).
I will admit that I've done a few stupid things on it that could have turned out worse, but I do learn from my mistakes.

For the record, the water-cooled carb'd 95-97 GPZ1100's are a world of difference from the 80's air-cooled (primitive) fuel-injected GPZ1100's. They share name only, pretty much (marketing nostalgia, ya know?).
BTW, I'm selling mine for $1500 if anyone's interested or knows someone who is.

I have a few more things to do before I can get the ZX-10R, have to get one of my cars past emissions (long story) and build shelves to clear more room for it (my wife's criteria, and understandable. I also have a project '85 750 Turbo in there, as well as one of my broken cars). I really should sell the GPZ1100 first, too. However, I have plenty of motivation to get all that done now. :thumbsup: If only my health problems will stay on hold for a bit... (another long story)

Again, thanks for all of the input, and I can't wait to get on my own Candy Plasma Blue beast!
 
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