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"Hold that Road" Triumph Bonneville T100 "Project Zed" Kawasaki ZXR1200R "Suspended Animation" Honda CB1300 "Speed Bumps" Yamaha WR450 set up "Serious Suspension" Moto Guzzi California Stone
     
  Ken Wootton - Australian Motorcycle News  
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        < Project Zed >        
 
     
     
 
Suspension tweaks transform the ZRX'S front end
 
Last time we ran an update yarn on AMCN's long-term Kawasaki ZRX1200R, I had been discussing the bike's attributes with Mr Plod after a vigorous bend-swinging session along the Murray Valley Highway at the foot of the Snowy Mountains.
 
     
  It was fitting, therefore, that I should find myself on the very same piece of road a couple of weeks back, although thankfully this time there were no flashing lights to interrupt the journey. My return to Australia's motorcycling mecca provided an ideal opportunity to sample the Zed's most recent mods, namely suspension tweaks by the guys at Promecha (www.promecha.com.au). But more on that shortly.
 
 
  PROJECT ZED Kawasaki ZXR1200R - the  results of suspension modifications  
   
  The ZRX has also belatedly received its first service, normally due at 1000km. With valve adjustment not needing checking until 24,000km, the first service is a pretty simple affair - oil change, oil filter, idle adjustment, general check and chain adjustment.
 
 
  The recent cold Melbourne mornings had made starting a tad recalcitrant, even on full choke, so Paul at Sharptune Kawasaki (Dandenong, Vic) richened the carb fuel screws by a quarter turn - problem solved. Cost of the service, including oil and filter was  $266 - with a thorough clean and detailing part of the deal. The ZRX fair glistened when I collected it to point it down the road to Promecha.  
   
  I've commented in previous tests that the ZRX1200R suspension can get somewhat wallowy in faster going, and that a suspension fiddle was on the must-do list. That's in spite of the 1200 getting revised damping settings over the earlier 1100 model. Well, it's now mission accomplished - and the transformation is impressive.
 
  Kawasaki ZRX1200R Fork Units  
  Rather than follow the bolt-on upmarket route from the outset, we went for mods to the standard KYB units, something Peter at Promecha has done to numerous ZRX's. It's a cost-effective route to take, with an all-up cost of $615 transforming the ZRX's behaviour.    
       
  The biggest improvement can be felt via the front-end, with the original mushiness replaced by a firmer and more responsive action. Plus the adjusters now have some influence, whereas before the clickers did very little other than making a clicking noise.      
    Kawasaki ZRX1200R KYB Shock Unit  
  That $615 all-up price includes $190 for a set of 0.92kg K-Tech fork springs to replace the 0.83kg stock items. The front-end re-valving to both rebound and compression damping contributes $245, while similar work at the rear is $180.    
     
  "The KYB suspension units on the ZRX have been built as a compromise and to meet a price target", explains Peter. "There's an imbalance between the damping and spring rates - as well as an imbalance between front and rear."
 
   
  With basic spec aftermarket rear shocks costing $700, and top-shelf items $1500-plus, the Promecha $180 makeover at the rear is a value-for-money option - although still a compromise.    
       
  Peter explained that the ZRX's shock internal design is similar to an early De Carbon unit. Although the piston could be replaced with a more modern design with upgraded internals inserted, it would be more cost-effective to opt for an up-spec aftermarket unit. Something for the shopping list.
 
 
  As mentioned in the ZRX intro yarn way back in Vol 57 No 14, the $12,990 Kwaka is a comfortable, practical and fast sports-tourer with a visual link back to Eddie Lawson's AMA Superbike glory days of the early 80's. With 5000km on the clock, it's now time for some Superbike-type steroids. Watch this space. 2008

 
 
  "Project Zed" Kawasaki ZRX1200R  
  Reprint courtesy of Australian Motorcycle News  Vol 58 No 3  6-19 Aug 08