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83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm new to the site, but I've been a Kawasaki fan for most of my life. I'm currently looking for a new bike and as I haven't been keeping up on the sportbike world for almost 10 years now, I'm looking for a little advice from some of you who are "in the know."

Background: I last owned a 1986 Ninja 900, which I loved. I had the bike for 6 years when I had to sell it for financial reasons when I quit working and returned to school full time. Now I'm a bit older (34) and am looking to FINALLY get a bike again.

I am looking for something that has some power so I won't be left behind on the straights (my friends own a CB1000 and an R1), but also something which I can take through some nice mountain roads and have a little fun with. In addition to a fast bike, however, I do want something that will be somewhat comfortable for those 300+ mile days.

Wanting to stick with Kawasaki and also get a somewhat good deal, I have found two bikes - a 2001 ZX-9 and a 2001 ZX-11. Both bikes are barely used with 600 miles and 1,400 miles on them, respectively. Both are the same price at $7,999. I have also found a brand new 2001 ZX-9 for $8,499 (plus dealer set-up fees of about $800)

I test drove them both and found that the ZX-11 had a terrible lag under 3,000 rpm (so much so that the bike stalled twice). The dealer says they are going to clean out the carbs. The ZX-9 started rough and was actually missing on one cylinder for a few minutes till it finally kicked in. I found the ZX-9 to feel much smaller and more manueverable, but wonder how it would be on long stretches on the highway. The ZX-11 felt a bit bigger, but the dealer assured me that it won't feel as big once the carbs are cleaned.

Lastly, I am looking for something I might be able to strap some bags on for overnight trips. Any suggestions or thoughts would surely be welcomed. In addition, if anyone could point me to some reviews of these bikes, I would be grateful. I have read some reviews of the ZX-9 from "Motorcycle" magazine, which were not very flattering towards the Kawasaki. I can't find any reviews of a 2001 ZX-11 and don't know how much it has changed from previous years.

So, how do you vote?

2001 - ZX-11 (1,400 miles at $7,999)
2001 - ZX-9 (600 miles at $7,999)
2001 - ZX-9 (Brand new at $9,300)($8,499 plus dealer set up fees of $800)

Thanks in advance for your help.

· Registered
177 Posts
i'd get either one of the 9's myself, as long as the one that has 600miles on it was being broken in proplerly, that'd be the one i'd get, save yourself a little money. that's my .02cents... Otherwise if the breaking in is an issue, go with the new 9...



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126 Posts
Dealer set up fees of $800 on a leftover bike!!!! That is crazy. Get them to come down on that and buy the new. The dealer should realize that whatever he marks down for you he will most likely get back when you buy parts and accessories, not to mention your loyalty.

Reid Lanham
2001 ZX7R

· Registered
664 Posts
I've owned 9's and 11's.
If you want a bike for commuting,
the long haul, and a long
overnight trips or weekends away, get the 11.
It also works well as a commuter, and carries luggage

Commuting, twisties, and the odd long weekend away, then
the 9 will do fine.

Both are great bikes. Worries me a bit that 11 is lagging
under 3krpms. Neither of my 11's ever did that.
The 11 is more comfortable than the 9, but then again the
9 ain't really that bad either.
Are you gonna carry a passenger often? 11 is better for that for sure.

The 11 is a great bike, it was king for a long time.
Although it is not the king now, it is by no means a
slouch. Don't ignore it cause it is an older design.
I'd suggest that you have them clean the carbs, if that
is what they think it needs, and then ride the 11 again.
Not a fair comparison if it was not in proper shape to ride.
Then decide.

Is winter over yet?

· Registered
161 Posts
Get the new 01 9R and tell the dealer to loosen his grip a little, Mine was cheaper than that and I got it last June. Most reviews on the 9R's are bogus for street use and usually when they get down to the last paragraph they just casually mention that their a$$, back's, wrists etc. didnt hurt near as bad after the long haul on the 9R. I rode all last summer with a stock R1 and never really saw an advantage in the short stop light bursts or the back roads that we tend to exceed the limit on. Also during the trips to Dallas he was begging for a break long before I was ready. *****Sabre makes a real good point with the passengers, I havent been on long hauls with someone on back of mine but the 11 will be more comfy.****


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6,655 Posts
my neighbor had an 11 from brand new till it topped 50k miles, he has now gone back to a 99 9r (bought it new) with full akra, says it runs about the same quarter time and basically was his 11r recreated with less weight, on the street he said he would be trail braking hard gettin the bike set up for upcoming corners...but his riding level is umpteen levels above mine, so i have no real frame of reference here "willie, you're like a child who wonders intoa movie...." (big lebowski)....why are you deadset on a kaw?! you're gonna have this next bike for a while i'd guess so check more brands out before you make your decision dude! plus 2001 929 leftovers are supposed to be going CHEAP these days. i'd say shoparound, if you need a kaw though go for the new 9r, any bike that is missing on a cylinder would have me super leery.


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81 Posts
You asked for it and before it's over you will hear more than you ever wanted about the greatness of the 9R!

I have a 98' 9R and my riding leans towards sporty touring. I have no complaints about my 9 except more horsepower would be nice as the 5000+ foot altitude robs power somewhat. I have taken several 400 mile rides in the mountains and have ridden 10+ hours with stops only to eat and fuel up and have been very happy with the comfort level for a bike with this level of performance (Corbin seat helps alot).

If you read the literbike shootouts in the magazines they always say the 9R doesn't corner (I disagree). But they always say it is the bike that they would be most likely to take a long trip up the coast on.

It all depends on what kind of riding you do. My 9 has been very reliable and on some long trips I have seen mpg numbers up around 50 if ridden with reasonable restraint.

Everyone who owns / has owned a 9R who contributes to this post will rave about it - it is a fantastic bike that overall is the most balanced machine out there. You can't beat the rush of acceleration and the shriek that comes through the ram-air snorkels at high rpm!

Remember - you asked!
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