By John Burns
Yea verily, I owned one of these, in about 2008, in all its purpleness, and did we not unveil all its nakedness, and throw upon it a Spiegler handlebar kit, and did we not fool with ways to keep its pressurized airbox under pressure so that all four big carburetors would wail and its mighty teeth gnash through six massive gears in anger, and lay our mighty carbon footprint upon the land, yet be so pleasant and joyful that hot young mamas who then roamed the land, wouldst steal it to ride to work? Those were the days, my friend.
The Final Open Class Contender Checks In
Honda’s CBR900RR has shed its old skin and morphed into a 929, looking all the more poised to dethrone Yamaha. That left only the boys in green: Kawasaki.
Kawasaki’s entry into the Year 2000 Open Class War comes in the form of a completely redesigned ZX-9R.
At first glance we wondered aloud: “why only 899cc?” Open bikes are all about brute power, so why not go big? It turns out that the reason for the comparatively small displacement (giving away at least 30cc to its closest competitor) is that it allows Kawasaki to make the motor lighter.
In addition, Kawasaki’s engineers are confident that they can extract more power per cubic centimeter than any other manufacturer which is why this is the fourth generation motor with this comparatively small displacement. Overall, Kawasaki feels that the newly stiffened frame, coupled with various suspension tweaks, will be enough to place them in the …read more