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Old 09-26-2014, 01:01 AM   #1
dragster OP
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Newcastle NSW
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Kawasaki ZL1000

So I really like 80's Kawasaki ZL1000 Powerful engine (unfortunately not a v twin but )

I think it would be a solid base for a cheap well performing semi cruiser machine. I have never owned a cruiser before and don`t really want to spend a lot on one as I am not sure if i will like it .
But I haven't been able to find a lot of reviews about the bike .
Has anyone had any experience with them pros / cons , any know common mechanical problems , seat comfort for rider and pillion ,handling etc
Cheers
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
Super Sneaky Steve
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Looks great in red with a banana seat.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
ZappBranigan
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I've sat on one, but never ridden it. Always liked the concept of a sportbike engine, re-tuned for torque, and then mounted in a cruiser chassis with shaft drive.

Closest thing you can get to it nowadays would be the V-Max which isn't really a "sportbike" engine but otherwise fits the description. The V-Max is also a contemporary of the ZL.

Don't forget the ZL900, I think they're easier to find than the 1000.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
MacMcMacmac
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I didn't like the look as much as the 900 bits and pieces approach, as it is a bit too far to the cruiser end of "Power Cruiser", but the engine had more grunt than a VMax, according to a few tests (Cycle magazine I believe). It didn't have as much top end though. They were a one year only bike, I think, at least in Canada. I have seen 900's built up with ZRX top end bits, so I imagine there is quite a scope for tuning. At the very least, with 20+ years of the original Concours bikes around, engine parts should not be a problem. I'd certainly have one, only because I'm drawn to bikes that were short run, obscure, under-appreciated or frankly, marketing failures.

Bikes like this make me laugh when someone refers to a Mean Streak, or most v-twin "musclebikes" as a power cruiser. The real things came and went long ago, Diavel aside.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:02 PM   #5
brianwheelies
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I had a brand new ZL600 in 98. Was a 96 model in yellow with purple flames. My first street bike. It would still spank all but one or two cruisers in the 1/4 mile that are produced today.

I think the 900's and 1000's were notorious for Kawasaki's bad transmission.

These bikes handled poorly, had small tanks, bad gas mileage, but damn were they fun to leave a stoplight with the tire spinning and stepping to the side.

I learned to wheelie on my 600.
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