Questions about a 1996 ZX1100E/GPZ1100 before trading? [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Questions about a 1996 ZX1100E/GPZ1100 before trading?

09-03-2011, 04:06 PM
Hey guys,

I'm new to this forum but not new to Kawi's. I'm getting ready to trade my 1997 Ford Ranger 2.3L Supercab (96k on the odo) for a 1996 Black Kawasaki GPZ/ZX1100"E". She's in supposed "pristine" condition with a new set of unknown brand tires, new chain and sprockets (guy said he paid $100 for the whole set so I don't know how good they could be). She's got a few miles over 30k on the odometer. Second or third owner, previous owner had it for 4 years. It has a "muzzy" exhaust and supposedly a Stage 2 jetting configuration. He says he put Amsoil Full-synthetic 20w-50 in it...which seems like it would be like molly compared to a 20w-50 dino oil. Don't know/not sure about this one, since I always run dino oil in my bikes.

So what I'm asking is...does this seem like an okay deal to you? My truck has a few problems (AC works but only comes out of the defrost - bad vacuum line that I haven't bothered to fix. Needs new tires and needs a new catalytic converter or to have the one it has in it removed.) My truck isn't junk so I mean, even with the aforementioned problems, KBB says it's worth at least 3 and a half bills. KBB on this particular bike is only 2.4k in "excellent" condition, but it does have some scratches.

Most importantly...I know there are a few issues with things like gas leaking into the oil, rear brake lever seizing up, steering head bearings getting worn out quickly, vacuum assisted petcock causing problems, etc. etc.

What I want to know is...what should I look for? How would I necessarily know if it's got gas in the oil other than smelling it? I'm just looking for any tell-tale signs there is something seriously wrong with the bike or motor. He's going to let me ride it before I trade so we shall see. The guy says that he doesn't even want to get rid of the bike (his craigslist ad said so as well), but he has a baby and yadda yadda, needs a vehicle that's reliable - specifically a truck.

One last thing, how bad is the maintenance cost and repair and such on these bikes? I mean, I know they only made it for 2yrs it going to be a challenge to find parts for it? :( I don't want something that the first time it breaks down, it's going to sit for a year while I locate parts for it. I hear the motors are supposedly downright indestructible, because everything I've heard is that not only are you likely to get 100k+ out of it with the right maintenance, it's also a lot more forgiving than a lot of the screamers out there. Sound true or no?

So yeah, I know my post is a bit lengthy but bear with me as I know little to nothing about this particular motorcycle, other than the few and far between bits I've picked up on the internet.

Thanks in advance!

09-03-2011, 05:38 PM
Hot and cold compression tests. I understand it has carbs, no FI? Last time the valve clearanced were checked? Ever been dropped? Steering head bearings in good shape? When was the last time the swing arm/rear suspension was greased?

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (
TESTS OF ZZ-R's / ZX's (

09-04-2011, 03:11 PM
Well unfortunately, those two links pertain to the gpz's "bigger" brother. The one I'm looking at is the zx1100"e" model. As I understand it, they are quite different machines. But yeah, those are questions I will ask / things I will look for.

What I was mainly asking about was what should I check for while I'm riding it. Things like smooth throttle modulation, no strange pull on the steering, etc..

Thanks for the help!

09-04-2011, 03:28 PM
If possible, have the front end off the ground so it can be checked for steering bearing problems.Some bikes beat up the bearings so they take a "Set", more noticeable in straight ahead riding. Turn the handlebars from side to side looking for a"Bump".This will also give you the chance to check the front wheel bearings and the front braking action.

11-21-2011, 08:39 PM
Hi, just would like to share my thoughts, Just bought a 1997 zx11r, actually my 5th bike and my 2nd kawi, here are some of the things i check in buying a used bike: sprocket (sharp teeth indicates wear), chain (swaying indicates wear, check if it fits snugly on the sprocket), oil in the exhaust (use your fingers), leaks in the gaskets (cylinder cover), and yes bearings, front and rear tire bearings, brake and clutch levers (bent levers and scratches on the tips indicates bike probably has laid on its side), fork seals (check for leaks), electrical, instrument gauges all working, brakes (wheels should be free wheeling) should indicate if rotors are aligned, check rotor disks for groves, check rectifier or alternator if it gives proper voltage both on idle and rev. On maintenance, besides the regular change oil, if their are parts to be replaced use original parts and not replacement ones, invest on parts for they will last with proper maintenance

11-21-2011, 08:42 PM
Hey dude, thanks for the reply. I ended up not trading for that bike. It had some pretty suspicious things about it that I didn't like. It also had a pretty bad corrosion problem near the motor, as well has a throttle binding issue. Guy said he changed the oil less than a hundred miles ago but it was as black as ink. So, there was definitely something wrong with it.

11-22-2011, 02:03 AM
Your welcome, hope you'll find the bike that will make you smile and enjoy riding, stay safe