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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have an opportunity to buy a ZX11 pretty cheap. $350, 40k miles, needs a battery and some minor carb work. It's a 1990 and for the year passed my first BS test: fairings are in great shape and look original. I think it has been owned by a good person--well maintained, not abused.

I hear that these bikes have a tendency to slip out of 2nd gear. As I understand it, this bike does not do this. But with the relatively high number of miles on this bike, do I have a good chance of having this go wrong in the near future?

I currently have a GPZ 900 and would be getting this bike to do some long range trips (two 400 mile trips in a weekend). Would the ZX11 be a much better bike for this, or would the GPZ make it redundant?

Also, any owners, could you please tell me a little bit about the bike? Gas mileage, powerband, what I could expect for maintenance, etc?

Thanks for replies.

Alien Test Subject
3,515 Posts
Have a '90 ZX-10, which is basically it's predecessor (the 11 replaced it in mid year). The two are very similar, so I can probably help a bit.

2nd/3rd gear is definitely the weak link in the bike. If it's not slipping out of gear, or hard to get into 2nd/3rd, you should be OK. Best practice is to run MC specific oil (gearbox shares same oil as engine like most bikes). My 10 is very finicky about 2nd gear if I'm running automotive oils, and has problems going in and out of second if I'm wailing on it. But my gearbox has also been abused a bit (previous owner drag raced it).

40k really isn't all that bad, milage wise. Considering the bike's 20 years old, that's only 2000 miles a year. That motor has been around forever in one form or another. It's the same block as my 10, and was also used in the Concourse for a long time. Some of those Connies have racked up 200k with no issues. So with basic, routine maintenance, it should last you a long time.

Long trips should be a breeze on the ZX-11. The bike makes a really good sport tourer. It's big, heavy, stable, and will carry your, a passenger, and gear all day long, at any speed you wanna run, without complaint. Don't know if it would make the GPz redundant or not, though. It's a bit of a pig in tight corners (relatively speaking). It's not bad, but doesn't handle like a full-on sportbike. I've been known to put 500 miles in a day fairly comfortably on my 10. You should expect about the same.

Gas mileage? I get roughly 180 miles a tank before I need to go to reserve, providing I'm touring or just milling about. Hammering on it, I can get as little as 120 a tank. So expect between 21-32 mpg depending on how you ride.

Power is phenomenal on the 11's. Well tuned, it should easily run somewhere in the 11 second range in the 1/4 mile. It's got gobs of torque, so around town in traffic, you can leave it in 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th, and just roll on the throttle to get around someone. Below about 5000 RPM, the motor is very sedate, but usable with all that torque. Spool the revs up above that, and she really comes on-line! Triple digit speeds start coming in a hurry. But you can cruise around in 5th or 6th, all day long, at 85-90mph, and never break 5k or 6k on the tach.

Hope that helps you some. I can't give too many specifics about the 11 itself, as I'm on a 10. But the two are very, very similar bikes. The 11 was just basically the next generation of mine.
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