Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am new here & this is my first post,

I am 43 & live in mountains of Virginia,

I am looking at buying a 1990, ZX10 with a ZX11 motor. unknown miles on motor, just under 30,000 on the bike, 9" extended swingawm, it needs lower fairings, rear tire, & carb cleaning, but I can pick it up for $1,000

I am not familiar with any newer Kawasaki products, I rode a 1980 KZ1000 shaft drive touring bike for years. plus a few 900s, & a 750 & 550 but thats ancient history.

I am relatively new into sport bikes, I had a Triumph TT600 but was unimpressed with its lack luster performance, I am a heavier person around 275lbs & live in mountains, plus wife is around 180 lbs, so I need a bike with some oomph, especially at lower speeds.

I rode Harleys for quite a few years but got sick of all the maintenance & upkeep, plus finances got bad, so I need something cheap with good low end torque, plus something that I can use for daily commuting, 60 mile round trip through mountains 6 days a week plus something that will handle the 2 of us with some luggage for a trip of what ever length I wanted. maybe across country if wild hair struck. definately 850 mile road trips to see daughter, so a 1700 mile round trip at least 2 or more times a year.

until a couple years ago I was managing 15,000 to 40,000 + miles a year on 2 wheels,

are these relatively reliable? what should I watch out for? where to look to more information to learn about. are there any pitfalls?

I figured I would ask here, because most of my life I either rode Kaws, or Harleys, with 2 hondas thrown in as well as 1 sport Triumph, & I dont want another Harley for an everyday type of bike. but figured I would go back with a brand I was familiar with that gave me many good years of trouble free service.

I wont be winding it out, racing, or stunting, just using it for transportation, from point A to B, & want reliability, with decent performance. I may clip off a little higher than normal speeds, lol but isnt that why we ride bikes to begin with to be awake & enjoy, & we tend to ride just a little over posted speeds. I cant remember when I have been over 80mph probably 6 to 8 years ago, as well as no traffic tickets in last 23 years. been very lucky:-D but a few close calls, as well as a couple warnings.:lol:

Later,
Randy
 

·
Workin' to ride
Joined
·
559 Posts
Welcome to the forum Randy (or welcome back?). I'm sure you'll get some great responses and opinions here. Personally I ride a 900 Custom, so I can't offer much in what you're looking for, but I can say that I think Kawi is still building reliable, relatively trouble-free bikes. I'm new to motorcycles, but I have put on 6k on my 500 and 7k on the 900, all without any issues whatsoever.
 

·
Alien Test Subject
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
...I am looking at buying a 1990, ZX10 with a ZX11 motor. unknown miles on motor, just under 30,000 on the bike, 9" extended swingawm, it needs lower fairings, rear tire, & carb cleaning, but I can pick it up for $1,000..
Welcome aboard :biggrin:

I have a 90 ZX-10, but mine is basically stock. The one your looking at sounds like it might have been set up for drag racing at some point.

I've heard of ZX-11 mills being dropped into the 10's frame, but not sure how much had to be done to get it in there. The motor itself, if taken care of, shouldn't be an issue. They are pretty reliable, and you can still get parts for them pretty easily. If it's in proper tune, it should make somewhere around 145hp IIRC, and have lots of torque down low.

Forget finding bodywork for it. It's a 20 year old bike, so none of the aftermarket companies still offer parts. You could try AirTech, but they only offer the side panels and belly-pan, and you'll have to drill and paint them yourself. Don't know if you can still get OEM's from Kawi, but if you can, expect to pay an arm and a leg. Stuff pops up on eBay from time to time, but it's hit-or-miss.

The 9" swingarm is gonna greatly affect handling. Makes the bike rock solid in a straight line, and will help keep the front wheel down on really hard launches. BUT... is also gonna make the bike turn very slow compared to stock. Don't expect to flick it through corners with great ease. The bike's already a bit of a tank in the corners to begin with, and the extended swingarm makes it that much worse.

30k on the chassis is no big deal. That's about what mine has. Just check to make sure all the bushings, grommets, or other rubber parts haven't worn or rotted. I'd also check the brake lines, and consider switching them out to braided ones.

If you can ride it first, I'd try to get a good feel for the gearbox (if it's original). The only real weak spot of the bike is that 2nd and 3rd gear can go out on them if the gearbox has been abused.


Shouldn't have any problems carrying you and the wife. With the stock motor, mine pulls us along just fine. And I always have plenty of power and torque on tap if needed. For referance, I'm about 180, and she's 145 (don't tell her I told you :eek: )

I regularly use mine both as a daily commuter, and as a sport tourer. I've gone as much as 700+ mile in a day, fully loaded with gear, at questionable speeds, with no issues. I will say, the Corbin seat helps the butt though. I'm 6'1" tall and very lanky, and find the seating position fairly comfy. Though my legs do get a little cramped after about 3 hours in the saddle. Not a big issue, as I'm usually stretching at a fuel stop by then.


For $1000? Might be a good deal, might not be. It's still a 20 year old bike with some very specific mods done to it. Me personally, if the seller doesn't have the original swingarm, I might pass on it. But if the bike's been taken really good care of, it might be a steal.
 

·
BACK ON TWO WHEELS
Joined
·
13,542 Posts
+1 on the deal but i would expect so $$$ due to it sounds like it was mod'd and raced, just be sure you know what youre getting into...for a bit more you can find a nice used ZX6R
 

·
Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
Joined
·
25,224 Posts
I'll echo the sentiments of the other guys here. I'd be concerned about the motor swap and more spcifically the extended swingarm. Both mods kind of point towards a history of either racing or "wannabe" racing. In either case, I would say your money would be better spent finding a stock bike.

And I can't for the life of me see why anyone in their right mind (with the exception of actual drag racers) would put an extended swingarm on a sportbike. To castrate what a sportbike is best at is a crime in my books. If you live and ride in the mountains, you will be doing yourself a real dis-service by purchasing an extended swingarm ride.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

·
BACK ON TWO WHEELS
Joined
·
13,542 Posts
nine inches may be great asset, but not on a sport bike, maybe for the rider
wink wink nod nod nudge nudge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Welcome aboard :biggrin:



Forget finding bodywork for it. It's a 20 year old bike, so none of the aftermarket companies still offer parts. You could try AirTech, but they only offer the side panels and belly-pan, and you'll have to drill and paint them yourself. Don't know if you can still get OEM's from Kawi, but if you can, expect to pay an arm and a leg. Stuff pops up on eBay from time to time, but it's hit-or-miss.

The 9" swingarm is gonna greatly affect handling. Makes the bike rock solid in a straight line, and will help keep the front wheel down on really hard launches. BUT... is also gonna make the bike turn very slow compared to stock. Don't expect to flick it through corners with great ease. The bike's already a bit of a tank in the corners to begin with, and the extended swingarm makes it that much worse.

30k on the chassis is no big deal. That's about what mine has. Just check to make sure all the bushings, grommets, or other rubber parts haven't worn or rotted. I'd also check the brake lines, and consider switching them out to braided ones.

If you can ride it first, I'd try to get a good feel for the gearbox (if it's original). The only real weak spot of the bike is that 2nd and 3rd gear can go out on them if the gearbox has been abused.


Shouldn't have any problems carrying you and the wife. With the stock motor, mine pulls us along just fine. And I always have plenty of power and torque on tap if needed. For referance, I'm about 180, and she's 145 (don't tell her I told you :eek: )

I regularly use mine both as a daily commuter, and as a sport tourer. I've gone as much as 700+ mile in a day, fully loaded with gear, at questionable speeds, with no issues. I will say, the Corbin seat helps the butt though. I'm 6'1" tall and very lanky, and find the seating position fairly comfy. Though my legs do get a little cramped after about 3 hours in the saddle. Not a big issue, as I'm usually stretching at a fuel stop by then.


For $1000? Might be a good deal, might not be. It's still a 20 year old bike with some very specific mods done to it. Me personally, if the seller doesn't have the original swingarm, I might pass on it. But if the bike's been taken really good care of, it might be a steal.
for a crazy fluke someone in city 50 miles away has the correct body work in correct color advertised for $100 which I happen to drive through 2 times a week for college class that I take 105 miles each way from home.

im pretty sure he has raced it as he mentioned some quarter mile times. just hoping not too thrashed.

as for the swingarm I was unsure what to expect for handling as I have not driven one with extra length but I have heard more bad than good.

I am basically broke & just trying to get back on 2 wheels as cheaply as possible. I am stretching my budget even for this, but when a cheap one comes available it is usually gone before I get off of work.

there is a ZX11 advertised for $1600 with 24,000 miles good tires & new battery, muzzy pipe, but I cant afford it. unless he drops price down $500, I havent called to ask he might drop a little? & I might be able to borrow a little from sister inlaw, but even with the ZX10 I was going to have to borrow a little to pick up the side panels, & scrounge a used rear tire. but the ZX11 looks nicer overall

I came close to buying a new one back in 96, but my local dealed wanted $10,699 + tax & extra for the color I wanted, the maroonish purple, & a out of town dealer wanted $9,995 out the door for a green one & I got tired of trying to haggle & picked up another Harley, which was a good bike but costed me $500 in maintenance every 3,000 miles, for something or another, & after 70,000 miles I parted ways with that infernal machine.

I looked at a Kaw 600 ninja local for $700 it was so trashed I shook my head & walked away. it sold 2 hours later to someone else, someone had the plastic held on with zip ties, & it had been dropped numerous times, lots of repaired damage & mismatched parts. spray bombed, but had some expensive parts on it too, a custom titanium exhaust?

I had been browsing for a quite few months but not had enough money to do anything unless I wanted a rat 70's bike, & after working alot of OT at work I had around $1,000 extra & I hoped to buy a bike. as far as saving to buy, something will come & take what I have saved one way or another, I have been trying for a year, so I wanted to at least get back on 2 wheels for some fun.

I know gas savings when I rode usually made up for any added expenses, but then I rode more & it usally cost a little more for all the added miles. ;) I used to go 175 miles for breakfast at least once a month to a place that made their own rolls,melt in your mouth, so I would get in a 350 mile ride in before work that day. :-D

I sold the Triumph to a guy that was hassling me to buy it so I could get a motor for wifes car. then one thing or another & no bike. :mad: that was around the end of summer in 1998 :mad: so if you have the bug to ride all the time then you can imagine what kind of agravation I am going through.:frown:

Thanks everyone for all advice whether good or bad. I can take it, as I been riding for most of 27 years on street & another 10 + years in dirt & off road before that.


Later,
Randy
 

·
Alien Test Subject
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
for a crazy fluke someone in city 50 miles away has the correct body work in correct color advertised for $100 which I happen to drive through 2 times a week for college class that I take 105 miles each way from home...
What color? I need some new plastics, and if you don't snag them, It'd be woth me paying extra to have them shipped to PA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
What color? I need some new plastics, and if you don't snag them, It'd be woth me paying extra to have them shipped to PA.
red,

check them out yourself,

there are listed in the Greensboro North Carolina craigslist. just type in ZX10

I had e-mailed the guy for a number but havent called him as I dont have the bike yet, & unsure at this point.

Later,
Randy
 

·
Alien Test Subject
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
Have to be red, don't they. :frown: I need black.

But, then again, plastics are plastics... :lol: :lol:
 

·
Alien Test Subject
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
Just saw both, the ad for the bike itself, and the plastics.

The bike looks fairly clean, but it's tough to tell from the pics. Runs low 10's which is pretty good for what it is. Swingarm is definitely longer than you'd want for sport riding though.

The plastics due me no good. My lowers are fine. It's the upper and tail section that I really need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to making me really think about it,

I figured out a way to come up with a little more cash & I have an apointment to test ride & probably buy a ZX11 a 1996 model with 24,000 miles, a muzzy pipe, new air cleaner, new battery, supposedly been kept up & maintained well, very good tires, just needs carb cleaning but its tagged & running & I can test ride it.

says no smoking, smooth shifting & no unusual noises from engine.

all for $1,450 which I think sounds like a great buy,

now how many miles do these engines last if taken care of & not really beat on?

I will keep posted, on how Thursday goes.

with any luck I will have a ZX11.

I would like to try for high mileage here if I get it. lol last years on here was what 14,000 or there abouts from April to October. if bike proves reliable lol I can see an easy 20,000+ miles.

Later,
Randy
 

·
Alien Test Subject
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
Of the two, I think the 11 will be the wiser choice. Hope it works out for you.

It makes a nice sport-tourer (or hyper-tourer, as I like to think of the big GT bikes :lol:). 24k is reasonable milage for it, and as long as you take care of her, there is no reason it shouldn't go 75-100k. That same basic block has been around for a long time, and Kawi has used it in everything from my ZX10, to that 11, and even the old Concourses (which have been known to rack up quite a few miles). So you should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
OK I bought the ZX11 for $1,450

looks reasonably decent to me, not perfect but decent.

will need a front tire within a few hundred miles, but almost new rear tire & new battery.

carbs need help, low power until it revs up, but bike has sat some, so I guess it has some gummed up or clogged jets. otherwise I am happy. I will look at it better after all the ice melts, I was in rain all day until 5 miles from home, the last 5 miles up into the mountains I hit sleet & freezing rain, trees are bowed down, & yard is slick. & from what I heard it has sleeted at my house for over 12 hours. bummer!:mad:

360 mile round trip to pick it up today.

I also found a kz750 4 cylinder locally I could pick up for $250, that actually runs, but poorly due to carbs being gummed up it is flooding out, & has a title but needs misc work like cables & brakes, home made seat cover, spraybombed bike, but I dont think my wallet can handle anymore but a second bike would be nice that I didnt care about for riding to work to not have to worry about.

anyway thanks for all advice, & now to clean carbs & get this ZX11 on the road.

I am sure I will have more questions, lol, like bar risers, how high & where to find? 1" to 2"

anyway thanks again,:D
Randy
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top