Kawasaki ZZ-R1100

Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 1990s Japanese superbike

The Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 was a serious superbike - with a top speed of 176mph. Its 1,052cc, 16-valve, in-line four engine produced 145bhp. It weighed in at 603lb, wet. From '90 to '95, the ZZ-R was the world's fastest production motorcycle - succeeding Kawasaki's ZX-10. It took Honda's Super Blackbird finally to topple the Kawasaki marque.

Those more than impressive performance figures were due, in no small part, to 'ram-air' technology. The faster the ZZ-R travelled, the more air was forced - via a duct - from its fairing, through to the motor. More air meant more power. Light the blue touch-paper - and stand well back!

For speed merchants, and non-speed merchants alike, the ZZ-R was a forgiving beast. Sold as a sports-tourer, it was well-equipped, frame- and suspension-wise. The ZZ-R handled with aplomb - and was well up to anything the average rider could throw at it. In visual terms, though not a 'stunner', the ZZ-R was a nice-looking bike. It sported sweetly-angled plastic panels - and a free-flowing design, in general. That a bike with power stats like the Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 could even be considered an 'all-rounder' was great testament to Japanese engineering.

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