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Kawasaki ZX-12R

Year of specifications 2005
Engine 1199 cc, in-line 4 cylinder
Transmission 6-speed, chain
Top speed 172 mph
0-60 MPH 3.29 sec.
Horsepower 165 hp @ 10,000 rpm
Weight 210 kg
Seat height 820 mm

The Kawasaki ZX-12R’s 16-valve, DOHC, 1199cc inline-four engine produces ample horsepower at all rpm range, and includes a Nippondenso electronic fuel-injection system to smooth its power delivery. The ZX-12R system utilizes 46mm throttle bodies with injector tips spraying fuel directly at the intake valves, however, sudden changes in throttle opening can sometimes cause hesitation and inconsistent throttle response. The sub throttles are placed high in the intake tract and are controlled by the electronic Engine Control Unit (ECU), which automatically adjusts air intake to more precisely match engine demand. The result is a smooth flow of power at all throttle positions, similar to that of constant velocity carburetor designs, with the efficiency of modern fuel injection.

Compact stick-style ignition coils help generate the electrical current to fire the twin-electrode, long-lasting platinum spark plugs. Burned gasses are expelled through a four-into-two-into-one exhaust system featuring stainless steel head pipes and a lightweight, all-titanium muffler.

A Ram Air duct not only improves the bike’s overall aerodynamics, it also flaunts a distinct-looking, streamlined nosepiece that allows plenty of intake area. Ribbing within the ducts improves the ram-air effect at the sides, and offsets wind shear from cross breezes. Meanwhile, quiet dual-radiator fans keep the ZX-12R cool at low speeds.

For smooth and more precise shifting, the ZX-12R’s six-speed transmission incorporates tight clearances between the gear dogs, while a clutch damper helps reduce driveline lash. Clutch durability is aided by holes in the clutch pull rod and within the clutch hub itself. The holes help increase oil flow and contribute to an easy clutch pull.

The ZX-12R is supported by an aluminum monocoque frame with a cast steering head welded to pressed plates, then welded to a cast midsection that incorporates the battery case as a stressed member. The ZX-12R’s light steering and planted feel is due to a steep steering-head angle.

A 43mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping also contribute to the ZX-12R’s superb turning characteristics. Adjustability of the fork comes from a stepless damping adjuster, which incorporates a check valve for improved damping performance.

Kawasaki’s patented UNI-TRAK? rear suspension uses a linkage system to progressively increase the damping and spring rate as the suspension is compressed. Like the fork, the shock uses a stepless compression and rebound damping adjuster.

Both ends of the ZX-12R wear 17-inch wheels with hexagonal tri-spokes. The six inch-wide rear rim is fitted with an ultra-wide 200/50 tire for excellent traction – a must for a bike as powerful as the ZX-12R.

Braking is accomplished with radial-mounted, opposed four-piston calipers gripping large 320mm diameter dual front disc brakes and a single 230mm rear disc brake. The radial front brake design utilizes mounting points at both the top and bottom of the caliper, with the mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side or front as on conventional designs. This racing-inspired setup makes the caliper more rigid to improve brake feel over a wider range of operation.

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