The Kawasaki ZRX1100 or REX as it is affectionately known by it?s owners, is often overlooked in the sports bike mad market here in the UK. This is mainly down to the styling and the price. The REX falls neatly into the ?Retro? bracket which is not in vogue in the UK and also Kawasaki have priced it about £1000 and £600 more expensive than the Bandit and XJR1300, it?s main rivals. At the end of the day money talks. If you have overlooked this big boy?s toy, then it?s your loss. This is one superb, well put together, do it all, grin-inducing machine. I brought mine in January this year and I just can not put it down. It?s powerful engine (detuned ZZR1100), wide handlebars, well-balanced and neutral feel make it a delight to ride. Whether you are pottering around town or acting the hooligan on the open road, the REX will do it and some more. The old style twin rear shocks do not give anything away. I did have to adjust the factory set suspension settings to avoid loosing my fillings. Now I can touch my foot pegs or grind my knee sliders without any dramas. The brakes are the same as those used on Kawasaki?s super sports bikes like the ZX9R etc, which speaks volumes. Although on the Rex the brakes do howl and squeal a bit when cold. The small bikini fairing is good at keeping the windblast off and I find it smoother to ride at 3 figure speeds than our legal speed limits, can?t understand why! However, I believe most owners swop the standard screen for a flipped one. The seat is low and wide, but it is a little hard on longer journeys. But then this bike is not meant for sitting on a motorway in one position for long periods of time. Although it is more than capable and quite happy to do this, you would be missing the point of owning a retro. This bike was meant for blasting down A/B roads, ducking and diving, wiggling and a giggling. Remove that seat and you are in for a surprise. The storage area is vast, more akin to a scooter. Kawasaki have been clever and positio
ned the battery forward and under the air filter. This leaves a space large enough to carry 3Kg of spare clothes for a weekend away, waterproofs, sandwiches etc. I can even put my spare visor in the tardis that exists under the seat. There is another storage box in the tail unit for tools, disc lock, service books. No more bulging jackets with this baby! There is a wealth of useful information available from like-minded enthusiasts with Internet access. Just type ZRX1100 in your search engine and you will be guided to a site which is dedicated to what I think is one of the best all round motorcycles you can buy. It is no super sport plastic crouch rocket, but it won?t be out of date next year, it?s 80?s styling has seen to that. However, here you have a bike that harks back to an age when bikes where bikes and mix it in with bang up to date brakes, engine etc and you have a sure fire winner. If you are still not convinced, then go and test ride one. You will discover a well kept secret and if you buy one you won?t regret it.