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The Kawasaki ZX-12R is a sport bike that was made from 2000 to 2006 by Kawasaki. In those years the ZX-12R at 178 hp (133 kW) at low speed to 190 hp (140 kW) at high speed with ram-air intake. Made it the most powerful production motorcycle up to 2006 and the release of the ZX-14. It was known as a contender to be the fastest production motorcycle, and for its role in bringing to a truce the escalating competition to build a faster motorcycle. Its top speed of 187 made it the fastest production motorcycle for sale from 2000 to 2005.
At its introduction the ZX-12R was Kawasaki's flagship sport bike and a competitor to the Suzuki Hayabusa. It was fuel injected with four Mikuni 46 mm throttle bodies and was Kawasaki's first fuel-injected sport bike since the 1981–1985 Kawasaki GPZ1100. The 1,199 cc (73.2 cu in) displacement engine generated 161.2 hp (120.2 kW) at the rear wheel. Handling and braking matched the power of the engine resulting in a motorcycle that was docile at low speeds and very easy to handle in heavy traffic, but had strong acceleration.
From the first production ZX-12R, in the 2000 model year, its top speed was restricted by a motorcycle manufacturer gentlemen's agreement. This was due to a voluntary gentlemen's agreement that included BMW Motorrad and the Japanese manufacturers, amid fears of government regulation of motorcycle speeds mainly in Europe. Prior to the agreement, Kawasaki had planned a world press event to launch their answer to Suzuki's Hayabusa, but the event was abruptly cancelled, and instead the ZX-12R with a revised engine control unit that limited speed to about 300 km/h was released with no fanfare or comment by Kawasaki.
Cycle World tested the ZX-12R's 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) acceleration at 2.7 seconds, and 1/4 mile at 10.04 seconds at 143.78 mph (231.39 km/h). They found an electronically-limited top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h), a 60 to 0 mph (97 to 0 km/h) braking distance of 118 ft (36 m), and fuel economy of 32.1 mpg-US (7.3 L/100 km; 38.6 mpg-imp). Sport Rider tested it at 1/4 mile time of 9.95 seconds at 144.40 mph (232.39 km/h).Motorcyclist tested a 1/4 mile time of 9.87 seconds at 146.29 mph (235.43 km/h).
While most sport bikes use an aluminum perimeter frame, the ZX-12R uses an aluminum monocoque frame. This design surpasses the level of chassis strength and stiffness associated with conventional aluminum perimeter frames. Its intention was to make the bike narrower, and there by more aerodynamic. The design saves space by incorporating an efficient airbox and a cartridge-type air filter that easily slides into the frame and it also houses the battery. A massive ram-air intake scoop protrudes from the fairing to take advantage of the higher air pressure. The 2002 model was updated with 140 changes. While some of those changes made the bike easier to launch. With a heavier crank and a reshaped flywheel and fuel mapping tweaks. It also lost 1.3 horsepower because of this vs. the 2000 and 2001 model. Revised suspension composed of stiffer springs in the forks and a softer spring on the shock. Cosmetic changes include sportier front fender. Panels added to the inner fairing below the instruments and bars make a more refined look. And a revised wider ram-air intake is made to be even more efficient. Because of this improvement it got back the 1.3 horsepower loss to keep its 190 hp (140 kW) at high speed with ram-air intake. Kawasaki have always been the master of ram-air as stated by MCNews.com.au. Integrated into a wider and shorter front cowling witch causes less aerodynamic drag. lowering the drag coefficient by one point from 33 to 32. The 2004 model got the addition of radial brakes and fuel injection tweaks. The ZX-12R was discontinued in 2006 and followed by the ZX-14 (ZZR1400) the same year, which incorporated a similar frame.
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