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Kawasaki ZRX1200 DAEG: A Thoroughly Modern UJM

When Kawasaki introduced the ZRX1200R to the US market several years ago, it was very popular with middle-aged riders looking for a bike with traditional styling and modern performance. Apparently, Kawasaki does not think the US market needs a bike like this at the moment, however, because it has just introduced a redesigned ZRX, known as the ZRX1200 DAEG, solely for the Japanese market.

Although the styling is similar, the new ZRX has significant changes that, in US trim (Japan has horsepower restrictions), would provide an increase in performance not only from the engine, but from the braking system and the chassis. The new bike finally gets fuel injection, along with porting and valve work in the engine department, a new exhaust system and a six-speed transmission (the old bike was a five-speed). New brakes consist of Tokico four-piston calipers squeezing a pair of petal-shaped front rotors measuring 310mm and a single piston/250mm rotor combo in back. Steering geometry has been changed, and suspension settings are revised front and rear. The rear shocks are new, and are mounted at a different angle. They feature two-stage springs. The swingarm looks similar to the one found on the old model, but it is also new.

Bodywork has been changed slightly (apparent to the discerning eye), and the instruments are new. Personally, we wish Kawasaki would bring this bike to the US. We really liked the original ZRX1200, and would love to sample this new machine.