This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki ZRX1200, Kawasaki’s retro (even at the time) muscle bike. It is the successor to the ZRX1100, though nothing like the ZRX1200 came for a little while (the Z900 and Z1000 series were quite different).
The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is part of the Kawasaki Z series manufactured in Japan from 2001 until 2007. It was sold in the US until 2005 and Europe until 2007. It was updated in 2008 with a six-speed transmission, fuel injection and still sold in Japan as the ZRX1200 DAEG model until 2016.
Worldwide, the ZRX1200 was available in three guises: “S” which was partially faired; “R” which had a bikini fairing; “N” which had no fairing. Mechanically, these motorcycles are the same. In most parts, the ZRX1200R was the big seller — the most attractive of the bunch (in my, but also some others’, subjective opinion).
This maintenance schedule is for all of them — the ZRX1200R, ZRX1200S, and ZRX1200N.
Things you might need to service the Kawasaki ZRX1200
Looking through the below table, you might need one or more of the following.
|Part||Kawasaki ZRX1200 Spec|
|Oil||You need SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil.|
|Oil filter||Change with Hiflofiltro part HF401.|
|Brake pads||Many ZRX owners upgrade their pads to EBC double hardened (HH) pads. For all models you need two pairs of FA188HH up front, and one pair of FA161HH in the rear.|
|Spark plugs||NGK CR9EK, gap 0.7-0.8mm, tightening torque 14 Nm/10 lb-ft.|
|Air filter||You can usually clean the air filter. But if you want to replace it, K&N part number is KA-1199.|
|Cable maintenance||Remember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.|
|Chain maintenance||The chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is cheap and well-loved, or a Motul chain care kit is a good buy.|
|Brake fluid||Spec is to use DOT 4 brake fluid.|
|Coolant||Nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based blend with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Valvoline Zerex G05|
|Grease||Use a lithium soap based grease for all the important greasing points.|
Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki ZRX1200
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki ZRX1200 motorcycles. I have simplified it somewhat to make it more suitable for web consumption.
The big services come every 12,000 km (at 12k, 24k etc.) when you have to do a carb sync and check the valve gaps.
Notes on reading the maintenance schedule:
- The original maintenance schedule marked some items with a “K” recommending you get them done by a dealer — but it’s up to you.
- For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
- †: Replace. add. adjust, or torque if necessary.
- #: Service more frequently when operation in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping
- (c): only on California model
|Km x 1000||1||6||12||18||24||30||36|
|Miles x 1000||0.6||4||8||12||16||20||24||Every|
|Carburetor synchronization – check † (e)||•||•||•|
|Idle speed – check † (e)||•||•||•||•|
|Throttle grip play – check † (e)||•||•||•||•|
|Spark plug – clean and gap † (e) (NGK CR9EK, 0.7-0.8mm, 14 Nm torque)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Valve clearance – check † (e)||•||•||•|
|Air suction valve – check † (e)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Air cleaner element – clean/replace † # (e) (KA-1199)||•||•||•|
|Evaporative emission control system (c) (e) – check †||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|K||Brake/clutch hoses, connections – check †||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Brake light switch — check †||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Brake pad wear– check † #||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Brake/clutch fluid – change (DOT 4 only)||•||2 years|
|K||Steering –check †||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Drive chain wear – check † #||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Nuts, bolts, and fasteners tightness — check †||•||•||•||•|
|Tire wear–check †||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Engine oil–change #||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||6 months|
|Oil filter – replace (HF401)||•||•||•||•|
|Brake/clutch fluid level – check †||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||month|
|K||Fuel hoses, connections – check †||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|General Lubrication – perform||•||•||•|
|K||Front fork oil – change||•||2 years|
|Front fork oil leak – check †||•||•||•|
|Rear shock absorber oil leak – check †||•||•||•|
|K||Swingarm pivot – lubricate †||•||•||•|
|K||Coolant – change (only ethylene glycol-based, e.g. Zerex G05)||•||2 years|
|Radiator hoses, connections – check †||•|
|K||Steering stem bearing – lubricate||•||2 years|
|K||Brake/clutch master cylinder cup and dust seal – replace||4 years|
|K||Caliper piston seal and dust seal – replace||4 years|
|Drive chain – lubricate # (Motul chain care kit, or Motul chain paste)||600 km (400 mi)|
|Drive chain slack – check † #||1000 km (600 mi)|
|K||Clutch slave cylinder piston seal – replace||4 years|
Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki ZRX1200
The Kawasaki ZRX1200 has the following tyres and tyre sizes standard (tubeless type), plus the following recommended tyre pressures.
|Front||120/70 ZR17 (58W)||BRIDGESTONE BATTLAX BT020F RADIAL L|
DUNLOP D220F ST
MICHELIN Pilot SPORT
|250 kPa/36 psi|
|Rear||180/55 ZR17 (73W)||BRIDGESTONE BATTLAX BT020R RADIAL L|
DUNLOP D220 ST
MICHELIN Pilot SPORT
|250 kPa/36 psi|
(Yes, the manual recommends the same pressure front and back)
General information about the Kawasaki ZRX1200
The Kawasaki ZRX1200 is a retro throwback motorcycle, designed and built to hearken back to the early days of the Z1. It did that. It’s now getting long in the tooth, and it’s a retro motorcycle itself that others have been designed around (e.g. the green Kawasaki Z900RS).
The ZRX1200 was one of the last big bikes to be made with a carburettor-fed engine. It was made in the same time as Honda’s indomitable 919 which was already fuel-injected. Still, the ZRX1200 had crisp throttle response and good fuelling, though it did drink a little (fuel injection helped later bikes consume less fuel).
The ZRX1200 has a liquid-cooled 1164cc inline 4-cylinder engine that’s carburettor fed via four 36mm Keihin CV carburetors. The exhaust system is a 4-into-1 stainless steel unit, though people often upgrade this to a Kerker exhaust. In standard trim it makes around 90 kW (120 hp) at the crank — not a crazy high amount given the steel-framed motorcycle’s weight, but enough to get it moving to the point where it’s uncomfortable, given the naked bike layout.
The large 43mm cartridge-type conventional (not upside-down) front fork has 12-way compression and rebound damping adjustment. So, fully adjustable suspension on a big muscle bike!
The exhaust system on models produced up to 2004 are painted black, other than the muffler. From 2004 onward, the ZRX bikes have polished exhaust systems.
The frame is a conventional steel tube with the engine supported in a removable cradle. The rear suspension configuration is good, with the laydown rear shocks, designed with a built-in remote reservoir, are adjustable for preload and damping.
The Kawasaki ZRX1200’s handlebars made of tubular aluminum. For comfort, the saddle has more than one centimeter of padding.
The ZRX1200 came in a variety of guises and colours. But the green ones fetch more on the used market.
Manual for the Kawasaki ZRX1200
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki ZRX1200, which is available here.