Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 3rd October 2018

Every week, Insidebikes asks bike trader Scott Redmond to pick out a bike that’s floating his boat on the bike internet auction site. This week it’s the Kawasaki ZRX1100 that catches his eye…

With the international motorcycle show season now in full swing they’ll no doubt be some fresh takes on the modern motorcycle that’s styled on machines from the past, as we’ve already seen with Suzuki and the new Katana. Last year it was Kawasaki’s turn, as they wheeled out not one but a pair of Z900RS models.

Kawasaki has been creating retro rides since the 1990s. Their Zephyr range started their back to the future approach to building new models and was, in many ways, the first bike in the whole ‘retro’ genre. Since then the whole world appears to have gone retro,  with everything from fridge freezers to cars now designed to appeal to our nostalgic tendencies. Car manufacturers have cottoned on to using familiar names and style cues from models from yesteryear, you can’t move these days for VW Beetles, Fiat 500s and Mini tributes. Motorcycle manufacturers are now cashing in on this blast from the past sector of the market too.

The interesting thing is these modern classics actually mature into genuine classics, and this Kawasaki ZRX1100 is a great example of the point I’m trying to make.

It wasn’t too long ago that a couple of grand would give you the pick of the ZRX1100 used market but sadly those days are well gone.

Prices have been increasing steadily, fuelled by decreasing supply and increasing demand. The current crop of retro rides might be able to offer you the essence of ‘70s and ‘80s sit up and beg musclebikes, but they also come with more electronics than your typical baby boomer can cope with. Bikes like the ZRX1100 are at the tipping point, they have plenty of poke, decent brakes and modern tyre sizes. They also have charming features like a fuel tap, choke cable and carbs, while being unlikely to spend their lives strapped to the back of an AA truck. The best of both worlds…

This 1997 ZRX1100 is the finest example that we could find that’s currently for sale. Since 1997 it’s had two owners, who between them have racked up a measly 1,148 miles from new. Finished in the original Z1R inspired ice blue paintwork it looks superb. There’s no signs of any aftermarket tat either, she’s pretty much in a time warp condition. The asking price is £6,999. That’s a lot of money for a ZRX1100, and many might argue that the later ZRX1200 is a better bike on all fronts. With 2018 Z900RS models now appearing on the used market and plenty of unsold new 2018 stock cluttering up dealers floors it’s a good time to buy that Z900RS or Café version if you really want one, but values will only go down, if it’s the longer game that you’re playing suddenly an ultra low mileage bog stock ZRX1100 makes more sense, well until Kawasaki tool up and launch a modern day ZRX, perhaps?

What to look for when buying a ZRX1100

  • Corrosion is your biggest issue, any exposed metal will corrode without too much encouragement.
  • Not all bikes remain standard, check for ZZR1100 cam mods, this is very popular and adds cheap bhp.
  • Import models had no bikini fairing, instead they had a classic looking round headlight.

What to pay?

Entry level is around £2,500 for a mechanically sound bike with sensible extras.

The less miles and more original the ZRX1100 is the dearer it will be, dealers will always exploit this. You’ll need £4,000 to buy a pampered example.

See more about our selected example at: