Depending on who tested it, the Kawasaki ZX-12R either was the king of the dragstrip or only missed the bragging rights by a fraction. Title or no title, the Kawasaki ZX-12R is still one extremely fast motorcycle with the bonus of amazing top speed figures of 305km/h when conditions allow.
The used example we tested here is one of the original motorcycles which, back in 2000, was the most powerful road motorcycle available. It was claimed to make 175 horsepower even more when its ram air system was pressurized when on the move. It's been upgraded twice since then, and became a better motorcycle for those improvements. But if you want to have of one of the fastest motorcycles ever made, the earliest is the rawest.
As used motorcycles go, this Kawasaki is a hell of a lot of motorcycle for your money. If your preferred buying equation is km/h per kilo then few motorcycles will be more attractive. It's a motorcycle that suits speed freaks perfectly. The totally mental, 300km/h top speed and a sub 10-second 402 meters (quarter mile) time satisfy the needs of most speed addicts. Very few rides on the Kawasaki wont leave you staggered a the blistering pace the 1200 can get to, and just how quickly it can get there. With less grunt than it could have, thanks to the engine tuners desire for massive peak horsepower, you have to spin the Kawasaki higher into its rev zone than you might expect for an engine of this size, if you want to get the most from it. But with the 'most' often being too much anyway, it's generally wiser to keep the revs lower by short-shifting through the slightly notchy gearbox. Besides, there's still enough poke to get you moving super-rapidly even when you curb your revvy enthusiasm.
When the roads are clear and conditions good enough, you can play with the higher rev strengths of the engine. But be warned, this is a ridiculously fast motorcycle and, unless you're focused and right on top of your game, don't go anywhere near its upper performance zone. This is a motorcycle that'll easily break speed limits on first gear.
With such a potent engine the Kawasaki ZX-12R doesn't really need any decent ability round corners to stay with the opposition, but the ZX-12R is still fairly capable. Admittedly though it won't get near the latest liter sportsbikes on twisty backroads. It's simply not light or agile enough to do that, and the modern liter motorcycles aren't much slower down the straights either.