For a big balls out ultra sports bike, delicate
is not a word you’d usually associate with such a potentially
brutal machine. But
delicate it is, the handling is so deliciously and delicately well
balanced you could swear it had an autopilot. No razor sharp responses
here to catch out the unwary, this bike is supremely predictable.
Power delivery too is super linear, there’s no sudden burst
of energy, it just gets faster and faster…
This machine glides effortlessly around bends
and is a real joy to steer. No actual steering effort is required,
you could swear the bike is showing you the way round. I deliberately
over-drive the next bend, turning in later and harder than is
strictly necessary, just to test that lightness of response. The
machine doesn’t notice my increased effort, it simply goes
where I point it. Massively stable, utterly predictable. I feel
as if I’m being ignored. I get the message, the ZXR9 is
better at cornering than I am.
As confidence grows, so does my speed. Steering
remains neutral and delicate but higher speed shows this bike
doesn’t like bumps. With my lithe and athletic eleven stone
on board, it hops over every ripple in the road. It’s as
if the front is somehow connected to the rear; whenever either
wheel hits a bump, the whole bike pops up through it’s own
centre of gravity. There’s a curious chugging under acceleration,
which feels for all the world as if the rear is spinning up intermittently.
Ok so it is spanky new and the
suspension isn’t bedded in. There’s also more adjustments
here than the governments latest NHS statistics but I have no time
to play with them. I pay the price for ignoring my own observation.
I gas it up a short bumpy straight and the handlebars flick viciously
side to side. As quickly as it happens, it stops. As if nothing
has happened, we carry on. “Did you just shake your head at
me?” I demanded. “No no, carry on, everything’s
fine” said the ZX, unruffled. But I know I’ve seen a
chink it its armour and I’m glad it wasn’t down some
country lane or deep into a braking zone.
The super linear power and delicate handling can lull you into a false
sense of security. Make no mistake, this is a very fast machine. If
you are going to test it to the limit then dial in the suspension
first or it will bite.
Back to main