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Bored today and thinking about what would make the ultimate sport tourer. I have a 2001 ZX9R and an 86 Concours. I use the Concours for 2-up day rides longer than 250 miles, but find myself missing the 9R, light weight, brakes and power. A friend of mine has a Futura and it got me thinking about what Kawasaki should do with the 9R, which is such a sweet street bike.

I think Kawasaki should make a sport touring bike based on the 9R and call it the ZX9ST. This bike should have Futura-like seating, fairing and underseat exhaust. It should have attractive and large integrated hard bags and more upright ergonomics with perhaps in inch more rider legroom and two inches more passenger legroom. It should have remote preload for the rear shock but otherwise the same suspension. It would need to have 6.5 gallon+ tank.

They should leave the lights, gauges, engine, transmission, frame, wheels and brakes as-is (why do manufactures always assume we want a detuned engine for touring?). I'm figuring on a wet weight of <520 lbs (assuming 470 lbs for a stock 9R) and the same RWHP.

With the ZX10R coming out, this would be a perfect opportunity to continue using the tooling left over from the 9R and pay no big R&D costs. I know I'd buy one in a heartbeat and I bet they's sell better than the ZZR1200, FJR1300 and ST1300.

Truth is, any open class machine could have this treatment, I just chose the 9R cause I have one. I doubt Honda would do it to the 954 because it would likely kill sales of the VFR.
 

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allthough I like your basic premise and I like your choices in bikes to own, I don't see a 9 based sporttourer happening. The zzr1200 is the reason. It pretty much does everthing you want except it is missing the hard bags. True, it's not as light as you might like, but it will still keep up with most other sportbikes over most roads and is much more comfortable. I think that there are places to lose weight on the bike if you feel it is neccessary. Keep in mind that the st1100/st1300 and fjr1300 are certainly no lightweights. But the zzr is much more nimble that either of them and has a much better price and much more horsepower too! In fact the zzr is rated by Motorcyclist magazine for 145.2 hp and 87.1lbs of torque, while the zx9 is rated at 125hp and 67.5lbs of torque, a huge difference. If you haven't ridden one yet, I suggest you do ASAP!
 

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The manufacturers have for the most part treated bikes as recreational vehicles including sport-touring bikes, the people who commute on bikes have little choice, small fuel tanks and uncomfortable seating are easily found, the older sport bikes are better all rounders with realistic seating and better weather protection, I saw an old Kat1100 the other day and it had an electricaly adjustable windscreen, the choice has narrowed alot recently.

My ST1100 has spoiled me for other bikes, it has just about everything I would want, except for alot of weight and no stereo, the old PC800 was a decent concept but they went a little too far with it,

A 900cc touring-sportbike would be cool and certainly take away sales from the porky STs and possibly the VFR which has gained weight over the years, and kawasaki should be able to throw something together imagine how much money they have saved on R&D the past ten years,
 

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Sport tourers

The Aprilia Futura is Aprilia's sport tourer, not the Falco. The Falco is a sportbike. I should know, I have a Falco, and it is not a bike I would care to take a long ride on.
 
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