2003 ZX9R

2003 ZX9R
RS125//80 GP
~ YSR50 Racer ~



Sirius Satellite Radio




In April of 2004 my wonderful wife gave me the birthday present of my life~ a brand new 2003 Kawasaki ZX9R.  900 cc's of road pounding power.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full photo gallery.

~This pic was from my first good ride on the bike up to Skaggs Springs Road and down to the California coast. ~



I actually went in to look at a Z1000 but after talking to some of the guys at the shop, I realized that the ZX9R was going to be a better bike for it's intended purpose than the Z1000.  Since track days are part of my riding, having suspension that I could tune for the task at hand was important to me.  The ZX9R has fully adjustable suspension front and rear, rebound, compression, and preload are all adjustable.  I've got one set of settings that I use for the track, then soften things way up for the street and long trips.  When I bought the bike I didn't realize I would own more than one bike quite so soon so I was really looking for one bike to do everything, with an emphasis on street riding.  We had to find a bike that met our budget, was brand new, and would still do all the things I wanted it to.  Had you asked me one year earlier if I ever thought I'd end up with a ZX9R I'd have told you to go jump in a lake.

Riding impressions:

Still has carbs so it can take a bit of warming up before it's ready to rock and roll.  Picking the bike up off the stand one of the first things you notice is that this is a pretty big bike.  The tank is wide and makes you spread your legs much more than a twin or a 600.  The reach to the bars is not bad for a sport bike.  After getting off the KTM the bars feel really low but compared to some sportbikes/race reps out there, it's not horrible.  Seat is wide and flat.  Pick the bike up and get rolling and it feels balanced and smooth.   When braking hard or in quick direction changes you really notice the weight.  Oh yeah, it's pretty quick also.  The motor pulls hard from just about anywhere and on street rides you can pretty much just use 3rd gear the whole day.  It's taken me a while to learn how to ride this thing correctly, and I still have a lot to learn.  I'm used to riding 600's where you need to rev the snot out of them and stoke the gear box often to make quick progress.  I find myself slipping back into old habits and keeping the gearbox busy when I really don't have to.  The motor is smooth and feels electric compared to the single cylinder of the KTM

Stiletto 100

9/12-05 THUNDER HILL RACEWAY SCHOOL With Zoom-Zoom Track-Days. 

I did my first track day on the ZX9R and things went about as I expected.  I was pretty slow most of the day as I was just trying to figure out which way the track went.  The first 1/2 of the day alternated between classroom and track sessions.  The track was split in two so we could really focus our attention on specific drills and work on our technique.  After lunch they cut us loose on the whole track, class no longer in session.  I felt like a slug but I always do the first time I ride a new track. 

Thunder Hill has a lot of elevation changes which means that you'll go up a hill and can't see what's on the other side- just the top of a hill and the horizon.  Of course it wouldn't be any fun on a racetrack if these blind drop offs on the other side of the hills went straight, so they turn on the backside.  You're basically hauling ass up the hill at around 80mph, over the top and down the backside that turns right about 1/2 way down the hill. This leads to a short straight where  I saw 110-120mph on the clock pretty regularly. Going fast in a straight line doesn't count as 'fast' to racers so don't put too much into those straight speeds.  The fast guys were 20-40 mph faster in that section.

Here's a shot of me being hunted on another drop off.  I was a hero at the top of the hill leading the pack, a zero three seconds later when most of them passed me.


Stiletto 100


Hi Devin! This is the nice guy I bought my KTM from. Random encounter @ the beach on my way home.

Now with FMF Titanium pipe

Yep, that's me standing in my pit @ Thunder Hill

Healthy tire use!

Todd loads 'em up after a great day at T-Hizzle

I'm tired!