Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
The ZX-12R is a sport bike
Sport bike
A sport bike, also written as sportbike, is a motorcycle optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on paved roads, typically at the expense of comfort and fuel economy in comparison to less specialized motorcycles...

 that was made from 2000 to 2006 by Kawasaki. It was known as a contender to be the fastest production motorcycle, and for its role in bringing to a truce the escalating competition to build a faster motorcycle.

Before the introduction of the ZX-14 (ZZR1400)
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14
The ZZR1400 is a motorcycle made by Kawasaki and is currently their most powerful sport bike. It was introduced at the Tokyo 2005 show and released for the 2006 model year as a replacement for the ZX-12R. The ZZR1400 is capable of accelerating from 0–60 mph in 2.5 seconds...

, the ZX-12R was Kawasaki's flagship sport bike and a competitor to the Suzuki Hayabusa. The ZX-12R was a fuel injected (four 46 mm throttle bodies) 1,199 cc hyper sport motorcycle, generating around 161.2 hp at the rear wheel. Handling and braking
A brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Its opposite component is a clutch. The rest of this article is dedicated to various types of vehicular brakes....

 match the power of the engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 resulting in a motorcycle that was docile at low speeds and very easy to handle in heavy traffic, but has strong acceleration and a top speed limited to 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph) by a motorcycle manufacturer gentlemen's agreement.

Pre-production models of the ZX-12R revealed a motorcycle that was indeed faster and more powerful than Suzuki's Hayabusa. Several notable motorcycle publications tested the pre-production ZX-12R and found it to be superior to the Hayabusa in terms of straight-line performance. In Japan, pre-production tests revealed a top speed near 200 mph. However, the 2000 release of the ZX-12R proved to be somewhat of a disappointment, as the production version of the ZX-12R was delayed for weeks without notice. Many in the industry reported that European governments had threatened to ban the ZX-12R altogether due to its top speed and outlandish acceleration. These threats were apparently taken seriously, and Kawasaki released the bike with a slightly de-tuned engine which failed to knock that Hayabusa from its throne (in terms of top speed and acceleration tests). Starting with 2001 models, speed limiter
Speed limiter
A speed limiter is a governor used to limit the top speed of a vehicle. For some classes of vehicle and in some jurisdictions they are a statutory requirement, for some other vehicles the manufacturer provides a non-statutary system which may be fixed or programmable by the driver.-Mopeds:Mopeds in...

s were included to reduce the ZX-12R's top speed to 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph). This was because governments mainly in Europe were concerned with the ongoing pursuit among Japanese manufacturers of ever higher maximum speeds, which were seen as a powerful marketing tool in most markets around the world.

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R was discontinued in 2006. While not nearly as popular in terms of sales as the Suzuki Hayabusa, the ZX-12R enjoys a strong following among its riders and fans. Many sport bike magazines praised the ZX-12R for its overall sportbike performance.
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