The Beginning

The story of the Kawasaki ZX-12R begins back in 1996: word has it that Kawasaki is working on a follow up for the venerable ZX-11 / ZZ-R 1100. A three year period of rumours and expectations starts: The Beginning.

1999: Introduction of the ZX1200-A1

At the end of 1999 the ZX-12R appears on motorcycle shows around the globe. The introduction is quiet, without any shows or other attention attracting stuff: The Introduction.

First quarter 2000: Waiting for the first deliveries

Although the bike has been officially launched, it's still the subject of many rumours: only 178hp, or 175.5? Serious construction failures? Delivery delays?

The creation of bikes as fast as the ZX-12R and the Hayabusa has awakened politicians. Although there are cars with similar specs for over decades on the roads, it seems that as soon as everybody can enjoy these kinds of performances it must be forbidden:
Performance limits
Speed limits

A result of this is that from 2001 the ZX-12R and all other bikes are restricted to a maximum of 300kmh.
The 2000 model of the ZX-12R isn't restricted and is capable of doing 305 real kmh.

South African 12
The first lucky person in the world to receive a ZX-12R is a South African guy of 23 years old. On February 26 2000 he participated in a bike ralley and through the lucky draw he won a ZX-12R in green, this one being, according to the magazine editor and owner who organized this rally, 4-6 weeks before anyone else in the world.