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Kawasaki ZX-7R Sports Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki ZX-7R motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Kawasaki ZX-7R is proof that a motorcycle doesn’t have to be the latest, lightest and most powerful to be popular. The Kawasaki ZX-7R was no match for Suzuki’s GSX-R750 when launched in 1996 and was never updated significantly until it was deleted in 2003. But people love them and bought the Kawasaki ZX-7R because it looked great and they’re a decent road bike if not a match for the competition on the track.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Kawasaki ZX-7R's liquid-cooled inline four is pretty unremarkable but a genuine 110bhp at the rear wheel means it’s still a rapid motorcycle. Carburettors on the Kawasaki ZX-7R equals three things. First a nice, smooth delivery, second, possible stalling as they can ice in cold, damp conditions and third, neglected or high mile Kawasaki ZX-7Rs may suffer problems which can be complex to fix.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki ZX-7R is very heavy compared to its rivals, but it's stable and works nicely on the road. The Kawasaki ZX-7R's front end is incredibly precise and communicative – you wouldn’t know what the wheel was doing any better if you were gripping the spindle. Raising the rear ride height and fitting tyres with sharp profiles will speed up the Kawasaki ZX-7R's otherwise slow steering. Brakes strong unless neglected

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

No frills anywhere on the Kawasaki ZX-7R. The riding position’s pretty old-school sports – head down, arse up and a thin seat. Some people find the Kawasaki ZX-7R comfortable, most don’t. The pillion grab handles look generous but there’s little space of leg room for a passenger. Cluttered clocks, mediocre mirrors and the headlight doesn’t work as well as it looks.

Kawasaki ZX-7R (1996-2003)

Detail Value
Used price range View Kawasaki ZX-7R bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 748 cc
Power 123 bhp
Top speed 165 mph
Insurance group 16 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 2 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

Reliability is good – you’re not likely to get stuck at the side of the road with a stationary Kawasaki ZX-7R. But build quality’s less impressive. Down pipes rust, wheel and brake caliper paint drops off, chassis bearings fail as few were greased when the Kawasaki ZX-7R was sold and suspension wears fast.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

A mixed bag. There are some bargain Kawasaki ZX-7Rs out there but there’s also a few dealers asking massively OTT prices. Value your Kawasaki ZX-7R on condition, mileage and service history as well as age. Older Kawasaki ZX-7Rs can be bought cheap and barely depreciate these days. GSX-R750s are better if you fancy the odd track day, FireBlades if you’d like to tour. Find a Kawasaki ZX-7R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 16 of 17

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Model History

1996: Kawasaki ZX-7R launched.
2003: Kawasaki ZX-7R discontinued.

Other Versions

1996: Kawasaki ZX-7RR . Limited edition race homologation version of the Kawasaki ZX-7R. Stiffer frame, flatside carbs, close ratio gearbox, single seat.

Specifications

Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.2 secs
Max power 123 bhp
Max torque 58 ft-lb
Weight 203 kg
Seat height 790 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 165 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 16 of 17
Engine size 748 cc
Engine specification 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, compression, rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression, rebound, ride height
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 230mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

See all Kawasaki ZX-7R motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

20000 miles

£2,050

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

38944 miles

£1,995

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

19500 miles

£1,750

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

19264 miles

£1,250

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

38000 miles

£1,000

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(52 reviews)

  • My first bike

    Nuvem

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    My first bike, what can I say...! Still have it (11 yrs old) just can't let go! Maybe wasn't the fastest or the lighter at the time but it grabs you by its the soul. Beautiful bike and one to keep and share stories with your mates and in my case children. I hope one day Kawa come back with another heart breaking 750cc

    22 August 2009

  • Second hand '98 ZX7R

    strekev

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Bought the bike on impulse , the bikes 90s look tells it apart from Japans latest offerings. Getting it out on a A road is a must.

    11 July 2009

  • Awesome

    Quariosv650

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    my ninja 7 is truely awesome. there is so little wrong with it its unbelievable. the thing handles excellently, will hug any corner at high speeds that i can throw at it. the spped and accel are matched by only the biggest and newest of bikes. i take my wife out on it regularly, and she loves it, alot more comfy than the sv i had. the only problem i have is that it hate cold starts. but a frsh set of plugs and a carb clean. on the whole, the best thing ever, and looks the beez.

    13 May 2009

  • A Modern Classic

    AdestheMex

    Average rating rating is 4

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    The ZX7R was always my dream bike when I was younger. From every angle the styling of the 7R just screams ride me/ touch me/ look at me, in short, it was the object of my my motorcyling desires. In 2006 after blowing up two supermoto's, I decided it was time to go back to a more reliable and rev hungry in-line four. With a my modest budget and need to get the most bang-for-buck, the 7R was naturally my first choice. I came across a Pearl Black/Purple 98 model with 8000kms on it and an owner, who, admitedly had bought it new because his mates had bought one and only riden it to the cafe up the street on the occaisional Sunday morning. It came with the original Dunlop 207's on it (very squared off) and the only modification being a bolt-on yoshimura pre-RS3 end can. I put in into the local Kawasaki dealer to have it serviced, who incidently had sold the bike originally, and fitted some fresh tyres (Michelin Pilot Power 120fr/180rear), a K&N hi-flow race filter, stage 2 Dynojet needle kit, some crash knobs, smaller indicators, a tinted double bubble race screen fitted, and the ride height adjusted (rear end 5mm from Top bolt -Front droped 10mm through triple clamps) and all the cables and bearing lubed and checked ready for me to ride. The first time it fired up post service, it was spine tingling. All my boyhood fantasy's were about to be either realised or dashed. Thankfully, and impressively, it was everything I'd ever thought it would be. It's stocky, it's intimidating, it's svelte, but it's also so user friendly and forgiving. It's a very basic bike with not many Bells and whistle. No Fuel gauge, minimal suspension adjustment available, no electronic fuel injection or flashy LED's. But this is exactly what makes this bike such a modern classic. It is, and has been, built to be riden. And riden hard. The harder you push the 7R, the more it will give you. The front end stability and feed back has been a benchmark for more than 10 years that followed the release in 96 and still is referred to today by motorcycle media. It is this stability and feedback that allows me to push very hard into and through corners as I compensate for the deficit in outright horsepower when chasing or passing much newer bikes up through the hills or on the track. Thats not to say that you can't screw the throttle on early either, as the 110hp output (mines up too 119 atrw) isn't goin to throw you off. It brings in the power in such a smooth and predictible way, it gives you the power of control in your right hand to know exactly what the bike is doing all the time. I've had the opportunity to ride many modern bikes, the latest and greatest, the prestigous, but everytime I throw the leg back over the 7R I can't help but get a huge grin across my face. It is old, it's not the fastest, but it is rewarding and in my eyes an absolute modern classic.

    30 March 2009

  • one of the best

    kwackadave

    Average rating rating is 4

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    i own one and love it and never going to sell it

    18 March 2009

  • ZX-7r Ab-Fab

    HF_ZX10r

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Absolutely great handling machine, ideal for the road. It'll keep up with newer 600cc bikes if you keep the revs up. The downpipes don't like salty roads, so a stainless replacement is advised. It is quite a focused driving position so long journeys tend to result in sore wrists and a sore back. Spares are easily sourced on the internet. Quite simple, for the money, it's a bargain!

    22 January 2008

  • Born again heaven

    steve.g

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    saw one of these first in 98, dreamt of having one in green white purple, still my fave scheme. in 2000 bought an ill handling import zxr400 which tank slapped me into a ditch, and didnt bother again.. till 4 months ago. decided to look 4 a decent grn/white/purple zx7 one morning, 2nd dealer i called had just got one in, right price, nice condition. bought it an hr later. love it, still gets more looks than r6s etc. so what if its heavy, i dont notice the weight, so what if "only" 110 bhp at rear wheel, who can use that regularly on the rd? stunning!

    15 January 2008

  • A thing of beauty

    PJimmy

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I love this bike. It has a classic style few sports bikes can match. The handling is awsome, you just want to lean it around corners and pull back the throttle. Comfort is far better than I was expecting (suits my 6ft/longish back?. Also suits the bendy roads and makes me more inclined to commute on my bike. Its a basic bit of kit (no fuel level indicator)but that is part of the appeal for me. This is going to be a long term bike for me as I cannot imagine anything as rewarding to ride and look at, or at anything like the same cheap price - get one!

    24 September 2007

  • The Best Bike on the Planet?

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I thought it was about time i stepped up from the 600's to a 750, and having always thought the ZX7R the best looking Sportsbike of all time, it was the only choice. Being a nat's over 6ft tall i find the bike fit's like a glove, i can ride it all day without any problems. I've jacked up the rear end to speed up the stearing, and with the addition of pilot power 2CT's the handling is just awsome (A great scratching machine). The engine is great, and with a 45 tooth rear sprocket (instead of the standard 43) the acceleration is fantastic (keeps up with my mates RSVR). some people say it's a bit basic, but i think that just add's to it's charm, and in a line up at the races it still draws alot of attention. Is this the best bike on the planet?

    17 May 2007

  • best looking sports bike out of japan!!!

    steven bayross

    SWINDON

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    heavy fast road bike that looks as hard as nails, only sold it cos it was so sodding uncomfortable and was only good at going TOO fast on the road...

    10 May 2007

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stevezx7r

stevezx7rsays

Kawasaki ZX7-r

A great bike - I've had three now.  I sold up (a blade and my race spec'd 7r) a couple of years ago.  I'm now looking again as I can't live without a bike...Maybe not another 7r but as my insurance no claims will have gone I need something to get back into it - something I know and can rely on.  So, maybe another 7 is on the cards but after having my nice 'n' sorted 7 anything without a full race system, race plastics and ohlins front and rear will be a waste.  An excellent bike once sorted and those that parp on about how heavy they are are stood still on it.

18 July 2007 22:15

marcus00bikes

marcus00bikessays

zx7r

first bike after a 10 year break due to family.it was cheap to insure i had it for 2 years to build up some no claims . once i got back in to it ,it would do donington gp in under 2mins out doing alot of bigger bikes ,then i used metzeler rensport i found it rock soild in all bends .to stop carb icing afew drops of silkolene pro fst in a tank full. it maintains your carbs and no more icing i ownly used it when cold it was great as was the bike i would recommend it to anyone

03 March 2007 16:32

marcus00bikes

marcus00bikessays

zx7r

first bike after a 10 year break due to family.it was cheap to insure i had it for 2 years to build up some no claims . once i got back in to it ,it would do donington gp in under 2mins out doing alot of bigger bikes ,then i used metzeler rensport i found it rock soild in all bends .to stop carb icing afew drops of silkolene pro fst in a tank full. it maintains your carbs and no more icing i ownly used it when cold it was great as was the bike i would recommend it to anyone

03 March 2007 16:32

marcus00bikes

marcus00bikessays

zx7r

first bike after a 10 year break due to family.it was cheap to insure i had it for 2 years to build up some no claims . once i got back in to it ,it would do donington gp in under 2mins out doing alot of bigger bikes ,then i used metzeler rensport i found it rock soild in all bends .to stop carb icing afew drops of silkolene pro fst in a tank full. it maintains your carbs and no more icing i ownly used it when cold it was great as was the bike i would recommend it to anyone

03 March 2007 16:32

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