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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)

  • Bring back the 750 Sports

    zx7rdelboy

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Have had mine since new in 1999, has done everything I've asked of it and then some, exhaust rotted whithin a couple of years but that gave me an excuse to fit a full Akrapovic system, have ridden it through all weathers and it does everything well, keep the brakes serviced though the six pots can easily seize if not and change the discs the originals DO warp. If Kawasaki ever decided to make a NEW ZX7R i'd be first in line and me P4 would be retired and kept in the living room and pampered!

    26 April 2007

  • if a r6 is a rapier the zx7 is a battleaxe

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    i LOVE this bike it's better than i'll ever be.whenever i've felt i may of over cooked a bend a push on the inside bar and your through the over side, open the throttle up past 7000rpm and just for you the greatest sound in biking a zx7 HOWL.i commute 70ml round trip, rain or shine and play at the weekends and not had ANY trouble.i ride with friends with more modern bikes but it still grabs attention ,the nose dosen't gently part the air before you like a later razor sharp sportsbike ,it screams at it to get out of the *&%^^$" way!

    31 March 2007

  • Fantastic all-round bike, Good in the wet and superb in the dry, Plenty fast and still turns heads.

    imac55

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Change the rubber then this bike comes alive, it might not be the fastest around but it turns heads, and ive yet to hear another biker slag it off. Up past 7K revs the howl of the engine drags a smile from ear to ear, get some rearsets and a new can and this bike is amongst the best. Strengths: Engine, brakes, handling are all excellent. Weaknesses: Icing carbs.

    21 January 2006

  • Not a bad bike overall.

    rickpattison

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought this bike strictly for track days. So far I've upgraded the brakes with braided hoses and scintered pads and shocks wise ohlins internals front/reshimmed, revalved and new spring on the rear. The original fitment for both were absolutely crap for track use. The engine is ok, but it'll be a pony upgrade for the engine next; but to try and make up for this I've dropped a sprocket off the front. Strengths:
    Stonking front end, excellent stability through corners, looks awesome. Weaknesses: Brakes, rear shock and could do with a bit more umph. But a 9B engine will cure that.

    13 January 2006

  • Simply the best

    scobby1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I'd not ridden a bike in 10 years then suddenly got the bug again. 4 months ago I got my test and brought a ZX7R, the bike is so user friendly, fast, looks the dogs bollocks! I have done 2 track days so far and left R1's, Blades and Duke's behind. I will never sell my ZX7R!!!! Strengths: Exellent for first big bike. Great front brakes. Looks the nuts. Sounds the Bollocks! Weaknesses: None!

    06 September 2005

  • Excellent bike to fill the gap between a full blown litre bike and the all too common sports 600.

    kenny_McCormickk

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    This is my first 750 after owning a GN125, RF600 and an XT600. Im only 21 but this bike is bloody great! max out the revs in first gear and the popping noise from the intakes is phenomenal. Mines got a sixteen tooth front sprocket and as such has geat acceleration but a limited top end, when I say limited it only does 150 instead of 170 but I think thats quick enough! the extra oomph lower down is a good trade off, I can stick it in top and perform overtakes from as low as 30mph without having to drop a gear plus now it wheelies in second with my mate on the back! Looks fantastic and a whole bunch of mods are lined up for her. Overall a cracking bike.
    Strengths: Usable grunt from low down, fantastic confidence inspiring handling, awesome looks and good brakes. Tank range aint too bad either. Weaknesses: If I was pushed I would say no fuel gauge and a bit high for a shorty! Just nit-picking though.

    09 May 2005

  • P2 ZX7R - 1997

    gixerdrew

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Fantastic bike. Shows a clean pair of heels to faster bikes around the twisties. Gives the rider so much confidence, I regularly scrape the footrests round my favourite bend. Twist & watch the needle shoot past 7000 revs and hear it howl like a wolf on viagra - very addictive, trouble is you just have to redline it through all the gears just to hear it. It also looks the dogs danglies. Needs a lot of servicing to keep the engine running clean. Hates damp winter mornings - carbs spitting until warmed up. Could do with a bit more power when you're feeling tired as need to work the engine hard to get the best out of it. Use it to commute (good underseat storage for me all-in-one waterproof suit & sarnies). But it was made for wild rides on sunny sundays - You just can't stop grinning .................! Strengths: Handling, Exhaust wail, Cool looks despite age, smiles per mile. Weaknesses: Frustrating below 50 mph, Needs regular TLC to keep motor crisp.

    08 May 2005

  • A modern classic advert for the 750 class

    renechinnery

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I got a new P6 in 2002 then some scrotes stole it but not before a trip to the IOM, Ireland and plenty of weekend riding. I now have a pre-owned P7 after test riding the latest 600 crop. A 600 will do all the ZX-7R can do and probably more but my bike does it with less fuss, more confidence and a howl that makes me grin. It's like being re-united with an old friend. Strengths: Looks, stability, performance.
    Weaknesses: A lot of press stuff about it being overweight and not as good as a Fireblade.

    17 March 2005

  • A convincing argument for retaining the 750 sports bike class.

    dan_p

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Looks fantastic, sounds fantastic, quick enough to get you into 3 figures and a ban in the time it takes to read this paragraph, handles amazingly, it's cheap, and it's reliable. What more do you want from a sportsbike? Bikes like the ZX-7R prove that the fashion victims who change their bikes annually for the latest and greatest are wasting their money. Sure, it's no longer the quickest thing out there and its heavy, but get this and an R1 on a real world piece of road, and it will be the rider that determines the outcome much more than the bikes. Strengths: That spine chilling Kawasaki howl over 7k, confidence inspiring and flickable handling, reliability, brakes, still looks fantastic. Weaknesses: Heavy and cripplingly uncomfortable at town speeds, crap range (100 miles to reserve), carb icing is horrible in cold or damp weather.

    25 February 2005

  • Mind blowing

    pjbez

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Great bike! So good ive just bought 2. Might not keep up with the lightweights in a straight line but anyone can ride fast in a straight line, give it a few twisties and it shows a clean pair of heels to the R1s, just put a front sprocket on with 1 tooth missing and power out of the bend faster than the exocet missile (damn the frogs). Buy one now before they are snapped up! Strengths: Great looks what ever the colour. I like the silver myself. Weaknesses: Too addictive.

    20 February 2005

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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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