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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
Dealer used prices
£1,940 (2001) - £3,020 (2002)
Private used prices
£1,740 (2001) - £2,330 (2002)
  View full used price info
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

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ZX-7R

25707 miles

£2,399

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

8758 miles

£1,950

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

20411 miles

£1,999

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

23076 miles

£2,495

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

12200 miles

£2,495

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(52 reviews)

  • The best 750!

    fishzx7r

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Its one of the most stable sports bike's on the market, abeit a little on the heavy side, motor is pretty strong and reliable with no sudden surprises, the brake's +side of ok, comfort is ok if you are not on the +side of 5-9' One tooth down on the front sprocket let's the 7 have its head and can embarress R1's. Strengths: Handling, motor. Weaknesses: Weight, comfort

    02 July 2004

  • My Review

    eddiwan

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What a bike !! After owning numerous sports 600's and heavy touring bikes and a couple of run arounds, I gotta go I LOVE TE ZX&. Super stable , rouring engine and looks to make a vicar blush. Comfort isnt the best but its fine for anything less than 150 miles. Steering could be sharper but it would lose its stability and "on rails" feel. A++++++++++.

    13 September 2003

  • My Review

    Jim7R

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Love it. The 7 has great attitude and looks, handles superbly in all conditions, surprises Blades and R1s on track days, plus I commute 30 miles each day every day and it never misses a beat. Finish is OK if you look after it. Weight only an issue in the car park.

    15 November 2002

  • My Review

    cham2

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is the 2nd ZX7R that I have owned. I traded the previous one in for a T595 (nice but crap to ride) and have since had a GSXR750 and a Blade. However, I just didn't get the same satisfaction, comfort and confidence with the other bikes as with the ZX7R. Great bike, really planted and excellent for self confidence (mine anyway!). Stunning looks, as far as 'average' bikes go it is most certainly one of the better looking.

    06 August 2002

  • My Review

    lukaraviola

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Well I love it apart from the aching wrists after about 3hrs riding but I'm fighting that . It handles like a dream I had a zx6r before this and I find the 7 easier to ride, I feel alot more stable and confident on it. What else can I say if your thinking about getting one GO FOR IT you wont be disappointed.

    31 July 2002

  • My Review

    David Dubya

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Love the bike. Previously owned ZXR750L. Kawasaki still manage to build bikes with a bit of character. Further planned mods include full race exhaust an dyno set-up, better tyres (D207RR or Rennsports), Ohlins Shock, and Ohlins Fork Springs. Plan to surprise a few GSXRs and R1s on track days this year.

    19 April 2002

  • My Review

    zoot

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Love it. Bit uncomfortable. Finish only fair. Wheel paint thin. Quick rust pipe. Very stable chassis, weight not an issue.

    09 April 2002

  • My Review

    sihan

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Am still breakin it in but so far have been thrilled with it.

    01 April 2002

  • My Review

    paul maclean

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The handling and road presence are fantastic although the weight lets it down a bit. The brakes have a tendancy to fade quite quick if you push them hard for more than a couple of miles even with steel hoses fitted. Overall the bike looks and sounds like the dogs danglies which makes up for all the little gripes. Faaaantastic!!!!!!!! (now where did I put my keys).

    27 March 2002

  • My Review

    garethstrang

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    It's ace. Suits my build perfectly. 6 Ft but long in the back. Really comfy and lots of fun.

    05 March 2002

Discuss this

Add your comment
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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