Skip to content

Kawasaki ZX-7R Sports Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 17
Kawasaki ZX-7R motorcycle review - Riding
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image

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
£1,920 (2001) - £3,020 (2002)
Private used prices
£1,730 (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

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

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

23076 miles

£2,795

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

12200 miles

£2,495

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

23076 miles

£2,795

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

miles

£1,600

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

17270 miles

£2,495

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(52 reviews)

  • My Review

    mr2

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Handling is excellent, brakes are superb, Tyres are OE and rubbish, constant torque through range so no powerband, bit uncomfy on long journeys, very solid, build quality could have been better lots of exposed cables / wires. Carb icing on occasional cold damp mornings. But all in all very pleased for price.

    07 February 2002

  • My Review

    superoli

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I love this bike and how it looks. The Ninja on the side demands attention and people say it's heavy.... good I like it like that. It is stable and with a pillion you don't feel like you might lose them. With the change in sprocket not many bikes can take it in a straight line and in corners this bike inspires confidence. The only thing I dislike is the carbs can give trouble in very cold weather.

    08 January 2002

  • My Review

    jhparker

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Its the dogs.

    06 January 2002

  • My Review

    Scramble

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Likes-Handling, engine looks. The fact that every time I get on it it makes me go mental. Dislikes-the downpipes are shit and so are the electrics. Also it suffers from carb icing in the winter. The rear shock is poor as well and needs replacing after 10000 miles. All in all a great bike. This is my 2nd 7r the first one I had for 2 years and put 56000 miles on it with very few problems.

    19 July 2001

  • My Review

    satanspawn

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    After hearing rumours that the O.E. tyres were utter crap I was surprised how grippy they were!! Knee down antics after the first 500miles without a problem. Bit unsure of them for the first 5 miles of any journey but I think that is better than them giving u a false sense of security. Love the black colour scheme, aggressive looks and the horny sound the ram-air intake makes. No real power step but bags of go in any gear at any revs which is wot I wanted in a bike. Handles like its on rails and the brakes are superb! Ive only had it for 6 weeks but I know wot I like!!

    13 July 2001

  • My Review

    TheFog

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This was an amazing vehicle. Turbine like power no surge, no lag just power on tap. Unfortunatley in the USA Ninja's and Harley's are the two most stolen model of bike. I hate to put my ride in the same class as the yanks beloved hog but my bike is also now a statistic of american crime. This is great bike if your a big guy. I am 6'6" and 18 stone and it fit me perfect. I would advise anybody thinking of buying a Ninja to give the 750 a try. I have to wait a few more weeks for the insurance to pay up on mine and I will be getting another Ninja.

    09 June 2001

  • My Review

    hightower

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Original tyres Dunlop 204's suck badly and standard ride height made it slow to turn. With suspension set up good, extra 10ml rear rideheight and the BT 010's it handles like a dream. Also the bike is totally confidence inspiring, shaking off any surprises the road may throw at you and never getting out of shape.

    09 June 2001

  • My Review

    adkinsr

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    When I first rode the bike I liked everything except it's reluctance to turn. An increase of 6mm rear ride height and a change of tyres (the original 204 was square!) has completely transformed the bike. The long reach to the bars suits me because I'm built like an Ape.....but shorties may struggle a bit. This is the perfect sports bike for me.

    18 May 2001

  • My Review

    elliotw

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Great road bike, sadly let down by its weight. Although this is not noticble during fast corners, roundabouts become hard work. Shame Kawasaki never made any amendments in 5 years - it needs them now. Lets hope they bring out a lightweight 600 version..... here's hoping..

    16 May 2001

  • My Review

    kawa7r

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    As I live in Belgium, I have adopted our way of counting and measuring to the British system. I must say that I like the 7R very much. I own it now for almost 5 years and I've never had a problem with it. I ride it all year (most in summer of course). If I should have to buy another bike right now, I probably buy the same with the same colours (lime green with purple). I've ridden some other bikes as I wanted something else, ZX9R, R1, 996, ... but none of them gave me the same pleasure. Most of all the riding position is more extreme then most bikes (I like that very much, such an agressive riding position). Further more you've got the excellent front, the bulky engine which never fails you. Perhaps a little too much weight, especially to do some nice wheelies in 2nd gear, without hurting the engine to much. But the whole package makes up for that. At circuit days (or at traffic light departures) you doesn't have to be ashamed to turn up with the ZX7R, even if it's already 5 yers old. So now I'm kinda waiting for Kawasaki to come up with a new (but not totaly new) 7R. There 9 lacks a proper UPSD fork and clip-ons that are really clip-ons to be interesting to me. And an other brand is out of the question. So I think I'll hold on to mine for some time.

    24 April 2001

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

Most popular

Rate my bike