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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
£2,250 (2002) - £2,560 (2002)
Private used prices
£2,040 (2002) - £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

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

19190 miles

£3,495

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

19200 miles

£1,600

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

41500 miles

£1,295

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

49400 miles

£1,394

Kawasaki
ZX-7R

24000 miles

£2,300

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(52 reviews)

  • ZX7R P1 Streetfighter

    Kawasakifreak1

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Got my 7R dirt cheap as a crashed ex-track bike - I stripped & rebuilt it & have enjoyed over five yrs of ownership without any issues at all during which I've tailored my 7R to my needs. Now I have all the torque & power I want with the handling & comfort to match - all for £3500 !! I can't see anything else out there that can compete for value & ability. It's a keeper !

    25 November 2013

  • we need old school !!

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Ive had my zx7p5 since june and i love it. It has a big comfy passenger seat. Its been setup for two up and its fantastic with the mrs on the back. You don't see many zx7 around and she's a real head tuner. The new stuff does nothing for me but zx7 just makes me smile every time i look at her.

    13 November 2013

  • 56000miles and counting

    kawiman123

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had my ZX7R P2 since year2000 to present day. I can't complain. Had 4009 miles on the clock and now has racked up 56,000miles!!!! Its mid range torque grunt makes up for its lack of power else where. Under power it maybe but match this to the amazing front end makes for confident fast riding! Also add the weight factor and actually makes this a joy to ride on the road. Add stronger clutch springs and advance 4deg and raise rear a tad.

    30 August 2013

  • Hoping for 100000 miles

    speed356

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I brought my ZX7R new in 2001 never had any major problems with the bike I currently have 94000 miles on the original clutch.I ride year round,42 miles daily commute,178 miles on a tank of gas. Best investment yet and would buy another Kawi in a minute.

    10 August 2013

  • My gorgeous ZX7R P3

    Pompeyal

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Awesome bike, lovely planted front end, fast and nice torque, cracking front brake. Comfortable for long runs with my wife on the back. If anyone is thinking of getting a 750, try one, you will be amazed!

    07 April 2012

  • A true calssic

    wesley01

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I love my p-4 and cannot believe how underrated they are, one of the best road bikes I have ever ridden including all the new stuff, the looks still have people pointing and I feel like akira yanagawa against the big guns but then again maybe not!

    11 August 2011

  • good fun

    jimbo65

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought a P7 dirt cheap, a set of stainless down pipes sorted it pretty much.Roll on winter, wheels off and powder coated will complete..

    20 July 2011

  • 7R Heaven

    kawathrasher

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Only bought mine in july 09 after a year away from 2 wheels.My previous bike was a yzfr6 and compared to that the mid range of the kawa is trmendous.Equipment wise the zx is very sparce but it's got every thing you need plus the sound of the howl at 7-8000 rpm is superb. If your in the market for a cheap rapid and gorgeous motorcycle you will struggle to find better Buy one you will love it

    18 February 2010

  • A simple bike..

    mrsteve

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my 7R P3 in 2002 just before moving to France. I've thought about selling it many times but each spring when I drag it out of the garage I just cannot bear to part with it. It's only got 16k on the clock and still takes off like a good'n. The handling is average but safe and even my 58 year old pillion loves the speed. There will come a time when the wrists and the spine will say enough is enough but until then my simple, sexy, speedy, 7R will remain. Anyone got a nice comfortable Brevia 1100 to swap?

    30 January 2010

  • A bike you truly fall in love with

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I had a 1999 ZX7R P4 from 2003-2004 and I still remember it fondly. Lovely tractable engine with a really gutsy midrange. Sounded fantastic even on the standard can too, but sometimes it felt like it just needed a little bit more top end. Mine was completely standard - original jets, original exhaust, not messed with at all. I'm sure if it had been a major issue (it wasn't), I could have sorted it. These have been raced for so long you can do almost anything to them. I remember the handling making me feel inadequate - you'd pitch it as hard as you dared into a corner, it would lazily roll on its side and just sit there and go round the corner as undramatically as you like, as if to say "is that all you've got?". Never once did it twitch, ground out, or do anything other than follow the line millimetre perfect as asked. So much feel as well which made you confident to push hard. Awful riding position. I know, it's a superbike not a tourer, but blimey. Proper chiropractor stuff if you tried to ride it all day. Could never work out how such a physically big bike could feel so cramped. While I'm moaning, the cold weather carb icing was a royal pain in the backside as well. There's a filter on the coolant branch that goes off to the carbs which needs cleaning out regularly, but this made no difference on mine. It was truly rubbish in Winter. But the best bit was the looks. How many vehicles of any description still make you go gooey when you look at a photo of them 5 years after you've sold them on? It was stunning to look at (in green of course), and I'd often just spend time in the garage looking at it after a run, listening to it ping and tick itself cool, and admiring the lines. It is a bike you bond with on that level. You forget the bad bits, and just enjoy it for the sheer soul of the thing, and the way it's such a lovely thing to own as well as to ride. If I could have two bikes, including one that worked properly in cold weather and wouldn't kill my back riding it every day (getting old), I'd buy another one tomorrow.

    28 October 2009

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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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