KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992-1998) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Retro 'tribute bike', like tribute bands, doesn't quite capture the lairy, dangerous essence of the original"

Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding

"Retro 'tribute bike', like tribute bands, doesn't quite capture the lairy, dangerous essence of the original"

  • At a glance
  • 738cc  -  76 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  135 miles range
  • Insurance group: 9 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1 was an awesome bike in its day, but the Zephyr 750/1100 tribute bike - like tribute bands - doesn't quite capture the lairy, dangerous essence of the original. The 750 is too soft, a bit underpowered and the 1100 is simply a lardbucket that makes a Bandit 1200 look like a sportbike.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

It's a comfortable old thing to ride, almost as bouncy as the original Z1 from the 70s, but not quite so likely to hurl into a ditch on a bumpy 80mph bend. The excellent brakes at the front end cause the forks to dive too deep when you push hard on the Zephyr, it's better to take life easy in the slow lane.

Engine 3 out of 5

Based on the old air cooled GPz750 of the 80s, the eight valve, four cylinder 738cc lump is reasonably punchy in its midrange, which is where you want the power in a retro bike, making its peak torque around 7000rpm. It makes a claimed 75bhp, which is enough to scare you all the way to 120mph.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

The Zephyr needs a dry, sunny kind of life to last in tip top condition. One good winter on the road and salt will simply eat away at all kinds of cycle parts on the Zephyr 750. Otherwise, pretty much bullet-proof mechanically, so it does make a cheap commuter if you fancy buying a used example in less than perfect nick.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

As little as £1000 you can get yourself a Zephyr 750 and for a first time motorbike, that's not a bad way to start your biking career.  It's an excellent choice for riders with a short inside leg as well, as the Zephyr has a low seat height. Find a Kawasaki Zephyr 750 for sale.

Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The later Zephyr 750 Classic is one to have from the range, with its Z1 style paintwork, spoked wheels and extra chrome-plated parts. It looks great, although bikers who know their stuff will still think you should have bought a used Z1 for another two grand. One is Rola Cola, the other is Coke - know what I mean?

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992-1998) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992-1998)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.7 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 3.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great sound

05 May 2009 by jasukas

Mine is -98 with slightly pepped engine. Original owner did modify silencers and it sounds great. Visited my brother last week and when I left, he came outside to hear the sound :D I like the looks and it feels so light, nice to ride. Only negatives... Read more are one cylinder too much and maybe front suspension could be a bit harder and fuel consumption lower.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Under-rated

29 March 2009 by fukthis

I would never have looked twice at a Zephyr until I swapped my wife's old banger for one. That was 6 years ago, and as a second bike (winter hack) I love it. The engine is amazingly flexible and linear, the handling is sure-footed (with decent tyres)... Read more and it is easy to flick around. After years of driving thru winter weather, it still scrobs up well. Corrosion has not been an issue. The brakes could be better though, and they need all to frequent new seals.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cheap but fun

28 October 2008 by edthebad

I'm no seasoned biker but I picked a K reg 750 with 27000 on the clock and I'm still smiling. There's an excellent forum, parts still available (exhausts are pricey) and as it says here, the engines are bullet proof. It's not a speed machine but... Read more you don't buy one for that. They're unbelieveably noisy on tickover but as soon as it's warm it goes - it's just a Kwack trait. If it's a cheap bike with real classic feel, how can you go wrong when you can so easily pick up half decent ones for less than a grand?

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1992
Year discontinued 1998
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 76 bhp
Max torque 46 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Specification
Engine size 738cc
Engine type 8 valve, in line 4, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tubular cradle
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 212kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 300mm disc
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

1992: Zephyr 750 launched in UK.
1996: Zephyr 750 Classic appears in Z1 paintwork, spoked wheels, more chrome.
1998: Model discontinued.

Other versions

Zephyr 750 Classic: As Zephyr 750 but with wire s[poked wheels and two tone paint.
Zephyr 1100. Bigger engined version.

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki Zephyr 750 motorcycle review - Riding
All related reviews