The Z750R features new forks (taken from the ’09 Z1000), rear shock, wheels, a lighter aluminium swingarm and radial Nissin four-piston front calipers. These new parts should offer a slight improvement in handling and braking over the standard Z750, but we haven’t ridden the two models back-to-back. What makes the riding experience so uninspiring is the Z750R’s weight. The non-ABS version, which we get in the UK, is 224kg wet, that’s 6kg more than the Z1000 and only 5kg lighter than a fully-fuelled BMW R1200GS.
The 105bhp, liquid-cooled, 16v, inline-four cylinder 748cc motor is unchanged from the standard Z750’s. It’s fun enough when you’re in the mood, but you have to scream it for best results, as there’s little grunt to speak of. Overall, the motor feels flat, bland and breathless, more like a 600 than what you’d expect from a 750. Top speed is restricted by the size of your neck muscles. In the real world, that’s around 90mph.To put that into perspective, it’s a massive 45bhp down on a GSX-R750 and lacks the Suzuki’s midrange too. OK, it’s not fair to compare a budget middleweight (although costing seven grand it’s not that budget) with one of the best sports bikes on the planet, but the Z750R shouldn’t be that far off, especially when you consider the Street Triple R has similar power to the Daytona 675.
There’s no reason to doubt the Z750R will go on-and-on, but the sheer weight of the machine suggests it’s not exactly made from the best components and materials money can buy.
The Z750R is £500 more than the base model, but for newbie Kawasaki fans, you’re best heading for the brilliant ER-6N, which is lighter, has more character, is much more fun, no slower in the real world and a useful £1500 cheaper. If you’re more experienced and want more big bang for your buck and smiles aplenty, the similarly-priced Triumph Street Triple R is still the Daddy. Find a Kawasaki Z750 for sale.
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Chassis-mods aside, the Z750R is quite basic and doesn’t even come with fully-adjustable suspension, which is something you’d expect from an ‘R’ model. It does get a new dash and nose fairing, though. Compare and buy parts for the Z750 in the MCN Shop.