KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992 - 1998) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Power: 76 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: Medium (467 lbs / 212 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

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?

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 9 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 76 bhp
Max torque 46 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Tank range 135 miles

Model 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.

Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992 - 1998)

5 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 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Equipment: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
4 out of 5 Found what I was looking for
15 June 2019 by Rusty nuts

Version: Alloy wheels

Year: 1996

Great retro bike takes you back to the 90s, fun to ride good two up

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Just the way I like it,

Engine 4 out of 5

Bulletproof engine, rattles when cold, starts on the button

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Fuel tank rusty on the inside, fitted a small fuel filter

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Cheap plugs filters etc, plenty of spares on eBay

Equipment 3 out of 5

What equipment

Buying experience: Private bike was in great condition £1500

4 out of 5 If you want a good classic that’s not silly money and you can do the basics yourself I would recommend
01 August 2018 by Burty

Version: C1

Year: 1992

Great old classic for the right money.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Could have better brakes.

Engine 4 out of 5

Old but reliable rattles a bit when cold but that’s early Kawasaki.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Never let me down.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Easy to do the basics yourself not like a modern bike.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Basic but does the job.

Buying experience: Bought privately in 2014 from owner of 20 years. When I purchased it, it had 7000 miles on the clock.

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 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
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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) 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
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
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