KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 (1992 - 1998) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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 qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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?
|Engine type||8 valve, in line 4, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel tubular cradle|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|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||-|
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
1992: Zephyr 750 launched in UK.
1996: Zephyr 750 Classic appears in Z1 paintwork, spoked wheels, more chrome.
1998: Model discontinued.
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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Version: Alloy wheels
Great retro bike takes you back to the 90s, fun to ride good two up
Just the way I like it,
Bulletproof engine, rattles when cold, starts on the button
Fuel tank rusty on the inside, fitted a small fuel filter
Cheap plugs filters etc, plenty of spares on eBay
Buying experience: Private bike was in great condition £1500
Great old classic for the right money.
Could have better brakes.
Old but reliable rattles a bit when cold but that’s early Kawasaki.
Never let me down.
Easy to do the basics yourself not like a modern bike.
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.
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.
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.
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?