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Kawasaki ZX-7R

Published: 16 September 2001

THE ZX-7R is an old bike by anyone’s standards. Though it’s still popular, it has lost its way in recent years, as its slaying here shows. It managed reasonable speeds through most of the bends, was fastest, on average, through one, but posted comparatively slow lap times and lacked outright top speed. It was also slow through the chicane section.

Smith: " It’s nearly a decade old, and it feels it. It’s decidedly average and gets destroyed by the GSX-R600. "

Hill: " 750s are a bit of a redundant class now, and so is this bike. I always thought a decent 750 would go well around a medium-sized circuit. They do when they’re full of trick race parts, but this standard example was disappointing. "

Crutchlow: " This is a surprising result. I was two seconds slower on this than on the GSX-R. it should have been the other way round. I’m not impressed. "

King: " I lost out by three seconds, compared with the GSX-R600 and didn’t feel at home on the ZX-7R, even though it hustled through the chicane quicker than I managed on the Gixer or R1. Take it or leave it? I’ll leave it. "

Farr: " I quite liked it. I managed my fastest speed through bumpy turn one and went well through the fast left hander at turn three, too. But that’s just it. It seems to suit the faster stuff but goes backwards when a chicane or slow bend is placed in its way. It felt sporty and more committed than any of the others, though, and I just love the feedback from the front end. Would I buy one for trackdays, though? No way. The lap times are ultimately poor. Hopefully Kawasaki’s tie-up with Suzuki will bring a new ZX range. They’ve all got great engines but the chassis are pretty poor. The ZX-7R doesn’t need updating. It needs to be totally reinvented. "

OVERALL: There are plenty about, but that’s because they’re cheap. Great as a road bike but don’t bother if you want to hang with the latest tackle on the track.

Fastest lap: Smith1:16.00. Hill 1:18.00. Crutchlow 1:22.00. King 1:22.00. Farr 1:21.00. Average. 1:19.8.

Max Speed. Smith 148.4mph. Hill 138.8mph. Crutchlow 134.1mph. King 139.1mph. Farr 140.4mph. Average 140.2mph.

Mid T1: Smith 80.3mph. Hill 67.4mph. Crutchlow 67.0mph. King 62.1mph. Farr 74.69mph. Average 70.3mph.

Mid T2: Smith 48.2mph. Hill 43.0mph. Crutchlow 43.2mph. King 45.45mph. Farr 41.8mph. Average 44.33mph.

Mid T3: Smith 110.5mph. Hill 103.9mph. Crutchlow 94.9mph. King 90.5mph. Farr 101.5mph. Average 100.3mph.

Mid T4: Smith 68.4mph. Hill 66.8mph. Crutchlow 62.7mph. King 61.4mph. Farr 62.5mph. Average 64.36mph.

Chicane: Smith N/A. Hill 11.7sec. Crutchlow 14.29sec. King 13.44sec. Farr 14.3sec. Average 13.4sec.

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