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Thread: Kawasaki ZX7R

  1. #1
    Should Get Out More MAC's Avatar
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    Default Kawasaki ZX7R


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    Kawasaki introduced the world to the ZX7R in 1996 and then left it alone until production ceases in 2003. Despite being relatively heavy and underpowered compared to modern superbikes, on the road the ZX7R can still deliver enough to not be embarrassed.

    Ride

    The 7R has one of the best front ends there is and gives great feedback and confidence. This only goes to emphasis the limitation of the standard rear shock that gives a harsh ride even from new. However as the bike had such a long production run, there are plenty of after market shocks available and these make a huge difference. For those on a tight budget you can also fit a ZX12 shock, though you need to drill out the mounting eye.

    Performance

    The 7R should produce somewhere near 110 bhp at the back wheel, so very similar to a modern 600 but with a fair bit more weight to lug around. However the 7R does have more midrange making it a lot easier to live with as you don't have to spend all your time chasing the red line - unless you want to

    Looks

    While beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder, the 7R has a very distinctive look and still looks good compared to more modern bikes.

    Build quality

    The 7R is made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and it shows, compared to modern bikes with their emphasis on losing weight at all costs, the 7R seems to have been built to last and tends to weather well. The main weak areas are paint chipping on the wheels and wearing on the tank. The rest of the bike holds up well and unless abused, a 7R should last well.

  2. #2
    At Work inewham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki ZX7R

    Had mine about a year and love it, I do generally like Kawasakis but IMHO the ZX7R is one of the best looking bikes ever to come out of Japan.

    Incredibly confidence inspiring handling. Being a bit heavy it feels planted and benefits from a bit of muscling around rather than being light and flighty.
    The engine is nice and flexible with decent midrange making it a sports bike that you can ride in a relaxed way, enjoying the twisites without reving the tits off it all the time, but it does deliver when you do. Really quite a soulful engine for an I4 however they do rattle like a diesel at tickover which scares some people.

    I think its well made and pretty easy to work on, checking the shims was straightforward enough but the paints a bit thin and the wiring is a bit lightweight. The lights definitely improved when I used the original wiring just to switch a relay taking a heavier feed straight from the battery.

    The standard exhaust works very well but is only mild steel so they rust. 7Rs are reputedly quite sensitive to cheap 4 into 1s and can get a flat spot but I found a motad with the link pipe across the headers to be OK and apparently Akropovic 4-2-1s are the pipe of choice.

    The seating position seems to be a bit marmite, if you carry your weight on your wrists you'll probably suffer but I try to carry my weight on my thighs and keep my arms loose; I can ride it for a tankful (about 125~135 miles before reserve) with no problems. Its also a bike you sit in rather than perched on top like a modern sports bike so its quite short arse friendly - with a 31" inside leg I can flat foot it.

    I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

  3. #3
    Really Bored NigelC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki ZX7R

    I loved mine i'm selling my car and another 7R is definitely on my list of replacements mine was a 1999 very similar riding position to my ducati 748 , replaced the standard silencer with a BOS one which had a baffle in but still sound great and it looked good to , the black paint on the frame wore off to easily i used it all year round and it looked untidy pretty quickly and the front brakes needed stripping and cleaning every now and again , bridgestones worked well with it 014's iirc i had no problems with them but i know alot of people don't like them .
    it's difficult to find one that hasn't been messed about with now mini indicators, undertray etc but a full stainless exhaust system is a bonus if you can find a bike with one fitted they save a lot of wieght and rust isn't an issue

  4. #4
    Should Get Out More demographic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki ZX7R

    Got a mate who was saying yesterday that GSXR slingshots and ZX7Rs were the best looking bikes from that era, I own one of those two but always liked the look of the 7Rs as well.

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