ack in 1996 when I rode the ZX-7R for the very first time, I felt a bit sympathetic towards it. It was a big year for superbikes with the new GSX-R 750, Thunderace, and revised Fireblade all coming out. While I whizzed around the south of Spain on the 750’s launch, after having already ridden the opposition, I reckoned it was going to fall a bit short. And so it was back in the UK when we got them all together to see what they were made of. A bit short of capacity to give it the grunt of its 900 and 1000cc rivals, it was also out-handled by the other 750. But, and this is why I felt sorry for it, the ZX-7R was still a bloody good bike. It’s just that in the supercompetitive world of superbikes back in the 90s, also-ran status was a damaging label. Thankfully, despite this and lack of real racing success that can help a model to generate fame, the 750 still went on to become a bit of a cult bike, gaining a healthy and loyal following. Today, its status is arguably better than ever and any discerning fan of superbikes from the Kwacker’s era can appreciate its current credibility. I know I did when I had a quick blast on this 2000-spec minter. It took me right back to my earliest times with the Kawasaki. Just like I did back in ’96, I rated it. These days though, my approval is boosted by other factors. For starters it’s got real rarity value. Okay, you don’t see too many Blades, Aces, or Gixxers from the mid-nineties running round the streets these days. But apart from classic shows, I just can’t remember the last time I saw a ZX-7R. Plus point number two is the way the Kawasaki looks. Judged to be pretty when it first broke cover, it’s stood the test of time really well. Those bodywork shapes
Mossy rides a second-rate 1990s sportsbike and finds it makes a first-rate modern classic.