Fact file: Kawasaki ZX-7R

Other 750s are faster and sharper, but for time­less good looks, front end feel, stoic sta­bil­ity and value for money this green meanie is hard to beat

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - WORDS PHIL WEST PHO­TOG­RA­PHY STU­ART COLLINS

The best-look­ing 750 sports­bike of re­cent times ex­am­ined in full de­tail. If you’re think­ing of a pur­chase, read this

THE PRE­CED­ING ZXR750 prob­a­bly res­onates strong­est in the mem­ory be­ing Kawasaki’s first main­stream race replica for the masses and the bike im­mor­tal­ized by Scott Rus­sell’s 1993 World Superbike crown. But it’s the suc­ceed­ing, ‘last-of-the-line’ ZX-7R which is ar­guably the more suc­cess­ful and re­mains the bet­ter buy to­day.

Al­though ag­ing be­fore it was even launched com­pared to ri­vals like Suzuki’s all-new SRAD, and with, con­found­ingly, less power than the ZXR and only mar­ginal race suc­cess, the ZX-7R was a tri­umph on two fronts: a glo­ri­ously re­fined and ef­fec­tive road sport­ster (with, by rep­u­ta­tion, one of the best front ends in the busi­ness) and, for many, the best-look­ing Kawasaki ever built.

As a re­sult, al­though never dom­i­nat­ing on track (Doug Chan­dler’s back-to-back USAMA Superbike crowns aboard a Rob Muzzy pre­pared ver­sion in 1996-97 be­ing its most no­table suc­cess) or par­tic­u­larly stand­ing out even on road, the ZX-7R be­came a steady favourite thanks to its unique blend of looks, per­for­mance, re­li­a­bil­ity and value. It re­mained in pro­duc­tion, vir­tu­ally un­changed, for a full seven years and sold well through­out.

All of that, added to de­cent dura­bil­ity and rugged re­li­a­bil­ity, means hun­dreds of ZX-7RS sur­vive to­day.and, with the Kawasaki’s looks and man­ners as ap­peal­ing as ever and with used prices of­ten as low as three fig­ures, there’s plenty of po­ten­tial for a Prac­ti­cal

Sports­bikes bar­gain. Here’s how it all came about, and what you need to look out for in the hunt for not just the de­fin­i­tive Kawasaki 750 superbike but pos­si­blythe de­fin­i­tive 750 sports­bike of them all.

You can­not deny it’s a hand­some beast (and the bike)

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