BUY­ING A ZX-7R

FROM £1,500-£3,500

Fast Bikes - - FEATURE -

If you are think­ing ‘I’ll snap up a bar­gain’ then sadly you have missed the boat. About five years ago ZX-7Rs were peanuts, but prices have risen and they are no longer quite so af­ford­able. That said, you can still find a tatty one for un­der £2,000, how­ever a tidy one is closer to £3,500. The first items to check are the sus­pen­sion link­ages and wheel, head­stock and swingarm bear­ings as these may well be worn. Un­less the link­ages are seized solid, re­plac­ing bear­ings isn’t tricky but takes a while. If all is well, give the sus­pen­sion a bounce and check for damp­ing and any leaks. The To­kico calipers can de­velop sticky pis­tons, so check the pads don’t drag by lift­ing the front and spin­ning the wheel, and also look for warped discs. The ZX-7R’s mo­tor is very solid and gear­box is­sues are rare, but the carbs can wear (car­bic­ing is com­mon, they all do it) caus­ing poor fu­elling.

En­sure the bike starts nicely and ticks over smoothly or you may be look­ing at a carb re­fresh kit (£150) and get­ting them balanced. As you would ex­pect on an older bike, crash dam­age is com­mon so look un­der the fair­ings for scrapes on the cases and be wary of after­mar­ket fair­ings. Fi­nally, give the ra­di­a­tor a good look as they can spring leaks due to cor­ro­sion and that the ig­ni­tion switch moves freely as they cor­rode and seize.

If the owner claims it is a ZX-7RR then look for an ad­justable swingarm pivot, Nissin six-pis­ton calipers, flat-slide carbs, a close-ra­tio gear­box and a price tag of £8,000 to £10,000! ZX-10R parts such as in­verted forks with ra­dial brakes and even swingarms are an easy to fit up­grade to the ZX-7R and you can even slot in the ZX-9R’s mo­tor…

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