BUYING A ZX-7R
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…