Kwak’s res­ur­rec­tion com­plete

From old and tired to mean and shiny green, the ZX-7R is now ready, and able, to rock

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - On Our Bench -

The end is so close I can taste it. Af­ter a some­what trau­matic res­ur­rec­tion the ZX lives once more. I’ve fit­ted the new ra­di­a­tor and bat­tery, and for the first time since I’ve owned the thing fi­nally heard it fire into life. It needed a few prods of the starter to get it go­ing and it took a while to clear its throat but it now starts first time, ev­ery time.

A tank of fresh fuel will do it the world of good and I still need to bal­ance the carbs (I’ll have to buy a new set of bal­ancers as my old ones seem to have dis­ap­peared off the face of the earth), but that’s not a big job. I’ve had it up to tem­per­a­ture and cured a cou­ple of leaks around the cool­ing sys­tem; it’s now me­chan­i­cally good to go.

As with Jim’s YZF, the driv­e­line on my ZX is in the lat­ter stages of life. It’s folly to run any bike, never mind a 100bhp su­per­bike, on shagged out sprock­ets and chain so I’ve junked what it came with in favour of a set of hard-an­odised Ren­thal sprock­ets and a Tsub­aki Al­pha-xrg X-ring chain, all in at £133.92 from B&C Ex­press.

I ex­pected the front sprocket nut to fight me all the way when I came to re­move it. But much to my sur­prise and re­lief, it didn’t. In fact it’s the first time a front sprocket hasn’t fought me like a bas­tard when I’ve come to take it off. The sprocket it­self had just started to hook its teeth, so my de­ci­sion to re­place the lot was a good one – and an ex­cuse to de­grease the sur­round­ing case. Fit­ting a chain with­out the right kit is just a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen, so big thanks to Pete O’dell from The Mo­tor­cy­cle Works for the loan of his whale tool to fit the chain.

The easy to re­move front sprocket was, as it turns out, in­dica­tive of my wider thoughts and dis­cov­er­ies about this bike. De­spite the fact that it’s clearly been through the hands of at least one in­com­pe­tent bodger, most of the key and im­por­tant com­po­nents have es­caped his hand and are ac­tu­ally in de­cent fettle. I

braced my­self for the six-pot To­kico calipers to be a grotty mess, with cor­roded pis­tons and bulging, fail­ing seals, but no. They’re ac­tu­ally in re­ally de­cent nick and only needed a thor­ough clean to be ready for new pads.

I’m try­ing some­thing new with the brakes – new to me, any­way. I’ve long used EBC pads on my bikes. They worked well so I kept go­ing back. But this time I’m fit­ting Brem­bos. It re­ally hadn’t oc­curred to me that Brembo might ac­tu­ally pro­duce pads for any­thing other than their own calipers, but it turns out they make them for loads of dif­fer­ent bikes for both road and track.

Track pads sound great, but on the road you never get enough heat in them to feel the ben­e­fit. So I’ve gone for Brembo’s fast road/ track­day sin­tered pad (£94.03 from HPS), and they’re a lot more so­phis­ti­cated than just abra­sive ma­te­rial on a me­tal back­ing. They come with a rough, red coloured face that’s de­signed to prep the ro­tors for the pads’ true brak­ing ma­te­rial un­der­neath. Once in the calipers, the Brembo pads will be pushed onto the discs by Mo­tul RBF660 fluid – a DOT4 with a higher than nor­mal point of 325ºc (£20.00 for 500ml again from HPS), giv­ing more con­sis­tent brak­ing and less fade.

Hope­fully next time I’ll be able to re­port how they per­form.

DE­SPITE THE FACT THAT IT’S BEEN ON THE LEFT OLD ROD AND CRANKPIN – SCRAP. ON THE THROUGH THE HANDS RIGHT, THE FRESH STUFF OF AT LEAST ONE IN­COM­PE­TENT BODGER, MOST OF THE IM­POR­TANT COM­PO­NENTS ARE IN DE­CENT FETTLE

Up and in­deed run­ning. Ready to hit the road

That’s £133.92 for the chain and sprocket kit

New chain and sprocket make old nut look vile

You don’t want to take chances with a spent chain and sprocket on a bike with­100bhp at the wheel

Rear caliper was OK, pads too. Back on it goes

Rear sprocket car­rier nuts came off easy enough

That’s one big, fat tyre ready for some grief

That’s much more like it. This bike will shine

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