I rode the bike for around 150 kilometres and was impressed by its light feel and agility. The Kawasaki figures say the ZR-7 weighs in at 202 kilos dry, if that figure is correct I must say that it hides its weight very well indeed.
The handling is great for a bike in this class, especially when you take into consideration the very reasonable price tag. The limiting factor to your fun is a lack of ground clearance when you start cranking it over a bit in the turns.
If running around town, in and out of roundabouts etc. are what your normal days riding entails the ZR-7 is more than up to the task.
It really does require no upper-body effort at all to make the ZR-7 go where you desire. Not trying to belittle our lady readers here, but for those that are of a petite build, the ZR-7 will present no problems in the steering effort department.
The front forks are 41mm non-adjustable items but seem to keep their exposure very well. Out back the shock preload is 7-step adjustable via a collar that is turned by a C-spanner (supplied in toolkit). Rear damping is also 4-step adjustable via a knob that is easily turned turned with a finger.
The ZR-7 also handles well with a pillion onboard.
The fuel tank holds 22 litres and is equipped with a dash mounted fuel gauge positioned between the retro-style speedo and tacho. The tank is not big and broad like a sportsbike, due to the lack of a huge airbox, but still managed to give my magnetic tankbag enough contact area to attach itself securely.
The controls are light and easy, both clutch and brake levers are 4-position adjustable for reach.
The clutch and 5-speed gearbox are a pleasure to use, no more needs to be said in that area.
The brakes are quite adequate for this style of bike. Not a huge amount of bite, but they do work quite well and have little fade. Though they are, of course, not up to the standards of our current crop of all out nutter sportsbikes. As you would expect from a bike that comes in at under 10 grand.
The riding position is comfortable and laid back. It is not too laid back like a lot of bikes in the retro style, when you want to up the pace the riding position still allows you to feel in control.
The mirrors are vibration free but do make objects appear further away than they actually are. This is the first bike I have noticed this on for quite some time.
The finish appears to be very good, only the ‘plain Jane’ swingarm letting the side down. The black engine finish is of a very high gloss and the pipes are beautifully polished.
I am not normally one for the retro look but I really did like the look of the ZR-7. The blue appears to be of the same hue as the ZX-9R C-2, the colour of which I have heard many onlookers comment very positively on.
Due to the bike only having minimal kilometres on the clock I couldn’t really give the engine too much of a workout.
From what I could tell though, from my brief visits to the upper rev ranges, the ZR-7 is silky smooth and has a seamless spread of power. Not a great deal of outright power, but a nice spread that includes a reasonable amount of torque down-low for an in-line 4 of only 738cc. More than enough to annihilate all the car drivers from the lights anyway, which is what really matters.
In my opinion the ZR-7 represents great value for money for those riders that are not in the market for the latest all out road burner. But are after a cheap, fine handling ride that can be great fun.
Let’s face it, all bikes are great fun and you don’t have to be on a sportsbike just to enjoy riding. I took the ZR-7 for a bit of a cruise through Fremantle and then along to Cottesloe beach, where I took the shots seen here. I can honestly say that it was an enjoyable and relaxed ride that – without going crazy – I couldn’t have enjoyed nearly as much if I had been riding a sportsbike.
|Engine||4-stroke, DOHC In-Line Four, 16-valves|
|Bore x Stroke||66 x 54mm|
|Cooling||Air cooled with oil cooler|
|Induction||Keihin CVK32 x 4 with Kawasaki Throttle Responsive Ignition Control (K-TRIC)|
|Rake/trail||25.5 degrees / 93 mm|
|Suspension, front||41mm telescopic forks|
|Suspension, rear||UNI-TRAK® threaded 7-step preload adjustment, 4-way rebound damping adjustment|
|Wheel travel, front||130 mm|
|Wheel travel, rear||130 mm|
|Tyres||120/70ZR17 (front), 160/60ZR17 (rear)|
|Brakes, front/rear||Dual 2-piston calipers with 300mm discs/Single 240mm disc with 2piston caliper|
|Overall length||2105 mm|
|Overall width||755 mm|
|Overall height||1075 mm|
|Seat height||800 mm|
|Dry weight||202 kilos|
|Fuel capacity||22 litres|
|RRP||$9,790 (AUS) + ORC|