Kawasaki ZXR 750 — Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice — bikepoint.com.au

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Kawasaki ZXR 750

Kawasaki ZXR 750 (August 2002)

genius? That’s a widely-held of the Kawasaki ZXR750. Who better than ROB SMITH to give us all we to know to purchase the bike?

If regularly found yourself by the of a twisty mountain road in chances are that at some you’d have been away by the sight and sound of a lime green blur. hovering low to the ground, rasping and away into the distance your senses reeling one question in your mind. the pharrrkwazat?

Zat, was the Kawasaki H1.

Embodying outrageous ability gorgeous styling, the ZXR is still a motorcycle that, for its entire six life in Australia, went as as it looked and provided Kawasaki fans with a class to the GSX-R or the pricey Honda


Back in 1988 the K factory decided that the liquid-cooled, in-line four in the dull, but far from pedestrian would realise far more of its slotted between a new twin-spar chassis with some suspenders, and a new sharper look. And so it was in the ZXR was born.

Having had a bit of judicious the 748cc ZXR, making 95PS, emerged blinking the daylight wearing a bank of 36mm Keihins fed by a pair of looking inlets in the fairing.

was attended to by conventional forks for preload and rebound at the front, and a monoshock, adjustable for preload and damping at the rear. Wheelbase was a 1410mm, with castor and set at 24.5° and 100mm.

Clothed in green, white and or red and black it was a visual king

1990 saw an H2 version with a of changes that included size growing to 38mm. gained a significant 35mm, inside the engine there longer conrods and shorter to extract a bit more power. The was changed and a new, more style pipe added to the

Strangely, although the wheelbase was now the swingarm struggled to compress the suspension resulting in a rock ride.

1991 heralded the restyled J1 into the arena. and … had changed from the 68 x 51.5mm to 71 x 47.3mm to produce a of 749cc. USD forks were for rebound and ride height, the shock remained uncompliant, and dimensions went down 100mm to 95mm.

Wheelbase again to 1420mm.

Inside the Kawasaki’s engineers had hammered the resulting in a mass of changes improved midrange, but perversely had cut peak power. Did it matter? No not it was still a very fast

1992 saw little actually on the J2, other than an attempt at the utterly inappropriate rear with softer springing and

1993 saw the much-improved L1 take up where the J2 left off. The big centred around the Ram -Air new pistons, cylinder head and which boosted midrange and power. Geometry changed yet with rake and trail now at 25° and and the wheelbase measuring 1430mm.

Rear suspension, although better, was still crap on that didn’t have the of a pool table.

1994 and were years when the ZXR did little other than its threads for variations in colours and Something big was obviously coming the factory, and 1996 saw the results of all the done over the ZXR’s six with the ZX-7R, an all new remake of a bike that tends to get by in the search for the latest and therefore


Lets start the H1. By today’s standards the H1 is a bit of a porker a top heavy feel to it that you realise how far these sorts of have come in the last 13

Despite the suspension being and fairly unkind to the rider, the does it best to keep stable right up to its top speed of 240km/h.

Steering is precise but more effort than like to use at the bars, around this means stressed and an almost psychopathic desire to up some country roads. just when the urban ends and the ZXR should be in its element, the shock conspires to upset by refusing to compress enough to anything bigger than a an ant The result is that the ZXR leaps and around on bumpy roads, rather than accommodating.

Still, show the ZXR a fast sweeper with little for the to do, and the rigid chassis makes an almost spiritual experience.

At the opportunity to spank the motor reveals itself and down-shifting for any just to hear the exhaust at 10,000rpm becomes the order of the

At a less frenetic pace and in company the early ZXR displays a less than inspiring It’s okay, but it never you thinking ‘Heavens to Betsy, happened to my arms!’

Brakes are and offer reasonable power and which is just as well the suspension certainly gives the a good workout, especially on the to downhill corners.

So why would you buy Well, aside from the that it’s a great motorcycle, you don’t need to do a deal to fix the suspension’s shortcomings. that’s taken care of gorgeous, and represents a well-finished and alternative to mega-buck new stuff and an expert rider who’s to take the time to get to know it can do.

Jump forward a mere years from that bike to the ZXR750-L1 and it has developed a completely different machine; but the same. Along the way Robbie has finished third in WSB in 1991, and Russell has taken the ZXR to victory at in ’92, and WSC in 1993.

It’s an animal.

Just everything has changed and the Ram-Air now the already compelling induction a hollow resonance that with a low begging moan, and with a climactic shriek begs you to give it all you can possibly

Kawasaki ZXR 750

The engine still lacks the and mid range of the competition, but the shrieking to the top-end as the power crawls out of the dip at is the reason why you buy a ZXR. That and the balanced feel the bike

At a track day you’d shake head in amazement that a that’s almost 10 years old can be composed. Steering is now corner sharp, and turning while late on the four-piston Tokico is the ZXR’s stiletto up the sleeve. about every journo has superlatives about the ZXR’S control, and they’re right, good.

The gearbox is a pretty device but dependable, perfectly in with the rough-neck engine’s behaviour. Sadly though, the while better, is still too hard for back road and, in conjunction with the riding position, will you squeaking your order at the bar and checking the contents of your

Is it cheap on fuel? Chances are you care much, given the of the bike, but like its predecessor okay. You can expect 200 kms to fill up you’re right up it, and a bit more if not.

Bottom line here is the ZXR is a brilliant bike to own and ride if a committed sports bike who’s prepared to sort the does a few track days and well-surfaced roads. Oh yeah, and it the bollocks too.


The in all its guises is a tough bike quite well made and resilient to the kind of abuse it gets. (Anyone that they’ve never thrashed it be eyed with a great of suspicion.) Given that the is a tough unit with a reputation, let’s have at what you’ll need to be of when buying one.

no-one buys a ZXR to just about, rev the bike at stationary and for smoke on the over-run, which’ll be a sign that it’s rung out from cold or the front wheel higher head height. Also the — anyone can do a mono in gear, but getting from into second and beyond can be a more challenging. As a result gear can take a hammering, so be to load up at low revs and then rev it out in to make sure that it jump out of gear.

Check the head bearings for play cack-handed mono landings, and for cracks in the fairing brackets accident damage.

Make the rear shock hasn’t adjusted with tools than with proper C and look for general signs of and butchery all around the bike. that look at all the bits touch down in a crash, as babies tend to get lobbed by unable to control the wayward of the rear shock on a bumpy As far as servicing goes there are no surprises.


Well it’s got to be shock hasn’t it? The secret to ZXR happiness lies in that one See your local suspension for advice. After that a jet kit and air filter will liberate a few but most importantly will throttle response.

Personally leave the pipe unless damaged the original and had to have an job, the standard noise is and legal. You know it makes


The early were classically lovely, but for me got to be an L1-L2-L3 in Kawasaki green.

Friday, 30 August 2002

Kawasaki ZXR 750
Kawasaki ZXR 750
Kawasaki ZXR 750


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