This was a big purchase for me, the biggest I had ever made and it was telling how much motorcycles had gotten under my skin that it had 2 wheels instead of 4. But there was the practical side as well, Bike just make sense in the city and I wasn’t interested in sitting on a bus for 30 mins for a journey I could do myself in about 8 mins.
Why a zx7R? Well it wasn’t the ‘big dog’ of the sports bike world, in fact it was already starting to look well redundant. It still had carbs where the quickest stuff was all injected now, it ‘only’ had about 120hp and weighed over 200kg. Compared to the litre bikes now gaining favour at the time and had 140hp+ and weighed less than 170kgs. I test rode a ’98 Yamaha R1 before buying my 7R and the thing was an animal. Sense prevailed thankfully and I was seduced by the 7R. Plus, power is nothing without control and this is where the ZX7 had the upper hand. You basically could NOT buy a bike with a better front end, the feel through the forks was as though you were holding the wheel with your hands. It had a rear slipper clutch which is something only now becoming common on top end sports bikes, it had loads of real world torque despite being a 750 and it looked awesome. Few bikes have been penned with such classic proportions and I genuinely believe the 7R will be a classic of the future.
I enjoyed mine for a year and a half as my only transport and became a pretty seasoned rider in the process, until some scrotum stole the bike from my front garage early one morning weeknight. This really hurt since the bike was my prized possession and now someone else was doing got knows what to it 😦
I had a call out of the blue some 3 months later from the police. “We have recovered your bike!”, Great! I thought it would be a case of going and picking it up from said scrotums house or the local police station and continuing on my way. It was this night I learnt something about the mentality of criminals. When I saw my bike, I couldn’t believe the state it was in. It was apparently stored in a box trailer on its side with a tarp pull over it. Thankfully a nosy neighbour smelled something dodgy going on and alerted the police. The bike had been crashed so there were scratches all over it, the tanks was dented, the fairings were all broken and it had been spray painted with black paint from a can, no preparation, just to obscure the colour. The electrics had all been cut up and the lock drilled out. Basically it was a mess, I never understood and still don’t understand this. ‘Well done, you stole my nice bike… but why not look after it and enjoy it?’… I guess this is what separates criminal mentality from the norm, they just see things differently. Sad..
Anyway, I was able to repair the bike a bit and sold it on for a reasonable amount, they were still a desirable bike, even for just parts.. I went away from bikes for a while after that and changed career so was back in training and pretty poor again, but there were much better things to come
Below is a review I wrote in 2004 on my bike. I’d still agree with it all…
A beautiful motorcycle to look at, very nice lines and still holds its value very well and is sort after, years after its prime.
The bike was one of the last supersports before the R1 bent the sports bike world over a bench and gave it what for. The styling is still in the wide front with ram air intakes and plenty of room for the rider to move around. This makes it very comfortable for a sports bike, especially when carrying a pillion compared to newer sports bikes. It also adds to its weight, which tips in at around 215kg, quite heavy these days for a bike with ‘only’ 120hp.
The bike makes the very best of the engine it has available, and pulls very well from as low as 2-3000 rpm, much better than some newer bikes I’ve ridden (good wide torque curve). It also winds out very well with the last 2000 – 3000rpm pulling very strongly before the 12000rpm redline.
The instrument setup is starting to show its age also, with an analogue speedometer and odometer, but they are clear.
The handling is quite good, the front end in particular is very responsive with exceptional turn in if you set the rear ride height to the maximum, and good information through the front wheel. I did find however that the front liked some tyres better than others. Certainly steer clear of D****p D208s, they were rubbish on this bike.
Overall, a very good bike for the money if you don’t need the latest and greatest. Incidentally, quite good top speed, I saw 280kph with a little more to come on one occasion.
A very nice motorcycle, destined for sports classic status.