1999 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R
July 9, 2008
I recently bought 1999 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R. It was in pristine condition with Yoshimura aftermarket exhaust. I fell in love with the bike the very first moment I saw it.
It does not have the sharp edges of a R1 or even the newer Kawasakis but there was something which told me the bike was built for speed.
The front end has huge air intake ducts on either sides of the twin headlights. The riding position puts you in a very leaned position especially this one with the clip-ons set at the lowest position.
The rider can literally hide behind the fairing and giving the bike a great streamline aerodynamics and low drag.
Now having said about the looks and riding position, it was clear this was a track bike. Not very surprising because the 7r’s have a great racing record. The ZX-7R was very successful in motorcycle racing, with a total of 9 AMA superbike championship victories, and an impressive record in Kawasaki’s Road Racing team with Eric Bostrom riding .
It is a high rev engine therefore not very easy to ride in traffic. The real power kicks in around 7,000 RPM and twisting the throttle at that point means that even in its highest gear you will be thrown back in the seat as it accelerates past 100 mph with confidence.
Another thing about bikes designed for racing: they are very sensitive too. I did not have the right air pressure the first few times I rode it – the guy (from whom I bought it) said he had got everything checked the last week and I was just too excited to ride than to do a thorough check. So the bike was shaking a lot after 110 mph (176 kmph).
But there was enough power still left at the wrists.
Handling: The bike handles great. It has a heavy front end so lower chances of a wheelie (I am not a stunter, so I do not want the front wheel to pop involuntary). With wide rear wheels (normally found in 1000cc’s) the bike has a great leaning ability. However, it is a heavy bike which although gives stability in high speeds, low speed turns requires a little effort.
However with enough power on tap, you can pull out of a sharp turn even in the sixth gear. It does not come with steering dampers so there is a bit of a shake in the front end at high speeds.
Performance: It is a high rev engine (top power at 11K RPM) and therefore in traffic its hard on the clutch and therefore the wrists. The clutch and the break lever come with 4 point adjustments and therefore its easy to set them for various hand sizes.
After hitting the band, there is no looking back. The bike just goes. I have taken it upto speeds of 140 mph and still had a lot left. It easily cruises at 100 mph with low vibrations.
I am sure a bike with stock exhaust will have lower vibrations but with the Yosimura, the bike felt a little rough but the sound and the little extra torque and power make it worthwhile.
Large disc brakes provide incredible stopping power. The front brakes are strong and with linked braking system, the braking works like a dream. However the riding position in such, one has to be careful for stopping too quickly because it might hurt where it hurts most!
Engine and transmission
Displacement: 748.00 ccm (45.64 cubic inches)
Engine type: In-line four
Power: 122.00 HP (89.1 kW)) @ 11,800 RPM
Torque: 78.00 Nm (8.0 kgf-m or 57.5 ft.lbs) @ 9300 RPM
Seat height: 820 mm (32.3 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.
Chassis and dimensions
Front suspension travel: 120 mm (4.7 inches)
Rear suspension travel: 130 mm (5.1 inches)
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