1992 Kawasaki ZXR 750 Model

The Kawasaki ZXR750 was perhaps the most brutal, most mental of all the Japanese 750s ever. While the bike was launched way back in 1989, its blue/green/white colour scheme and hoover-tube air-intakes are instantly recognizable icons in the world of high-performance motorcycling even now. There was about 100 horsepower on tap. Top speed was around 250km/h. And the chassis/suspension combo was tuned with single-minded focus – to get you around corners as fast as possible.

The ZXR750 was replaced by the ZX-7R (and the more race-oriented ZX-7RR) in 1993, and these bikes remained in production till 2003. The ZX-7RR was raced successfully by riders like Scott Russell and Doug Chandler, whose combined efforts resulted in four AMA championships for Kawasaki, over a period of seven years. Russell also took the 7RR to World Superbikes, where he won the 1993 WSB championship.

The Kawasaki ZXR750: In squidgy little writing for those who can be bothered. The ZXR kind of evolved from the rubbery, bendy Kawasaki GPX750 – the first incarnation, the H1 was ergonomically best suited to strange shaped riders with short legs and very long arms, but introduced that very fashionable, though largely useless detail, the Hoover air pipes. It can be recognised by its more angular look and the strange, limping movement of anyone foolish enough to ride one regularly. It also began the ZXR’s fearsome reputatation as a rock solid, rear ended thing, with a gonad mashing tank. The H2 was virtually the same but with a tweaked motor. Both were touted as an RC30 rival at half the price, neither really quite came up with the goods. I crashed one in the Finchley Road. Still, the Hs looked good and were the start of my soft spot for Kwacker 750s.

Next off the production line was the ZXR750J1, which is the model I own. In an effort to keep faith with the traditional ZXR fan, the Hoover pipes remained and the suspension was just as ball bogglingly hard. Where the J really scored though was in being incredibly beautiful, especially in the plain metallic blue colour way and having the best front end in modern motorcycling. I fell desperately in love, especially when Kawasaki gave us one for a year… The other negative point was that the ZXR had a Euro-standard 100bhp motor – slower than the H2 but with good mid-range power. Oh, on early ones, the exhaust system cracks just in front of the collector box.

The J1 was astonishingly enough followed by the J2 – the same bike but with a softer spring in an attempt to sort the ride quality. It still looked beautiful of course, but its days were numbered as the L1 was lurking on the drawing board. Just to digress, at the same time as the standard version with its CV carbs, Kawasaki also sold a single seat, homologation special with close ratio box, alloy tank, wapping great flat slide carbs and slightly more adjustable suspension. The fork diameter was down from 43mm to 41mm allegedly to reduce weight and stiction. The RR was the basis for the highly successful WSB race bikes, but a bit of a pig on the road, not least because you could do around 70mph in first gear… Still, the different cams and pistons (higher compression) made it snot fast at the top end, even if the smooth bores needed more sensitive handling to avoid bogging the motor. I once rode a 125bhp (rear wheel figure) ZXR750K on the road and it was insanely quick. The R’s suspension is always reckoned to be slightly better than the standard road bike’s, though contrary to what some might tell you, the rear linkage is the same part number…

With the arrival of the L1, it was goodbye to the Hoover pipes and hello to Ram Air. Unfortunately it was also hello to more weight as they had to reinforce the frame to compensate for the big holes they made in it for the air ducts and hello to slower steering geometry. No L I rode ever had the gorgeous roll in cornering and steering characteristics of the earlier ZXR and the motor was much peakier, though top end was now much more impressive. The suspension, fork diameter down to 41mm, was much softer due to a revised linkage and shock, but in my opinion at least the thing felt heavier and just didn’t handle with the precision of the J. The L sort of turned into the M and carried on pretty much unchanged until last year when the ZX-7 was introduced to the UK. I’ve never ridden one of those…

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Model ID
Manufacturer (Make)    Kawasaki
Model Name    ZXR 750
Year    1992
Category(class)    Sport
Engine
Engine Capacity (Displacement)    749 ccm (45.71 cubic inches)
Engine Type    inline, 4 cylinders
Bore x Stroke    Ø71.0 mm x 47.3 mm (Ø2.8 inches x 1.86 inches)
Stroke    4
Valves per Cylinder    4
Timing System    DOHC
Cooling System    Liquid
Powertrain
Gearbox    6 speed
Chassis/Suspension/Brakes
Front Brakes    Dual disc
Rear Brakes    Single disc
Front Tire    120/70-17
Rear Tire    180/55-17
Dimensions
Gross Weight    231 kg (509 lb)
Fuel Capacity     18 litres (4.76 gallons)
Performance
Max Power    121.00 HP (88.3 kW) at 10500 RPM
Power/Weight Ratio    0.52
Top Speed    –
Acceleration (dart, speedup) time
# 0-100 km/h      –
# 0-60 mph      –
# 1/4 mile      –
# 60 to 140 km/h, highest gear      –

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