My '99 ZX7R - SOLD! :-(


Introduction:
This page is dedicated to my '99 ZX7R P4. A fantastic bike that first introduced me to the joy of track days.

Well...the deed is done and "My ZX7R" is no longer mine! Between family needs and work pressures I found I no longer had the time for two bikes nor could I justify the expense, so, much to my regret, my beloved ZX7R-P4 had to go. This page will of course be kept as a memento to a truly excellent bike.

Follow the link to see the Full Specification.
To compare with other ZXRs follow the links on the History page.

Modifications:
  • Removed Grab handles and plugged gap with cutouts of carbon look adhesive covers
  • Removed pillion footpegs and added a Harris exhaust bracket
  • Fitted a rear wheel hugger
  • Fitted adjustable footpeg jack up plates from Ray Stringer
  • Aluminium tapered footpegs
  • Bleed banjo bolt fitted to the front brake master cylinder
  • EBC HH Brake pads
  • Goodridge steel brake hoses
  • DID Gold X-ring chain with Renthal 45 tooth rear sprocket
Click on images to enlarge

Donington1 Donington2 Donington3

Riding Impressions:
I was going on a test ride prior to trading in my GPX600 to buy a '99 ZX7R. I had always loved the looks of the ZX7R and now wanted to find out whether the bike measured up to my expectations.
Used to my GPX the pegs felt high and my upper body thrown forward onto the front wheel. I liked the riding position from the start. The whole bike felt so taut and purposeful. The first time I used the brakes in earnest I found myself slowing down too much too soon and having to accelerate again to get to the corner. That day I knew I was hooked on ZXRs.
I came back from the ride, put down my deposit and shortly afterwards I became the proud owner of a red/white/black ZX7R.

A few years on and I was still delighted with my ZX7R. The power and handling were great and more than I could use on the road (at least on the roads round here).
Spending some time getting it set up just right for your riding style can make a massive difference as the chassis really responds to suspension tweaks.
Also a couple of teeth up on the rear sprocket won't loose you much top speed, but gives a very useful extra punch throughout.

It first came out in 1996, yet it still one of the best looking sportsbikes around. Personally I find it gorgeous.


Suspension Setup:
The ZX7R has excellent suspension that can be tailored to suit your riding. However many people (especially journos) make a mess of it. Why? Well Kawasaki didn't help things when they wrote in the Owner's handbook that the forks are adjustable for preload. They are NOT! The adjuster you see at the top of the forks is (like it was for the previous J and L models) Ride Height Only. Don't believe me? Try this test then.
Only the forks on the Race models (K, M and N) are adjustable for preload. This can be quite handy as you can quicken or slow down the steering response very easily to suit your riding, road condition, etc. If the spring doesn't suit you then you can change it. An alternative is to make some spacers to convert the ride height adjusters to preload adjusters. Follow this link to one of Ken's tips that explains how to make spacers to fit '91 to '95 ZXRs. Similar spacers can be manufactured for '96-on ZX7Rs, but I do not have the measurements.
If you want information on suspension in general and ZX7R specifics please take a look at the Suspension page whilst here I shall give you my own setups as it may give you an idea of what can be tried. These setups work well on the track and are compliant enough to cope with fast riding on normal roads. However do remember that suspension age and condition as well as rider's weight and riding style can make a huge difference so these setups can only be used as a potential starting point to find your own setup.

Rider weight 85Kg fully kitted out
SETUP 1
Tyres: Pirelli Dragon Evo Corsa in Standard sizes.
Forks Ride Height Adjuster - rings showing Ride Height - mm from top yoke Rebound - clicks from fully in Compression - clicks from fully in Tyre pressure (PSI)
Max - Min
8
n/a
13
8
n/a
Standard
6.5
0
7
6
36
My Setup 1
8
10
5
5
34
Shock Preload - mm of thread showing Rebound - Adjuster settings Compression - clicks from fully in Ride Height - mm of visible thread between clevis and frame Tyre pressure (PSI)
Max - Min
25
4
20
0
n/a
Standard
25
2
15
0
41
My Setup 1
25
3
13
9
38

SETUP 2
Tyres: Dunlop 207 Standard size front smaller rear (180/55).
The smaller rear tyre quickened up the steering considerably. This combined with Setup 1 above made the handling a little too knife edge for the road. To compensate I raised the front ride height using the adjusters. The handling is more stable now and the bike steers beautifully both at low and high speed. The new size rear heightens the effects of the front ride adjusters. This setup if fine for fast road riding and on a smooth track you could go more extreme for faster turning.
Forks Ride Height Adjuster - rings showing Ride Height - mm from top yoke Rebound - clicks from fully in Compression - clicks from fully in Tyre pressure (PSI)
My Setup 2
3
10
5
5
34
Shock Preload - mm of thread showing Rebound - Adjuster settings Compression - clicks from fully in Ride Height - mm of visible thread between clevis and frame Tyre pressure (PSI)
My Setup 2
25
3
14
9
38