All Tests – It has (almost) everything of a 1000 – Used KAWASAKI

She has (almost) everything of a 1000

All Tests - It has (almost) everything of a 1000 - Used KAWASAKI

Riding on the success of the Z1000, Kawasaki attacks the heart of the European market with its little sister, the Z 750. Closely derived from the 1000, it appears at a much more accessible price of € 7,399 and attacks directly to the bestsellers.

Launched in 2003, the Kawasaki Z1000 brought new blood to the roadster category with an assertive sporting temperament and above all an original design. It is quite rare for the Japanese to be daring in this area, but it paid off: the green brand, rather dying in recent years, achieved an unexpected sales volume for a motorcycle displayed at nearly € 10,000.

Riding this wave of success, Kawasaki is attacking the heart of the European market with a little sister, the Z 750. Closely derived from the 1000, it is sold at a much more affordable price of € 7,399. It therefore directly attacks the bestsellers on the market: Honda Hornet, Yamaha Fazer and Suzuki Bandit. But this Z750 is clearly geared towards performance and feel, like a Hornet, even if it means sacrificing some versatility..

This is the trend in the European market but it could prove to be a handicap in France, as evidenced by the lasting success of the Fazer 600.

What arguments does this young ambitious have? It is often said that tastes and colors cannot be discussed, and that when it comes to aesthetics, everyone has their own opinion. However, it must be recognized that designers know how to modify our tastes by imposing new forms and new aesthetic references on us. The Kawasaki Zs are a very good example. When it was released less than 2 years ago, the Z1000 really stood out with its almost shocking aesthetic, close to tuning or stunt, and its bright colors. Today, without necessarily achieving unanimity, it is very much in tune with the times and it is its competitors who seem a bit old-fashioned.

In any case, the daring paid off and Kawasaki persisted with the Z750, simply sacrificing the four somewhat baroque mufflers of the 1000 for a big 4 in 1 stainless steel more classic and certainly more economical. Aesthetically, the tank-colored plastic cover on the crankcases is removed and we won’t complain about it (that was the too much detail of the Z1000). The fork crown is more compact but that is not obvious. In black, the bike is aggressive without going overboard. We are noticed on his handlebars, even by non-bikers, generally impressed and sometimes shocked: "it must be very powerful, this motorcycle !“The other colors, red and blue, are less successful, more banal than the orange and green available on the Z1000. Technically, the engine is derived from the Z1000, itself from the ZX9-R. therefore nothing to do with the old generation of Kawasaki 4 cylinders with central distribution (the timing chain was between cylinders 2 and 3) of the ZR-7 and Zephyr 750.

The drive of the distribution by Hi-Vo is placed laterally. The block is identical to that of the 1000 with a reduced bore from 77.2 to 68.4 mm and the same stroke of 50.9 mm. This makes it possible to favor filling at low and medium speeds and to practically keep the mobile coupling of the 1000. The cylinders are Nickasil treated without liners. Kawasaki kept the cylinder head of the 1000 but completely redesigned the combustion chamber, with a smaller valve angle to optimize filling.

The admission is by double butterfly injection in 34 mm ducts and ignition by independent pencil coils on each spark plug: a first in this category and a guarantee of regularity of operation. The water cooler is identical to the 1000, but the oil cooler is omitted: you have to keep up with the prices! The exhaust is via a 4 in 1 stainless steel oval section certainly more efficient than the 4 flutes of the 1000. It is equipped with an oxidation catalyst (without lambda probe) to comply with Euro2 standards.

This engine develops a maximum power of 110 hp and a maximum torque of 7.8 mkg. It is therefore slightly restricted for France at 106hp and 7.6 mkg. Finally, the "titanium" finish of the housings and the large oval silencer are aesthetically very successful..

On the chassis side, the Z750 takes the steel "diamond" frame of the Z1000 and uses the same backbone principle as the Hornets. The other modifications are mainly intended to limit costs compared to the 1000. As the 750 engine, apart from the oil pot and the oil cooler, must cost the same as the 1000, savings had to be found elsewhere: the swingarm is a steel box connected via UniTrak links to a damper adjustable in preload and rebound only. The 41mm fork is classic and non-adjustable.

Braking is entrusted to the front by two 300 mm discs clamped by dual piston calipers. The 6-spoke rims follow the design of the ZX10R. They’re dressed in big 120 front and 180 rear tires in fashion today, not necessarily ideal for handling but it’s "rewarding" as they say in marketing parlance. In the end, the small logically weighs almost the same weight as the big one: 195 kg for the 750 against 198 kg for the 1000.

What is immediately striking about this bike is its compactness: gathered on itself, it seems ready to pounce. Once in the saddle, you sit relatively high (815 mm) for a roadster, but your feet and hands fall naturally on the footrests and the handlebars. The tank is notched enough to let even the knees of the tallest go through and the handlebars are raised enough so that you are not resting on your arms.

Sitting high enough on a very low motorbike, with a minimalist windshield also placed very low, we really have the impression of handling a big toy and only the weight reminds us that this is a real motorbike! From the start, you can enjoy the sound of the 4 in 1, low standards oblige, but very melodious: it is indeed a Kawa! The twin-throttle injection produces a gusty noise at idle and very low revs that is quite characteristic and quite nice. In any case, there is no jerkiness when progressing at low speed, or when going around, often the weak point of injection feeds..

The maneuvers and the progression in town are a real pleasure: a good position, a compact and manoeuvrable machine, a docile engine which makes a nice noise, an easy gearbox … this bike communicates its good humor to you and more than one times I caught myself smiling under my helmet by turning the right handle! As soon as there is a little space to accelerate, we feel that the engine is not the sanitized four-legged mocked by fans of twin cylinders: the Kawa takes full advantage of the additional 150 cm3 compared to its competitors to resume vigorously at mid-speed and demonstrate that a 4-cylinder can have character. Bungy in traffic on the expressways is a real pleasure. Fortunately, the absence of a fairing is a wake-up call and avoids exceeding unreasonable speeds !

With a lively cycle part and easily controlled braking, this bike is therefore very pleasant in urban and peri-urban areas. Beyond the pleasure, we even take real pleasure in these conditions which is still quite rare. But in everyday use, for example to go to work, it will be necessary to face the facts: the practical aspects have been neglected.

The seat box is difficult to open, the key passes through a small undetectable hole, placed horizontally under the rear shell (the complete editorial team of Moto-Net took three days to find it) … And only the passenger seat s opens onto a rather rikiki chest. Either way, a U wouldn’t be very useful given the shape of the front fender. It will therefore be necessary to be satisfied with a disc block.

At the rear there are two small lashing hooks for possible loading on the passenger seat, but we prefer a tank bag. The passenger doesn’t have the slightest grip to hang on and we will skip the lack of a center stand, unfortunately not surprising on a motorcycle of this kind. The message is clear: this is a rider’s bike made to get to the essentials and cut the road on your own, with minimal luggage. Kawasaki also offers a seat cowl with this in mind.

Let’s go for the Oise roads via the A1 motorway. The engine instantly propels 130-140 in any gear. But beyond this speed, the wind pressure becomes difficult to bear and you quickly give up your hand. The protection of the new nose screen is really symbolic, whatever Kawasaki says and its concept of "air curtain"supposed to protect the bust! The bike loses a bit in versatility and it is all the more unfortunate that the nose screen of the Z1000 was surprisingly efficient. Anyway, a roadster is not made for the highway.

So let’s see what it looks like on real roads with real bends … Once again the first thing that impresses is this superb engine well supported by a well-staged gearbox. A series of fast and well-paved turns reveals a rigid and healthy cycle part. Firmly on its path, the bike is reassuring when braking on the corner or when re-accelerating on exit.

When the turns are tightening, the rather low center of gravity of the machine and the rather high position of the pilot provide great agility. With the large handlebars, you can swing the bike when changing angles or force a change of course in the event of the unexpected. The saddle, although thin, is well designed and allows easy movement on the bike, which helps a lot in the event of unforeseen arches. It’s not a supermoto after all, but the handling and liveliness are quite surprising. And even without practicing the stunt, we can easily imagine that this bike must have certain dispositions for this kind of acrobatics..

Finally, braking, without having the power or the bite of the monobloc or radial calipers of the latest sports cars, is sufficient for road use. Progressive and enduring, it can be used in all circumstances and that is the most important. You will probably find its limits on a circuit, but this is not the destination of this bike.

Small departmental roads are therefore the preferred playground of the Z750. The problem is, a lot of these roads aren’t billiards or are even downright bumpy (and that shouldn’t work out with the new decentralization laws). But in these conditions, it is seriously spoiled…

Already the Z1000 didn’t like this kind of road very much, but with the 750 it sometimes turns into a rodeo, the wheels more often in the air than in contact with the ground. The fork lacks damping, but above all the rear suspension bounces impressively and causes quite a few surprises when exiting the bends … With these disorderly movements you can feel the weight of the bike which suddenly seems very heavy to catch up with !

In these road conditions, a Yamaha Fazer, for example, is much superior. The design of the bike is not in question, but the suspension should be seriously revised, especially the rear shock. We understand that we had to save money somewhere, but this is a real shame because it really limits the use of this bike. Because for the rest, the road record is positive and the saddle comfort in solo very acceptable. Average consumption of 6.5l / 100 km and a range of around 250 km are standard, plus a very practical fuel gauge.

Although not very readable, the backlit speedometer unit in red has an aesthetic that is well in line with the style of the bike and it is rather complete with trip, time and temperature. We would simply have liked an immobilizer, as on the Z750S.

In conclusion, the engine packed with character of this Z750 alone would be enough to convince us. In fact, it doesn’t have much to envy that of the Z1000 and in addition it makes a nice noise! The original and uncompromising design reinforces the passionate character of this motorcycle. And that is paid for by sacrificed practical aspects. But if we accept this constraint, it is a very pleasant motorcycle to drive on a daily basis, even downright brilliant in an urban environment.

With its protection reduced to a minimum and its correct but spartan comfort, it is certainly not the motorcycle of the frequent travelers who will rather turn to the Z750S, but it is with happiness and in all confidence that we will attack the roads to its handlebars, or rather the beautiful roads. Because, and this is a real disappointment, when the coating deteriorates, everything deteriorates and so does the pleasure … Fortunately, the remedy is known and rather simple: a quality rear shock absorber and preparation of the fork should transform radically the motorcycle.

For the demanding rider, this is certainly the investment to be made rather than a pot trick or thing (it already makes such a nice noise). But the bill will suffer and, suddenly, the price may not be as competitive as it initially seemed…

Technical sheet (manufacturer data)
Type 4-cylinder in-line, 4-stroke, Liquid cooled
Displacement 748 cm3
Bore / Stroke 68.4 x 50.9 mm
Compression ratio 11.3: 1
Distribution Double ACT, 16 valves
Food Double butterfly injection
Ignition Electronic, one coil per cylinder
Starter Electric
Gearbox Six speeds with automatic neutral search
Cycle part
Frame High strength steel diamond
Front suspension Telescopic fork 41 mm
Suspension AR Unitrak 4 rebound and 7 compression settings
Front travel 120 mm
AR travel 126 mm
Front brakes Double semi-floating 300 mm disc with double piston calipers
Rear brakes 220 mm disc single piston caliper
Front tire 120/70 ZR 17M / C
Rear tire 180/55 ZR 17M / C
Dimensions and weight
Length 2,080 mm
Width 780 mm
Caster angle 24.5 ° / 104 mm
Height 1,055 mm
Saddle height 815 mm
Wheelbase 1,425 mm
Dry weight 195 kg
Tank 18 liters
Commercial information
Colors Black, red, blue
Price 7 399 € tax incl.
Automatic activation of codes
Complies with the Euro2 emission limit

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