Z 750 dossier: Kawasaki’s stroke of genius !
Unbeatable, the Kawasaki Z750? This is what its dominance in the mid-size roadster segment suggests. How did the Zed become the darling of many bikers and dealers? Back on the trajectory of a phenomenon with green blood.
2007: in search of the right balance
Thanks to the use of new camshafts, a heavier crankshaft, a new exhaust, optimized ignition and injection, the new Z 750 gains in driving pleasure and torque (8 mkg to 8,300 rpm) … but loses four horses (106 hp at 10,500 rpm): a bad for a good for the French amateurs, who will no longer be tempted by unbridling far from being essential.
Above all, this new vintage appears much more successful: ABS is available as an option, the paint and surface treatments – points criticized on the old model – gain in quality, the dashboard is fitted with a gauge gasoline and a needle tachometer on a white background of the most beautiful effect, the pot – although bulky – is more classy and the general finish makes a leap forward.
Intended to seduce a wider and more demanding fringe of users, the Akashi roadster is equipped with aluminum side reinforcements to put an end to its worries of vibrations, an inverted fork of 41 mm adjustable in rebound and preload and three petal discs, not necessarily more efficient but more aesthetic.
Although its price has remained remarkably contained over the years (7,399 euros from 2004 to 2006, then 7,199 euros from January 2006 to January 2009 and 7,399 euros currently) the Z 750 2007 is significantly gentrified when driving: l The longer wheelbase of 15 mm (1440 mm) and the distribution of the masses more on the rear erase the character scoundrel – but a nothing exclusive – of the first version.
This sum of modifications is rather well received and in no way disturbs its golden trajectory, quite the contrary: 7,044 French bikers fall for these improvements in 2007, then 7,397 in 2008 !
But then again, the new version "Zed" has some annoying little flaws: the rider and passenger seats are made of solid oak, the square-section steel swingarm is not the most attractive and the storage space – already minimal – decreased ! Above all, the mutation of the machine generates an astonishing – in such a contested segment – weight gain of seven kilos! Full facts, the Z 750 now flirts with 230 kg (226 exactly), which penalizes agility and maneuvers at low speed.
Always so flexible and voluntary, the block of 748 cc has not aged a wrinkle. Expressive, it perfectly conceals the few extra pounds of the machine: the fourth "catches" 230 km / h without difficulty and the thrust has even gained velvety at the bottom, without losing its "gnak" joyfully distributed in two parts: at 4,000 r / min first for passing without history on the couple, then from 9,000 r / min to 11,500 r / min to take advantage of its ardor and its length in sporty driving.
A scenario where it is nevertheless advisable not to exceed the measure: poorly served by a criticism of pneumatic mounting (Dunlop Qualifier), badly tuned suspensions (the front is blurry and the rear too dry on the bumps), the Z 750 has lost some of its liveliness and requires a certain commitment in curves. Not that the queen of hits parades has become a trestle, but her extra pounds are too much felt when the charge is sounded: when you push the Z 750 into its entrenchments, the behavior of its front end is tricky. to encircle.
To tell the truth, the Z 750 also suffers from the emergence of a new generation of European roadsters with well-asserted claims and whose exciting dynamic behavior highlights the few (small) faults of the Green: whether it is the Triumph Street Triple (€ 7,990), the BMW F800 R (€ 7,990) or the Ducati Monster (€ 7,990), the offer is being pulled upwards, causing consumers to hesitate in multi-brand dealerships…
So much so that in September 2009, Akashi’s roadster had to – temporarily? – abandon its place at the top of sales in favor of its ER-6n sister (read our)…
Admittedly, the difference between the two is only of the order of 30 units and it is a safe bet that this "poor performance" is largely attributable to the expectation of a possible new model for 2010. However, the amateurs will be at their expense since only new colors will be unveiled: black, orange and white with a discreet green border (read) … Nevertheless, the stakes are far too high for Kawasaki to remain with both feet in the same shoe and the profound redesign of the Z 1000 2010 (read our) undoubtedly announces the main features of the future Z 750 2011…
While waiting for the next test of the Z 1000 2010 on Site, we can therefore expect more punch, fun and driving sensations! Ingredients which have largely contributed to the success of the Z 750 saga and which also continue to have an effect: during a visit to Magik Moto in Reims (51), Kawasaki, KTM and Triumph dealership, Site was able to measure the ‘still very strong impact of the Z 750 with professionals and the public…
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