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Kawasaki Z750 - Mini big Zed or what?
A while ago I rode the Z750's big brother, the Z1000, and I had an absolutely great time on it for a couple of weeks, so when the opportunity came to try out the smaller version I jumped at it.

Take a quick look at the new Z750 and you immediately see just where the styling comes from. The bigger Z1000 is already developing somewhat of a cult status, so if all goes to plan then the 750 must follow suit. The most noticeable difference on first inspection is the exhaust system. The Z750 lacks the 4 pipe design of it's larger counterpart and gets a much more conservative style alloy four-into-one sweeping up along the seat line. The bars are pretty much the same and offer great control and comfort. The main difference at the front end though is the smaller nose fairing shrouding the instrument pod, it looks like its purely a styling exercise but it is definitely quite effective when you get going and does actually give you a bit of protection and wind deflection at speed. The overall appearance is still that of a naked roadster but surprisingly you can still ride at high speeds and not suffer too much buffeting. This small top fairing or headlight/instrument pod covers the now standard digital set up of speedo and rev counter, the only critics I have here is as per the Z1000 and the ZX10R, and that is it's not too easy to read in bright sunshine or on bright days, so get an idea of your speeds just in case!

The Kawasaki Z750 motor is basically a sleeved down version of its hugely popular big brother, the Z1000. This gives the 750 that big-bore torque feeling while offering the smaller bore ‘revability’. The Z750's engine produces its maximum power of 107bhp at 11,000rpm, some 500rpm below the red line, but the motor does not feel short on low down power at all. Accelerate away in first gear and you will easily see over 65mph, but pop it into 6th and you will also see the Z750 pull easily from around 50mph with no fuss at all. Although the maximum torque isn't available until you get to 8,000rpm (75Nm), the 750 will run strong and fast from 4,000rpm without a grumble, this I put down to the close ratio gearing from second up which seems to suit the bike just perfectly. Feeding the engine is critical for a smooth power delivery and the Dual butterfly fuel injection system that Kawasaki utilise on the 750 seems to smooth out any flat spots and I have no doubt at all that this adds to the overall feel.

The engine in the Z750 is a typical Kawasaki unit, a classic layout liquid-cooled, 16-valve motor which will run forever, as most other Kawasaki 4cyl motors seem to do! Holding that 750 engine in its place is a steel frame with a conventional box-section swingarm and Uni-Trak single damper rear suspension. The rear shock has some adjustment at the base under the bike, it's a floor job to do it but you can choose from 7 different settings for pre-load and on your knees for the four for damping. Up front the forks are not the same as the Z1000, here we have a non-adjustable standard fork which is reasonably suited to most roads.

Out on the road is where the 750 begins to make complete sense, it's all about fun, and you get it with this bike. The acceleration is good and the handling is perfectly suited to this type of bike, On some corners there was a bit of wallowing due to the front non-adjustable forks, but it was predictable and never gave rise for any concern. Overall the Z750 would be an ideal choice for someone returning to biking or someone wishing to step up to larger capacity bikes without the frightening proposition of trying to control a 1lt variant. The Z750 weighs in at a not-so-light 195kg, but this weight is not really felt due to the good balance and low down feel of the bike. Ride the 750 in a normal lazyish way and it will get you around easily without any fuss or bother, but accelerate hard away from the lights or wherever and that front wheel soon will soon be up around head level, do the same under braking and the back end will do just the same! Pure fun if you ask me, isn't that what it's all about though??

Bringing the Z750 to this rapid halt takes some good brakes. I would have expected to see the same brakes from the 1000 here, or from the ZX10, but no not at all. What we have here is a standard set of Tokico twin piston calipers on two 300mm discs, they work exceptionally well and have great feel, and they pull you up with no stability problems at all. Down at the back end is a pretty bog standard single piston caliper and a 220mm disc, not that you will ever need to use it in earnest though!

The Z750 is a pretty comfortable bike for any sort of distance, the seat is fairly wide and has a height of 815mm. I can see some shorter riders having problems with this setup though as they will have to spread their legs a bit wider than most other bikes thus making it seem higher. The advantage of this wider seat is that it adds so much extra comfort and allows you to move around quite a bit. The riding position with this seat style is far more comfortable than most other sports bike rivals, the Z750 rider will be way ahead of his mates on those weekend ride outs! If you decide to carry a pillion then they will most definitely be far less comfortable that you will! Whoever you carry, and whatever their size will find themselves perched on a thin piece of seat with their legs up high and their chin resting on their knees! The problem causing this is the high position of the rear pegs combined with the slim contoured shape of the rear seat, this also discourages you from carrying luggage as the shape does not lend itself well to tying down any bags. Practicality was not on the list of prime objectives with the Z750 though, this bike is not about touring or long distance hauling, although it can do it and very well if my riding time on it was anything to go by.

In conclusion, the Kawasaki Z750 is indeed a very useful bike and can be ridden everyday as a commuter bike by both sexes. The size and style will suit many riders and the performance and handling is quite impressive. The Z750 is about right, like it's big brother the Z1000 it's easy to ride, but the smaller bike is a bit more welcoming. The Z750 is sold as a sports bike by Kawasaki, it's more practical than all of the 600 supersports around, it will appeal to many different riders both old and new, and it will run forever as most big 'Kwacks' do! It may well be a slightly poor relation in terms of style and equipment to the Z1000, but it's a lot cheaper and just as stylish.


Type: Four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 16-valve, DOHC, four-stroke
Displacement: 748cc
Bore and stroke: 68.4 x 50.9mm

Type: Six-speed
Final drive: Chain
Frame type: steel with detachable front rails
Front suspension: Non-adjustable hydraulic forks
Rear suspension: "Uni-Trak" monoshock with seven spring pre-load options and four damping settings.
Front brakes: Dual 300mm discs with twin-piston Tokico calipers
Rear brake: Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper

Dry weight (claimed): 195kg
Seat height (claimed): 815mm
Fuel capacity: 18lt

Max power (claimed): 107hp at 11,000rpm
Max torque (claimed) 7.6kg-m at 8200rpm

Read external Kawasaki Z750 reviews on ciao.

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