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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I might try this, I still haven't got to ride my zr7s, but I'm really excited about the bike still, I'm all the time reading reviews and storys about the bike and I love hearing the expierences people have had, but most I find seem like its testers being paid to ride the bike, not someone who actually went out and purchased it. so i thought it would be neat to get some personal opinions from real owners not someone getting paid to increase sales. Why did you choose the bike? Why the naked look? This bike seems to have some big respect from a lot of people, what are some things you don't like about the bike, that is if for some reason some one has a complaint. Honestly I've never heard of the bike, but I got a good deal and decided to check it out, then realising it had a very respectable fan base. So tell me why this bike is special to you.
 

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2002 ZR-7S

First a little history on me. Got my first, and only other, bike in April of 1983. It was a 1982 Suzuki GS650L. 4 cylinder, shaft drive, cruiser-ish styling of the day. Rode it until 1993 when I gave it to my sister with only 28,000 miles on it.

April of 2002 I picked up my "Blurple" 2002 ZR-7S.

Why the ZR-7S. Well, I wanted a 4-cylinder bike. I did NOT want a cruiser, however, I could not contort myself onto a true sportbike. So doing research I found that what I was looking for was a "Standard". Kawasaki's ad literature of the day called it a "Sport-Styled Standard". I would agree.

Well, in the Standard category at the time there were the following bikes to choose from. Kawasaki offered the ZR-7S and the ZRX-1200. Suzuki had the Bandit 600 and 1200. Honda had the 599 and the 919. Yamaha offered the FZ-1.

Well, I didn't want a "liter bike" as I was fearful of the insurance rates. The 600cc bikes were too "buzzy" and had to be "wound up" to really get any power.

So, that really only "left" the ZR-7S. I went to look at one and liked it. Sat on it and thought, "I could do this". Then I found a dealer that let me take a short test ride and I was sold. Bought the bike the following week.
 

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2002 ZR-7S

I am now rapidly approaching 50,000 miles on that ZR-7S that I mentioned in the previous post. It has served me very well.

As most owners will tell you, this bike does many things GOOD. But, really doesn't do anything GREAT. If you start riding it with that thought in mind, you should not be disappointed.

There are those that use theirs as a Sport-Tourer. It will do that alright when equipped properly. Some treat it as a true Sport Bike. It will do that fair, if you remember the bike's limitations. It can be an all day cruiser too. It is comfortable. A few folks have added bar risers to make it even more comfortable. It is up to you, the owner to get this thing to do what you wnat it to, the best that it can.

Mine has been trouble free. It has only stranded me once. That was a broken clutch cable that I knew was going but kept putting off replacing.

If I had one serious gripe, it would be the soft front suspension. There are a number of fixes for that listed here on the forum. I've just been too lazy (an not adequately offended) to work to fix it. I just know the bike's limitations and have a blast riding anyway....

DAX, I hope you get yours out soon. If you get bored, take a look at the Ride On The Ridge threads... Perhaps you'll want to ride yours up here for that one spring.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I still have my shadow,in a way at least, my dad has forever wanted a shadow and i ended up with it with hardly anything in it, so I sat down and thought about it for a couplebdays and decided to give it to him, now he has it and I can ride it every day, to kind of be fair he got mettle zr7s as a project, because I'm all about personalization, I'm excited about the bike its nice to hear you live yours
 

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I was riding a KLR but fancied doing a bit more sport-touring. The Z was owned by a guy looking for a KLR so we just traded.
For me, the big attraction was the normal riding position, I'm English and this kind of bike is all I've ever been exposed to, Cruisers were not big when I lived in the UK.

I like the decent power and fairly smooth ride.
I wish it had a sixth gear. It will cruise comfortably at 140-150 km/h but a bit buzzy.
Not wild about the headlight on high beam.
I have the -S so the 1\2 fairing is nice. I did put handguards on it though and will fit heated grips soon.
It's a pity there aren't more around but parts etc.. seem reasonable.

Good looking in an understated way, makes me think of the Silver Surfer.
I really like the fact that it's not "look at me", quietly get's the job done, is fun on twisty roads and comfortable on the bald-*** straight line prairie where I live.

Zaphod
,
 

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I would also reflect what was stated above, I started on a Kawasaki '79 KZ650, then '82 KZ1100, 30k miles between those two, then a terrible crash on the 1100. From there I just rode anything that I could get the keys for, I had a Suzuki DRZ400S for a while, but it was too uncomfortable. After riding 25-30 other borrowed bikes, I settled on the ZR7S. The sport bikes hurt my wrists, the cruisers hurt my back, the Bandit's & 919's did not seem to have the solid quality "feel" that the ZR7S seems to have, it seems to do all things well! As I have gotten older, comfort has taken the front seat to all-out performance, again as above, I would echo GUMP, he is on-point. I like the simplicity of the air cooling, and the accessibility of a non-faired bike, I like how it disappears in a crowd.....this is the first motorcycle (of the 16 I have owned!) that I see staying indefinitely!!

Michael
 

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heres my story
i was looking for a big bike as it would be my first big bike and i was out for a 600cc kind of bike maybe a bandit, but i saw by chance a red zr-7 and i just kind of wanted it after seeing it, and that was it i had to have it coz it had averything i wanted and big fat 750cc engine the naked look and japanese relability and it was cheap
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does it seem to hold its own performance wise when comapred to modern bikes, I mean I have friends that ride busas, I don't see it comparing there, but maybe if the group decides to punch it a little does it hang pretty well???
 

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If it does get left behind, you'll find it will catch up when all the others have to stop for gas!
220 to 250 miles to a tankful!
 

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I had a 81 Honda 900F Supersport. It was fast but real heavy so it didn't handle or brake well. I wanted something a little smaller but still quick. Sport bikes were too uncomfortable for my 6'-3" body. Didn't want a cruiser. Touring and sport touring bikes were too big. I first saw an blurple 02 at a used bike shop but someone bought it. I got mine soon after from a private sale.

It's a "jack of all trades, master of none" bike. Very versatile. Cheap to buy, insure and maintain. Dependable. I've ridden with a couple of guys with Busas. In a straightaway they will pull away from you pretty quick. But on a twisty road the ZR is actually quicker.

First thing to replace is the stock seat. Get a Corbin. Second thing to fix is the fork springs. A lot of people fix the jetting but mine's stock. It runs a little rough below 3000 rpm. Wish it had a sixth gear which would make it even better on the highway. I've put Givi hardbags on mine so I can commute to work with my laptop and lunchbox, rainsuit etc. Once you get hardbags on a bike you'll never want a bike without them.

Unlike a sportbike, it is easy to find the bike's limits and to get comfortable pushing them. It will make you a better rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My shadow has hard back soft bags, I know they're handy I just don't like the looks of them on sports looking bikes.I have to problem hooking a bag around me like I did on my gsxr, I miss that bike, I'm hoping owning this bike will help better handle a bike like that. this one is so versatile though, I do picture myself holding on to it for quite some time
 

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I grew up on dirt bikes and 4-wheelers. In college I rode a Suzuki GS500E. When it died, I couldn't afford to buy another bike, so I bought an old pick-up truck. Since then it has been one thing after another and no real funds available for a bike. About six months ago I decided damn it all I had to have another bike and I stumbled across this sexy naked bike for sale in a parking lot in my hometown with a price tag I could not believe. I test rode it and I was hooked. I recently rode in the 2010 Streetfighterz Ride of the Century in St. Louis, and I can honestly say I would not trade my ZR-7S for any of the other bikes in that ride. While true sport bikes look good, it would kill my back to ride one of those bikes on a weekend trip. By the way, I did not have any trouble keeping up with the hundreds of sport bikes in the Streetfighterz group, which slowed and accelerated frequently, hitting 100+ on the freeway. The only thing about my 7S that seemed out of place (in my mind anyway) were my Givi tubular luggage racks, and the rear fender, of course. My only fear is that my 7S will die and I will not be able to replace it.
 

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When I bought my ZR-7 in 2002 I'd had my license for 2 years and wanted a larger bike than the Yamaha Radian I was riding. I looked at cruisers mostly at that point. Then 3 of my friends showed up at my house one day. Bill had a 2001 V-Max, Butch had a 98 VFR, and Mickey had a ZR-7. They kept commenting on how well the ZR handled. I looked the looks of it. I continued looking at cruisers but saw a 2000 ZR-7 leftover in the showrrom. After looking at the ZR and the cruisers and going back and forth from bike to bike I bought the ZR-7. It was a good choice. During my tenure with the ZR I had a KLR650 for a while. I sold the KLR and kept the ZR. I had a lot of fun on the KLR but the ZR was more fun. It was also as dependable as an anvil. I got many comments on the color but being a standard in a world of chromed out cruisers and race striped super sports it did not get a lot of attention. I rode it for 8 1/2 years and put 43,000 awesome miles on it. It was easy to ride, did everything well, and was easy to maintain. I replaced it a couple months ago with an FJR1300, mostly because the type of riding I had been doing the last 2 years had changed. I had gone from riding in my spare time to a lot of highway commuting. I wish I could have kept the ZR but I could not afford to maintain and insure 2 bikes.

I still love my old ZR even though it's gone. I will never forget it.
 

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All my comments are echos of above ... it handles well enough, brakes good enough, goes fast enough, is comfortable enough ... it does nothing great except fuel range. It's fun to go 2:1 on gas stops with the guys you ride with. You will be the slow guy if you are riding with a group of modern sport bikes, but you will be faster through the curves than the cruisers.

I was looking for a trouble free bike with some torque, something I could throw a set of soft bags on and go for a week's ride. I was coming off a leaky old Honda CX650E, and I wanted something easy to work on, that wasn't going to drool oil all over my garage floor. The dealer gave me a good price and it was mine.

In 85,000 km, it never left me stranded. Nothing broke, and the only things that wore out were things you'd expect ... except the speedo cable that broke on the way to the dealers. In all that time I had one valve go out of spec and need adjustment. It would burn a little oil on all day Interstate runs, but none in regular use. It never dripped a drop. Change the oil every 5000km, clean and lube the chain, and replace what needs replaced. It was a great bike to learn how to wrench on, and parts are generally available ... accessories, not so much.

I traded mine in at the end of May. The trade in price was stupidly good on a V-Strom. I'm a big tall handsome brute, and the bigger bike is just more comfortable. The Kawi didn't owe me anything, and the dealer turned it over and sold it darn quick.
 
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