Sunday, April 08, 2007


Questions on the ZX7R from the mailbag

"Hello Tim, my name is Glenn [last name omitted] and I teach music at [omitted] Charter School, Missouri. I am a percussionist/pianist and any stringed instrument player. My other passion is adrenaline which is why I own a Banshee and my favorite toy, the 96' ZX7R (persimmon). I'm writing you because I enjoy reading your blogs and I can't seem to find anyone that knows how to get the most out of a ZX7. Currently I have a full Muzzy, K&N, Factory Jetting, +4timing advance, and I run 93 octane. I am curious to know how Kawasaki tuned the 2000-2002 ZX7s to get them to compete with the bigger/newer bikes. I hope I'm not bugging you, but I would love to get the most out of my bike. It is the most comfortable bike I have ever been on and the handling is phenomenal. Thanks for your time and keep playin. Glenn"

Hi Glenn,

There are several things that can be done to make your 7R go faster, ranging all the way from the addition of 7RR flat-slide carbs to the most invasive surgery I've ever seen, the infamous ZX9R motor swap. But personally, I don't recommend that you do any of those things. You could spend a lot of money and time, and still wouldn't have a bike that could compete with the ZX10R or GSXR1000 in terms of raw horsepower.

My ZX7R is mostly stock. I've installed Factory Pro jets, a BMC air filter (which I recommend highly over K&N), and a D&D slip-on pipe. I also have the bike sprocketed pretty low (one tooth down on the crank, two teeth up on the rear). I advanced my ignition when I first got the bike, but actually lost power with that mod, so I went back to original.

Other than those minor changes, I pretty much just enjoy the bike as-is. My 7R runs low 7s in the 1/8 mile, and is the perfect bracket racer -- easy to launch, quick to make torque, and stable as a bullet train. She's awesome in the twisties, as well. Of course, I probably don't need to tell you that.

Fuelwise, I run Howell Super Red mixed half-and-half with 92 octane pump gas. In regard to horsepower, it's the perfect concoction for my climate and elevation.

Thanks for reading my blogs and taking the time to write. I appreciate it very much. It's also nice to talk with fellow professional musicians who love motorcycles. I think we're all kindred spirits in many aspects.

I hope these ramblings were informative. Write me again any time!

Kindest regards,

Tim Kreitz

Afterword: In the final two years of competition, the AMA allowed the ZX7R to be bored to 800cc to keep it competitive. One of those years, it came within only a few points of winning the championship, once again showing the superiority of its aging design.

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