The Z750 quietly got on with being one of the best Kawasakis for years. Is the new model ready to kick more middleweight ass?
When Kawasaki entered the competitive naked 600 market in 2004 it pulled a familiar trick. Following the 636cc ZX-6R's lead, the firm simply entered the middle weight sector with a 600 that wasn't. It was, in fact, the Z750. Buyers didn't give a sniff though, because as a package the Z750 worked really well.
While UK sales figures weren't great, since it's inception the has Z750 dominated roadtests against the competition. It even pushed the odd sports bike nose out of place on TWO's 2005 'King of Bikes' test.
When updated models and new bikes such as Suzuki's GSR600 came looking, the Zed kept its guard up and defended the title. On the naked middleweight block, the Z750 was very much the Daddy.
Visually the mostly all-new Z750 is a nice evolution of the original theme, and with enough differences to instantly tell it from its 1000cc big brother. The clocks have changed too, with a neatly balanced analogue and digital layout featuring a clear, white-faced tacho in place of the old model's illegible LCD effort - just like the Z1000's you'll have seen on the previous page.
Heading into the Spanish twisties, it was within minutes apparent that this was going to be a different riding experience to the outgoing 750. The fuelling (one of the plus points on the old Zed) is still bang-on. The throttle bodies have been reduced by two millimetres from 34 to 32mm, which has helped keep things smooth, but the whole process of getting on and off the throttle has been worked on, right down to the amount of slack in the cable. It's a perfect example of how an EFI system should work.
But while the fuelling is good the power delivery isn't so inspiring. The engine has had a re-tune in an effort to find more power at the bottom and middle of the rev range. It doesn't feel weak, but it also doesn't feel like an improvement over the old model. Exiting second gear corners at 5000rpm and winding the throttle on the tacho needle meanders rather than spins around the dial, and only gets into its stride over 7500rpm. The most responsive and enjoyable part of the rev range is from just under 8000 to 11,500rpm, 1000rpm before the rev limiter brings a gentle interruption to your fun.
Continue the Kawasaki Z750 Review
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