Written on: 20/03/2006 by Valuetracker
*Quality retro styling.
*Modern brakes and suspension.
*Low center of balance making for exceptional low speed manoeuvrability.
*Engine perforance is smooth and broard.
*Reliable traditional 'Z' based engine.
*The sadle is one a kind for long distance riding.
* Overall excellent value for money.
* Desperately needs a fairing of some kind.
* Colour scheme is derived from a boiled candy assortment and limited to 3 at that, over 6 or so years of production.
I purchased a Kawasaki Zephyr 550 1998 model, candy purple in colour in 2000, with 37,500k's on the clock. It was an ex-government bike, so it had a full service history. I liked the look of it for the old Z900 characteristics, including a derivative of the old Z type motor. But this one had real brakes. It has the same rotors as the ZX7.
My inital reaction to my first ride was that the handling was silky smooth at any speed. The bulk of the weight is slung so low that a 'U' turn in a back alley is of piece cake. Wet road, bad road, wounded, this horse will get you home safe.
The power factor is quite dignified for a middy. Through the twisties it will keep the ZX7 in check, and yet with two average sized riders (200kg), it will still get you a ticket up hill or around the hill. Forget any back wheel tricks, but it will still climb over 210km/h. The 4 into 1 exhaust is quiet at idle but starts beating it 's drum over 5,000rpm.
If you don't mind the Gummy Bear colour selection and your arms stretching due to the lack of fairing, this bike is possibly the best value all rounder. The ER5 is not a bad replacement, but give back our brake disc and two extra cylinders!