50 years of iconic MJ motorcycle: Kawasaki ZXR 750

Ninjas became formidable sports road cars in the 80s, but Akashi went back to basics with the introduction of a radical machine in 1989: the ZXR 750 Stinger. For the 50th anniversary of the Moto Journal, a special edition was released with the presentation of 50 iconic motorcycles, including this famous charismatic sports car. Series of nostalgia!

At the time, Moto Journal wrote: “His name? ZXR. His offset? 750 cc His ambition? Spray everything that rolls.”

While rivals make real copies like Honda and its RC 30, Yamaha and its OW01 or Suzuki and its legendary GSX-R, Kawasaki responds, not without ennoblement, with the release of the 1000 RX or ZX-10 Tomcats. Nevertheless, “ The Kawasaki tribe is back on the warpath with deadly weapons. Her name ? ZXR (ZX-7 in the US). His offset? 750 cc His ambition? Spray everything that rolls “says Bertrand Sebilo in Moto Journal. A young test rider who wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans nine years later in a… Kawasaki ZXRfull of praise for a formidable warrior who has just been born.


The piping, like that of a household vacuum cleaner, split at the tank to supply the cylinder head rather than directly to the airbox as expected. A nice shot that really became part of the Stinger’s signature style.

Its relatively subdued and subdued sound will seduce you immediately. We sit at the remote control, nothing interferes, everything seems to be as usual. Once you ride, you feel like you are on familiar ground, which is why this bike feels easy to get to grips with. After a few laps on an unknown track, you find yourself attacking (…) Its relationship with the ZX-7, the official car that participated in the non-existent World Endurance Championship, is obvious. To emphasize this family resemblance, the French version uses the colors of the second car during the last 24 Hours of Le Mans 88: green, white and red. If the raw power of the Stinger isn’t impressive, since its maximum power was only 107 horsepower., you had to go through the adoption of a competition kit to see the performance skyrocket. Let’s not forget that in France at that time there was a law on 100 hp.

Kawasaki ZXR 750, an over-equipped motorcycle for its time.

This machine, called the American anti-aircraft missile, had a whole technical arsenal to carry out. GPX based engine Lightweight connecting rod assembly adopted, clutch with anti-torque disengagement system (ancestor of the limited friction system), and the oil circuit included a bulky radiator. Dual semi-floating discs are adorned with a remote master cylinder when two huge pipes sent air to … the cylinder head. Indeed, there was no air duct under the tank to supply air to the filter, as on an endurance machine.


With relentless escalation in the face of competition, the Stinger only lasted two years. From 1990 version (H2) offered new colors, new exhaust from Endurance, carburettors 2mm largerand a whole host of new engine parts, as well as swingarm reinforcements and a lighter rear wheel. The H2 produced 5 horsepower more and 5 kg less than the H1., which matters to some fans of the model. In 1992, a new version featuring a new fairing and inverted fork will allow the ZX-R 750 to continue to compete on equal terms.

To learn more about the Kawasaki ZXR 750, click here for the technical sheet and the latest!

This article by Damien Bullo (responsible for special editions) is taken from the Moto Journal Hors-Série 50 ans.

The motorcycle magazine is 50 years old.  Motorcycle cult