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Mean and Very Green: 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 for Sale

Forgoing the elegance and class of the European sportbikes, Kawasaki’s unabashedly garish ZX-7R, or ZXR-750 as it was known in other markets, is splashed with jagged graphics in vivid green, white, and blue. Not a modern, metallic, beetle-green, of course. Kawasaki’s impossibly green green, with the un-self-consciously adolescent “Ninja” in fluorescent lettering splashed across the tank, along with a pair of HVAC air tubes that don’t actually feed a pressurized airbox, just direct cooling air at the cylinder head… I hated these bikes when I was younger. But I’d buy one in a heartbeat now, since I could ride a Ninja with a sense of humor about the name, and not be worried that people might think I had a pair of tabi boots in my closet and some shuriken in my sock drawer next to a pair of nunchaku…

The ZX-7R was Kawasaki’s entry into the hotly-contested 750cc superbike class in racing and on the street, their answer to the Suzuki GSX-R750, Yamaha’s YZF-750R, and Honda’s RC30. At the time, the 750cc inline four was the go-to configuration in World Superbike competition, unless you were Ducati. Of course, each manufacturer built limited-production homologation specials to help create the very best foundation for their World Superbike entries, except for Honda, whose RC30 was basically an homologation special to begin with.

The ZX-7R sold in 1991 is generally known as the “J1,” so what’s going on here with what the seller claims is a “K1”? Although they provided a wide range of tuning parts for their ZX-7/ZXR-750 that allowed them to compete successfully, Kawasaki didn’t really create an homologation special until the 1991 model year’s ZX-7R K1. The K1’s solo seat and aluminum tank meant it was was lighter, while flat-slide carbs and higher compression meant the engine made a bit more power and could rev a bit higher. Different ratios with a taller first gear were better for the track, but made stoplight getaways a clutch-slipping pain. Price was nearly double the stock bike, but worth it if you wanted to be competitive.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 for Sale

Some of the most exotic motorcycles ever sold to the public were built during the 1990s, the golden era for homologation Superbikes.  For sale is a rare and wonderful example of such a motorcycle – a limited edition 1991 Kawasaki ZX-7R K1 production-based race bike.  

The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R K1 was a special limited edition of Kawi’s ZX-7R used in AMA Superbike. Kawasaki enjoyed tremendous success in competitive racing with this bike, and plenty of that tech made it to the ‘civilian’ version. Required to produce 500 examples for homologation purposes, Kawi packed this bike full of features like 39mm Keihin flat-slide carbs, an aluminum gas tank, and a close ratio six speed transmission with an exceedingly tall first gear. All these goodies nearly doubled the MSRP compared to a base ZX-7R, but for the lucky 142 riders in the US who got to buy one, it was well worth it.  Weighing 10 pounds less than a base ZX-7R, the K1 had a tweaked engine with higher compression and a redline that was 500 rpm higher. This powerplant produced 120 horsepower at the crank, leading to a top speed of just under 160 miles per hour. (from the website bike-urious).
This particular model has only 3,100 miles and starts, runs and rides beautifully…and sounds great with Muzzy exhaust.  The upper fairing near the right side mirror has a couple small cracks (don’t ask), but the bike is in remarkably nice shape overall and shows no sign of having been down.  A new lithium battery is included, as well.

Please Note:  I’m listing this bike for a friend who has an exceptionally nice collection of motorcycles for sale, including other homologation bikes (Honda VFR750R RC30, Yamaha FZR750R OW01, numerous rare Ducati’s), a Vincent Black Shadow, an Ariel Square Four, two BSA Gold Stars, a 1937 UL Flathead Harley Davidson, etc. (additional photos included above).

These are very rare and were extremely expensive when new, and there’s been plenty of interest in sportbikes of the late 1980s and early 1990s recently. The starting bid for this ZX-7R K1 is $18,000 with no takers yet and several days left on the auction. The last one we featured sold for $14,500 back in 2015, so $18,000 seems like a fair price for this very clean, low-mileage example but maybe a bit high for a starting bid?



  • Why do these guys who have too much cash with these bikes feel like they have to show off all thier other bikes toys? Am I supposed to be impressed?

    • I always wondered the same thing. I really couldn’t care less about the seller’s BSA, RC45, or Mickey Mouse/Disney artwork collection.

    • I personally am not impressed but that kind of thing, but I could see it suggesting that the seller is a real collector, and takes care of/pride in the machines they own. I’d rather see that the bike was a cherished part of a larger collection than that it was under a tarp in the back of a garage for the past ten years, and only recently rolled out and cleaned up.

    • I have to agree. If you had the choice between:
      A. Buy a bike from SLC Gary, who has it in what appears to be a walk out basement, fully serviced and cared for or
      B. A bike dirty, unserviced, and unkept, being knocked into and stuff stored on it for 10 years in a dirty garage

      Most would pick A. Don’t look at it as bragging, but more of an accurate representation of where your next bike came from.

  • At least hang the Texas flag right side up.

  • I love seeing great bike collections, and knowing it came from a good home is worth a lot. Absolutely wrong with that. Price seems a premium for that bike, but it is a clean low mile example.

  • Cool bikes. This looks exceptionally clean.

    They had their year or so in the spotlight but now not so highly sought after. Get a LE GSXR instead and a J standard ZX7 for the cool paint.

    Production numbers were never confirmed. Find it funny seeing people make very granular claims with no backup or reasoning. One high mileage K bike for sale in Alberta claiming there are only 8 of them brought into Canada. There are more than 8 in one city in Alberta alone!

  • I guess I’m paranoid having 4 rare 2 strokes in my garage i don’t feel the need to advertise to the world come rip me off.

  • First of all I really enjoy the bikes on this site and have met some truely great guys on it, of which a couple have become great friends, what i do get tired of is the bashing of guys with nice collections of bikes, we are the cartakers of these historical bikes, just because you see a few other bikes in the back ground, doesn’t mean one is bragging or showing off…. and smokin Joe… do you think the barber museum is worried about someone riping them off?🤔 One word for you, INSURANCE…

  • I’m with K3 on this one. First off, the Disney pics in the background is because Gary puts his best bikes inside his home, he’s not showing off his Art..bust the guys chops because of what he has on the walls?…Get a life! The guy selling the ZX7R, if you read his post, he’s helping to sell many of the bikes in the collection and therefore showing what else is coming. After a long talk with him yesterday, the guy is cool as sh**. This site is the ONLY site I check regularly, I’ve bought no less then a dozen bikes that have graced the pages of it over the years (sold some too) and much like K3, made some great friends through it. Now that I think about it, most of the bikes I find are in the background…more so then featured ads, etc. A lot of these collections are not for the public and I think it’s awesome to see them. No one is bragging or showing off, just proud of their collections and they have every right to be….God knows I would be if I had a dozen or so Ducati’s! Besides that, I’d rather buy a bike from an enthusiast (collectors included) then some guy that doesn’t know a thing about taking care of it…or riding it for that matter.

  • It’s not worth 18k first of all. And with the upper cowl damage which are complete unobtanium anymore, this price is way out of line for a collector. That damage takes a considerable amount off of the value for a true collector because good luck getting that fixed right.

  • These factory zx7s are officially part of the 90s homologated superbike club. They look great, handle well and emit such an aggressive look of a bygone era.

    Not much to argue. Looks to be in great condition and these bikes sound perfect with the Muzzy.

    Thanks for sharing……these bikes always get the responses flowing and that pretty much sums up their popularity.

  • K3 Spoken like someone who’s never had a bike stolen from them before.

  • 18 grand with a trashed upper fairing? Riiiggggttt!

  • I say keep it. The RC and the OW will miss their cousin.

  • Anybody know if the upper fairing really is unobtainable? To my ignorant eye, it sure looks just like a standard zx-7. The tank and tail on the other hand, it is good they are not trashed.. my .02

  • Yes they are unobtainable. If you have restored these things you will quickly realize why the values of these machines are increasing. The big 4 do not have parts in their inventories that are over 10 years in most cases now . So if you are looking for something 20 years plus and you want a NOS part, good luck. Maintenance parts are somewhat still available, body and a lot of mechanical not anymore. Oh did I mention carburetors and parts are also extremely scarce. So to have damage in a upper cowl like this is definitely hurts value especially for those of us that know what it takes to make these machines showroom.

  • I’m restoring a 91 ZX7R as we speak and I agree, absolutely impossible to find parts! Thankfully mine wasn’t terribly bad but I it’s been a nightmare! Had a dealer in Europe tell me they had many of the parts I needed but once the order shipped about 5% of the order was filled. One person on this board was a life saver on a couple of key parts but they weren’t cheap. Point I’m making, just know if you’re thinking about restoring one, be prepared to open your wallet! Kap is absolutely right, I was able to find mechanical parts, bolts, some brackets etc (new old stock) but fairings, tanks, oem exhaust, major components….forget about it!

    • +1 on the difficulty of finding parts for this gen Jap bikes. Most mechanical parts are still around as they were shared with a lot of other bikes (typically), but cosmetics and the like – gone. I’ve restored 2 slab side Gixxers and am now finishing an 87 FZR750R “refresh” and essentially, if you need a fairing, you’re going to be dealing with rddecals.afegraphics.com (great product/service by the way) and hoping your painter can get a match for the stock paint, which in my experience takes a LOT of trial/error. Most of these gen Jap bikes have pearl in the paint and its damn near impossible to get a good match. You’ll end up repainting the whole bike… Color Rite paints are hit and miss.

      I have an easier time finding parts for my 1976 Guzzi Lemans than I do for the late 80s Jap stuff.

  • Hey motoman… I told you just to buy one in a crate… easier way to have a perfect one lol

  • Thanks Billy B, met with a painter today. It’s going to be a small fortune but what the heck…I want it nice and since I have a brand new old stock tank in a box…now I need the rest of the bike to be perfect! Going to be one expensive ZX but I LOVE ZX7’s so it’s well worth it. K3….you are killing me 🙂 I happen to know someone with one in a crate, I’m going to offer him a ridiculous amount for it when my new venture pays off. Not “if” but “when”!!!!

    • Getting one of these bikes perfect is near impossible. When it comes to parts you gotta work with what’s out there. Your lucky when you find parts with damage on them. Best finds are from the guys that replace there nice parts with perfect parts and sell off the extras. It’s nice to score an aluminum tank even if it got damaged by a ladder. Wink, wink. There is just not much out there.

  • Never!!! Unless I die, then it’s yours buddy

  • No sale at $18,000.

    – Mike

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