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2011 Kawasaki Z750R

Europe is the birthplace of the original streetfighter motorcycles, stripped-down sportbikes that engendered an entirely new class of production bikes termed "street-nakeds" or "sport standards," among other names. Europeans still love sporty bikes that come from the factory sans fairings, and in the last couple of years, Kawasaki has really hit the market sweet-spot with their Z750.

After the global financial crisis, however, sales began to taper off. Fortunately, Kawasaki has responded aggressively, introducing the new 2011 Kawasaki Z750R. New styling is the most marked departure from the bike's predecessor. There is an all-new bikini fairing up front, as well as new instrumentation in the gauge cluster. There is also a new muffler, or you can opt for an Akrapovic system for an additional cost. Other options include a spoiler and faux carbon fiber design pieces.

The Z750R will be powered by a 16-valve, DOHC inline-four that displaces 748cc. Power is claimed to peak at 106 hp at 10,500 RPM, along with 58 lb-feet of torque at 8300 RPM. The standard Z750 chassis will remain unchanged; however, much has been updated and enhanced in terms of suspension and braking. The fork will be a 41mm inverted model - a carryover from the 2009 Z1000 - and the swingarm will be an all-new element with a piggyback-style shock adjustable for both preload and rebound.

Front brakes will feature 300 mm rotors coupled with four-piston, radial-mounted calipers. The rotors will also be thicker than standard Z750 fare at 6.0 mm as opposed to 4.5 mm. ABS will be available - for a price.

In terms of paint schemes, the Z750R will be available in either two-tone or a very cool matte-black. Now if Kawasaki would just bring this sport-naked to US shores! Suzuki is bringing the GSR750, a very comparable machine in terms of concept, performance, and design.

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