2. Kawasaki ZX-7R

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-7R

The solid workhorse when the 750cc four-cylinder Superbike era came to a close, the Kawasaki ZX-7R was never significantly changed during its eight-year run (1996 – 2003). Yet it endeared itself to loyal followers both on and off the racetrack.

It may have been portly in comparison to its rivals of the time, but many were drawn to its wide, muscular looks that gained a cult following. The engine was nothing to rave about, but the confidence and sure-footedness of the front end is the stuff of legend. Eric Bostrom was once quoted as calling it one of the best front ends he’s ever ridden. Of course, this was on his ZX-7RR AMA Superbike, but you get the idea.

Best of all, 7Rs can be had for cheap these days. Look for low mileage examples, as beaters are practically worth nothing. However, a low-mileage, properly maintained 7R (and especially 7RR) will retain its value well over time.