It might seem a little presumptuous to heap praise on a bike that was only redesigned a year ago, but in the case of the Kawasaki Z1000 , all the early praise seems justified. It’s not the most powerful or the most visually stimulating bike on the market, but the Z1000 touches on all the bases to make it a crowd favorite.
The bike’s rakishly stunning lines and contoured shape makes for an aesthetically pleasant vibe. Performance capabilities are also impressive, thanks to a 1043cc liquid-cooled 16-valve dual cam engine that provides just enough horsepower and torque to keep it from lagging behind the rest of the lot.
The Z1000 is the perfect epitome of a ’happy motorcycle’, one that’s often described as giving customers the feeling that their money spent on the bike was worth every last penny. All that considering the fact that this Kawasaki bike is relatively young by motorcycle standards, making it even more impressive any which way you look at it.
Find out more about the Kawasaki Z1000 after the jump
Totally redesigned from the model we saw a year ago, the Z1000 features a wide range of new-think moto technology, including an aluminum frame similar to the one found on the ZX-10R that curves over the engine, cradling it from above. This new design language translates to a narrow mid-section, allowing for a high degree of rider comfort and feedback in addition to keeping weight low and chassis rigidity high. A solid-mount handlebar and aluminum footpegs are also lifted from the Ninja ZX-10R contribute to the Z1000’s quality top-shelf feel. The engine of the bike is bolted solidly to the frame in three places, stressed-member-style, while a rubber mount at the upper rear crankcase area was put into place to add vibration damping and torsional rigidity. The bike’s main frame and swingarm pivot elements are cast as a single unit with the welds eliminated wherever possible for a more aesthetically pleasing look. As for the subframe, Kawasaki used a lightweight aluminum die-casting, casting a light, smooth, and beautiful look to the bike’s overall appeal.
The aesthetic design of the bike begins with a low-mount front cowl that slopes back radically, highlighting the Z’s prow and, behind it, an adjustable instrument cluster featuring a multifunction LCD display covered by a trick-looking orange lens. The headlight set-up of the bike also represents Kawasaki technology with the first-ever use of a line-beam unit. The seat is low and narrow at the front to make ground contact easy, and flows beautifully to the rear ending with a futuristically retro LED taillight behind a red lens.
The Kawasaki Z1000 is powered by a 1043cc liquid-cooled 16-valve dual cam engine with 56mm of stroke for instantaneous thrust. The result is a bike that can pack impressive horsepower outputs and when combined with the sort of flexible, mid-range-heavy power, delivers impressive results to anyone lucky enough to be aboard. From nearly any rpm level, the Z1000’s throttle provides the kind of instant gratification that not a lot of sportsbikes in this market can compete with.
Brakes and Suspension
Carrying a suspension set-up at both ends that’s thoroughly modern and wickedly functional, the Kawasaki Z1000 is the picture of balance and handling. A fully adjustable 41mm inverted fork up front and a spring preload and rebound damping adjustable horizontal back-link shock is mounted above the swingarm to shield it from exhaust heat and foster an added degree of mass centralization. As far as brakes are concerned, the Z1000 carries radially mounted calipers, Ninja-spec 300mm petal-type rotors and a radial-pump master cylinder, all providing the latest in braking feel and feedback.
|Engine||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four|
|Bore x stroke||77.0 x 56.0mm|
|Fuel injection||DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles|
|Ignition||TCBI with digital advance|
|Final drive||X-ring chain.|
|Rake / trail||24.5 degrees / 4.1 in.|
|Frame type||Aluminum Backbone.|
|Front tire||120/70 ZR17.|
|Rear tire||190/50 ZR17.|
|Front suspension / wheel travel||41 mm inverted cartridge fork with stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in.|
|Rear suspension / wheel travel||Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4 in.|
|Front brakes||Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper|
|Overall length||82.5 in.|
|Overall width||31.7 in.|
|Overall height||42.7 in.|
|Seat height||32.1 in.|
|Curb weight||481 lbs.|
|Fuel capacity||4.0 gal.|
|Color choices||Candy Lime Green / Ebony, Ebony|