The grand daddy of the Kawasaki Z line is the Z1000, a thrill ride that produces absurd levels of powerful performance while also boasting of distinctive aesthetic qualities.

It’s no secret why bikers have fallen head-over-heels for the Z1000 because, really, what’s not to like? Its aesthetic details begin with a low-mount front cowl that slopes back in a manner that highlights the Z’s sleek and stylish design. On top of that, the bike also has line-beam headlights that are integrated nicely into that angled cowl. At the back, there’s a shapely fuel tank that’s flared on the sides to let you grab it with your knees and trim at the back for a snug fit. Meanwhile, the bike’s seat is low and narrow at the front, which makes for easy ground contact while also flowing aggressively to the rear, providing a thoroughly athletic shape that has made millions of riders coo in delight.

As for its performance capabilities, the Z1000 is powered by a 1,043cc liquid-cooled, high-compression dual-cam engine that provides a unique riding experience bolstered by instantaneous thrust, unbridled power, and superb handling. The engine’s performance capabilities is impressive in its own right; but when you factor in its handling characteristics, it takes the experience to a whole new level.

The Z1000 boasts of new cutting-edge technology, highlighted by an aluminum frame similar to the ZX-10R, one that curves over the engine, cradling it from above. This allows the engine to be bolted solidly to the frame in three places, stressed-member-style, while a rubber mount at the upper rear crankcase area provides added vibration damping and torsional rigidity.

Every kind of detail you’d want in a high-powered sports bike, the Kawasaki Z1000 has an answer to. It’s no secret why it’s considered an industry leader in every sense of the word.

Find out more about the Kawasaki Z1000 after the jump.

  • 2012 Kawasaki Z1000
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    liquid-cooled, high-compression dual-cam engine
  • Displacement:
    1043 L


2012 Kawasaki Z1000 Drivetrain
- image 428809
  • Liquid-cooled inline-four offers substantial power at all rpm levels, providing effortless acceleration in almost any situation
  • Bore and stroke dimensions of 77.0 x 56.0mm offer the best possible balance of peak power and low and mid-range flexibility
  • 38mm downdraft throttle bodies allow intake air to travel to the engine in the shortest possible distance
  • Oval sub-throttles help keep the engine slim – a good thing since the throttle bodies are positioned between the rider’s knees
  • Soft rev limiter provides good overrev character; power doesn’t drop off suddenly at high rpm
  • The crankshaft is positioned low in the crankcase assembly to allow a longer stroke without adding engine height
  • A secondary balancer, driven off a gear on the sixth web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration


2012 Kawasaki Z1000 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 428808
  • Rear suspension design positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm where it’s less exposed to exhaust heat and contributes to mass centralization
  • Visible from the outside, the horizontal monoshock contributes to the Z1000’s aggressive appearance
  • Linkage characteristics are the same as those of a standard Uni-Trak® rear suspension: Wheel movement versus shock stroke is the same ratio
  • The shock features stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability


2012 Kawasaki Z1000 Exterior
- image 428805
  • The Z1000’s 300mm front petal-style brake discs are gripped by opposed four-piston radial-mount calipers. (Caliper piston size is 4x30 mm)
  • A radial-pump front brake master cylinder contributes to the superb control and feel offered by these high-end calipers
  • The rear brake is a single-piston, pin-slide caliper gripping a 250mm petal-style disc. The caliper is mounted below the swingarm, and located by a torque rod


2012 Kawasaki Z1000 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 428812
Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement 1043 cc
Bore x Stroke 77.0 x 56.0mm
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Fuel System DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
Ignition TCBI Digital Advance
Transmission 6-Speed
Final Drive X-Ring Chain
Frame Type Aluminum Backbone
Rake/Trail 24.5 deg. / 4.1 in.
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 Tire Size 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire Size 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase 56.7 in.
Front Brakes Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear Brakes Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper
Fuel Capacity 4.0 gal.
Seat Height 32.1 in.
Overall Length 82.5 in.
Overall Width 31.7 in.
Overall Height 42.7 in.
Color Choices TBD


Ultimate Motorcycling----"The Z1000 was designed for those who’d just rather go naked. The Kawasaki features all the aggressive looks paired with all the aggressive power and handling to satisfy these naked urges."

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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  (517) posted on 07.5.2012

You know that this Z1000 designed to position the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm to lessen the exposure to exhaust heat.

  (570) posted on 07.4.2012

This is definitely a zooming piece. It toppled the other motorcycle and feeding the thirst of the speed freaks.

  (1) posted on 06.8.2012

Impressive bike, took one for a ride at my Kawa dealer and I just have to get one. I’ve ridden a few new bikes lately that I was thinking of buying, but I was blown away with the Z1000.

  (526) posted on 04.24.2012

This is like branded with the makers’ efforts as its engine is beyond spectacular.

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