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2010 Kawasaki Z1000 First Ride

Monday, December 14, 2009


For 2010  Kawasaki is importing a lighter  faster  and better looking Z1000 streetfighter.
For 2010, Kawasaki is importing a lighter, faster, and better-looking Z1000 streetfighter.
After a year hiatus, Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki returns to its high-performance street bike roots by bringing back the Z1000 to its U.S. motorcycle line-up for the New Year. And while the name remains the same, the 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 has been overhauled from top-to-bottom to deliver an easier and more entertaining ride for motorcyclists seeking a fun and civilized sport-oriented street bike.

Why Bring it Back?
 
The Z1000 is a Streetfighter-style motorcycle, which is essentially a sportbike stripped of some of its bodywork and fitted with a standard handlebar. While they’re the rage in Europe (I’ve seen them everywhere in Italy), here in the US of A, this style of motorbike continues to struggle on the sales floor compared to their full-fairing sportbike brethren. In spite of this, Kawasaki feels it has something special with the redesigned Z1000. So once again it is being imported into the States.
 
What’s So Special About It?
 
The previous Z1000 was a quirky bike. While there were certain attributes we enjoyed, including its spunky engine personality and sporty-yet-relaxed riding position, there were also elements that were just plain funky—the biggest complaint being its peculiar handling, excessive engine vibration and love-it-or-hate-it styling. The latest Zed-1 does away with those flukes, plus, it builds upon its fundamental fun-loving traits thereby delivering a fast, easy, and ultimately amusing motorcycle to operate.
A sharp new front cowl sloped back at an acute angle highlights the Z1000s new
nose.
The angle of the compact digital instrument panel is 3-way adjustable via a plastic knob. The display provides speed  a bar-style tachometer  odometer  double trip meters  clock and fuel gauge. Noticeably absent is a gear position indicator and coolant temperature display.
The Z1000 retains its signature quad exhaust pipes. Each muffler weights 1.5 lbs less due to a belly-mounted exhaust pre-chamber.
(Above) The front cowl has been widened and houses a double beam headlight. (Center) The angle of the digital instrument display is three-way adjustable. (Bottom) The Zed-1 retains its signature quad exhaust system.


Skin Deep 
 
Based on its similar exterior profile, one might assume that the new Z1000 is simply a modified version of the old bike. But that’s not the case. The new bike uses a purpose-built engine, frame and rear suspension (more on those later).
 
Visually designers gave it a thorough nip/tuck. The lines of the bike have been sharpened to give it a more contemporary shape. Additional bodywork was added in the form of the razor-sharp belly fairing and fork guards. The front fairing was also stretched and houses an updated double beam headlight. Towards the back, it retains a sleek high-mounted tail section with bright LED-style taillight and signature trapezoid-shaped quad exhaust pipes. The Z1000 comes in two color choices: Metallic Spark Black and Pearl Stardust White.
 
The controls are also upgraded and are highlighted by a thick tubular aluminum handlebar, compact LCD instrumentation, and stylized brake fluid reservoir. Furthermore, the angle of the instrument display can be adjusted in three positions via a tiny plastic adjustment knob. This gives the Z1000 an elegant, yet sporty cockpit similar in appearance to the Ducati Streetfighter.
 
Under the Hood
 
The Zed-1 now uses its very own 1043cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four engine. Kawasaki claims this new engine utilizes its own architecture and is not based off either the previous bikes’ 953cc ZX-9R-derived motor or the current one found in the Ninja ZX-10R. The 90cc bump in displacement is calculated via a slightly smaller bore (77.0 vs. 77.2 mm) and a larger stroke (56.0 vs. 50.9mm). Despite the added piston stroke, the engine’s exterior dimensions are almost the same as before. Fuel charge is compressed to a ratio of 11.8:1 and the engine features hot rod tuning tricks including a 16-valve cylinder head operated via dual overhead camshafts. An internal counter balancer, driven by a gear on the crankshaft, reduces engine vibration.
 
Intake air is captured via an air induction system that utilizes intake scoops on each side of the machine. Air funnels into the resonator chamber-equipped airbox which produces a similar sound effect to a person blowing over the top of an open glass bottle. This greatly enhances the intake sound while riding and ultimately creates a more thrilling riding experience. Air and gas are then mixed within a set of larger oval bore Keihin throttle bodies and injected into the engine via four fuel-injectors. 
 
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 uses an all-new 1043cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four engine that uses its own architecture not based off either the previous machines ZX-9R derived engine or the one found in the Ninja ZX-10R.
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 uses a horizontally-mounted back link hydraulic shock absorber. The design allows the shock to provide more consistent damping performance.
(Above) The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 uses an all-new 1043cc Inline-Four engine that uses its own architecture not based off either the previous machine’s ZX-9R-derived engine or the one found in the Ninja ZX-10R. (Below) The Z1000 uses a horizontally-mounted back link hydraulic shock absorber. The design allows the shock to provide more consistent damping performance.
Exhaust is handled by a 4-2-2 exhaust system with a belly-mounted pre-chamber. This allows the mufflers to be lighter and more compact than before. A valve in the right muffler maximizes performance through its 11,000-plus rev range. Lastly, three emission-reducing catalyzers are also fitted within the exhaust. Engine power is shifted to the rear wheel through a cable-actuated clutch without slipper functionality and a 6-speed transmission paired to a chain/sprockets final drive system.
 
Chassis
 
The engine is hung within a lighter aluminum frame via a four-point mounting arrangement (one more than before). This is claimed to increase chassis rigidity and stability, as well as giving the pilot an enhanced level of feel at speed. The frame is constructed out of five pieces of aluminum and is almost nine pounds lighter than the previous model’s steel piece. Similar to the frame used on the Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-14, the Z1000 frame wraps up and over the engine which dramatically reduces the width of the bike at the seat. A new three-piece aluminum subframe complements the set-up.

In the suspension department, the Z1 utilizes an innovative horizontally-mounted back-link hydraulic shock absorber.
The two-way adjustable shock (spring preload and return damping) attaches between the main frame via a fixed linkage mounted on top of the aluminum swingarm. This allows the shock to be kept away from the engine and exhaust heat thereby giving it more consistent damping performance without compromising ease of adjustment. Up front a conventional Showa 41mm inverted fork offers independent three-way adjustment for spring preload, compression and rebound damping.
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000s brakes are a mix of old and new. At the front sits a pair of 300mm diameter petal-style discs actuated by a pair of Tokico radial-mount 4-piston calipers as used on the Ninja ZX-10R.
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000’s brakes are a mix of old and new. At the front sits a pair of 300mm diameter petal-style discs actuated by a pair of Tokico radial-mount 4-piston calipers as used on the Ninja ZX-10R.

 
New five-spoke cast aluminum wheels measure 3.5 x 17-inch at the front and 5.0 x 17-inch at the back. Both rims are painted silver and black and feature machined and polished edges on the spoke where it attaches to the rim giving the Z1000 a custom look. The wheels are shod in OE-spec Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier D210 tires (120/70-17 front, 190/50-17 rear).
 
Braking components are a mix of old and new. At the front, the same 300mm diameter petal-style discs are controlled via a pair of Tokico radial-mount four-piston calipers as used on the Ninja ZX-10R. A radial-pump master cylinder augments the set-up through rubber brake lines. A single-piston rear caliper mounts below the swingarm (provides a less cluttered look of the rear wheel) and pinches a 250mm disc, again through rubber brake lines.

Street Riding Impression
 
Hop in the saddle and the first thing one notices is just how low the 32.1-in. seat height feels. This aids the rider in keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground at a stop. Equally as impressive is how narrow the machine is between the rider’s legs—a clear benefit of the reengineered aluminum frame and subframe. 
 
On the road, the Zed-1 retains its signature sporty-yet-relaxed riding position, which proves a sport rider can have the best of both worlds. The frame and fuel tank feature ergonomically correct cut-outs for the pilot’s knees. The location of the footpegs and handlebar in relation the seat contribute to the commanding seating position and were well received by tall and short riders alike during the course of our ride. 
 
If you dont rack up the miles at the racetrack  the Z1000 will be a good sport motorcycling option for the streets.
The Z1000 offers light  predicable  and easy handling on either one or both wheels.
The Z1000 offers light, predictable, and easy handling on either one or both wheels.
Launching away from a stop is a simple affair due to the effective action of the cable-actuated clutch and short first gear. Wick up the throttle and one instantly appreciates the Z1’s ridiculously smooth powerband. Bottom-end power is stout without being overruling and at lower revs engine vibration is almost non-existent.
 
Keep the throttle pegged and the engine spools up leisurely, making it important to select the appropriate gear if maximum acceleration is your mission. At around 8000 revs the engine suddenly stands at attention delivering a solid mid-range push. As it does, the inside of your helmet will be overwhelmed by the addictive howl of the intake.

Kawasakis have always been known for induction noise, but this Z1000 takes it to a new level. Conversely, the engine’s exhaust note is still subdued. It’s about here that the engine begins to vibrate a bit, but it never becomes irritating. As you approach redline the sound of the howl backs off slightly, but the engine continues to dole out a steady spread of unintimidating power.
 
Aside from its robust yet mild-mannered power delivery, perhaps my favorite feature of the Z1000’s engine is its soft rev-limiter. As opposed to other motorcycles, when the rev limiter is encountered, the engine does not abruptly cease accelerating. Instead it gradually slows, signaling that it’s time to upshift. Grab another gear and you’ll appreciate the short and positive shift lever throw offered by the transmission. 
 
Although the Zed-1 shares its front brake calipers with the aforementioned Ninja ZX-10R, the front brakes don’t feel quite as sharp as they do on the premium superbike. Feel isn’t quite on par, but is still plenty reasonable for day-to-day use on the street and won’t be missed to all but the most discerning sport riders. Meanwhile the rear brake functions spot-on with ample feel which allows you to better explore the traction vs. lock-up point of the rear tire.
 
At parking lot speeds, the Zed-1 exhibits some top heaviness which feels like it could be attributed to the top-high location of the four-gallon steel fuel tank. But as speed increases above 20 or so mph, the trait vanishes and is replaced with absolute surefootedness.
 
Lean on the handlebar and the Z1000 dips into a turn with surprisingly little effort for a 481-lb motorcycle. Keep on leaning and the bike falls onto the side of the tire predictably—never more or less than the rider asks of it. Additional speed only exacerbates its superb handling and even triple digit speeds have little effect on its outright chassis stability, whether cornering or during wide-open straight-line acceleration. This gives the rider the confidence he or she needs to investigate the motorcycles limits.
Time is best spent aboard the Z1000 on one wheel as Waheed continues to demonstrate.
Time is best spent aboard the Z1000 on one wheel as Waheed demonstrate with his wacky yellow Alpinestars Nero boots.

 
During the course of our street ride, the pace was never hot enough to find out if ground clearance issues plague this bike. Nonetheless, the tires complement the bike’s handling well, offering outstanding and predicable grip on both wet and dry pavement.
 
During acceleration, braking or cornering, the suspension offers excellent balance front-to-rear. Even more impressive is the way in which the rear suspension performs. It’s equally adept at soaking up rough broken pavement as it is a spirited smooth corner attack—offering the rider the best of both worlds in terms of cornering performance and ride comfort. Even though the shock doesn’t allow for compression damping adjustment, we never felt the need to change anything.
 
Instrumentation is legible; however, we’re not big fans of the small font of the bar-style LCD tachometer. We also would appreciate the addition of a gear position indicator. The mirrors, however, offer a clear, buzz-free view of what’s happening behind you regardless of speed, which is a remarkable attribute for any street bike.

Closing Thoughts
 
Before having actually ridden the new Z1000, I was at a loss to why Kawasaki would reintroduce this style motorcycle in the U.S. considering its tiny demographic and historically soft sales. After riding, though, I’ve learned this bike could actually be better suited to the hardcore sport riding enthusiast that would typically opt for flashy
Priced exactly in-line with its Ninja ZX-6R  the  10 499 10 Z1000 is an excellent sport motorcycle option for the street motorcyclist who isnt planning on spending all his or her time riding at the racetrack.
Priced exactly in-line with the Ninja ZX-6R, the $10,499 Z1000 is an excellent sport motorcycle option for the street motorcyclist who isn’t planning on spending all his or her time riding at the racetrack.
Supersport.

Not only is its $10,499 asking price the same as the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, for that cost you get a bigger, more powerful motorcycle that is better suited to day-to-day life on the street. The engine is smooth, flexible, and for the most part vibration free, and it offers more easily accessible real world performance. Its cockpit is the perfect balance between sport and comfort. Handling is both playful and predicable. And the suspension, especially the rear, offers outstanding compliance over virtually every pavement surface encountered. Factor in its striking new appearance and high levels of build quality and it becomes difficult to pass on the new Z1000 when it comes time to selecting your next street bike.
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2010 Kawasaki Z1000 Specs
The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 in Pearl Stardust White colorway.
Engine: 1043cc liquid-cooled Inline-Four; 16-valves
Bore x Stroke: 77.2 x 50.9mm
Compression Ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, cable actuation
Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive
Frame: Aluminum
Front Suspension: Showa 41mm inverted fork, 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorber, 2-way adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping; 5.4 in. travel
Front Brakes: 300mm petal-style rotors with radial-mount 4-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 250mm petal-type disc with single-piston caliper
Wheels: 5-spoke cast aluminum 3.5 x 17-inch front and 5.0 x 17-inch rear
Tires: Dunlop Sportmax D210 120/70-17,190/50-17 Curb Weight: 481 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Length: 82.5 in.
Rake: 24.5 deg. Trail: 4.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal.
MSRP: $10,499
Colors: Pearl Stardust White; Metallic Spark Black
Warranty: One year, unlimited mileage

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Comments
bakwheeltango   May 5, 2014 04:44 PM
too funny. I just found this old story over 3 yrs ago I commented. Months later I ate my own words after riding one of these... immediately shut up and bought one. Since I have ridden in on the track, toured a 750mile day of pretty twisty roads and wheelie the **** out of it every chance I get. words eaten - shame felt. the best all around bike I have ever had.
Crag Ab -Green Blood - South Africa  January 22, 2011 03:06 PM
Hi All

For the most of us kawa fans your blood has to be green and for those wanna beeeees , go ride the bike. This is my forth Kawa , started on the 650 versys 07 then Z1000 08 then Zx10R 09 and now the new Z1000,, oh what a monster, people it's worth every cent and darn it looks so good in my garage, it's a package that many of riders can live with,, been riding since 15 and if weight is a problem then you can't ride.Kawasaki rules big time.

BRETT -Z1000  December 5, 2010 05:53 PM
I OWN A 2010Z1000 AND BELIEVE ME IT KICKS ASS I HAD A2005 ZX10 AND GOT TIRED OF BEING IN TRACTION LOL
Carlo from Panama Rep. -Real rider  December 1, 2010 12:11 AM
Most guys think that having a super powerful bike for a once in a week ride is being a real rider, but instead you are a someone playing with a toy. A rider is a person that does everything on their daily tasks on a moto, and enjoys it. People like me, appreciate very much a confortable ride with out losing the excitement of power and speed, so that I can spend more time on my moto. It looks great, believe me, japanesse know more than anybody what the future looks like. Of curse you need an updating software on your brain to keep up with them. Many americans stay in the past, with classic stupid style, while the rest of the world keeps going forward, but the mayority is awaken, thats why GM, Ford and Chevrolet broke.
brett -2010Z1000 BLACK  September 7, 2010 05:32 PM
I OWN A 2010 Z1000 AND IT IS THE BEST FUCKIN BIKE I HAVE EVER OOWNED SCREW THE THE SLOW ASS TRIPLE
John -Top Speed  July 27, 2010 12:28 AM
Top Speed: 258 km/h+.
Chaffey -The Best  June 26, 2010 10:03 AM
Done 2,000 miles on mine, what a fantastic motorcycle, well done Kawasaki engineers and designers, you're a credit to your company!
Andy -the best (naked) in town!  June 18, 2010 08:12 AM
Its fun reading what Americans think about naked bikes and especially the Z1000. I life in Switzerland and our streets are twistier and narrower than anything you can find in the US. Driving up and down hills on a Supper Sport is a nightmare, you don’t see anything and the torque comes too late. Unfortunately many (especially the Japanese) naked bikes are stripped down Super Sports. The seating position might be o.k. but the torque is not where you need it. That’s where the new Z shines, coming out of the corner you have more than adequate torque. The new engine is the greatest asset of the new Z, but the rising position and the brakes/ABS are also expellant, in this context the Z1000 can take it up with the fines Naked around (KTM Super Duke, MV Augusta Brutale, Ducatti Streetfighter….) What do you need more? Well, when driving hard the suspension is not very sensitive and can get to its limit. Never the less with my new Z1000 I am not afraid of any bike around the next corner; I will take them all…
doug vancouver -07 owner  May 9, 2010 05:20 AM
Hi i like the look of the new one.My 07 Z1000 has suprized the hell out of me.Im ex roadracer,ex kawi dealer,owned lots of different kinds and makes.1st it pulled better everywhere i use,and simple mods kicked the midrange up.I got about 16000kms and on my 4th rear tire.1st bike i have not put a steering damper on!Funny thing is only people that know motorcycles,hate the pipes.The box drivers have tracked me,in 2 cases,to tell me how much they liked them!And around here,most are drivers.I punched out the pipes,and the car people will make a piont of how nice it sounded as i blow in the oncoming lane,in the blind turn.Its a bike that can be changed easally to suit the riders needes and stuff.I found the brakes to good for the street and took one side off the front of the bike,can't do front wheel stands,but easyer wheelies.Ands whats with a one off motor for this thing?Kawi has had a tendence of useing exsisting parts,makes parts easer to get and after market already available.ZX10 cluch,also fit KLX,KLR,Vulcan and so on.My 07 levers,only on 07,08,thats it,no aftermarket,made my own.So it should of had the current zx10 motor.
Big Jimmy -Try It  May 4, 2010 07:04 AM
I am a 50 year old rider who was riding sport bikes before they were called sport bikes. I have owned 20 plus bikes over the 33 years I've been riding. I have had everything from a 1972 Honda 750 Four to GSXR's,Ninja's, Interceptors and a Titan chopper. I recently bought a 2010 Z 1000 and it is so far the best bike I have ever had. It has ridiculous power great handling great brakes and I can ride it for hours without pain. The looks are subjective and it's kind of love it or hate it to each his own on that aspect. Most guys just need to realize that you can not utilize the performance of a full blown Super Sport on the street.
rcd389 -Proud owner  April 20, 2010 10:36 PM
I just bought a Black/Grey one and I wasn't sure about the looks until I saw it in person. It was gorgeous! I didn't think I would like the exhaust but they are tucked in much tighter than the old Z and they look "right" with the other lines of the bike. They would be even nicer looking if they were painted flat black!
As far as the ride it is very torquey and smooth. I'm still breaking it in so I haven't got on it yet but the powerband is much more fun than my 04 ZX-10.
Let's face it 95% of guys that buy sportbikes don't run their bikes to the rev-limiter and neither do I. I like the mid range grunt and most importantly the dirt bike style bar. I am 46 years old and was tired of leaning over to go fast.
This is my mid-life crisis bike!
Francis Belandres -bro  April 20, 2010 12:28 AM
I just love the futuristic look of the z1000. If you want vintage, get a Harley. I've always liked all the z1000's or any naked for that matter. I've owned a sportster 1200 (too slow and can't lean), vrod (still too slow and still can't lean), r1 (ridiculously uncomfortable for long rides and to much hassle to up and go or just go for a quick ride). The all new z1000 is the perfect bike for me. Looks unique (even the exhaust I like specially from the rear-I wish it was a little louder though-my only complaint), it may look like a transformer but billions of people worldwide loved the movie so it can't be all that bad looking. Enough power for any road in the world except maybe for the drag strip. I just love the ride-you're comfortable, you got power, you can lean low without dragging your pegs. Out of all the bikes I've ever had (7 in 5 years), the new z is the ultimate bike for me!!! Let the good times roll baby!
Jim B -Go Big K  April 18, 2010 02:58 PM
I used to own a Kawasaki ZRX 1200 which ended US sales in '05. Seemed like the ZRX owners all wanted the return of their bike with better suspension, brakes more hp etc. The Z1000 delivers all that. Looks are subjective, why that alone would keep you off a superior bike is beyond me. The reviews I've seen show this bike is winning people over.
MC.sem destino alagoinhas-ba -fanatismo pela Z1000  April 10, 2010 04:04 AM
gostaria sabr pq a frescura de tanta demora de nacionalizar essa mota?axo q já passou da hora de liberarem A FERA!!!!!
Chris -Don't knock it till ya ride it...lol!  March 23, 2010 09:19 AM
I just picked up the bike Friday! My insurance in NJ is a whopping $419 a year...CHEAP...it's not considered sport class according to progressive. I walked outta the dealer with the 3yr extended warrantee, tax, title, tags...for only $10,480! These bikes are priced to move. I racked up 330miles in two days just cruising to shore and back. The bike's a joy to ride, ergos are great, and fit and finish are excellent;) At night...the lighting is superb...low beam yields a wide low and very even dispersment...and when High beams are on...they complement the low together to make probably the best lighting I've seen for some time on a bike (Non-HID). The LCD at night is excellent with it's orange glow and is very readable while not being overly bright. I've got nothing but smiles and kind comments from folks around here about the looks and sound. It's radically different from most bikes around the area. The exhaust note is louder than most stock exhausts...deep mellow tone, and of coarse, being in break-in...I have yet to experiance the intake howl above 8k. I'm very happy with my purchase and commend Kawi for a very affordable and amazing bike. After hours on the bike...my hands wern't sore and my back still felt great not being hunched over a tank. Again...give it a chance before ya start nit-picking things. I've had more looks with this bike than any other I've owned...must not be that ugly;) Take Care
vstrom.zrxdude -Checked it out at chacago bike show  February 24, 2010 01:25 PM
I sat on the new z1000 last weekend at the chacago bike show-nice bike very comfy fit! Cant wait to ride my new Buell 1125cr that I got new for a fraction of the price with 2 times as long of warrenty.$6000.otd 146hp!
Lord Slaygon -Lord and Master of All Things  February 18, 2010 04:24 PM
To me, and this is subjective, the 2010 Z1000 is one of the most original looking bikes I have ever seen. I LOL'd reading James comment calling this bike an "addictive little monster!" - you betcha - Like the old H1 2-Stroke Tripple. Scarey fast. This is one nasty spanker and I am looking forward to getting one. Wish the Orange was Green Metallic so it matched my helmet and gloves! Wish it had a slipper clutch (what were they thinking!). Selling my beloved ZX6-R to get one! (tears welling in eyes...)
PJ -Center of attention  January 20, 2010 03:48 AM
This bike was NOT build for the USA but for the European market. Other than Honda that gave up on selling streetfighters (or any kind of standard) bikes Kawasaki is giving American customers a chance to buy a naked bike. They couldn't care less if it's going to do well here or not, since the main market is on the other side of the Atlantic. Some people understand that a superbike without fairings doesn't make sense as a streetfighter due to the lack of wind protection (although the original "streetfighters" derived from superbikes). 136hp is more than enough for any streets. You can always tune the engine if you want, but the important thing is to offer a real good bike for a very good price. Good looking or ugly is a matter of taste. I personally love it. Yes, it's futuristic looking, like the Honda CB1000R or the Ducati Streetfighter , and that's the direction the manufactures are going and honestly so is the new youth, the new generation of bike riders. Will it sell in the US? Probably not as good as anywhere else, but that's due to the American preference for bigger, faster, more powerful bikes (example the comment of a 240 back tire).
Rich -Mr.  January 6, 2010 05:57 PM
The handle bars look like they came off my daughters tricycle.
Jake -B-A-Z!  January 3, 2010 09:55 PM
What's not to like? This is what you wish you were in high school! This is what I wish I was in high school! This bike says hardcore hoodlum, what cha gonna do about it? Nothing nice here, just a big bunch of BADASS! Line all the nakeds up and the talk around the circle is gonna start with a K! Would love to own one!
Racer1 -Hmmm  December 30, 2009 04:21 PM
If I could make an origami paper motorcycle, this is probably what it would look like! I like the new motor though and it's functionally a vast improvement. Not my cup of tea as I don't do the naked thing, but it's good to see Kawasaki stepping up their game and not just doing a warmed over styling exercise. I'd love to see a comparo with the Tuono, Speed Triple, FZ1, etc.
PeteNfla -Z1000  December 26, 2009 05:26 PM
Finally a nice naked Z-1, the last time I saw a good looking naked bike from KAW was in 1980 with the black KZ1000. I hope insurance companies don't consider this to be a sport-bike, because it may become my next streetbike.
Nick -improvement  December 20, 2009 07:39 PM
I like it better than the last one.

I'm going to buy one and ride it wearing a backwards ball cap, a Corona tank, and flip flops.
vic -slipper clutch  December 20, 2009 12:42 PM
does it have a slipper clutch?
benroe -comparison  December 19, 2009 09:50 PM
Now we need a comparison test!! Z vs Speed 3 vs Streetfighter vs CB vs FZ1 vs Bandit.
Bob -Eh? What?  December 19, 2009 12:25 AM
Since when have 16 valves and double overhead cams been hot rod tricks? Geez, my Mum has a 16 valve double OHC engine in her Granny car. Great bike, daft write-up.
J Mizzle -Zed  December 17, 2009 05:19 AM
I love this bike especially now that it has a better engine, frame, and suspension! Way to go Kawi, and congrats for having the ballz to bring it over here...I want one!
Beezy -Oh yeah!  December 16, 2009 03:00 PM
Keep it coming guys; I am loving all the haters, sounds like the master plan is in motion! The more you all hate it the more I am getting excited to own it!
mattg -Z-1000  December 16, 2009 01:58 PM
This bike looks awesome. The design is fresh and consistent thoughout. Also the exaust can looks great for a stock unit.



This bike is a great bargain- looks cool, great componants, huge motor. Too bad there are no curves in my area.
Drunkula -I like it  December 16, 2009 06:19 AM
Sounds like a hoot to ride. Wouldn't mind having one in my stable...
Allan -Z1000  December 16, 2009 05:01 AM
I rode this bike at the LB Motorcycle Show only for the experience of riding a naked bike at speed. I do a lot of freeway riding from home to work and back and I found the naked just has too much air pressure against me. I also rode the ZR14 and I found that to be very comfortable and wouldn't mind having one as a daily rider. But back to the Z1000, I will stick with the Bandit 1250 or the FZ1 for the comfort of the fairing. The Z1000 seat sloped to the tank too much and I was humping the tank every time I stopped. Too much like a motard. The motor was great though. Enjoyed the experience of riding the ZR14, FZ1, and the Z1000 during the day at Long Beach.
adam-motousa -fruit boots  December 15, 2009 10:37 PM
are for true motorcycle g's--can ya dig it?
X -Thats why its called a nake bike  December 15, 2009 07:20 PM
Its a naked for chrissake! Designed for the streets and the city. I dont understand what the other pips are grippin about. If you want super sport performance get a supersport bike. People are so obsessed with power but dont have the skills to utilize it.
Kenneth -Kawwi  December 15, 2009 05:05 PM
Good lookin besides bein' able to stomp the Euro-trash.
Chris -Z1000  December 15, 2009 04:39 PM
I rode this bike at the IMS Show in LB and it was the highlight of all the sportbikes I rode. Comfortable, fast & easy to ride were impressions that stuck with me after the ride. And based on my observations & conversations with fellow riders, people knew about this bike, were excited about its release & enjoyed their rides on it as well. Demo rides for this bike were filled up for the entire day by 9:00 AM! I think with the new aluminum frame, USD forks & radial mount brakes mated to the superbike engine, this bike is poised to become one of the best streetbikes around. And I actually like how it looks!
skl -not ugly but....  December 15, 2009 02:16 PM
The designers should go and learn a thing or two from porn photographers: Yes makeover and some leather are nice, but it’s the body that matter the most.
So before Kawasaki designers spent all their energy on plastic works, they really should take a look on the frame and engine components, not just took over whatever came up from engineers and painted it in black.

bakwheeltango -he's right... lets get back to what a naked use to be.  December 15, 2009 02:10 PM
AM - STILL FOO-FOO SAID IT RIGHT.... though it should be re-tuned around torque. TO THE TRIUMPH HATERS.... RIDE ONE. THEN TALK TRASH. also these bikes are about fun. torque is fun. hp yes its nice to have a lot... but not at the cost of torque; and that my friends is something the Triumph Triple does well... "shit eating grin" well.
Hank -How does  December 15, 2009 02:10 PM
How does the performance compare with a Suzuki 1250 Bandit??
VAmc man -Z1000  December 15, 2009 12:55 PM
Wait for the FZ8. Hopefully it will be a naked done right.
Rajavidyadas -I luv'd it !!  December 15, 2009 12:42 PM
I'm not sure how many of you guyz test rode this bike but I did, at the Long beach show. I was glad that I did not have too high expectations of this bike and had similar bad impressions about the exhaust. By the way I'v owned a KTM Superduke, Speed Triple and now 08 CBR1000RR. If you guys haven't sat on it or ridden this beast then the pics are misleading you. This bike is totally different in person. The exhausts were surprisingly small and sounded great for stock !!. It felt really light compared to a Speed Triple which was so top heavy. I'm getting it as soon as it hits the showroom !!
slagheap -that kawi  December 15, 2009 10:09 AM
maybe i can do ugly, maybe i can do heavy, but i cannot do INCREDIBLY ugly. it's still one of the ugliest things i've ever seen in any showroom.
justin -YES!!  December 15, 2009 10:03 AM
lol this would make for a wounderful cristmas presant!!
Power Ranger -Z1000  December 15, 2009 09:03 AM
The bike is just plain ugly. Different mufflers will not help it any. It has a power ranger/transformer look. Kind of juvenile for a motorcycle. I'll take the Triumph any day. If anybody buys it they will keep the aftermarket muffler guys busy.
allex -z1k  December 15, 2009 08:25 AM
one hell of a coolest bike
Reddings -Cowboy  December 15, 2009 08:08 AM
Cowboy, if the Z1000 weighed 50lbs less it would way as much as some of the 600cc supersport bikes! And the bike has a Showa adjustable suspension with inverted forks, four piston radial mount brakes, how is that cheap for what the bike retails for?

“Otherwise, bring on the Triumph Speed Triple”... The Triumph speed3 weighs the SAME as the Z1000 and makes less HP than the Z1000.

I think some of you Triumph owners are experiencing some owner’s remorse and deep down think the new Z1000 is a better street fighter and for less $$$. Oh but the Triumph has soul…that lame line is taken right out of Triumphs web site home page.

And the Ugly mufflers can be replaced just as easily as the Speed 3’s ugly headlights.
Robert J. -Please stop, Mama Kaw.  December 15, 2009 08:06 AM
Just when I thought Kawasaki couldn't ruin the looks of the Z1000 anymore, they up and prove me wrong. I own an '03 Zed and personally think the first-gen bikes are the best looking of the lot. It seems Kawi can't try to improve the performance of the Z1000 without going closer and closer to the Transformers look and farther and farther away from the clean, stripped-down look of the original. They keep adding plastic and angles and textures until the bikes look like origami meets mosaics. For me, motorcycle ownership is performance and looks in a balance that moves my soul. I'll take my stunning '03 with its lesser performance and handling any day, thank you.
All that said, I do applaud Kawi for continuing to try and push the naked bikes here in the States. I think they are the best style of bike for the road. I wish they would catch on better here.
Sport Ridfer -New K1000  December 15, 2009 07:05 AM
I would feel like a Power Ranger riding around on that bike. Shame on Kawasaki. I do not think the American buyer will get past the looks on this new model, especially that awful muffler.
RT Rider -Z1000 - Ugly Muffler  December 15, 2009 07:01 AM
Who ever designed that muffler should get a real good spanking and have his allowance taken away for a year.
Spider -Z1000  December 15, 2009 06:34 AM
Wow, that bike is just plain ugly. Whats with the stupid mufflers. What do these people think the American buyer is anyway? They send us the crap and keep the good stuff in Europe. Over 50% of the American market is cruiser bikes (Harley's and metrics) so the manufactures only import a few of there bikes to the U.S. Take a look at Honda's or Yamaha's web site for England for example. The manufactures should understand that not everybody wants to dress up like a pirate and ride a out of date Harley.
Eric -Z1000  December 15, 2009 05:30 AM
I like the Z1000, But would have like to see Kawasaki kick it up with hydraulic clutch, etc. IMHO, the path of least resistance for Kawasaki - and perhaps sales revenue - would have been a Z1400.. or perhaps a ZRX1400. Give me comfort, utility, AND speed without the fairings :-)
Tayyab Bhatti -admire  December 15, 2009 04:22 AM
i like this very much.i will thanks if you grant me as a gift.
Joseph Walker -Kawasaki vs. Triumph (looks)  December 15, 2009 02:49 AM
For all the Triumph owners out there: looks are a matter of personal taste. Just as you might think that this bike is ugly, I personally HATE the "bug-eyed" look of Triumphs- despite them being very capable streetfighters. Nobody that I have spoken to in South Africa likes them, neither. They love the performance and handling but hate the look, rather than like it.
Joseph Walker -I LOVE the new Z1000  December 15, 2009 02:45 AM
The new Z1000 will certainly be a "love it or hate it" aesthetic. I personally love it! The "hunchback" look makes it look mean. I even love the orange colour. What a wheelie monster!
gunther -it's not a superbike  December 15, 2009 12:26 AM
As Gabe Ets said: if you want a supebike without fairing, just get a crashed one.
There's a reason for manufacturers to not give these bikes superbike performance. It's called comfort. Allthough I have spent quite a few years on sportsbikes for commuting and everything else, naked bikes make for a more fun and comfortable ride. Plus you get to do maintenance mucht easier and strap on some luggage (allthought this bike is a bad example).
And as for speed.... for street riding low down grunt is just more fun and way more effective than top end rush. On most superbikes even in first you're going at speeds not usable in town or in the twisties. Don't get me wrong, I love superbikes and their performance, but all those power rangers claiming they need it for the streets might be better off learing to ride on a bike like this and use a zx10 or similar for the track.
Cowboy -Z1000  December 14, 2009 10:29 PM
Too heavy by a good 50 lbs, and that muffler is possibly the ugliest thing in all of motorcycling.

Stripping the quality suspension and brake bits seems a bit too penurious, K-whacki.

Don't mind a bit of fairing, though!

Otherwise, bring on the Triumph Speed Triple...
Brian -more nakeds  December 14, 2009 10:16 PM
I'm not particularly fond of the Z's styling (I'll keep my Street Triple), but love that it's a naked. I wish we had MORE nakeds in the USA. Enough of the plastic clad, "GP wannabe" bikes. Clip-ons are pointlesss for non-track speeds (as are supersport fairings). Yay to Kawa for bringing the tube bars/naked to the US again! Sadly, I forsee this one being a USA sales "dud" as well, though, since American's are obsessed with the supersport look.
irksome -butt ugly  December 14, 2009 07:44 PM
That thing looks like it was assembled out of a variety of cheese wedges. Guess I'll keep my Speed Triple. Triumphs have SOUL.
fruitboots -daisy yellow  December 14, 2009 06:35 PM
what's with the fruitboots? c'mon guy!
maxxedout2 -Kawi Z1400  December 14, 2009 06:33 PM
What's wrong with you guys..Kawasaki?? Put the dammn ZX14 engine in it. Make the wheelbase about 66" and put a 240 tire on the back. Make it nasty and naked. ...and then let me know where to send the check.
Johnny -review/first look/what ever  December 14, 2009 05:30 PM
What is the point of this review? It reads like a glorified first look. No hp or torque numbers, no 0-60, 60-0 times, ¼ mile, top speed, miles per gallon, dyno charts. How often does it need a valve adjustment? How is the comfort for a passenger?

All I got from this review is your opinion of how it rides. That does me no good because we all have different opinions about how a bike rides. The technical stuff you put in your review can be taken right off Kawasaki’s web site so nothing informative there.

If I have to wait for a full test then fine give us the full test but what’s the sense of having a first look part two; it’s about as meaningful as ad copy.
AM -STILL FOO-FOO  December 14, 2009 05:05 PM
Gabe Ets-Hokin -Why they should build it? Because they would sell. And more. As long as they keep detuning naked bikes,on brakes, motor, tires and putting fairings on them, they will sit on the showroom. Why the FZ1 had more success in sales? Because they did not detuned it to point where they are boring.The FZ1 has a 2005 R1 engine. And if they bring the naked FZ1 with the Crossplane engine on it, adjustable suspension, same brakes as the R1 they will easily outsell the R1. Why go to the trouble of buying a salvage bike and make it naked when I could buy it new from the showroom? That's the whole point. They would sell them all.
Night Cop -Good Job Kawi  December 14, 2009 05:04 PM
I would replace the exhaust before even taking it off the lot, but otherwise this new 1000 is much better looking than the last. P.S. Dear Kawi, get rid of the freakin orange!
Frank -+1 for AM  December 14, 2009 04:48 PM
I like this bike but AM is right. Strip a ZX10 and people would line up to buy it. Canadians like performance too!
Gabe Ets-Hokin -Adam=Madman!  December 14, 2009 04:46 PM
AM, I wish you could have presented your comment to the Kawi product planner at the intro, because he would have told you that the bike you want would cost the same as a supersport, so why should they build it? The Streetfighter is a niche model that will never sell more than 1000 units a year. But lucky for you, there are thousands of idiots wrecking their superbikes every year. Find a salvage title bike, get an LsL handlebar kit and an Acerbis headlamp and boom: your dreambike! Waheed-eor!
AM -STILL FOO-FOO  December 14, 2009 04:34 PM
Too much fairing. They even covered the forks!!!Not even the C14 has covered forks. Ugly. Listen all manufacturers. Americans like performance. PERFORMANCE. KAWASAKI,on the next Z1000 make it a naked ZX10. YAMAHA -next FZ1, make it a naked R1. SUZUKI: Make it a naked GXSR 1000. HONDA - Make it a naked CBR 1000 RR. No detuned engine!!! Same brakes!!! Same suspension!!! Same everything, but NO FAIRING and a more comfortable position for everyday riding. And I want to see if any bike will not be sold. NO MORE FOO-FOO NAKED. Build it BAD just like the DUCATI Streetfighter, which is a naked 1098.
Beezy -My next ride!  December 14, 2009 03:43 PM
If you have issues with this machine I am not sure what to say. I love the Z1000, it has always brought something different to the table! I ride 90% percent of the time on the street with hitting the track once every couple of years. I feel that this bike is what I have been asking for; especially with the reduction of engine vibs. Great job Kawasaki as this bike will make it's way into my life. Being that I am always in the city it is great to have a bike that can be great for everyday usage. I have riden the previous gen Z1's and I loved them just as much as I am going to love this. I just hope that it does not not sell very well for selfish personal reasons, I do not want to see anyone else on one other than me. Okay I know that sounds terrible, I will settle for I hope that it sells well in every state except for the one I am in! LOLZ... Great review as always Adam!
James -Thank you !  December 14, 2009 03:15 PM
As an owner of the 1st Gen' ZK, I thank you for the positive review. Yes, I realized the naked's have their drawbacks & flaws, but, some of your words have also been at their core, specifically "Playful". Addictive little monsters is more like it! I appreciate the changes Kawasaki has made, aluminum frame, suspension mod's & a displacement bump....these tweaks have been long in the coming. Let's just hope the Heartland can love it as we do....
Tim B -Z1K  December 14, 2009 03:03 PM
I think the last generation Z was much, much better looking. I love naked bikes and it was one of my favorite looking machines. I hate Kawasakis, but I still liked that bike a lot.

This one is too "futuristic" looking and just plain ugly. The exhaust pipes are hideous as well.

One thing that sticks out to me is that the weight is 481lbs. That seems like a very heavy machine unless that's ready to ride, including fuel.