KAWASAKI Z1000 (2007-2009) Review

Published: 05 April 2007

"Nothing else Japanese has so many styling details"

KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)

"Nothing else Japanese has so many styling details"

  • At a glance
  • 953cc  -  122.3 bhp
  • 35 mpg  -  168 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000 is revamped enough to be called ‘new’. The Kawasaki Z1000's styling exercise is worthy of a Modern Tate placing – nothing else Japanese has so many styling details. The ex-ZX-9R motor is tweaked for a less frantic upper rpm delivery and now, in the Kawasaki Z1000 exudes cream-like torque from zero revs. A big-bore super-naked machine that is so easy to ride? Yes, it's the Kawasaki Z1000.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000 pilot rides in comfort as he’s held fairly upright by the bars and thinner seat – which causes a numb bum after 100 miles and until muscles become firm with use. Handling on the Kawasaki Z1000 is plush at average speeds, but unravels when the pace is picked up. Front and rear suspension borders on very soft but can be dialled out to a greater extent with the basic adjustment available on the Kawasaki Z1000.

Engine 5 out of 5

A ruck of engine tweaks has led to a tractable motor that loves low rpm throttle openings. Overtakes on the Kawasaki Z1000 don’t need a dance on the gearlever, just wind on the throttle. Gearbox isn’t the usual heavy affair but light and positive. The Kawasaki Z1000's exceptional fuelling makes you wonder how Yamaha got the big m(’06) Fazer so wrong. Revised engine mountings have subdued the Kawasaki Z1000's vibrations until high rpm is dialled in.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000 engine is a proven number so faults shouldn’t even be talked about. The finish on all parts looks to be thorough enough to be considered as long-lasting… but who can tell how the Kawasaki Z1000 will cope with UK winters?

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

From our point of view the Kawasaki Z1000’s list price will be a stumbling block when it comes to MCN readers making a buying decision, especially as there’s a lot of choice available eg Suzuki’s naked new 1250 Bandit costs around £2k less than the Kawasaki Z1000. Different category Kawasaki will say; the Suzuki does exactly the same job as the Kawasaki Z1000 but cheaper, we say. Find a Kawasaki Z1000 for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000's radially-mounted front master-cylinder and calipers with wave-style discs don’t just look good but work oh-so effectively. Switchgear and clock layout on the Kawasaki Z1000 is unassuming but that’s because it all works without fault. Wing mirror shape is small and pathetic for quick-glances. If all the natty, ornate detailing could be included in this rating then the Kawasaki Z1000 would achieve 5 out of 5.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z1000 (2007-2009) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.9 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Better Than......? Z1000 vs Speed Triple

27 August 2009 by DrPhibes

A whole lot of nonsense has been written about the Z1000, particularly by those proposing to compare it with the much lauded Speed triple. Well, I have now owned both (first the S3, which I sold as I needed a tourer at the time, and presently the... Read more Z1000), for about the same time now (around 6 months). What I can say in earnest is this - the idea (seemingly popular at present) the the S3 is the better bike is utter nonesense. There significant differences and these may appeal or not, depending on your preference. Firstly style/design: Hands down for me the 'transformer' looks of the Z knock the socks off the S3. The S3 just looks like a cobbled together home garage project, great if you like this and many do, but for me it was a minus even before I rolled it out of the showroom. By comparison the Z looks intergrated, designed, focused, a little outrageous, but generally very well finished. You might hate the looks of course, but if you love it you will love it to death. Secondly, the motor. Now we all know how great the S3 motor is, and indeed it is. It has a linear torque band like no other motor and when you let it go it will fly for sure - smooth, predictable, usable, power, etc - all such acolades are justified. The Z motor is a different beast altogether. Apart from being around a 100cc down on the S3 (which many seem to overlook?) this is a motor with clear racing DNA. Yes, it has been 're-tuned' as they say, and it does deliver usable torque through low to mid range revs. But this is still very much a ZX9r motor - it really wants to rev (even though it pretends not to). Now, when you cook this motor up a whole lot of differnce (compared to the S3) becomes apparent. Docile (ish), even well behaved (sort of) in the low to middle revs, the motor becomes positively ferocious if you unleash it. Get it in the upper rpm and it pulls like raging, snorting, lunatic bull. Its not 'better' than an S3, it is 'different'. If you like this kind of 'hit' (and I do) then you will favour the Z, otherwise the predictable power delivery of the S3 will suit you. Suspension/handling: the S3 is better - just. Another big pile of poo is bandied about on this one. Out of the box the S3 is better set up, it feels more planted, is confident, and can be usefully tweaked to be even better. The Z, on the other hand, is a bit of a mixed bag. It needs some adjusting for most, it seems, to get it right. for me, however, the factory settings are not far off. Lack of compression adjustment is a minus but the Z generally turns in a little faster than the S3, although there seemed little between them in my opinion. In truth I find the front end on the Z a little skitish (both bikes are, but more so the Z) although I think a steering damper might sort this out and I am considering this as a later mod/addition. Overall, however, and once set up the differences, for me, between these two bikes in this regard were minimal - both would benefit from suspension upgrades, but in truth this would be mostly for track as opposed to roadwork. I could go on...but I won't. Bottom line? Pay your money, take your choice...enjoy! Both are fabulous bikes,in the same way and in different ways, if they are your cup of tea of course! Both are my cup of tea but I personally think the Z has the edge.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Z1000

01 April 2009 by RXZ1000

HEY, This has gota be the best yet! I love it. Plenty of torque, handles excellent, brakes, goes when you want it to, good fuel consumption, STYLE plus. Mine is black, bought new in July 2007, 17,000km and still looks & goes like new. My son said,... Read more "Dad, that is just the best looking naked" I didn't argue with that.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

love child

27 March 2009 by liquid_metal

Basically if an R1 and a bandit was out one night getting pissed and they ended up in bed together their kid would turn out to be a Z1000. It has the best of both, the performance and handling that comes very close to a sport bike plus the funfactor... Read more and comfort of a nakid bike. the only draw back i have seen so far is a bit of a kandle bar wobble under very hard acceleration and i personaly think the rev limiter kicks in a bit too soon (or i might just be riding it too hard lol)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Great engine but ......

02 July 2008 by fossil

I found the crankcase covers very prone to chipping, suspension was like a trampoline untill I got it set up correctly - factory settings are absolutely nowhere near. Bits of rust starting to eminate from welded joint on the frame after only 12... Read more months. Not the usual Kawasaki quality I'm afraid. Goes and stops like stink though and looks the dogs !

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Stonkin!

30 June 2008 by binary

Had my Pearl White ABS one for a month now (and it`s a good job it`s pearl white cos I love it THAT much....) and gotta say it`s brilliant! Easiest bike to ride I`ve ever had and goes like a banshee. The motor is utter madness, yet sounds like a... Read more turbine. I found the suspension a bit bouncy for my light frame, but softened the front spring by one turn, and the rebound by half a turn and it makes the world of difference. Some say the handling is a bit strange but I find it fine. I`m no knee slider anyway. My only gripe is the rock hard seat. Pretty uncomfortable after about 40 miles, and I`m riding down to Brindisi in August! Lor!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Transformer looks

21 March 2008 by kwakgpz900r

My kid still hopes it'll turn into a big robot. What is it with Kawasaki? Is it just me or do they make the sexiest bikes ever? Add in a 600 quid discount and interest free credit and this has to be my perfect bike, until the Z1400 comes out of... Read more course.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Amazing (with a few wee things)

16 March 2008 by Kawak007

Goes like stink, looks amazing, does everything you want it to and more. You can haggle some great deals so ignore all the cr*p about not value for money….Two gripes: 1 - the suspension is set-up so the bike is like a bouncy castle when at pace – but... Read more you can get that dialled out. 2 – if you want to walk like John Wayne after 100 miles then this bike achieves it hands down. At risk at sounding a “big lassie” it’s like sitting on a brick, however I splashed out on a Baglux Seat. Not cheap but now it feels like a couch and me-erse thinks I am using padded quilt bog-roll every time I get on it!!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Its a monster

17 August 2007 by TimZ1000

I had an old type Z1000 on an '04 plate. It was good but my god is this better. Buy one on 0% or an ex-demo and they're good value too. The bottom end is much improved and low down grunt and fuel injection is truly mind opening. Get one in moody... Read more black if you must but "Mad as a farty Orange" flatters the bike better. It looks trick, is perfect for commuting, goes like stink and if ridden well will embarass more sporting kit. It's a shame they haven't fitted a hugger as standard like the old one. Buy one and it'll put a smile on your face. Guaranteed.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2007
Year discontinued 2009
Original price £7,345
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 122.3 bhp
Max torque 77.3 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.92 secs
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 168 miles
Specification
Engine size 953cc
Engine type 16v DOHC, liquid-cooled in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tube backbone
Fuel capacity 18.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension Pre-load and rebound damping
Rear suspension Pre-load and rebound damping
Front brake 300mm wave-style discs with 4-pot radial calipers
Rear brake 250mm disc with 1-pot caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2007: All-new Kawasaki Z1000 introduced.

Other versions

ABS version Kawasaki Z1000 for £7695.

Photo Gallery

  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)
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