KAWASAKI Z1000 (2010-2013) Review

Published: 20 November 2009

"The most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan"

2010 Kawasaki Z1000

"The most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan"

  • At a glance
  • 1043cc  -  136 bhp
  • 33 mpg  -  132 miles range
  • Medium seat height (815mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The 2010 Z1000 is the most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan. It has excellent performance, handling and is super-stylish to boot. It’s less intimidating and easier to ride than a fire-breathing European super naked too. Compared to something like a KTM Super Duke or Ducati Streetfighter, the Z1000 is on the heavy side, the brakes lack bite, the engine power isn’t ‘bang’ in-your-face and the tyres are disappointing. But if you want big super naked kicks you have to spend big money. The Z1000, on the other hand, delivers a lot of bang for your buck.

- Video: 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 vs Triumph Speed Triple

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

For the first time the Z1000 gets a superbike-style aluminium twin spar frame, using the engine as a stressed member. The five-piece die-cast aluminium construction frame is 3-4kg lighter than the old tubular steel/cast ali mix frame, with torsional rigidity increased by 30%. It runs over the top of the engine, ZX-10R-style to keep the Z1000 nice and slim. The old steel subframe makes way for a lightweight aluminium item.
The aluminium swingarm features distinctive eccentric wheel adjusters first seen back in the day on the likes of the GPZ900R and 1980s aftermarket swingarms, like Metamachex.
The rear shock is mounted horizontally, which Kawasaki say helps mass centralisation and places it away from the heat of the exhausts. It is adjustable for preload and rebound damping, but not compression. For the first time the Z1000 has fully adjustable 41mm upside down forks.
The riding position is spacious, comfortable and friendly. Handling is predictable and the Z1000 can be hustled around with the best of them. The only let-downs are the slightly weak brakes and the awful OE Dunlop D210 tyres.

Engine 4 out of 5

It’s out with the old 953cc ZX-9R-based motor and in with a brand new 136bhp liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 1043cc inline-four-cylinder engine. It has a 5.1mm longer stroke than last year’s Z1000, to boost mid-range power. Downdraft 38mm throttle bodies are up 2mm and have longer inlet trumpets to further boost mid-range power. A secondary balancer shaft is used to reduce engine vibes. The Z1000 is all about mid-range grunt and between 4500rpm and 10,000rpm the power is very impressive. There’s wheelie inducing grunt if you chase the revs, but the low-down power isn’t as instant as we’d like. Fuelling is perfect and there’s few vibes to speak of, although you find yourself looking for a ‘seventh’ gear around 5000rpm in top, where the motor is a quite ‘buzzy’.  

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

It’s a full five stars for the Z1000’s build quality. With its mix of angular lines, swoopy curves and fastidious attention to detail, it’s a machine that’s been lovingly designed. Going by previous Z1000s, reliability won’t be an issue

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

It might not be the most savage of all the super nakeds, but it’s superb value. We estimate the cost at £7200, which is cheaper than the £7999 Speed Triple and a heap less than the £11,495 Ducati Streetfighter. Find a Kawasaki Z1000 for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

There’s radial brakes, fully adjustable forks, a shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping, sexy ‘quad’ exhaust cans and a three-way tilt-adjustable dash. UK machines don’t come with the ABS option that some markets will get. Compare and buy parts for the Kawasaki Z1000 in the MCN Shop. 

Owners' Reviews

10 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z1000 (2010-2013) 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 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.9 out of 5
4 out of 5

better than triumph

27 January 2014 by plumbgod

This bike is so much fun to ride and, in my opinion, better in every way then an speed triple. The build quality is on a par with the big H, while the S3 struggles to make it through winter without a lot of corrosion setting in. The bike handles... Read more really well and has far more potential than me unfortunately The motor is excellent, but I wish it had a little more rev range to play with, and the tank range is a little annoying sometimes as you need to be on the hunt for a fill up after 90 or so miles(riding in the way Mr Kawasaki intended) or if you ride like a old lady you could probably see a bit more Otherwise I cant fault it,I just wish I fit it better, at 6 ft 2 and 16 stone Im a bit big for it really so I'm off to buy a zzr soon Do yourself a favour and fit Pirelli angel st's and dump the o.e tyres, a huge improvement over standard and good value

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

Great ride

21 March 2013 by ericatcse

Excellent bike, ride and handling are great when set up properly and you replace the poor OEM tyres (rear only lasted 2100 miles). Bit buzzy around 6k revs and a bigger tank would have been better also rear mudguard is useless. Brilliant to ride in... Read more the real world, brakes are good, power is usable and its quick enough. It looks amazing puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Nice Bike

28 February 2012 by souroush

loved the looks although some people hate it just because it is Kawasaki and is not Triumph written on it. not the best in terms of handling but acceptable. suspensions and forks needs attention. the speedometer is rubbish in looks, data and colour.... Read more surprisingly small tank for a naked Bike, gives you about 100 miles between visits.comfortable for the rider but annoying for the pillion as there is no grab-rail apart from two tiny holes under the seat and the only option available from Renntec is useless and rubbish. overall is acceptable as naked Bike with some minor issues.

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 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Most bike per $

31 July 2011 by Garbilizon

Read my full review on http://ridingthecarolinas.blogspot.com/ Read more

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

Best Super Naked

06 November 2010 by Z1000MAN

awesome Read more

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

About time they cought up

03 October 2010 by bikerred

Like its looks power & torque should make it a very usefull bit of kit. However Honda have had this power & torque in a naked with an alloy frame for ten years, better fuel range too, some lead others follow. Read more

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

Z1000 2010

02 June 2010 by Chrisec87

Engine is smooth and torquey. Have just finished running in by the book (under 7k rpm) and managed ~50mpg on every tank= 150mile tank range - fuel gauge emptys very quickly though but don't pay attention to this I did 30 miles on reserve. 7k rpm is... Read more 100mph and I was impressed just with the pull under 7k - didn't think I needed more. 7k to 12k this beast is rapid and really pulls well out of the corners chewing up the OEM Dunlop Qualifiers. Engine is silky smooth and the seat is hard at first but beds in. Handling is taut and firm with fully adjustable front and rear suspension - very stable and it soaks up bumbps 100% more than the '09 Z. Excellent damping which I have yet to play with. There was a very annoying buzz on my clocks at 30mph but dealer sorted this and pillion seat is far too hard. Fuelling seems perfect to me, no lag coming off or onto throttle. I am very impressed with ride and handling mostly, engine compliments this well and build quality and attention to detail is top notch. Wind protection is surprisingly good, cruising above 60mph is a pleasure. Brakes have a soft bite but when squeezed really work well. Can't really fault her - and can't wait to ride her next.

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

new and improved

11 May 2010 by lucas66

the bike being new from the ground up, now having a aluminum frame,make this bike handle like a true sports bike.Clutch shift and feel are also improved dramatically over previous models.The engine is very smooth and mostly vibration free, but could... Read more use some more power,as it runs out of rpm's on the highway where you have only one gear left.the brakes are very capable except for the rears which don't seem to be connected to anything..ergonomics are excellent.This is a bike you can and want to ride for day's on end.A truly excellent evolved bike from the original.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 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

Great Value Bike

29 April 2010 by Brizred

Great fun, certainly gives you the smile factor, excellant performance and handling, always draws a crowd wherever it's parked. Bit vibey but all part of the fun. Only drawbacks are the fuel range and seat not too comfortable after 100 miles but if... Read more that concerns you, buy a tourer. Well worth the money and all in all, a fantastic bike, well done Kawasaki.

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 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

zedone

10 March 2010 by extriumphman

overpriced at 8500 but better than a speed triple inspite of what MCN say, ive had em both in 5 yrs.The build quality alone knocks spots off the trumpet! Read more

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 10 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £9,099
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 136 bhp
Max torque 81 ft-lb
Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Tank range 132 miles
Specification
Engine size 1043cc
Engine type 16-valve, inline-four
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 218kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2004 – First of new generation Z1000s goes on sale.
2007 – Z1000 has new styling with t a tweaked engine and chassis.
2009 - 2010 Z1000 launched. Completely new engine, chassis and styling.

Other versions

 

Photo Gallery

  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
  • 2010 Kawasaki Z1000
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