KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2014-on) Review

Published: 09 January 2014

"Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier"

KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)

"Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX is a clever, considered and very worthwhile update of an already excellent machine. The Z1000SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, involving, good value and yet understated and unshowy too. Kawasaki hasn’t lost any of that. It hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead it has corrected or improved what it genuinely needed based on feedback of the old model, enhanced what it didn’t and then added a bang up to date technical cherry. Simply put, Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Conceived to fit between the naked Z1000 and the track-focused ZX-10R, the Z1000SX is an almost perfect mongrel – delivering much of the excitement and character of the Z1000, performance of the ZX-10R yet all in a more comfortable, upright and practical package. The new Tokico brakes have more bite while the suspension’s revised damping rates and the shock’s heavier spring improve the ride quality. The revisions to the mirrors, seat, panniers and even induction noise all mount up to make this a vastly improved machine.

Engine 5 out of 5

There was nothing much wrong with the old model’s engine – it was already reckoned to be one of the best around thanks to its combination of excellent fuelling, massive range of useable grunt and true top-end zest – but here Kawasaki has aimed to improve it by delivering even sharper throttle response without affecting peak performance. They have accomplished their goal. The motor feels fresher and the addition of traction control and power modes brings a missing level of sophistication to an already excellent experience as well as peace of mind in the wet.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The SX has a high level of finish and the engine is as solid as they come.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

ABS costs a £400 premium while a ‘Touring’ version comes with panniers for £500 extra.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The SX comes with three-way traction control, two power modes, optional ABS for £400 extra and panniers for £800.

Owners' Reviews

10 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2014-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

kawasaki got it right with this ..

31 August 2016 by gibson

rather high revvy engine but super smooth and plenty poke in all rev ranges , this bike does exactly what youde expect from a kawasaki . comfy too , great on fuel and all round a great bike . the suspention 2 up is the only thing ive a gripe with ,... Read more but since i dont ride too much 2 up ile leave it alone ..

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
brakes are amazing . suspention ok but riding 2 up isnt too good
Engine
5 out of 5
wow what can i say , ive owned lots of bikes and this is by far the best engine and gearbox is super smooth . well done kawasaki
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
great reliablity , and quality is superb
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Does what it says on the tin

18 August 2016 by Ello

Fast fun and able to tour. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Once the suspension was set up £38 it rides like a dream.
Engine
5 out of 5
Stonking bit of kit.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Did a Euro trip of 1908 miles in July this year never missed a beat.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Bike cost me £9200 with boxes and inner cases bargain.
Equipment
4 out of 5
If this bike had a 12volt socket and a gear indicator it would get the full 5 out of 5.
Buying experience

Got my Bike from Bournemouth Kawasaki one of the best dealers I have purchased a bike from.

5 out of 5

First Ever Kawasaki

20 July 2016 by Carl Stark

Got a little fed up with my MV Agusta F3 800 and opted after some research to go for the Z1000SX. I have owned a number of bikes in the past but never a Kawasaki. So far I am very happy with my choice. Comfortable riding position, very light clutch... Read more and a slick gearbox. I think its a great looking machine. Its not faultless, like others have said, it really should have a gear indicator built into the display, rather than an optional extra stick on box and maybe a quickshift would be good. Cant comment to much more as only owned it for a week.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I really approve of the riding position and suspension, no issues there. I do carry a pillion at times and she says that by the hour mark the bum is numb and needs a break. I use the bike for work into London on dry days and for a litre bike i am very impressed with its manoeuvrability, as I split lanes and fight to get over the Dartford River Crossing/M25 its very light and easy to weave, then once your out the traffic, open her up and away you go.
Engine
5 out of 5
Engine has a good solid feel and good history so feel confident that it will have longevity. Good even power delivery up through the range but without the gear indicator kept looking for another gear at the top, maybe Kawasaki need to look at this. Its fine but just feels like its revving to high for 6th.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
This will be my dry weather bike so will probably be fine, however only time will tell. Appears to be well built and obviously the engine is tried and tested.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Cant give an accurate answer yet as still making my way to the first 600 mile service so guess the running costs will be similar to my other bikes.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I like the aggressive styling of the bike and a number of work colleagues have commented on how they like the look of this bike over my F3 800 which has surprised me! I opted for the gear indicator and top box. I did want the tail tidy but you cant have that with the top box fitting. Tyres seem fine but again only done 400 miles at time of writing.
Buying experience

The dealer I used which most helpful and wouldnt hesiate to use again. They did me a deal on the bike with some of the extras I wanted included in the original asking price.

5 out of 5

13 May 2016 by Christopher Mazuros

Couldn't be happier, I replaced my Concours 1000 (Gtr1000) to you Eurpoean folks as I am in the states. Love the weight reduction, performance and handling. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ditch the stock Bridgestones the minute you buy it. I highly recommend Michellin PR4 GT's they along with properly setting the suspension liven up the handling
Engine
5 out of 5
Plenty of torque but screams for an overdrive gear or taller gearing. gas mileage baffles me when my old Concours without fuel injection and 200lbs more weight could get 55mpg cruising at 75mph and this bike struggles to get 40.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Quality throughout, no cheap shortcuts. I live in the rain here in Florida and between that and the salt air seeing no corrosion on anything is a good feeling.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
Lack of ability to mount both the hard top case and saddle bags makes me wonder what the marketing folks at Kawasaki were smoking? Stupid!
Buying experience

Paid exactly what was on the sticker US $12,199 with the bags from a dealer.

5 out of 5

Best all-round touring bike I have owned

22 March 2016 by James

Needs taller 6th gear for touring, after all, it is a sports/tourer not just sports!! Read more

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
3 out of 5
Gear selector a paid extra?? Screen too short
Buying experience

Dealer lacked basic knowledge

2 out of 5

If you like corrosion..........

10 March 2016 by Gary

Overall the bike I first thought was incredible, did everything I expected it to do and more, comfort, performance and the Mrs was happy and comfortable on the back. And then the roads were salted and the build quality and parts quality shown their... Read more true colours. I do not do many miles in winter in fact I hate it, it's too cold but I took it for its service just as the cold weather hit ready to tuck it up for winter, got it home and cleaned as I did to all of my previous bikes. Looked at the bike while in the garage and spotted that pretty much every part that could possibly corrode had corrosion, the chain was just brown with rust (yep just been serviced before being put away) It's now 6 months old and 800 miles and looks 10 years old plus. Kawasaki uk don't want to know. I would advise if you are looking to even push the bike out of the garage during winter time to seriously consider something with a little better build and parts quality. I have only ever owned kawasakis and none of my previous some being 10 years old looked this bad close up! My dad rides all year round and hardly ever washes his 04 plate BMW which looks absolutely mint compared to my nail of a bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Lovely comfortable bike to ride, brakes are sharp and work perfectly.
Engine
5 out of 5
Power there on request cannot fault this bike at all for power delivery.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
Severe corrosion to all metal parts: Rusted chain Rusted and corroded brake discs Mechanically the bike runs perfect and I have had no problems in that respect. It is only 6 months old though!
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
Servicing is 200 a year as on service plan. Looks as though it needs a fair few hundred more replacing corroded and rusted parts.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Favourite feature is the selective power high or low setting. Can go for a cruise at low and still delivers good power, or can flick to high for a play. I would avoid the genuine panniers as you cannot have a top box with them however, I believe GIVI do a pannier and top box combo for this bike
5 out of 5

Pc8975

20 January 2016 by Martin

Although I had to have a gel insert fitted as my bum starts to groan after an hour or so. Now 2 hours!! Feel the lights could be better. LED's at the back but plain old bulbs at the front and, for the speed I, and probably most of us, ride at night,... Read more I would expect something with more penetration. Have had to fit a couple of long-range Denali's. Standard screen is crap, throws wind right on the gap at the top of my jacket zip. Put a Givi tourer on. Also put on a 3-tooth smaller rear sprocket. Was just too fussy at 70-80. Now 4-4,500 revs and so much more relaxing. Topped 160 with a few hundred revs. left so has improved top speed but there is a trade off with acceleration. Not much but noticeable. Despite some of the adverse comments, I am extremely happy with the bike, would readily purchase another and recommend to anyone who wants the joy of a decent sport and tourer in one.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Suspension has been difficult to set up and it is very noticeable if you don't adjust tyre pressure to within a gnat's knacker either side. Hero peg goes down without too much complaint. Quite hard though, for a tourer.
Engine
5 out of 5
Brilliant
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Bought middle of April, 6k by October (now greased an in garage, use the KTM in winter) and has been a dream.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Above is the cost of the 2 services so far, 600 and 4k, competitively priced.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Many may not agree with me but, to supply a bike classed, and built, as a tourer, to not be able to affix a top box is ridiculous. Also, the 25 litre panniers are a little on the small side for serious tours. Took mine off and put on Givi 35lts with 55ltr box. Along with tank bag I am happy to tour for indefinite periods with no real loss in width or looks (I had the panniers/box part sprayed in candy red to match). Had to then fix some rear/brake lights to the number plate as, with the box, you can hardly see the standard rear lights,they are so far underneath. Would have been so much easier for Kwaka to design this necessary addition and offer as an option. Mirrors show an awful lot of my shoulders ! !
Buying experience

Bought from dealer. Will not divulge name but, as a main dealer, was not at all happy with advice or service and will not use again.

5 out of 5

Not boring

04 January 2016 by grippy 27

Fantastic engine, handling not the best as standard, after adjusting suspension and changing to Pirelli angel gt Tyre's its now spot on.fairing does a decent job in the wet, engine noise increases when screen in top position. I bought the grey one,... Read more colours are safe but not enough to put me off. Buy one you wont regret it unless you can afford more than one bike for example a BMW tourer and a ducati monster.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Good at most things, you can cruise all day, thrash it and it does a good impression of a sport bike. Brakes are good and if feels stable when baking hard now fitted with angel gt tyres.
Engine
5 out of 5
Has as decent amount of power everywhere, lovely top end rush, std pipes make a cool rasp.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only one problem so far, a stripped caliper bolt and threads on front left leg. Happened when at kawasaki dealer changing front tyre, repaired under warranty.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Not much different from any other inline 4 for costs, like my dealer you can watch through a window while they work on your bike. also free coffee and biscuits.
Equipment
4 out of 5
I love the whole package it does a great job of making me smile. Tyres as above angel gt, great so far. Kawasaki 4yr warranty, like this for peace of mind.
Buying experience

dealer paid 300 less than advertised price, dealers gone bust recently gave me a good deal on my bandit 1250

5 out of 5

10 December 2015 by Martin Read

Excellent value for money Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes are tremendously powerful with brilliant feel. White lines early on in tyre wear when still 40% tread left.
Engine
5 out of 5
Turbine smooth
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Have ridden Triumphs for nearly 40 years, my last 3 being Rocket Roadsters and they could learn a lot from the quality and finish of the Kwaka. Particular the gearbox which is so sweet.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I do around 6,000 a year with in-between oil change, hence higher price
Equipment
3 out of 5
Lack of top box and pannier capacity seriously dents its long-rang touring ability and no heated grips is a real downer on a touring (albeit sports orientated) bike. It is still a tourer and grips should be standard as, really, should a gear indicator and touring screen. I have added all these with USB car accessory plugs. And a better distance saddle would not go amiss!!
Buying experience

Reasonable deal but the dealer's knowledge of accessories and some of the service work was both abysmal and dangerous.

5 out of 5

Upgrade from ER-6f

01 July 2014 by mdr1970

And what an upgrade it has been... I had the ER for 2 years after a 23 year break from biking, but 2 years on and 14K miles I was ready for an...upgrade. I passed the IAM test and have been on and continue to book track days to help curb my boy... Read more racer/speed demons, as well as improve my riding overall! I still wanted the upright riding position. I can only ride SS machines for 20-30 mins before I get wrist/hip/back and neck ache/s (Ol' man now at 43! lol) I bought the 2014 ABS Tourer; it's the perfect move forward in the absence of a Z800SX for the ER. Its practically twice the price, twice the power, twice the quality - it feels like TWICE the bike. It's an ER on steroids, but with class and refinement that you wouldn't necessarily expect. It's very easy to ride. Comfortable, smooth gearbox, beautiful (licence losing) power delivery, as well as capable cruising ability returning low 50mpgs, if you stick to road legal speed limits. The 2014 updates for power modes/traction control, tool free rear suspension pre-load and a roll bar fee (SOoo tidy) pannier system you can take on & off the bike in under 30secs make an already good bike GREAT (IMO) If you want something sensible, yet AMAZING fun, great looking and sounding; this could be the bike for you!

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
5 out of 5
-
Read all 10 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £9,199
Used price £6,000 to £10,300
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £210
Performance
Max power 140 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 49 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1043cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 16v inline four
Frame type Aluminium twin tube
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 230kg
Front suspension 41mm inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Horizontally mounted rear shock, adjustable preload and rebound
Front brake 2x300mm petal discs. Tokico four-piston radial calipers
Rear brake 1x250mm petal disc, Tokico single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 190/50ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

2011 Z1000SX launched, updated in 2014.

Other versions

Z1000SX ABS £9,699, Z1000SX Touring £10,199

Photo Gallery

  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
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