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

18 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 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Sports-tourer, sports-commuter, lots of fun, lots of bike.

07 December 2017 by HappySXer

More power than I'll ever need, brakes to match, every electronic rider support going, comfy to ride, lots of bike up front so weather-proof for year-round riding, great lights, integrated pannier system a joy and she's oh so pretty.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Loves the bends, devours the straights. Even with panniers filtering is easy. I've needed a pee before I've needed to stretch my legs. Commuting on busy roads into Oxford a pleasure, taking the long way home a treat. I ride year-round in all weathers and am enjoying the extra weather protection of the substantial fairings and screen. I am degrees warmer than on the GSR750.
Engine
5 out of 5
140bhp. Smooth at all revs in every gear. Very forgiving in busy traffic. There's no-one going ahead of you at the lights. Overtaking from 60-90 even in 6th before you know it, drop a gear and she's there before you've even thought about it.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Very early days of course but the finish is superb. Paintwork (burnt orange is the fastest colour) is gorgeous, plastics solid and sturdy, all exposed metal seems well protected.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Purchase seemed excellent value to me, such a lot of bike for the money. MPG varies depending on how good a time I'm giving myself from 30ish to 50ish. Not yet at first service which is just a 'nut-check' at 4500.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Electronic rider supports can be as helpful as you want or not at all. Still on the supplied tyres which are OK, I will change to PR4 when ready I think as I've always enjoyed those. Kawasaki panniers solid. Easy to remove, capacious. No top box option with them so looking for something post-Christmas for when I'm not carting much stuff to and from work. Standard exhausts are a bit of an odd look maybe but I don't really mind and they sound good to me.
Buying experience

On Yer Bike Aylesbury gave a decent deal on a six month old ex-demo with 1000 miles on clock, which they put up to full tourer spec for £9k. Customer service top notch.

5 out of 5

Class

25 November 2017 by Tony

What is there to say apart from what a bike, handling and grip is awesome. And the sound of that exhaust is just wicked when you open it up, blistering speed that will put a smile on your face. You can tour on it or be a hooligan when the time is right.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
Love it
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
6000 miles so far from new and hasn't skipped a beat
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
Michelin pilot 4's and heated grips, what more is there
4 out of 5

Fixed at last ! !

22 November 2017 by Martin Read

Lights very poor for night riding. Seat damned uncomfortable. Now fixed, it is how all my past Kwakas have been, fab. Shame I had to suffer such a dangerous situation.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
ABS late in coming on but works well when it does. Feel very good on front, rear requires good push but work well.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sweet and pulls strongly from 1,200 in 6th.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
Bike kept cutting out and I fell off twice. Kawasaki came to rescue and the bike is now brilliant. It appears it was the dealer who was to blame. Had the bike for 3 weeks, said fixed, engine cut out 800 yards down the road. They had not set idle properly. Contacted Kawasaki again who, this time, were tremendous. Even fixed the fairing that was damaged on one of my 2 falls when engine cut out.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Do 4-5k a year touring, service costs with intermediate oil/filter around £300. Disappointed with 2nd-hand value, not held up as much as I expected for the best sports tourer around (my opinion) with bullet engine.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Fitted a gel saddle as a matter of urgency plus a pair of spots. That done, what the bike has, for the price, is great value. Should allow a top box with the standard panniers though for a proper tourer. Had to fit Givi to tour successfully.
Buying experience

Bought new, dealer went bust, substitute dealer could not be bothered. Just left deposit on a 5-month old 17 plate private seller SX Tourer. Would love the H2SX but just could not afford. This is my 2nd SX and am very happy to be buying the 2017 upgrade model.

5 out of 5

Just keeps getting better.

02 November 2017 by Philmak73

I like its stance, handle bar positsion, and the mirrors are better positioned, not just ornaments. The panniers, how they attach and detach, no ugly mounting frames on show. All the traction and suspension gadgets. I've had this bike over seven months and never tire just taking its cover off and seeing its overall looks, and colour.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The longest l have rode it was approx two hours, back was a bit stiff when l got off. Very lightweight easy to take bends, seems wide, but still easy to filter. City and country roads are not a problem.
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Starts first time every time, usual Kawasaki quality, build and finish.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Had to get checked at 600 miles.
Equipment
5 out of 5
How it looks and rides.
Buying experience

Bought from M&S motorcycles in Newcastle, shopped around most of the country and glad to say l got the best deal on my doorstep. Gary was first class, l got the bike at the retail price, but got offered the best part ex value.

5 out of 5

Upgraded from 2014 model after a test ride.

01 November 2017 by Grippy

Massive improvement over previous version

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great ride supple and well balanced, handles all roads, this best improvement over the old model. Brakes are top notch for road use. The riders seat is more comfortable now but its still not a two up long haul bike, pillion seat is just to small compared to a proper tourer.
Engine
5 out of 5
Lovely smooth power delivery,not as vibey as my old model much easier to ride at higher revs. Still got a good top end rush. 140 hp is good enough for most situations.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Lovely paint, finish on other parts not as good as some European brands but that is reflected in the price. No issues with reliability so far.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
not much difference to any other 4 cylinder 1000.
Equipment
4 out of 5
New clocks are good, no helmet lock, the std Bridgestone tyres seem to work much better than on the old bike, but i will still try some other brands when worn out
4 out of 5

12 August 2017 by Shaun Brown

Excellent bike with one or two issues

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
Great engine but gearbox needs better refinement when going down in the gears.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Cruise control on longer trips.
4 out of 5

06 April 2017 by Pibi

This is my second Z1000SX. I loved the first one and I wasn't even going to swap it. But when I read about the improvements on the new Z, it was as if they asked me to write a things they could possibly improve. Head lights, wind protection, seat comfort, gear indicator, outside temperature ... I must say however, I am still slightly disappointed with seat comfort. It is claimed by Kawasaki to have been improved with this new version, but I really can't feel any major difference from previous version. Apart from that, I can't fault it. Amazing bike.

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
-
1 out of 5

Be very, very careful

15 October 2016 by Martin Read

No

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
Can only give 1 out of 5 because of problem
Engine
1 out of 5
See previous comments
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
The bike has become a death trap and no-one is interested. On changing gear which takes what, 1/2 second, after 9 months from new, noticed an occasional engine cut out as changing gear using clutch. Has progressively got worse. Clutch in, blip throttle when changing down, clutch out and, as you do, engine stops. Does same going up but no throttle blip. Thrown me off twice at slow speeds. As you go to accelerate out of the roundabout with your feet just put on pegs, you let out clutch and open throttle to move off, engine stops and you drop bike. Been to dealers 4 times. Contacted Kawasaki twice and now, £11,000's worth of bike and I just dare not ride. Problem is happening several times every hundred miles whereas originally, it was a couple of times a thousand. I just do not know what to do. Think it is going to be a solicitor and court case. When bike was working, it was fab. Now, to have the engine stop at 120mph as you change from 5th to 6th certainly cures you constipation. I am joking but it is a bloody serious matter to which Kawasaki just cannot be bothered. Back to BMW but how can I sell this to another motorcyclist? I would never forgive myself if anything happened.
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
Servicing average and I have an oil/filter change in between
Equipment
3 out of 5
Poorly designed for a tourer and lights very poor.
Buying experience

Dissatisfied with dealer who has gone bust. Not surprising.

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 , 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.

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 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.

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!!

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 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, 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, 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

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 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
-

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £9,199
Used price £5,700 to £18,100
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £230
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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