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Kawasaki Z1000 Naked Motorbike Review

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2010 Kawasaki Z1000
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

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

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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’.  

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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. 

Kawasaki Z1000 (2010-2013)

Detail Value
New price £9,099
Dealer used prices
£5,510 (2010) - £9,750 (2014)
Private used prices
£5,450 (2010) - £8,770 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1043 cc
Power 136 bhp
Top speed 160 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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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

 

Specifications

Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 136 bhp
Max torque 81 ft-lb
Weight 218 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 1043 cc
Engine specification 16-valve, inline-four
Frame Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound damping
Front brakes 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake 250mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 17 in

See all Kawasaki Z1000 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
Z1000

789 miles

£8,495

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11590 miles

£4,399

Kawasaki
Z1000

14300 miles

£5,295

Kawasaki
Z1000

2676 miles

£8,695

Kawasaki
Z1000

miles

£8,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(10 reviews)

  • better than triumph

    plumbgod

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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

    27 January 2014

  • Great ride

    ericatcse

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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.

    21 March 2013

  • Nice Bike

    souroush

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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. 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.

    28 February 2012

  • Most bike per $

    Garbilizon

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

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

    31 July 2011

  • Best Super Naked

    Z1000MAN

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    awesome

    06 November 2010

  • About time they cought up

    bikerred

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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.

    03 October 2010

  • Z1000 2010

    Chrisec87

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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.

    02 June 2010

  • new and improved

    lucas66

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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.

    11 May 2010

  • Great Value Bike

    Brizred

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 that concerns you, buy a tourer. Well worth the money and all in all, a fantastic bike, well done Kawasaki.

    29 April 2010

  • zedone

    extriumphman

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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!

    10 March 2010

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Discuss this

Add your comment
Garbilizon

Garbilizonsays

Neevs!

What's up with the long term test? Where can I read it?

31 July 2011 03:08

evilgenius

User's Badge

evilgeniussays

Commute on this you mother #2

*Test Ride* This is the bike you want, Z750R missing something, test the Z1000, that’s more like it, what an engine, as Jeremy Clarkson would say. “Power”. this bike is all you need, one problem? Price, apart from that, great.
 

27 May 2011 20:52

evilgenius

User's Badge

evilgeniussays

NO ABS and Traction control

This bike is in the same price bracket as a Ducati Monster 1100evo which has ABS and Traction control, and according to Kawasaki the ABS cost is £1000 on the ZX10R 11, they use the Bosch system, the same on the Monster, so the price for the Z1000 should be more like £7800. I’m torn between these bikes I like the Z1000, but I love good value and the Monster seems better. What should I get?
 

22 May 2011 09:36

Chrisec87

User's Badge

Chrisec87says

RoadRash

HI Road Rash,

I can assure you I genuinely got 50mpg when breaking it in by the book. I.e no more than 5000rpm and later 7000rpm during the first 900miles - making sure the engine is not laboured (so no riding in 6th at every opportunity) and ensure that you load the engine from time to time.

I 100% agree with everything you say though. I did Magny Cours to Yorkshire on the Zed last year and it was totally capable and I honestly returned without an ache or sore bum. The handling is sublime, i've ridden the latest K series BMWs and friends 1000cc bikes and this, for me, has it all - except a decent tank size which the Speed Triple can claim it has.

Ridden gently (after 7000 miles on the clock) I will usually see the fuel light coming on at 115miles to 125miles - then you actually do have roughly 20-30miles in reserve (see Magny Cours trip above - rode ~25miles on reserve looking for a petrol station!!). This is the same for my commute into Leeds; A-roads, motorway and finally stop start city traffic. The above applies totally and I am confident I could do it again should I need to ever run the bike in again or ride gently.

Ridden hard though and my reserve comes on at 95 miles....

Bikerred in his "review" says that "Honda have had this power & torque in a naked with an alloy frame for ten years" - I did my research before (actually after, cos i bought this having had one as a courtesy bike) buying the Zed and found that Honda's current crop of nakeds are no match power OR torque wise for the Zed1000. CB1000R is about 30bhp down on the Zed... not sure what you're on aboot Bikerred?

I'm very impressed with build quality, the paint especially is beautiful - I went for the black and silver - no messy wires sticking out around the engine unlike the triumph.

Anyway, hope this helps - not seen all that many 2010/11 Z1000s about!

 

 

 

05 April 2011 12:35

RoadRashSpirit

RoadRashSpiritsays

What a bike!

I agree there’s a heavy price tag, but after you’ve actually ridden the thing it really doesn’t matter when you consider the Z’s nearest rival in its power range from Japan. Yes I'm talking about the Yamaha Fazer. Although the Z lacks 4bhp it will out handle the fazer in the slightest of corners and easily the tightest. It’s well planted light and agile and with the right throttle happy nutter on it I think it has a good chance of blowing the Yam in a road race anyday. That’s if the fazer doesn’t fall apart after 5 minutes due to road salt! Now of course your going to say yes but the fazer is more practical......not so. I’ve had my Z fitted with a givi rack and pannier supports + a scottoiler. I haven’t loaded it to the hilt (Tent, Double Duvet, 2x camping chairs, 2x kite and a number of other comfort essentials) but I have had my tank bags and panniers loaded with beer, heavy chains and my double air bed which weighs a tonne! Add my very petit misses on the back and the Z was reasonably loaded for a test of 100mile. She handled beautifully like ballet in motion. Cornering was stable even in the wet on the Dunlop tires and for the most part inspired confidence. In fact if I had more hind sight on how the build quality will hold up over the next few years then I would go as far as saying that for any real everyday bikers out there the Z has it all. Its fast fun and nimble for when the devil jumps up on your shoulder, its steady under load and even as it is, its not that uncomfortable until you’ve used up a tank-full. A gel seat will go far to sorting this out. But I can’t claim this due to the obvious fuel consumption and issues. This really is the only thing in my mind which is stopping the Z from being a real bike and not just a toy. I would love to go for a ride chrisec87 and understand how he’s getting 50mpg. I’ve done town riding and motorway riding combined and I’ve managed 114mile literally until it ran out. In my recent 100mile loaded up jaunt I was looking at similar consumption using A roads and on return motorways. The engine is bedded in and i spend as much time in top gear as possible on long journeys. I didn’t use up my reserve to find the over all mileage on that trip admittedly out of fear more than anything. But from my experience so far my rule of thumb is that the 100mile mark means find fuel quick. As for a 30mile reserve I’m not so sure, certainly not in a town. However as i like distance riding I’m definitely making a custom fit petrol can to slot on the bike for a guaranteed 150 mile per tank (I will make it detachable so don’t think this is a compromise for when I do want to have fun) . This bike is worth it and will be visiting alpine twisties which is how I spend my summer vacation :-) . Buy one if you love bikes and don’t just treat them like toys you will never want to part with the Z.

17 January 2011 17:29

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