KAWASAKI Z1000 (2007-2009) Review | MCN
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KAWASAKI Z1000 (2007-2009) Review

Published: 10 July 2018

Nothing else produced by a Japanese firm had so many styling details

KAWASAKI Z1000  (2007-2009)

Nothing else produced by a Japanese firm had so many styling details

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The 2007 Kawasaki Z1000 was revised enough from the previous model to be called ‘new’ but is still instantly recognisable. The much talked about styling changes don’t look like much by today’s standards, but in 2007 nothing else produced by a Japanese firm had so many styling details and naked bikes still generally had a bit less on.

The ZX-9R derived motor is tweaked for a less frantic upper rpm delivery and now, in the Kawasaki Z1000, exudes cream-like torque from zero revs. This is the last version of the bike to use this engine before the bigger 1043cc lump started to be used in 2010.

The Z1000’s roots stretch back to the Kawasaki Z1 900 from the early 1970s which was released to take on the incredibly popular Honda CB750. Despite being the most powerful road bike of its day, the Z1 was pliable, forgiving and comfortable (especially compared to the two-stroke triples Kawasaki made before it), traits that have clearly been passed down to the Z1000.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The upright riding position provided by the wide bars, coupled with the thinner seat on the Kawasaki Z1000 are comfortable for about 100 miles, after which you might get a numb bum.

The handling is good at average speeds but unravels when the pace is picked up. Front and rear suspension borders on very soft but can be stiffened up with the manual adjustment available.

MCN got a professional suspension setup on their long-term test Z1000 in 2007

Engine 5 out of 5

The updated 2007 version of the Kawasaki Z1000 featured a ruck of engine tweaks which led to a tractable motor that loves low rpm throttle openings. This version of the bike used the same Kawasaki ZX-9R engine as its predecessor, but produced slightly less overall power in order to get this improvement in low down performance.

As a result, you don’t always need to kick down a gear to overtake on the Kawasaki Z1000, just wind on the throttle. If you do need to knock it down a cog you’ll notice the improved gearbox which isn’t the usual heavy affair but is light and positive.

The Kawasaki Z1000's exceptional fuelling makes you wonder how Yamaha got their big 2006 Fazer so wrong. Revised engine mountings have subdued the Kawasaki Z1000's vibrations until high rpm is dialled in, a common complaint about the previous bike.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000 engine has a proven track record and tends to be pretty bullet-proof. It’s the same lump that was used in the Kawasaki ZX-9R, but it’s not as highly strung so doesn’t work as hard.

This version used the same engine as the 2004 Kawasaki Z1000 which actually made slightly more power without a problem.

As with all bikes, the finish will take a beating if you run it through the winter but the finish is pretty good and will last if looked after.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The Kawasaki Z1000’s list price was a stumbling block when the bike was released, especially as there was lot of choice available. The Suzuki 1250 Bandit, for example, cost around £2k less than the Kawasaki Z1000 at the time.

Kawasaki claimed that the Z1000 inhabited a different category, but the Suzuki did exactly the same job as the Kawasaki, it was just cheaper.

The Suzuki is still cheaper on the used market today, so it’s worth considering before you go for a Z1000.

Find Kawasaki Z1000s available at MCN Bikes 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.

The wing mirror shape is small and pathetic, they’re useless for quick-glances. If all the natty, ornate detailing could be included in this rating then the Kawasaki Z1000 would achieve five out of five, but unfortunately it isn’t.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2007
Year discontinued 2009
Original price £7,345
Used price £3,900 to £5,300
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
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

The Kawasaki Z1000 was launched in 2003 but took its name and inspiration from the Kawasaki Z1 900, a four-stroke, four-cylinder superbike launched in the ‘70s to take on the mighty Honda CB750.

Kawasaki updated the bike in 2007 with better styling, a slicker gearbox and rubber mounts for the engine to fix a reported vibration issue.

In 2010, Kawasaki gave the Z1000 a complete overhaul, including a switch to a bigger 1043cc engine. This version was updated in 2013 to improve the suspension and brakes and then again in 2017.

Other versions

There was an ABS version of the bike released so look out for that on used bikes.

Owners' Reviews

10 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.

Review your KAWASAKI Z1000 (2007-2009)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.1 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 4.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Z1000 - Splendid & Stellar!!

08 May 2017 by YukonSloMo291

Visually appealing & functionally sound! I bought the unit with only 5000 miles on it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Despite many naysayers I like the seat configuration. The suspension, brakes and steering all work in concert with each other. Despite having a relatively light bike with a good power to weight ratio it is without question one the nicest bikes I have ever driven and owned.
Engine
5 out of 5
Absolutely no complaints here. I like the throttle control - its a bit more linear than I anticipated. I was prepared to have a response similar to my ZX14 - glad isn't!
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Extremely well crafted. The weight mass being over the center of the bike makes it nimble to ride and handle. Even for a guy in his mid 50's this bike is easy to manhandle. The acceleration was quick, the power band was linear and it delivered powered in a smooth graduated manner. It has the ability to make you grin broadly if you decided to crank the throttle wide open.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
After market 4 in 2 pipes, aftermarket windscreen work well.
Buying experience

I bough tit from a guy who took care and babied this machine. I had many options but price was a big motivator. The advertised price was $5500.00 Cdn with 5000 miles on it. I paid $5150.00 Cdn for it.

4 out of 5

26 July 2015 by Pete

Looks great, huge power for an upright bike, seat is terrible though, very uncomfortable, mine is going to be modified.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great brakes, suspension on standard setting is kinda hard on the butt which is already suffering from a thin seat...
Engine
5 out of 5
One word...Awesome!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Finish is good and fuel injection means easy start and smooth power.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Very good fuel economy when driven at legal speeds but that changes dramatically once you start to use all those lovely horses!
Equipment
5 out of 5
Adequate gear.
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 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.

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, "Dad, that is just the best looking naked" I didn't argue with that.

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 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)

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 months. Not the usual Kawasaki quality I'm afraid. Goes and stops like stink though and looks the dogs !

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 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!

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 course.

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 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!!

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 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.

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
-

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