KAWASAKI Z1000 (2010 - 2013) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£160|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The 2010 Z1000 was, at the time, the most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan, but that was before the Yamaha MT-10 and the latest Honda CB1000R came out. It was the third version of the Z1000, a bike which can trace its DNA back to the Kawasaki Z1 900 from the early 1970s, a powerful four stroke created to take on the mighty Honda CB750.
Although the Z1000 can’t claim to be fastest production bike in the world like the Z1 could at the time, it’s certainly no slouch. This version was the first to ditch the ZX-9R derived engine in favour of a 136bhp liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 1043cc inline-four-cylinder engine.
It had excellent performance, handling and was super-stylish to boot. It was less intimidating and easier to ride than a fire-breathing European super naked of the time too. Compared to something like a KTM Super Duke or Ducati Streetfighter, the Z1000 was on the heavy side, the brakes lacked bite, the engine power wasn’t ‘bang’ in-your-face and the tyres were disappointing.
But if you wanted big super naked kicks you had to spend big money. The Z1000, on the other hand, delivered a lot of bang for your buck.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
For the first time the 2010 Z1000 got a superbike-style aluminium twin spar frame, using the engine as a stressed member. The five-piece die-cast aluminium construction frame was 3-4kg lighter than the old tubular steel/cast aluminium 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 featured 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 was mounted horizontally, which Kawasaki said helped mass centralisation and placed it away from the heat of the exhausts. It was adjustable for preload and rebound damping, but not compression.
For the first time the 2010 Z1000 had fully adjustable 41mm upside down forks.
The riding position was spacious, comfortable and friendly. Handling was predictable and the Z1000 could be hustled around with the best of them. The only let-downs were the slightly weak brakes and the awful OE Dunlop D210 tyres.
EngineNext up: Reliability
It was out with the old 953cc ZX-9R-based motor and in with a fresh 136bhp liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 1043cc inline-four-cylinder engine. It had a 5.1mm longer stroke than the previous Z1000 to boost mid-range power.
The downdraft 38mm throttle bodies were lengthened by 2mm and given longer inlet trumpets to further boost mid-range power and a secondary balancer shaft was used to further reduce engine vibes (the 2007 version used rubber engine mounts to achieve this).
The Z1000 was all about mid-range grunt and between 4,500rpm and 10,000rpm the power was very impressive. There was wheelie inducing grunt if you chased the revs, but the low-down power wasn’t as instant as we would have liked. Fuelling was perfect and there were few vibes to speak of, although you found yourself looking for a ‘seventh’ gear around 5,000rpm in top, where the motor was quite ‘buzzy’.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 was a machine that was lovingly designed. The engine was new for this bike but has proven itself over time.
As with all bikes, the shine will suffer if you run it through the winter without being an attentive owner, but the slightly lacklustre finish of previous models has disappeared.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
It might not have been the most savage of all the super nakeds, but it was superb value at its release. It was cheaper than the Triumph Speed Triple and a heap less than the Ducati Streetfighter but it’s about the same money on the used market.
A similar mileage Aprilia Tuono R is actually cheaper now, and if you push your budget a little bit from the Z1000 you can a Ducati Monster 1000.
Find your next Kawasaki Z1000 at MCN Bikes for Sale.
There were 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 didn’t come with the ABS option that some markets got.
|Engine type||16-valve, inline-four|
|Frame type||Aluminium beam|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||33 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£160|
|Used price||£5,300 - £8,800|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||136 bhp|
|Max torque||81 ft-lb|
|Top speed||160 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||132 miles|
Model history & versions
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 Kawasaki Z model reviews
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2007-2009)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2004-2006)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z125 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z250SL review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z300 review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z400 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z650 review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2007-2012)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2003-2006)
- Kawasaki Z750R review (2011-2012)
- Kawasaki Z800 review (2013-on)
- Kawasaki Z900 review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS Café review (2018-on)
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI Z1000 (2010 - 2013)
13 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£160|
Version: Z1000 ABS
I've had this bike for almost 5 years now and it was my dream bike when I bought it. I feel the styling of this generation in particular will make it a future classic. Bought with 11,000km on it, now at 46,000km and it just keeps rewarding me when I twist the throttle. This bike seriously hauls ass and is in a perfect spot power/acceleration wise right where if you had any more you'd be needing/wanting electronics to tame it down. I've done a lot to the bike, 4-2-1 Akrapovic system, K&N filter, airbox mod, HM Quickshifter plus, PCV and dyno tune. She puts down 143.3hp to the rear tyre and never fails to put a smile on my face. Must mods if you happen upon a stock or mostly stock one would be a 16T front sprocket (+1), that eliminated the vibey feel from the motor, and you can go up teeth on the rear to keep the gearing similar. Definitely put on 190/55 tyres instead of 190/50, improves handling and tip in. Benefits from a gear indicator for sure as many owners incl. myself report trying to click into '7th' at highway speeds.
Handles fine, not amazing but will keep up with just about anything when the roads get twisty. Brakes similarly are OK, 5/5 now that I've scrapped the ABS unit, put on a braided line kit direct to the calipers and EBC HH sintered pads, stops extremely well. More feel, bite and progressiveness.
All the reviews state it, this motor is an absolute gem. Some say the extra 43cc's make all the difference and I tend to agree, Kawasaki created something special by stroking the motor. Pulls well from down low, the midrange is relentless and the top end rush is there when you need it. It has what is best described as thrust, and it'll stretch your arms if you give it the chance. If you own one and know what I mean when I say it pulls like a train, treat yourself to a quickshifter, you will not regret it.
Regulator/rectifier went and was misdiagnosed causing some expensive repairs, however, the motor/rest has been largely faultless. No corrosion and never failed to start on me.
Japanese bikes are easy to maintain, good tyres don't come cheap, however. I treat her to fully synth oil every 3000km and just generally doing service items well before they're actually due.
Pretty barren but it doesn't need much, I love the direct and unrestrained (by electronics) feeling. Could have really used a gear indicator as standard, however. And the fuel gauge takes some getting used to, reads full till you're around a half tank then for the second half the gauge drops like a stone.
Annual servicing cost: £130
The thing I love in this bike it's the feel you have when you ride it. The power it delivers can move a mountain!!!!!
The bike it's spotless, couldn't find any problem about it
Annual servicing cost: £200
The Z1000 has great syling and draws a few admiring comments whenever it's parked. The seating position is upright and relaxed and the bike is lively and fun to ride under 60 mph. On the down side, the bike is heavy, it's gearing has you permanently looking for a seventh gear, the engine is low powered for a 1000cc and the seat is crippling after about 100 miles.
Ride quality is completely ruined by the worst seat of any bike I've owned in 30 years, most of which have have been race reps. A trip to the Isle of Man from Devon was nearly enough to have me heave it from the ferry into the Irish Sea. A shame, as suspension and the seating position are very good. Wind blast is not much fun above 60 mph, but it's perhaps unfair to criticise a naked for this.
Relatively low powered for the capacity but fun at low speeds where the engine is geared and tuned for. You'll be looking for another top gear though, and throttle response is not exactly instant...
The bike has been reliable after 1 years daily use. However the lights failed and the bike started making an annoying 'buzzing' sound at 3500rpm that 2 dealer visits could not reliably fix. Paint finish is thin and easily worn through after a single ride if in contact with luggage or clothing.
Not a particularly expensive 1000cc bike to own or run, although rear tyre wear is high due to the bikes weight.
The bikes styling is it's best feature; equipment wise it comes with nothing that is above average. Fully adjustable front forks are useful and would have been helpful on the rear.
Buying experience: I bought the Z1000 privately for around £6000 at less than a year old. The bike was in mint condition save for some poorly installed heated grips.
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
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.
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.
Read my full review on http://ridingthecarolinas.blogspot.com/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!