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.