KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2010 - 2013) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Loosely based on Kawasaki’s excellent Z1000, the SX fits snugly in to the gap between said naked bike and the track orientated ZX-10R, making it a grown-up bike for the real world.
- Related: 2017-2019 Kawasaki Z1000SX review
The near 140bhp inline four motor gives sporting potential, but creature comforts like a new seat, vibration reduction and additional fairing make it a viable long-distance touring bike. For many riders this is the all round bike they’ve been waiting for - practical and fun at the same time, and far more eye catching than the competition too.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Like the Z1000, the SX features a horizontal rear shock and the 41mm inverted fully adjustable forks. But because the SX is 10kg heavier than the standard Zed, the suspension has been altered to compensate for the extra bulk, rake is also a fraction less. Considering the bikesn weight, it can be hustled along with ease, even offering loads of confidence at peg scraping angles of lean. It's always secure and planted and the larger, more touring oriented seat offers more comfort for both rider and pillion.
EngineNext up: Reliability
It’s the same 1043 inline four cylinder engine from the Z1000. Thankfully Kawasaki haven’t de-tuned the engine or water downed any of the fun factor, so you still get a claimed 138bhp. But its not all about peak power - there is real usable grunt from as little as 4000rpm and a lovely spread of mid range grunt. Towards the top of the revs there's a nice little kick at 7,000, which adda a bit of zest. Fuelling is excellent - one of the best motors around at the moment combining real world usability and top end rush.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The level of finish is really high, up there with the best. There is a quality feel about the bike, it fees robust and it's certainly eye catching. There are some nice touches like flush indicators, larger petrol tank and sporty mirrors - it seems Kawasaki have listened to customer demands. The SX shares the same engine as the Zed therefore reliability shouldn’t be an issue.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At just under £8,979, or slightly more for the SX touring model (which comes with panniers and ABS as standard), its starting to look pricy - especially when you compare it to the cheaper competition from Suzuki and Honda i.e the GSX1250 FAST and CBF1000. Yes, the Kawasaki is a better bike - but is it worth the extra cash? Find a Kawasaki for sale.
Kawasaki have tried to make the SX as sporty as possible to attract sports bike enthusiasts. They’ve done this by giving the bike a sporty dash, but it lacks touring credentials and it's not adjustable from the handlebar, like say a BMW for example. The screen can only be adjusted manually too. However, the SX does boast radial brakes, petal racing discs, multi-adjustable suspension and sexy quad exhaust cans. The SX also features a larger fuel tank than the Zed - up in capacity from 15 litres to 19 litres. Compare and buy parts for the Z1000SX in the MCN Shop.
|Engine type||16v inline four, 6 gears|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Front suspension||Fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Pre load and rebound|
|Rear brake||250mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70x17|
|Rear tyre size||190/50x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||37 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£180|
|Used price||£4,700 - £6,500|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||138 bhp|
|Max torque||81 ft-lb|
|Top speed||165 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||156 miles|
Model history & versions
2011: Z1000SX ABS Tourer (includes Pannier set) [£9,796]
Other Kawasaki Z model reviews
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2007-2009)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2004-2006)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2014-on)
- 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 Z1000SX (2010 - 2013)
16 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z1000SX (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:||£180|
Good do everything bike . Not quite a sports tourer. More like a sporty do it all bike.
Seat not the most comfortable after a tank full, my knees feel it after 2 tanks , brakes excellent, however id have preferred abs .
Love the A road blasts hate the motorways , more me than the bike. Seat can start to get a bit tiring after 200 miles, but I'm yet to find one that suits me. Love the howl once at 7k+
Paint remains good , no corrosion, despite using in bad weather. No electrical gremlins.
Not the most economical, but then what litre bike is.
Not a lot really, wish I'd have gone for one with luggage
Buying experience: Bought privately for £4950 with 5000 miles
Annual servicing cost: £50
Easy and fun to ride for miles. Rock hard seat
2 hrs before numb bum
Fantastic engine but as always want more power
Tank under filler cap is unpainted. Otherwise excellent.
New cans, tail tidy, pirelli angel all good.
Annual servicing cost: £280
Good all-rounder. Plenty fast enough and not too bad for long trips (if you can live with the seat). Have done 600 miles+ in a day which was OK, but not as easy as on my old Fazer 1000 (which to be honest was probably a better bike bar the harsh gear changes, soft suspension and slightly weaker brakes). No mechanical problems in 12,000 miles and will do 180 miles to a tank with no bother.
Front brake is superb. Rear weaker, but it's all fine. ABS works well and doesn't get in the way. Stock Bridgestone T30 tyres are terrible unless it's dry and it's over 25C. I find the suspension a bit harsh on poor road surfaces and it's not great for a pillion for more than 45 mins. Personally, as a rider, I found my old ZX9R just as comfortable on the open road. Good all-rounder though.
No quicker than my old Fazer, but is much more 'instant' at low revs. Happy to be thrashed, but also happy to plot through town in top gear. Probably the best bit of the bike - the gears are lovely and smooth too, although I do get the odd false neutral.
Finish a bit suspect on some parts with rust forming on some elements. Otherwise has been solid as a rock (despite the odd false neutral).
Much like any other 4 cylinder bike.
Has all you need apart from a centre stand and the stock tyres are dangerous when cold, even when just plodding around. Change them for just about anything to improve confidence.
Buying experience: Purchased from a dealer for around £5k with 8k miles on the clock and with FSH. Bargain really for what you get.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Positive: Good all rounder quick, comfortable, reliable and well made. Negative: Could be better equipped, poor lights I would recommend to friends
Great Bike: Plenty of power and useful low down grunt, handles very well - I can take corners with confidence much better than my previous bike (ER6 F 650) which I bought after a break from biking of 24 years. I wanted a sporty 1000 cc four cylinder bike but didn't want the full ass in the air, chin on tank cramped sports bike thing at my age (50) as I would need a visit to a chiropractor after an hour on one of those! The Z1000SX fits the bill nicely - a really quick bike but with a comfortable upright riding position and it looks great! much better than other similar type bikes. Would have liked ABS and traction control though for additional reassurance in the wet.
Annual servicing cost: £149
Does everything well....
All round feeling of security and excellent power delivery
Everybody knows the Engine is a peach
Not a trace of rust anywhere
Servuce is done properly...no short cuts!
Got ABS which is useful but glad no traction control on this bike.
Buying experience: Clay Cross Kawasaki are a class outfit!
Version: Non ABS
Annual servicing cost: £200
The best aspects are the build quality, performance, handling and riding position. The parts I would change if I could are the mirrors; you just can't see what's behind you, only either side. I'd also have liked the bars to be adjustable. They seem to be tilted up slightly instead of down and gives me a bit of an ache on the outside of my hands. One thing no-one's mentioned; in hot weather the heat blast from the exhausts when you slow down and stop can be really hot on the back of your legs. Quite uncomfortable.
If I could seperate this brakes would be 5, ride quality 4. I have finally got the ride quality how I like it (comfortable) by using the softest rear setting with the damping reduced too. It still handles brilliantly and the tyres are the best I have ever used, giving a really solid, planted feel. Brakes are great without ABS, powerful and good feel.
The engine is so flexible. I can trickle along in 6th at 30 without snatching, higher up the rev range it really has a lively feel. I've never been a fan of inline 4s as they sound so busy, but this is so enjoyable I never notice it.
The build quality seems really good, and after 3 years I only have tiny bit of rust on the rear disc in the cut outs. The bike still looks as good as when I picked it up from the show room.
Only done 2500 miles so no faults or repairs to worry about. Insurance for me in London is £155 fully comp.
The flip up screen is the best feature for me. The standard screen caused buffeting so I got a replacement 2" higher. Now I can cruise at 90 with visor open and virtually still air. I fitted a fender extender on the front mudgaurd to kep stones away from the radiator. Also R&G frame trims to cover the open holes near the swing arm pivots; looks much neater and finished. I'd change the mirrors but can't find anything suitable.
Buying experience: I bought mine from Lloyd Coopers in Watford, only £7999 as it was last years model at the time. 0% finance over 2 years too. What's not to like.
I have owned one of these for 2 years old and its "touring" capability is a fantasy. The seat kills you! Its not for lack of padding - its the trendy design. You just have to look at it. All the padding is right at the back of the seat and you have to push yourself back. So there's even less room for a pillion!Where you naturally want to sit... its nowhere near wide enough! Kawasaki sell a gel seat for £300 - why should we buy it on a £10k bike and it won't make a scrap of difference! On the 2014 bike the seat has "more padding" - so what? its the same design and the tester of the 2014 machine says after 2 hours.... I've had enough! Sorry Kawasaki this is not good enough. YOU CANNOT TOUR ON THIS BIKE! panniers or no panniers BUYERS BEWARE!
I left a Honda VFR 800 behind for this rather awesome machine. Handling is spot on, as is everything else about the bike... Except 2 things: 1 - With the mirrors i can either see my hands or the hedge rows,, but not much else. 2 : After a couple of hours in the saddle I start to get a numb right hand because of some minor vibration through the throttle. The bike handles equally well in town traffic, twisties and open road. The adjustable screen makes a surprising difference on a run. The gearing makes it easy to ride in all traffic conditions, although at lower speeds this gearing ratio does reduce engine braking (but that's what brakes are for I guess) Having test ridden a range of bikes, this is a definite all rounder and in my eyes worth the extra few quid. And it looks n sounds the dogs dodahs!
Best bike I ever had. Nothing is perfect though. The build quality is pretty good. About what you would expect for a bike in this price range. Handling and everything else is brilliant. Just back from 3,500 Km tour to Germany where it performed really really well. A major problem on the trip though was at 110MPH on the autobahn's it started to wobble. Once luggagae and panniers were removed the wobble went away. So if your are buying. Forget panniers if you want to travel at speed and aim for tanka nd tail bags. If I were in the market for a new bike I would buy the same again without the panniers.
I ditched the RT for this machine after the reviews & a test ride. I have owned 'sporty' bikes in the past but getting older (60) I plumed for the comfort factor but was not getting the buzz, enter the SX great riding position, fairly comfy, performance? well more than enough for me, went for the ABS version no where near as obtrusive as the RT & that is a good point, no panniers just went for a decent rucksack. As the missus pointed out "you never use them" Highly recommended but put on a pair of Acros if you don't want the panniers, it also cures the bobbins issue, they catch the stock exhausts especially with a pillion on
I've had mine for 2 months now and it is better than i expected. If you can only have one bike in your garage, this is it. It can be a tourer, it can be a sports bike or it can be your commuter. Excellent fairing design that keeps a good amount of wind blast away and directs nearly no engine heat to the rider. Engine pulls throughout the entire rev range with some serious steam starting around 6500rpm. Handling is very secure and 30kg seem to disappear when underway. Suspension can be dialed from nice and comfy to sporty hard (which isn't that uncomfortable). I average about 38 to 41 mpg. The gearing is fairly short and think I will drop a tooth or two in the rear to see some lower revs. Wish the windshield blocked a little more air in the full up position but isn't bad. Engine has some vibration that is noticeable above 4000rpm and only gets worse. Digital display will washout in direct sun but, it has to be at the perfect angle to do so. Brakes are nice and strong. Watch out doing your own oil change and having to "burp" the oil filter. All in all, a few niggles but easily forgiven or remedied. Can't wait to get it on track next year.
truly the most versatile and enjoyable bike i,ve owned, love everything about it.useable power,looks sharp.test ride it and see. people say it,s short of gadgits, why pay more for things you dont need. wont be changing for a while
Tested it last week as a higher bars/lower weight replacement for my zzr1400 which is fitted with a full Givi pannier and top box set. While lacking the absolute power of the 1400 it is otherwise better in every respect. So much so I have placed on order. The only downside is you,according to Kawasaki, cannot fit a top box along with the panniers but I am hoping to find a solution to this once the top box bracket is released for sale. In the meantime the pannioers will do nicely. I rcommend the bike to anyone wantind looks, performance and a comfortable ride.
Test ride today 11am temp -2 at least it was dry well i traveled 40 miles on roads i normally ride it was so enjoyable that i forgot how cold it was i was having so much fun it handels,flicks left to right with such ease,brakes are so smooth & the most cofortable seat ever ive sat on yes i want one just try it & see for yourself,Lifes too short for sitting indoors on cold dry days has to be candy lime green...I was going for another trimuph but this bikes amazing.
Everything I ever wanted.