KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2014-on) Review

Published: 09 January 2014

"Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier"

KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)

"Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX is a clever, considered and very worthwhile update of an already excellent machine. The Z1000SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, involving, good value and yet understated and unshowy too. Kawasaki hasn’t lost any of that. It hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead it has corrected or improved what it genuinely needed based on feedback of the old model, enhanced what it didn’t and then added a bang up to date technical cherry. Simply put, Kawasaki has made an already great bike even classier.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Conceived to fit between the naked Z1000 and the track-focused ZX-10R, the Z1000SX is an almost perfect mongrel – delivering much of the excitement and character of the Z1000, performance of the ZX-10R yet all in a more comfortable, upright and practical package. The new Tokico brakes have more bite while the suspension’s revised damping rates and the shock’s heavier spring improve the ride quality. The revisions to the mirrors, seat, panniers and even induction noise all mount up to make this a vastly improved machine.

Engine 5 out of 5

There was nothing much wrong with the old model’s engine – it was already reckoned to be one of the best around thanks to its combination of excellent fuelling, massive range of useable grunt and true top-end zest – but here Kawasaki has aimed to improve it by delivering even sharper throttle response without affecting peak performance. They have accomplished their goal. The motor feels fresher and the addition of traction control and power modes brings a missing level of sophistication to an already excellent experience as well as peace of mind in the wet.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The SX has a high level of finish and the engine is as solid as they come.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

ABS costs a £400 premium while a ‘Touring’ version comes with panniers for £500 extra.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The SX comes with three-way traction control, two power modes, optional ABS for £400 extra and panniers for £800.

Owners' Reviews

16 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z1000SX (2014-on) 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 Z1000SX (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.9 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Available in any colour, as long as it's green.

14 June 2018 by Swoop

I've been a sports bike rider for 27 years, every bike I ever owned was arse up, head down and balls out. Came from an '04 ZX-10R to the Z1000SX so you'd think I'd say the Z1000 feels heavy, under powered and cumbersome by comparison.....but I... Read more wouldn't. She's not a lightweight bike but once rolling it all feels very flickable and that superb motor provides a surge of smooth power wherever you are in the rev range. Ditch the OEM tyres though, they're shocking in the wet and most dealers will replace on request.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Kawasaki front ends have always felt laser guided and this one is no exception. Part of the reason is the corner angle measuring ABS fitted as standard, decades of engineering experience building superb brakes and wavey discs that aren't just for show make up the rest. Riding position is relaxed and smooth and if you're a taller rider I can highly recommend the factory fitted frame sliders which are the perfect height for putting your feet up to stretch legs out on long rides.
Engine
5 out of 5
I swear the mid range response is better than a ZX-10R. It'll only be right at the top end of a screaming engine that you'll notice a lack of puff in comparison.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Kawasaki lumps are bulletproof, always have been. They're not named 'Kawasaki Heavy Industries' for nothing.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
The only reason she doesn't score a 5 is because the mid range grunt of that lovely motor encourages the rider to give it a lot of right hand whenever the opportunity presents itself....and the fuel economy when the taps are open isn't wonderful. Daily riding around town gives me around 43mpg as long as no AC/DC comes up in the playlist, motorway cruising gives closer to 50.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Coming from a bike that had a rev counter, speedo and idiot lights......I've now got a full Ford Mondeo dashboard. MPG, average MPG, air temp, tank range, 2 trip counters, fuel gauge, heated grips as a factory option, ABS, 3-stage traction control with 6 point angle measurement and a 12v power port with a USB adapter, the only thing missing is cruise control. The really weird thing about this bike is if you're in 4th gear or higher there'll be enough power on a closed throttle to do 17mph. 27 litre panniers come with the touring pack option, internal bags and a very clever quick release system make them a no brainer as an option and a full face lid will happily fit inside without a fuss. The design also ensures the panniers reach no wider than the mirrors so you stand very little chance of a nasty shock from the rear end while filtering because you forgot they were on.
5 out of 5

K - I'm loving it

17 April 2018 by Artman

Smooth power, well mannered bike. Superb handling and that engine tone. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Travelled to Limousin, France without issue. Bought a sheepskin seat cover in preparation but didn't use it. Well balanced with asscertive braking.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth, linear power delivery
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Owned for 10 months from new. No issues whatsoever...just turned 6K miles.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
A wacking £430 quoted for 7.5K service from my local Kawa dealership, seems steep to me. Paid £130 after first 600 miles and then another service at 3.5K (£180) seems excessive. Feel I'm paying upfront for anything that may be claimed back later should one make a warranty claim (2 year warranty) After owning 2 previous Kawasakis, they seem bullet proof enough so forking out on dealership servicing makes me wonder if I should either service myself or go to a decent independent garage
Equipment
4 out of 5
Bright, clear headlights. Panniers attach without the need of a rack which retains the bike's beauty when removed. Normally run Road Pilot tyres but quite happy with the OEM Bridgestone SP2 tyres.
Buying experience

Bought new from dealer

5 out of 5

K - I'm loving it

17 April 2018 by Artman

Smooth power, well mannered bike. Superb handling and that engine tone. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Travelled to Limousin, France without issue. Bought a sheepskin seat cover in preparation but didn't use it. Well balanced with asscertive braking.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth, linear power delivery
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Owned for 10 months from new. No issues whatsoever...just turned 6K miles.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
A wacking £430 quoted for 7.5K service from my local Kawa dealership, seems steep to me. Paid £130 after first 600 miles and then another service at 3.5K (£180) seems excessive. Feel I'm paying upfront for anything that may be claimed back later should one make a warranty claim (2 year warranty) After owning 2 previous Kawasakis, they seem bullet proof enough so forking out on dealership servicing makes me wonder if I should either service myself or go to a decent independent garage
Equipment
4 out of 5
Bright, clear headlights. Panniers attach without the need of a rack which retains the bike's beauty when removed. Normally run Road Pilot tyres but quite happy with the OEM Bridgestone SP2 tyres.
Buying experience

Bought new from dealer

4 out of 5

Fast capable sports tourer.

23 December 2017 by NJ

A great sports tourer with a few niggling issues Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It is a great bike to ride, but I found the seat uncomfortable after a couple of hours. Have invested in the gel seat which was another £300. Also there are some vibrations through the foot pegs at motorway speeds, but not too distracting.
Engine
5 out of 5
The engine is fabulous and wonderfully flexible. You can potter along at 30 mph in sixth gear, but as soon as you open the throttle it takes off.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Only bought the bike in March 17, but so far it has been flawless.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
As with all Kawasaki bikes, service intervals are every 3750 miles, which is not ideal.
Equipment
4 out of 5
This bike has all the electronic gizmos you need for fast and safe riding. However, I am surprised it does not come with either heated grips. More surprisingly, it does not have cruise control, and it is not an optional extra, which is a major oversight for a tourer.
Buying experience

Bought if from Blades in Swindon. Very helpful and good service

4 out of 5

Fixed at last ! !

22 November 2017 by Martin Read

Lights very poor for night riding. Seat damned uncomfortable. Now fixed, it is how all my past Kwakas have been, fab. Shame I had to suffer such a dangerous situation. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
ABS late in coming on but works well when it does. Feel very good on front, rear requires good push but work well.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sweet and pulls strongly from 1,200 in 6th.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
Bike kept cutting out and I fell off twice. Kawasaki came to rescue and the bike is now brilliant. It appears it was the dealer who was to blame. Had the bike for 3 weeks, said fixed, engine cut out 800 yards down the road. They had not set idle properly. Contacted Kawasaki again who, this time, were tremendous. Even fixed the fairing that was damaged on one of my 2 falls when engine cut out.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Do 4-5k a year touring, service costs with intermediate oil/filter around £300. Disappointed with 2nd-hand value, not held up as much as I expected for the best sports tourer around (my opinion) with bullet engine.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Fitted a gel saddle as a matter of urgency plus a pair of spots. That done, what the bike has, for the price, is great value. Should allow a top box with the standard panniers though for a proper tourer. Had to fit Givi to tour successfully.
Buying experience

Bought new, dealer went bust, substitute dealer could not be bothered. Just left deposit on a 5-month old 17 plate private seller SX Tourer. Would love the H2SX but just could not afford. This is my 2nd SX and am very happy to be buying the 2017 upgrade model.

1 out of 5

Be very, very careful

15 October 2016 by Martin Read

No Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
Can only give 1 out of 5 because of problem
Engine
1 out of 5
See previous comments
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
The bike has become a death trap and no-one is interested. On changing gear which takes what, 1/2 second, after 9 months from new, noticed an occasional engine cut out as changing gear using clutch. Has progressively got worse. Clutch in, blip throttle when changing down, clutch out and, as you do, engine stops. Does same going up but no throttle blip. Thrown me off twice at slow speeds. As you go to accelerate out of the roundabout with your feet just put on pegs, you let out clutch and open throttle to move off, engine stops and you drop bike. Been to dealers 4 times. Contacted Kawasaki twice and now, £11,000's worth of bike and I just dare not ride. Problem is happening several times every hundred miles whereas originally, it was a couple of times a thousand. I just do not know what to do. Think it is going to be a solicitor and court case. When bike was working, it was fab. Now, to have the engine stop at 120mph as you change from 5th to 6th certainly cures you constipation. I am joking but it is a bloody serious matter to which Kawasaki just cannot be bothered. Back to BMW but how can I sell this to another motorcyclist? I would never forgive myself if anything happened.
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
Servicing average and I have an oil/filter change in between
Equipment
3 out of 5
Poorly designed for a tourer and lights very poor.
Buying experience

Dissatisfied with dealer who has gone bust. Not surprising.

5 out of 5

kawasaki got it right with this ..

31 August 2016 by gibson

rather high revvy engine but super smooth and plenty poke in all rev ranges , this bike does exactly what youde expect from a kawasaki . comfy too , great on fuel and all round a great bike . the suspention 2 up is the only thing ive a gripe with ,... Read more but since i dont ride too much 2 up ile leave it alone ..

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
brakes are amazing . suspention ok but riding 2 up isnt too good
Engine
5 out of 5
wow what can i say , ive owned lots of bikes and this is by far the best engine and gearbox is super smooth . well done kawasaki
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
great reliablity , and quality is superb
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Does what it says on the tin

18 August 2016 by Ello

Fast fun and able to tour. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Once the suspension was set up £38 it rides like a dream.
Engine
5 out of 5
Stonking bit of kit.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Did a Euro trip of 1908 miles in July this year never missed a beat.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Bike cost me £9200 with boxes and inner cases bargain.
Equipment
4 out of 5
If this bike had a 12volt socket and a gear indicator it would get the full 5 out of 5.
Buying experience

Got my Bike from Bournemouth Kawasaki one of the best dealers I have purchased a bike from.

5 out of 5

First Ever Kawasaki

20 July 2016 by Carl Stark

Got a little fed up with my MV Agusta F3 800 and opted after some research to go for the Z1000SX. I have owned a number of bikes in the past but never a Kawasaki. So far I am very happy with my choice. Comfortable riding position, very light clutch... Read more and a slick gearbox. I think its a great looking machine. Its not faultless, like others have said, it really should have a gear indicator built into the display, rather than an optional extra stick on box and maybe a quickshift would be good. Cant comment to much more as only owned it for a week.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I really approve of the riding position and suspension, no issues there. I do carry a pillion at times and she says that by the hour mark the bum is numb and needs a break. I use the bike for work into London on dry days and for a litre bike i am very impressed with its manoeuvrability, as I split lanes and fight to get over the Dartford River Crossing/M25 its very light and easy to weave, then once your out the traffic, open her up and away you go.
Engine
5 out of 5
Engine has a good solid feel and good history so feel confident that it will have longevity. Good even power delivery up through the range but without the gear indicator kept looking for another gear at the top, maybe Kawasaki need to look at this. Its fine but just feels like its revving to high for 6th.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
This will be my dry weather bike so will probably be fine, however only time will tell. Appears to be well built and obviously the engine is tried and tested.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Cant give an accurate answer yet as still making my way to the first 600 mile service so guess the running costs will be similar to my other bikes.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I like the aggressive styling of the bike and a number of work colleagues have commented on how they like the look of this bike over my F3 800 which has surprised me! I opted for the gear indicator and top box. I did want the tail tidy but you cant have that with the top box fitting. Tyres seem fine but again only done 400 miles at time of writing.
Buying experience

The dealer I used which most helpful and wouldnt hesiate to use again. They did me a deal on the bike with some of the extras I wanted included in the original asking price.

5 out of 5

13 May 2016 by Christopher Mazuros

Couldn't be happier, I replaced my Concours 1000 (Gtr1000) to you Eurpoean folks as I am in the states. Love the weight reduction, performance and handling. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ditch the stock Bridgestones the minute you buy it. I highly recommend Michellin PR4 GT's they along with properly setting the suspension liven up the handling
Engine
5 out of 5
Plenty of torque but screams for an overdrive gear or taller gearing. gas mileage baffles me when my old Concours without fuel injection and 200lbs more weight could get 55mpg cruising at 75mph and this bike struggles to get 40.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Quality throughout, no cheap shortcuts. I live in the rain here in Florida and between that and the salt air seeing no corrosion on anything is a good feeling.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
Lack of ability to mount both the hard top case and saddle bags makes me wonder what the marketing folks at Kawasaki were smoking? Stupid!
Buying experience

Paid exactly what was on the sticker US $12,199 with the bags from a dealer.

Read all 16 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £9,199
Used price £6,000 to £18,100
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £290
Performance
Max power 140 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 49 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1043cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 16v inline four
Frame type Aluminium twin tube
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 230kg
Front suspension 41mm inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Horizontally mounted rear shock, adjustable preload and rebound
Front brake 2x300mm petal discs. Tokico four-piston radial calipers
Rear brake 1x250mm petal disc, Tokico single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 190/50ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

2011 Z1000SX launched, updated in 2014.

Other versions

Z1000SX ABS £9,699, Z1000SX Touring £10,199

Photo Gallery

  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
  • KAWASAKI Z1000SX  (2014-on)
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