Long-term test: Kawasaki Z1000SX

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The miles are stacking up on my Kawasaki Z1000SX, however I’m not the only one clocking up the miles. Everyone seems to be asking to borrow the green keys, especially now winter has settled in. It’s been interesting to get everyone’s opinion, both good and bad. Here’s what some of the MCN staff, and some of our guest testers, had to say about my SX…

I like the idea of the Z1000 inline four; it’s carved out a niche as a lively punchy naked roadster. It has excellent performance coupled with sportsbike-like handling, especially when fitted with suitable tyres. The only slight negative is the styling. I would have liked a modern interpretation of the original Z1 styling, similar to what Honda has done with the styling of the CB1100. Bruce Dunn, MCN performance tester

Good strong engine with excellent handling means it feels like a brilliant all-round, everyday bike.  On the downside it feels like it’s revving a little high when cruising at fast motorway speeds, and the absence of a gear indicator seems a little strange. Why are the official panniers wider than the handlebars and mirrors? It makes no sense to me. Liam Marsden, MCN web producer

The Kawasaki SX is one of those brilliantly versatile machines. Usually, words like ‘do-it-all’ get thrown in with bland tourers. But that’s not the case with the SX, it’s a touring machine with a proper kick. It’s an easy and comfy ride on my 100-mile commute, the panniers integrate nicely into the design, it looks smart and if you want to get a move on it won’t disappoint. Andy Davidson, MCN staff writer

Having ridden a basic Z1000 for a week and enjoyed it, I was very interested to try the SX version. My first impression was not good due to extremely worn tyres, but this was quickly rectified with fresh rubber. With confidence boosted I could begin to enjoy the SX and at this point begin to form my opinions of it. I feel the gearing is too low, you’re constantly fishing for another gear - another tooth on the front sprocket could do the trick. I’m 6ft 1in and, at speed, tucking out of the wind was almost impossible as there was no space to go. Gear it up, stretch it out and it would make a better bike for me. Simon Relph, MCN art editor

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Adam Child

By Adam Child

Former MCN Road Tester with 15 years road testing experience on all kinds of bikes