Initially introduced in the seventies, the Z series is still making history to this day. Many things have changed in the design and engine department, but the spirit remains. It is a sports bike with a bold naked design that is always thriving to be one step ahead of its time. Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about the different incarnations of this revolutionary bike. Also, we will review some state-of-the-art accessories that will make your riding better from day one.
Before I take you on the Kawasaki Z series journey, let me quickly make a bias statement. State-of-the-art motorcycle, like the Kawasaki Z1000, is missing some essential features that can affect your safety and visibility on the road. But Kawasaki is not the only manufacturer that didn’t think about this by far.
Self-cancelling turn-signals and deceleration warning signal on your brake light, when you are engine braking, have been on the table of OEM’s development boards for over 40 years, but somehow the solutions did not rise to the expectations of riders.
But the technology developed and the perfect solution is finally here. When you scroll down through this Blog, you will find a YouTube video that shows how amazing the technology has become and how these features improve your riding experience.
Want to know more about it? Find your Kawasaki in the drop-down menu below and submit your email to get more information and a special offer for your Kawasaki Z1000 or any other model from the “Z” series.
And now back to the main topic!
Created in the seventies, this bold, fiery bike has survived four decades and counting. It is true that it has gone through many different redesigns, but the sporty spirit was always maintained. The same four-stroke and four-cylinder formula is still going strong, as well as the 16 valves and the liquid cooling. It has always sported a six-speed, return shift, constant mesh transmission with a wet, multi-disc clutch. The final drive for the last four decades was a chain one and looks like it is not changing anytime soon.
Also, the front and rear wheels have maintained in 120/70 and 190/50 ZR17s respectively for the last four decades.
The Kawasaki Z1000 2017 is a big bike regarding power, fans and tradition, but it doesn´t look so huge from near distance. It is almost as if you would have a naked street bike on steroids. The aluminium frame over which it is completely mounted is light and feels sturdy. This twin-tube 2010 upgrade has proven to be a game-changer in terms of speed and stability. What is the most significant difference between a naked sports bike and a traditional sports bike? The difference is mainly the rider´s position. This is allowed by the position of the handlebar and foot pegs.
This configuration is becoming increasingly popular, and as long as I put my leg over the seat, I realised why. The combination of the massive torque, colossal power and comfort is just the perfect balance for long rides on the open road. It used to happen to me a lot (I´m a superbikes super fan) to have aching wrists and knee joints. Also, the stiff neck and the odd and acute back pain were consequences of a long riding day.
Opening the Throttle
Once you turn the throttle and open up the rpm on this bold bike, you start seeing traffic blur on your rear-view mirror. Although it is unexpectedly noisy for a naked sports bike, you can´t feel the buzz of the frame through pegs or grips at all. I got away from the traffic very quickly; the motorcycle has lots of torque and power at hand. Even though the Kawasaki Z1000 2018 or 2017 don´t have different power modes, I was able to get great results on a wet surface.
It is a great bike to avoid getting speeding tickets because the higher RPM range does not make any real difference. This way you can avoid going to a three-digit mark when you speed up and keep patrols away and your license immaculate. This is something many riders complain about, the Kawasaki Z1000 is geared too short. The ratios are not for those trying to hit sky-high speeds, but the bike´s design is not in that concept either. It is a great touring bike for long runs in ordinary roads rather than lapping in a closed circuit.
One thing I didn´t like about the open road with this Kawasaki Z1000 is that it feels a little jumpy. The turn of the wrist can prove to be somewhat too sensitive and with such a big torque at hand, dangerous. If you are an expert rider, this is not an issue, although it can be if you are not.
Suspension-wise, the results were not quite what I expected. It is true that it is not an off-road bike and you are not supposed to drive it on dirt, but bumpy roads and tracks exist. You cannot adjust rear suspension´s compression damping. I felt it a little rigid and despite the fantastic posture caused me a little fatigue.
For the Kawasaki Z1000 2017 and the Kawasaki Z1000 2018, the ABS is as good as it gets. The pressure sensor makes sure that the pressure applied when heavy braking is even. This is not a minor detail if you take into consideration the speed and the landscape you will be driving in.
Although it is not a superbike as I am so used to ride, it is an amazingly fun one. The hours I spent on perfectly paved roads were flawless, and with minor adjustments, it shall be the queen of the segment.
The price of the Kawasaki Z1000 ABS which was the tested model is of $11,999 and includes a 12-month warranty.
The Kawasaki Z750 is a narrowed version of the big Kawasaki Z1000. Although it is capable of delivering serious power and torque, it is not at all as bold-looking and menacing. Are all the riders attempting to buy a motorcycle putting an eye on the looks? Well, not all of us care that much, but to see such a great-looking design watered down is a pity.
The power and torque are just massive, and so is the control provided by the ABS (special for the version I rode). The one minus I can find on this incarnation is that the suspension is a little too stiff. The harsh feeling that you get on your body after driving for hours could easily disappear with a better suspension system.
The original price tag of the Kawasaki Z750 was of $8684 when it came out. This bike was discontinued in 2012.
Looking cool while commuting to work every Monday morning is far better than wearing the sleepy face. This bold middle-weight bike can do that for you while adding a smile to the landscape. It is a compact and modern bike that boasts power in every direction and has more than enough power to handle every situation. Lightweight chassis is ideal for quick-launching at the green light and holding the bike between your legs. Superbike lovers could opt for the Ninja 650, but this incarnation of the Kawasaki Z1000 is an everyday treat for hybrid bike lovers.
This version of the Kawasaki Z1000 comes in ABS and non-ABS versions costing $6,999 and $7,399 respectively. With such a big amount of torque at hand and the powerful engine, investing in ABS is almost a requirement.
This is a naked middle-weight street fighter that fills the void between the Kawasaki Z1000 and the Ninja 650. Riders looking for a powerful commuter that looks awesome and can do the eventual Sunday miles were very pleased with this version. It features a liquid-cooled engine like the entire line, but this is an 806cc version. It has some street-friendly features like the narrow waist and the comfortable distance with the ground. The clutch is very smooth, and the speeds are rapid-fire making distance from red light to red light a breeze. Completed with some state-of-the-art electronics, this version of the classic Kawasaki Z1000 is a winner.
The price tag on a Kawasaki Z800 is of $8399, which makes it one of the most affordable in the section. Not surprisingly, it was Kawasaki´s best-selling bike in Europe in 2013, the year it came out.
The prestigious site Motorcycle.com named this bike the Best Standard Motorcycle of 2017. We do not disagree at all. Furthermore, this incarnation of the classic Kawasaki Z1000 is one of the best we´ve seen so far. Without deviating too much from the original design and power, it delivers state-of-the-art high power. The original Kawasaki Z1000´s engine is four cylinders in line at 1043cc, and the Z900 is only slightly smaller at 948cc.
What is very different is the weight of the bike. Kawasaki managed to reduce 25 pounds and a significant amount of money, but you can´t tell where. The bike feels just as sturdy and powerful but is slightly smaller and lighter than the full Kawasaki Z1000. For commuters who want some extra power or riders who want to lower the power to commute, the Kawasaki Z900 is perfect. The RPM, fast gear changing and naked bodywork are appealing, bold and very suitable for everyday use.
This is the most significant difference between the Kawasaki Z1000 and the Kawasaki Z900. The company did wonders to reduce the price tag drastically. To be honest, it is not so evident where they saved the money. Nevertheless, the bike feels and reacts just like the Kawasaki Z1000. Price on the ABS models is $11,999 and $8,799 respectively. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money! Kawasaki nailed with this one.
Not long ago I came across some aftermarket accessories on a friend´s bike, and I fell completely in love with them. The Kawasaki Z1000 is a big bike, ready for the open road and this makes it a priority to have state of the art safety. The video from the famous YouTuber Tremonte (click HERE) shows that installation and usage are as easy as it gets.
Also, another video from Tremonte (below) shows a road test on the Kawasaki Z650 of the Smart Turn System and the Smart Brake Module in action with a dual camera showing the perspective of the driver and also the bike. The Kawasaki Z1000 is an open bike road and needs some after-market accessories to make every trip safer. And the Smart Turn System and the Smart Brake Module will perform flawlessly on your Kawasaki Z1000 just as they did on the Z650.
It works like magic on your Kawasaki Z1000, but you can install it in any bike you own.
Smart Turn System (STS) – A small fix can sometimes make a big difference in your riding experience. This is one of those cases. If you also happen to own and drive a car, you are familiar with turning lights. They automatically come off once you complete the turn. Your favourite motorcycle can now do the same. You have never been safer riding your Kawasaki Z1000.
Smart Break Module (SBM) – Throttle shut down means speed reduction. Most times just as much as hitting the bike´s breaks. Furthermore, letting other drivers know that you are doing it is of crucial importance. This tiny fix will engage your breaking light once you slow down by throttle reduction. It can avoid many accidents, especially on the open road. Your Kawasaki Z1000 has never been a safer ride.
The Kawasaki Z1000 and all the incarnations of its four-cylinder engine have different applications. Starting with the middle-weight Kawasaki Z650, a street-friendly bike that translates power and torque to everyday commuters in a bold setup. Moving on to the not-so-pretty Kawasaki Z750 and its few years of production like the Z800, Kawasaki tried replicating the formula. Finally, the Kawasaki Z900 prooves how the budget can be reduced without sacrificing crucial specs.
The Kawasaki Z1000 is not only a hit but also a bike that imposed a trend for the naked sports bikes. The lower weight and the powerful engine produce an amount of torque that´s thrilling. The bike is not heavy or light but ideal for commuting and eventual open-road riding. Also, the rider posture makes it the most comfortable motorcycle for long trips that need many hours on the road.
What about you? Are you a die-hard Kawasaki Z1000 fan or you are finding out about their existence right now? Leave us a comment!
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