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Dirty, brutal, extreme. The new Z 1000 has its eyes on evil.

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The rear silencers were only slightly modified, the rear tire still has a 50 mm cross-section with a flat contour.

The lean angle is easily enough.

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The inner LED headlights are used for the low beam, the outer ones are used for the high beam.

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Completely new: the informative cockpit.

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Ready to jump: the profile is deliberately reminiscent of a big cat. The design did not focus on mass compatibility. Above all, the Z 1000 wants to look bad.

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The latest Bosch ABS, larger brake discs and a big piston fork, …

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… which can be adjusted in spring base, rebound and compression damping.

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Kawasaki Z 1000 in the driving report

A rush of madness from every corner

Dirty, brutal, extreme? This is not for people who chew grandma’s jelly themselves. If you are tired of the dictates of the ordinary, you should urgently read on: The new Kawasaki Z 1000 has its eyes on evil.

Man, such an extravagant look again! When the new Kawasaki Z 1000 pops around the corner, one rightly wonders whether 34-year-old chief designer Yu Shibuta has watched too many Japanese anime comics. The low-lying, flat lamp mask, which is attached very close to the new big piston fork, in combination with the towering, now 17-liter gasoline tank, could be the result of an accident with a truck. At least that is what test colleague Henniges suspects and is in good company.

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Kawasaki Z 1000 in the driving report
A rush of madness from every corner

Z 1000 goes to work confidently, does not want to be an everyday bike that strives for the canon of the harmonious all-rounder. The green naked wants to attract attention, be a villain, wants to roll down the competition with the worst of all looks, eat one curve after the other.

Fat-bar aluminum handlebar feels great in the hand

However, the high piling up of the fuel drum suggests a certain sluggishness when changing direction quickly. The predecessor was by no means a handling professional. So can the new Kawasaki Z 1000 even hold what the aggressive design suggests? A quick look at the technical data provides clues: The six-spoke rims save 1.5 kilograms in weight in the latest generation, the caster is reduced by two, the wheelbase by five millimeters. At 65.5 degrees, the steering head angle remains at the level of the old ones. It was to be expected that the Z with 221 kilograms still does not belong to the top athletic group. Because both the chassis and the engine are based on the predecessor.

The sun is already shining in Seville, Spain, and the thermometer is expected to crack 17 degrees during the day. So the best conditions to get started. Taking a seat for the first time is surprising and not as extreme as initially assumed. The new fat bar aluminum handlebar is great in the hand, is neither excessively wide nor too narrow. The feet can be placed at an acceptable knee angle on the corrugated notches, the buttocks lie on a fairly firm, but by no means uncomfortable bench at a height of 815 millimeters. Well integrated and active you sit on the Kawasaki Z 1000, look at the brightly shining LCD cockpit and the bright LED tachometer and immediately ask yourself what else they have come up with? Why does the LCD panel act as a tachometer up to a speed of 4000 revolutions and then does the LED treadmill function? Stylish looks, of course. But does it also make sense? At least both elements are easy to read due to their high luminosity.

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On the move with the Kawasaki Z 1000 R.


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Even when stationary, the Kawasaki Z 1000 grumbles wonderfully

The push of a button brings the four-cylinder in-line engine of the Kawasaki Z 1000 to life, which has been strengthened by 4 hp and one Newton meter. Even when the car is stationary, it grumbles wonderfully sonorous and hoarse from the only slightly modified exhaust system, which houses an exhaust flap in the right silencer. The clutch lever can be easily pulled and first gear is gently engaged with a soft “click”. Then the journey begins. And with an egg dance. On the first few meters over rough cobblestones, you go to work so awkwardly that you feel ashamed. Like a complete beginner, you spontaneously take a leap forward, only to turn off the gas in shock and be plunged in by the engine braking torque.

Test ride video

My dear Scholli, the load hangs greedily on the cable. Despite the double throttle valve, the Kawasaki Z 1000 does not respond harshly, but very directly. It takes an hour until the right hand is sufficiently sensitized. But from then on you can’t get the grin off your face. This insane surge from every corner and the good feeling for the robust engine trigger one endorphin storm after the other. In order for the synapses to be continually happy, the trainer has to work hard.

Going on a coffee trip with the Kawasaki Z 1000 won’t work. She wants to be gripped firmly on both horns in order to follow the given line. If it turns neutrally, even playfully, at the first 20 degrees incline, it becomes unruly from this point on. Now the driver has to press the end of the handlebars so that the flanks of the Dunlop D 214, in the 190/50 format at the rear, come up to temperature. If you don’t stay committed to the matter, the Kawa will automatically lift you out of the inclined position. She’s just a bastard: Z doesn’t obey if you stroke her. You have to bend and break it, give it no way to control you. It costs attention and strength, but it is a lot of fun. Anyone who adjusts to it will reap really quick and dynamic locomotion thanks to the drive.

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What fireworks!

The only slightly modified engine of the Kawasaki Z 1000 (it now has additional connecting channels between the cylinders in order to minimize pumping losses and to increase the revving at high speeds) already impresses from 1500 revolutions with silky smooth running, pushes hard from 3000 revolutions and then listens, accompanied by a growling sound from the new airbox, simply stop pressing and pull the driver’s arms out. On the contrary: If the rev counter exceeds the limit of 6500 turns, a few more coals are added so that you drool with joy on your leather jacket. What a firework that noticeably benefits from the shorter gear ratio of the first five gears! That the entire motorcycle vibrates from medium engine speeds: forgivable!


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Rebound and compression damping can be adjusted on the right fork leg of the Kawasaki Z 1000.

In the Spanish hinterland there is now curve after curve and unfortunately also bump after bump. The new fully adjustable big piston fork and the shock absorber respond wonderfully and protect the driver from hard knocks. Nevertheless, the spring elements already offer tight damping in the standard setup, which creates a lot of reserves in the brisk country road chase and allows the box to circulate stably through the terrain.

Only under extreme conditions does the chassis tend to become nervous when it comes to successive bumps. Due to the tight damping, the chassis elements sometimes rebound too slowly and thus still hang deep in the progression when the next bump follows. With a little fine tuning, this peculiarity can certainly be minimized or even eliminated.

The fixed-piston calipers for the front brakes and the new Bosch ABS deserve recognition. Full delay meets fine control intervals here. Only a stubborn tendency cannot be completely denied. But bad boys can handle it safely. The new Kawasaki Z 1000 will be available from dealers from January for 12,195 euros.

Technical specifications


Kawasaki

Kawasaki Z 1000.

engine: Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 38 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator , 12 V battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O Ring chain, secondary ratio 43:15. Bore x stroke 77.0 x 56.0 mm, displacement 1043 cm³, compression ratio 11.8: 1, rated output 104.5 kW (142 PS) at 10,000 / min, max. Torque 111 Nm at 7300 / min

landing gear: Backbone frame made of aluminum, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression stage damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, horizontal, with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound stage damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston -Fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 250 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS, cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17

Dimensions + weights: Wheelbase 1435 mm, steering head angle 65.5 degrees, caster 101 mm, spring travel f / r 120/122 mm, seat height 815 mm, empty weight 221 kg, tank capacity 17.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years

Colors: Black, orange / black, green / gray *

Price: 12,195 euros, additional costs: around 180 euros

What’s new?

  • Thanks to new mappings, a reduction in pumping losses, oval interference pipes between the manifolds and modified intake cams, the engine pushes 4 HP and 1 Nm more.
  • Modified airbox and enlarged ducts for the fresh air supply.
  • The first five courses have a shorter translation, the sixth remained the same.
  • The Big Piston Fork is completely new
  • The tank capacity grew by two to 17 liters.
  • Monoblock brake calipers, larger brake discs, the latest Bosch ABS.
  • The rims are 1.5 kilos lighter.

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