17th Pictures

The Kawasaki Z1000 is like a Fender guitar. A wonderful instrument.

Kawasaki Z1000.

The lack of electronic driving aids is very good for a “manual” guy, but it has to be noted that electronic bombs have advantages in the mountain classification because you can accelerate earlier and harder.

Kawasaki Z1000.

You have to compromise on bad surfaces, but on good asphalt the Z1000 is a killer that can make life very difficult for super athletes up to the 200 km / h zone.

It is also very consistent that the chassis is really tight, maybe even rock hard…

The Z1000 has an extremely powerful, elastic naked bike motor, which with its 142 HP and 111 Nm does not have to fear any opponents in the open country.

"The futuristic look of the Japanese chain dog pulled me under its spell from the start. In my eyes, a murderously powerful design. And it fits perfectly with the driving behavior.", lets and Zonko know.

…Unconventionally styled exhaust spittoon exude a Z-character.

Beefy oven-cylinder and…

Attention Burschi: crouched-aggressive front mask in front of wide handlebars announce high Herbrenn potential.

The brakes of the Kawa are on a high sporting level, the ABS regulates thankfully late.

Kawasaki Z1000.

Striking news is for Bild-Zeitung readers. But what you need to know is there.

Kawasaki Z1000.

"A huge engine, sporty geometry, stiff chassis and a killer anchor – that’s how it should be."

The experience value of the Z1000 cannot be rated highly enough.

Zonko’s attack on the Kawasaki Z 1000

142 hp, 222 kilos, no TC

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Kawasaki Z 1000 – that’s 142 hp from a four-in-line at 222 kilos with a full tank, no traction control, no wheelie software, no slide suppression – the Japanese chain dog and the craft.

No, the driving with that was mild Kawasaki Z 1000 not! Oh, something was going on, it was Granada – in the Lower Austrian Alps. The potent four-in-line tore the squat, Japanese chain dog into the gallery position after every narrow corner and devoured the intermediate straight like the hungry, kawa-green Hulk a Swedish bomb (Austrian specialty similar to a Dickmann chocolate kiss, only crisp in the bite and more refined for my taste buds Taste). Happy and gone. And as long as I did not misjudge myself, the presentation at the corner entrance was sovereign and of serious speed. However, my ears got hot as hell when I once downhill greeted a sharp right hand with the respect it deserved.

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Zonko’s attack on the Kawasaki Z 1000
142 hp, 222 kilos, no TC

Kawasaki Z 1000, but braked with the elegance and discipline of an English lord: So at first only with light pressure on the lever, so that the first impulse on the front tire, which is created by shifting the weight forward, does not tear off the grip. Only then is it really packed and the full braking effect is called up. That’s how I learned it. In the time when electronics were really important in Casio digital watches and Tamagotschis, but not as a driving or braking aid for motorcycles, a well-practiced and automated braking technique played a major role in the burning process. Because one thing was clear: if you lay down on your hatch while anchoring, you definitely wouldn’t be the first to reach the summit host. 

Brakes that can be metered in an exemplary manner and are snappy

The two radially mounted four-piston calipers of the Kawasaki Z 1000 worked in an exemplary manner in terms of controllability and bite, but the chain dog somehow got angry and switched to stubborn. No question, the anchor drop came too late for a round line, but we had to go through that now. The escape into the field is often propagated in driver safety training, but in practice it is – unless you are on a racetrack and looking into a soft bed of gravel – a full dump, as they say. Because the so-called terrain in the open country is at best a bumpy meadow, in which you inevitably roll the dice. Anyone can imagine what happens when you drive into a deep field or a forest. There are no limits to the imagination.

So: Escape to the terrain was not an option – Austria’s Grand Prix hero Gustl Auinger taught me that. Kill it completely. However, the Kawasaki Z 1000 resisted. The combination of harsh brake pressure and my will to lean led to a not inconsiderable righting moment. Oha, there was now an increased need for action! No question about it, I had to blame myself for this uncomfortable situation, but the chain dog, which had been so willing and motivated to pace through the radii, could have met me with forgiveness. But he did not do it. He straightened defiantly over the fork. I had no choice but to loosen the brakes a little and shift my weight further inwards and then simply trust that the asphalt was good enough not to let the necessary incline turn into a miserable slide. I hate the sound of a machine dragging away from me without any control over the handlebars and notches. Disgusting. It feels like a piece of 12-tone music by Alban Berg.

The Kawasaki Z 1000 recognized the serious situation

In the end it was a Lercherl, a small thing (language excursion: "Lercherl" is the noble abbreviation of the simple term "Lercherlschas", which describes the flatulence of a small lark, a bird. Naturally, this kind of flatulence has little meaning). The chain dog stabilized itself in a flash and took the parting without a slide. well done!

To the critical reader who is now wondering what role the ABS of the Kawasaki Z 1000 played in this, I can announce the good news: none. That’s really great. Until a few years ago (until Honda launched the first Supersport ABS on the market and the other manufacturers followed suit) I despised anti-lock braking systems, but no longer. In the past, the ABS usually intervened well before the tire grip limit and also had miserably long intervals that lengthened the braking distance so much that you had to change your driving style. And that was touted and sold by the manufacturers as a major security feature.

That got really on my mind and I avoided iron with ABS. I really hated machines where you couldn’t turn off the ABS. It’s different today. The leaps and bounds of technical progress in sensors and electronic control are now bringing what they used to be loudly propagated and promised but could not keep: a safety plus that is only used when there is a real problem. And since I did not brake into the limit area of ​​the front tire during the described maneuver with the Kawasaki Z 1000, the ABS did not intervene and did not interfere with my committed activities. That’s how it should be, that’s wonderful! Thank you!

Naked bike

EBR 1190 SX, Kawasaki Z 1000 and Triumph Speed ​​Triple in the test

Two, three or four cylinders?

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Kawasaki Z 1000 for sale

The chassis does not swallow every bump with ease

In addition to the ABS, the Japanese chain dog has no electronic driving aids. That may seem strange, since the strongest in the class – ie the 1290 Super Duke R, the RSV4 Tuono and the S 1000 R – all have the full package on board and there is now widespread belief that powerful engines cannot be tamed without driving aids . This is of course a mistake. Suzuki’s Kilogixxer and the Fireblade of the winged empire, for example, are anything but inaccessible, but shine with mechanical traction and a very precise and very predictable response. I’ve also ridden a turbo-charged Hayabusa with 320 hp and it didn’t tear me down. Why also? So I was not afraid of the 142 hp and 111 Nm of the 1043 cubic, natural four-in-line in the Kawasaki Z 1000. On the contrary. I was foolishly happy. Get on, start, briefly warm up the engine and tires, and really fire up. Lovely! The force with which the well-behaved dog, who promptly responded to every command of the gas hand, tore the chain brutally, stimulated the adrenaline rush. A harsh roaring, hoarse roaring engine sound came from the airbox, the world narrowed, the landscape was pushed into the background, the curved, gray ribbon took up all of your attention. On good, level asphalt the Kawasaki Z 1000 ate its way through the radii that it was a real pleasure. No fear. In front of nothing and nobody.

It got a little harder when the road got worse. The very stiff chassis then required a certain amount of deposit. Not every bump was swallowed confidently, but there were definitely moments when the tires of the Kawasaki Z 1000 briefly lost contact with the asphalt. Nothing tragic, more like a sharpening of the senses, a slight wedge that was entertaining. But a point that did not bring the chain dog any closer to the ideal of the perfect motorcycle. The adequate compromise between appealing softness in the cushioning and super sporty firmness is not easy to find. Kawasaki has clearly opted for Supersport for the Z 1000. I am not unhappy about it. And I also find the lack of the electronic superstructure very consistent. But unfortunately the reluctance to use driving aids is not an advantage in the mountain classification.

Electronics are a real weapon in the battle for the mountain classification

It crunches inside me and I feel a massive typing inhibition, but I have to get out: traction, wheelie and slide control – if they work at a high level – are real weapons in the fight for the mountain classification. I have always ridiculed thesis power crutches as "training wheels" and distanced myself far from them (and I still laugh at the widespread belief that the killer power of potent motors would no longer be brought onto the road without driving aids), but I can tell one truth just don’t shut myself off anymore: The psychological moment that goes hand in hand with electronics plays an important role in the tension between victory and defeat. It’s madness, it shakes me at this sentence, but the facts are irrefutable. If two equally good riders are in the saddle of equally good bikes, the one at the top who has activated the full electronics package will be the first to arrive.

Why? Well, because you can rest assured that the control system will recognize a possible slide in the approach and immediately initiate rescue measures that hardly cost any time, while with a violent slide without electronics you would lose valuable meters and in the worst case even highside.

In my opinion, the safety net is of no use to the Dullidulli, who carries his touring gun back and forth towards the summit, because he never runs the risk of accelerating too much. But for the race-oriented bully, it’s a real trump card. He can and will simply accelerate a nuance earlier or more violently than the natural fighter, whose well-being lies only in his own gas hand. The meanest thing about it is that the electronics-less must use a not inconsiderable part of his mental capacity to "feel" the rear tire, while the fully equipped can simply rivet and exaggeratedly put his thoughts somewhere else – for example with the cheese dumpling soup from the Gipfelwirt. 

Shoelace or Velcro – a question of type?

But with all the newfound understanding of the winner’s “training wheels”, my soul has a deep sympathy for pure machines that I can control myself. A huge engine, sporty geometry, stiff chassis and a killer anchor – that’s how it should be. In this respect, I’m a big fan of the Kawasaki Z 1000. Especially when it comes to sports machines, it’s often not so much about your own needs and preferences, but about the external effect. It is a different kind of peer pressure, outside determination. Let’s call it the "quartet card game" phenomenon. With 142 hp, 222 kilos and no traction control, you don’t have the murder sheet in your hand today. In practice, however, the Japanese chain dog has an extremely high experience value for me, it offers me a form of quality of life that electronic bombs simply cannot deliver. What mental value does a wheelie with electronic rollover protection have that even true novice drivers can trust? What satisfaction brings a corner exit pushed to the limit, if it is not precisely dosed by your own gas hand?

The Kawasaki Z 1000 is like a Fender guitar. A dreamlike instrument that delivers a really cool performance, but only if you have learned the appropriate skills. The Fender doesn’t play four-part “Rosamunde” by itself like an upgraded Bontempi organ in automatic mode. And yes, in terms of the result, it makes no difference whether you are in the mood because you have used a Velcro fastener or tied shoelaces. In terms of the result, it makes no difference whether you have completed the driveway to the anniversary waiting room with a normal bike or with electric assistance, but for me “handicraft” has something – in the truest sense of the word – extremely worth living.

Cold asphalt and drops on the visor – quite tricky

The photo session with the Japanese chain dog was quite tricky this time. No 10 degrees air temperature, dark clouds and drops on the visor. Well, as a foresighted person you consider scrapping and speak to the photographer briefly: “If it throws me, you absolutely have to stay on it.” Safe. After four laps on the handling course, I put my hand on the rear tire and was shocked on the one hand because the flank was still more cold than warm, and on the other hand relieved because I was able to see that the Kawasaki Z 1000 with the Sportec M7 RR from Metzeler was equipped. In my eyes a rubber of the world – even when wet. In this way my confidence grew. It was sorely necessary, because the drops on the visor looked rather intimidating. The photographer reassured me: “The asphalt is not wet. The wind blows the drops. “Well then, everything is fine. Go chain dog!

It was great that the stiff chassis made me feel crystal clear how much grip the tires developed, at what ratio of lean angle and speed they showed signs of lubrication, and that I could roll over firmly. Over time, I simply forgot the sentence from the Kawa importer ("But watch out. We have already sold the machine!") And enjoyed the super-sporty presentation of the Kawasaki Z 1000 to the full.

When I was taking the still photos I said to the Kawasaki Z 1000: “Thank you for not throwing me off. You are black as the soul, but when I look at you like that, the sun rises in me. "

Technical data Kawasaki Z1000

17th Pictures

Pictures: Zonko’s attack on the Kawasaki Z 1000

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17th Pictures

Pictures: Zonko’s attack on the Kawasaki Z 1000

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