2010 Kawasaki Z1000: 136bhp, aluminum frame

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The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 is the biggest news in the company’s new lineup and the most powerful Z1000 yet. That’s thanks to a supposedly all-new 1,043cc inline-four that makes 136bhp and 81lb/ft of torque. There’s no official weight for the new bike, but its the first Z1000 with an aluminum frame, so we hope to see a significant drop from last year’s hefty 198.2kg (dry) figure. That cast aluminum frame is modeled after that of the ZX-10R in that it passes over the engine to reduce overall width.
The new engine has a bore and stroke of 77.0 x 56.00mm, contributing to
strong low- and mid-range power. Air reaches the engine through forward
facing ducts leading to a resonator-equipped airbox and then through
38mm throttle bodies. Those intakes and airbox have been designed to
maximize intake roar at higher RPMs, which should make up for the lack
of sound that’s going to come from the new main- and
pre-catalyzer-equipped exhaust. It’s actual a 4-2-2 system, while big
chrome covers give the illusion of four exits, carrying through the
character of the 2003 Z1000′s pea shooter pipes. Like most modern
systems, there’s a huge collector under the engine that centralizes
exhaust mass and does most of the silencing work.

A new horizontal rear shock also contributes to mass centralization, it
doesn’t appear to be fully adjustable, but the 41mm USD forks are. The
latter are enclosed in a bizarre shroud intended to give the appearance
of a girder or Hossack front end. Expect soft, but controlled settings.

Brakes are also high-spec with 300mm petal front discs being gripped by
four-piston radial calipers and are powered by a radial master
cylinder. The rear disc is 250mm and is gripped by a single-piston
underslung caliper.

We think the Z1000′s styling is successful in a weird, aggressive way,
but like the original bike, there’s a little too much plastic cladding
in place of high-quality components. Maybe fake girder forks are the
new fake beam frames. The whole thing reminds us of a contemporary
interpretation of the original KTM Duke’s styling, an effect that’s emphasized by the orange paint.

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 1043cc
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 56.0mm
Compression Ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel Injection: DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: X-ring chain
Rake / Trail: 24.5 degrees / 4.1 in.
Frame Type: Aluminum Backbone
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 41 mm inverted cartridge fork with stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in.
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4 in.
Front Brakes: Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper
Overall Length: 82.5 in.
Overall Width: 31.7 in.
Overall Height:  42.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gal
Color Choices: Pearl Stardust White,  Metallic Spark Black
MSRP: $10,499
Warranty: 12 Months

  • larry

    Now I ride a couple of nasty looking motorcycles (naked crashed V-Strom and street-fightered 900SS) but that is ug-ug-ug-LY! Holy-crap!!!

  • Sid

    I like Kawasakis. My First real sport bike was a ZX7R. But, for me the new Kawis remind me a lot of the current gen Corvettes. I want to like them and on paper they look great but aesthetically something about them just comes across cheap and cheesy.

  • Sid

    I like Kawasakis. My First real sport bike was a ZX7R. But, for me the new Kawis remind me a lot of the current gen Corvettes. I want to like them and on paper they look great but aesthetically something about them just comes across cheap and cheesy.

    • http://www.robotribe.com robotribe

      I can see it’s appeal. I wouldn’t kick my Street Triple out the door for it, but it has a unique presence to it–love it or hate it.

      The Corvette comparison is spot on. I feel the same way about that car’s “cheapness”. Then again, when you look at how it performs for the price compared to a similarly priced Porsche or Ferrari, the Corvette starts to look better.

  • http://www.txsbr.com/ Ben

    The headlight fairing looks gigantic. Something tells me this didn’t photograph well.

  • vic

    dunno why but i’ve mistaken it for a scooter for a second or two.the old one was ugly&proud of it,this one looks like middle aged men who get fake tans and a toupee .i love the specs though

  • Chuluun

    Yeh, KTM is a clear influence here, and I think there’s a bit of Brutale as well. In either case they clearly want to distance it from the other Japanese supernakeds and niche it with the European exotica.

    I’ve never really liked the look of the modern Zeds but this one is better. Just hope the suspension is sorted because that was the biggest gripe about previous models. But Kawasaki are on a roll right now and I expect this to do well.

  • Chuluun

    One of the colour options is ‘Metallic Chestnut Brown’. What next, Candy Antique Pine??

  • http://www.peterlombardi.com Peter Lombardi

    uhhhh… how did they make it uglier?! at least it has a real frame now, and not the plastic covers over steel tube like it used to be :D

  • http://www.motoflash.ro Paul

    From the european press release: wet weight is 218kg (221kg for ABS version) while power is 138hp. Pretty heavy if you ask me.

  • nick

    I’ve always wondered about the demographics for this bike. Is it the backwards baseball hat, brutish, sportbike bro, or the 50 y.o. guy who’d done with sportbikes, but not into cruisers. This certainly leans towards the older demo in terms of styling and power, but the geometry still seems tight enough for the sportbike bros.

  • Steve

    Ya cracked it kawasaki! Aesthetically and if it continues in the tradition of Z1000′s past, functionally too. They have done a better streetfighter styling job on this than ducati has with that grotesquely over styled headlight and crude exhaust.

  • General Apathy

    If this bike were a martial arts actor, it would be called Phug Li.

  • Charlie

    If all mototcycles were this ugly I wouldn’t ride

  • Ken

    I just don’t get it. The Z1000 was pretty freaky when it first appeared, but the execution was top notch. Even if golden tailpipes weren’t your cup of tea, the design was sleek and well resolved. Now it seems to be getting dafter and dafter with each iteration. That thing you’ve got there is a just a pseudo-Transformer mess that’s off its Ritalin.


  • DoctorNine

    Interesting. If you look carefully, you can see the common design language with the ER6N. But the colors give the bike a KTM look. I have to agree with that assessment. As I happen to like the KTM Super Duke, the design language sits well with me. Regardless, the ergo’s are relaxed, and the power plentiful. If the plastics bother you, it looks like it would be easy to strip and individualize. Which is always a nice option in a standard. Well done, Kawasaki.

  • Andy

    I would still buy a super duke over this.

  • Sid

    My Superduke is offended by the comparisons.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    Lose the mirrors and the cans and it could be pretty dope. I’ll reserve judgement for an in-person viewing, but at first glance it looks like it has better styling cues than some of the other new Japanese bikes (cough, Gladius, cough)

  • Jon Justman

    I was really falling for this thing – until I looked on Kawasaki’s Italian website and found out it weighs nearly FIVE HUNDRED pounds. Kawasaki declined to list its weight on the U.S. website; now we know why.

    Why can’t the big four, with all their R&D money, make anything as beautiful and LIGHT as Ducati do with a fraction of their budget? How can something with an aluminum frame AND subframe weigh so much? My Monster 1100S is almost a hundred pounds lighter. Guess I’ll keep it.

  • Nick

    Truly ugly, what a shame. I own a 04 z1000 which I love. The naked styling of that is far superior to the new one. Kawasaki was also suppose to use a fine spray 36mm throttle body for a quicker more responsive throttle. Why they backed out of that idea is beyond me.

  • Ricardo

    This bike looks very really good.

    As good looking as my 2003 Z1K?

    Maybe. I’d have to see them side by side.

    Suzukis and Buells are the cream of crop in the ugliness department and they have their good amount of lovers anyways.

    I don’t ride because bikes are cute, I ride because I love to ride.

    Posing looks is not an option for me , my time is very short to ride.
    If the chassis/suspension/engine do their job that’s all I need.

  • cjs675

    3 Way adjustable Instrument panel, yet no gear shift or position indicator like the ZX10/6R?

    Check out:

    Bold move by Kawasaki, since production is moving to Thailand, maybe it will be less overpriced than it is overweight.

  • K2theM

    Looks like a squashed KLR…

  • stacius

    I can’t afford a new S3 and I love Kawasakis. My 84 GPZ750 keeps up with the kids and she’s still good-lookin’ (’cause I ditched the fairing).

    I’d ride the hell out this bike. It looks better than the 2009. I’m not out to prove anything but to ride until I can’t.

    Nice job!

  • geonerd

    Kawasaki need to stop dicking around and bring us a ZX14 powered ZRX.

  • knuckles

    i’m thinking gobots……the transformers no one wanted.

  • rdseals

    I really like the new style of the 2010 z1000. I am not sure about the KTM influence, but I think the style of this is pure Kawi!! I was trying to find a good 2008 z1000 to buy with low miles, but I can not wait to see this one in person. Going to my Kawi dealer today!!

  • Maxxedout

    I could like it without the mirrors…put
    bar-end mirrors on it.

    BUT IT’S ONLY 1000CC… put the
    big ZX14 engine in it…the B-King
    has the 08 1340 Busa engine!

  • jamboa

    I sold my 06 Speed Triple because I felt I was getting too old for these naked sport bikes but now I think I want to give this new Z1000 a hard look. I think it looks better than the KTM and dealers everywhere.

  • ray

    I agree with zx14 engine in zrx or something close I have zrx 1100 from new 2000 sweet bike time for modern update.ps. I also have 9 more bikes,but love my zrx

  • http://blog.symmetricgroup.com Jimmy

    I like it, im 36 with a bad back from jetski wipe outs and dirt bike crashes, and i like the upright dirt bike ergo’s. I have an Aprilia RSV so im familiar with the reach for the low clip ons.
    It would be better if they could make it a little bit lighter, i also think you could sharpen up the transitions from side to side by simply throwing on a 180 rear tire. What a bargain at that msrp, at that price your could spend a couple grand on all kinds of tweaks like re-valving the forks, re-springing for your weight, since most Americans weight about 250 pounds. not the 150 pound rider the bike is sprung for. Un cork it with an open exhaust, and you have a decent all around town bike that will not lock up your back and that may still be fun on the occasional track day.
    Its not for the 20 something poser that wants a motogp clone who wants to look like that are hitting 210 mph in while putter at the 55 mph speed limit.

  • K1200mike

    The whole point of a naked bike is that they are ugly. The sicker the better in my opinion. I get more positive comments from people about my god awful looking k1200r than any of the ” pretty “bikes I’ve ever owned ,hands down. Pretty women now that’s different story.

  • http://www.angelplastics.co.uk James @ guttering

    This is a very well built bike. The aluminum structure is more than capable of housing a larger engine and withstand a lot of shock. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more models using a similar frame.

  • Ray

    Hmmm, seems the bike has the KTM guru’s worried? I think it’s extremely sexy and catches the eye – as a street fighter should. I don’t like the color scheme as displayed, but a bit of customizing will change it completely. Replace the cans and mirrors, integrate the flickers into the tailpiece, bit of color change here and there, fit an aftermarket screen and WOW! The bike will lend itself well to customization. Who rides a bike “off the shelf” anyway? It’s a Kawasaki – that’s always the best start for me.

  • http://psrey.com/wp @Reyzie

    It’s not the naked ZX10 I wanted, but Kawasaki is getting closer.

    I love Z1000′s and hope to have another someday, but I’m not quite sure this one is advanced enough for me. I wrote my thoughts here: http://psrey.com/wp/?p=511

  • Zach

    I test rode this recently and was impressed. Ugly perhaps, but really fun to ride with a comfortable upright riding position.