Up close with the 2010 Kawasaki Z1000

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We’re not getting it in the US, but check out the wonderfully cheesy faux snakeskin seat on this purple 2010 Kawasaki Z1000. The lairy new looks are backed up by nice mechanical bits like the aluminum beam backbone frame, horizontal shock and the all-new engine. The tackiness of the seat is exceeded by the videos below, but they do a good job of explaining the new bike.  >


  • Ken

    Yes, snakeskin, that’s it. I knew it was missing something aesthetically, and it’s snakeskin. God is truly in the details.

  • thecomedian

    the 2″ wheelies in the video are about as comical as the fashion designer that dressed up that scooter.

    • http://www.motoflash.ro Paul Motoflash

      “the 2″ wheelies in the video are about as comical as the fashion designer that dressed up that scooter.”

      I think you missed the point of the creative direction. The guy on the Kawasaki wasn’t supposed to make a wheelie. IMO the idea was rather to show that the bike is a wild thing, and instantly pops-up the front from power only, while the rider was making a fast escape. It’s fast action not stunt display. I don’t think the dynamics of a complete wheelie whould have been good in this video.

  • Telekom

    AAAAArrrgh! My eyes, my eyes, damn you!

  • Chuluun

    You just know the design brief said something like, “The Kawasaki brand is unapologetically big, loud and brash.” Result: purple (sorry, Metallic Chestnut Brown) and snakeskin.

    I’m off to watch the Rocket III vid again.

    • http://www.txsbr.com/ Ben

      Rocket III Roadster vid – awesome.
      Z1000 vid – meh.

      Someone needs to let manufacturers know that describing any component of your bike as having a “high quality appearance” sounds like a trick. The bike sucks, but it sure LOOKS like it doesn’t!

      I celebrate the bike in so far as it might encourage more naked/standard competition in the US. At least there’s that. I’ll keep waiting for a miraculous price cut on the Ducati Streetfighter, a final design on the Tuono V4 that isn’t hideous, or a Buell that doesn’t seem like it’ll fall apart. Or, you know, the VFR if it’s better than expected.

  • Deltablues

    I walk alone…but the damn thing is growing on me. The fit and finish actually look quite good too. I still hate the pipes though. This will be a big seller for Kawasaki.

    • Chuluun

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for this bike, and I like the whole ‘to the max’ Kawasaki ethos. Most of the Japanese bikes I’ve got excited about in the last couple of years have been Kwackers. Odd that this (muscle/supernaked) sector, which you’d think should be their natural habitat, seems to be where they’re floundering at the moment.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Finally, a bike seat that will match my boots! and a color that will match my European hand bag!

  • DoctorNine

    OK. I just examined that picture of the bike mechanicals from the right rear quarter more closely. And that is one sexy frame. It’s curves look just like a voluptuous woman leaning over a couch. Then I noticed the rear monoshock. And now I need to go talk to my wife. Don’t ask why. And don’t bother us for the next hour or so…

  • Incipid

    It must be so frustrating for the engineers to see their work ruined by the stylists. The Japanese should have realized years ago that while they are the best mechanical engineers in this industry, their designers are among the worst. They need to hire Italians for that department.

    The Japanese have gotten off on a design tangent lately where their bikes are hideously angular like one of those transformer toys. It looks ridiculous and cartoonish. I would be embarrassed to be seen on this thing.

    • Ken

      I think it’s cultural. I read an interview once with a car designer of Japanese descent working for Mazda in California. He said that when the designs went back to Tokyo, they always wanted to see the side elevation and the front elevation. He remarked that European designers seemed more at home working in three dimensions.

      If you look at the history of Japanese art, they’re amazingly innovative with 2D space, but even their paintings look like orthographic projections. KTM understand how to make these intersecting floating planes work, but Kawasaki’s attempt is clumsier.

      Can’t blame the Japanese for that wretched film though.

    • http://www.motoflash.ro Paul Motoflash

      “It looks ridiculous and cartoonish. I would be embarrassed to be seen on this thing.”

      Relax mate. Nobody is going to force you to ride it. There are a lot of people out there who appreciate this kind of “manga” styling, trust me, a lot. This bike is going to be a big seller, specially in Europe where the current generation is very very popular. Cheers!

  • Raymond

    I do digg the purple, but the snakeskin? really? Just give me a new exhaust, remove the snakeskin, and Ill take it, in purple of course

  • JF

    Looks like Kawi needs to have the Icon people make their video for them…..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gChPv2sRjng

    Theirs is much better…..

    • http://www.motoflash.ro Paul Motoflash

      Icon’s Tyranny video is very well made & original, no doubt about that. Kawasaki used it as an inspiration source, no doubt about that too. But Icon’s style is very underground/spooky/freestyle while Kawa’s approach is more commercial (makes sense). I think it’s a nice interpretation and the Icon creators should be flattered by this, not offended. It’s not really a ripp-off.

  • http://dangerismymiddlename.com Paul Danger Kile

    I think that we are getting the 2010 Z1000 in the US, because its on the US Kawi Web site.

  • http://dangerismymiddlename.com Paul Danger Kile

    Sorry. They just meant that we aren’t getting the snakeskin seat.

  • John Doe

    Looks like an ABS light on the right side of the dash. If it’s an ABS light, you can pretty much imagine that the US won’t have this available as an option….

  • cjs675

    More camp than Bruno in a Key West parade.

  • http://www.blackletter.org Trav

    God damnit. 2009 was the last year to buy one (if that, say many). The performance seems great, and I’m sure it’s ana amazing bike.. but asthetically it pukes at the feet of the ’73 rootbeer z1 900.