2011 Kawasaki Z1000S: a practical liter bike

Dailies -



Alright, no one can accuse us of breaking into a warehouse and stealing this one. MCN is published in England and I’ll happily provide a scan of my passport to anyone that asks, no UK stamps for at least three years. What you’re looking at is apparently called the 2011 Kawasaki Z1000S and, as the name suggests, it looks like a faired version of the Z1000. This scan comes from MCN, who suggest that this is what it appears to be: a 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 with a fairing.

Assuming, as the photos suggest, that this is simply a Z1000 that’s gained some wind protection, that means 136bhp and 81lb/ft of torque from a 1,043cc inline-four housed in a cast aluminum frame styled after that of the old ZX-10R, but featuring a horizontal rear shock, just like the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R. All that’s wrapped up in a slightly heavy package that weighs 218kg/480lbs (wet). Expect the extra plastic to add a pound or two.

Think of the Z1000 — S or not — as a practical sportsbike masquerading as either an aggressive streetfighter or a sorta-tourer. The idea is that you’ll sacrifice outright lap times for flexible power, an affordable price (the Z1000 retails for $10,499) and comfortable ergonomics. The fairing should add a welcome dose of tourability to an already capable, fun, fast bike.

That’s all we can see in this scan (anyone seen some better ones?), so since we’ve decided to honor our agreement with Kawasaki and hold off on publishing the embargoed material they’ve provided us until October 5, that’s all we can tell you for now. Like the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, this leak is a perfect example of why manufacturers shouldn’t release any embargoed material at all, no matter how tightly you try and control it, overwhelming evidence suggests that it will invariably leak. Instead, let journalists be journalists and compete for content on an even playing field; release official material to everyone at the same time, when it’s ready to be made public.

MCN via ADVRider

  • s0crates82

    that’s a tiny tail. might have a standard riding position, but i have my doubts as to luggage possibilities… and passenger comfort.

    now, don’t get me wrong, i’m not expecting it to be a fjr or a ‘wing, but it looks like the tailsection is less substantial than that of the zx6r.

  • Nepenthe

    I always kind of assumed they secretly liked it when the bike “leaked” out.

    So, it’s subtle, but sounds like the US might get this one?

  • TwimMe

    Cool, i like this better than that Xcuse for a ZX10R they made for 2011.
    The way it comes togheter and how the front, upper and lowers look integrated.

  • voxveho

    a spoonbill kwak. no thanks.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    “Practical” and “liter bike” in the same sentence?

    Never let it be so! :O

    I will continue to tour my K6 Gixxer!

  • Javanese

    Kinda pointless if you ask me.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    Ummmm…damn Kawi, I’m sold! Does it come in white and orange?

  • Beale

    I like it although it appears the rider position is of the sit-in rather that the sit-on variety. +1 on the white and orange.

  • robotribe

    I actually like it better than the naked version (surprised to hear myself say that) BUT it’s still too much of a fatty for my tastes. Glad to see those fugly plastic fork covers are absent.

  • MikeD

    LOL, Robotribe u said it…i knew it was lacking something on the front(shiny bits xposed) but couldn’t tell what was it.

  • borlocks

    I love HFL’s ‘journalism’ philosophy.

    Let others do the work and then nick it, claiming that it’s in the ‘public domain’.

    You guys are so hypocritical, slagging off the industry that feeds you and being no more than thieves yourself.

    You are taking away the livelihoods of your fellow professionals. I hope that someone takes you to court one day.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’m sorry, what do you think we’ve “stolen” here? Showing a scan of a partial printed page is what Kawasaki has asked us to do instead of going ahead and publishing the article we’ve written with all the details and images of the bike. Since its Kawasaki that holds the copyright to these images, I don’t think there’ll be a court case anytime soon.

      The industry doesn’t feed us. We make HFL for the readers, not a bunch of ailing importer businesses in Orange County.

      If “journalists” are losing their livelihoods because of what a couple of guys in Brooklyn do with no access and no money, then I don’t think we’re their biggest problem.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Dear borlocks, beer is good. I hear Xanax is too. Or you could just go ride a motorcycle and let out your rage to the four winds.

    • The Lawyer

      Borlocks: I don’t think you understand what blogs are. Please take your n00b comments elsewhere.

  • borlocks

    Oh right. So you’re in Kawasaki’s pocket then, doing what they tell you? So you’re happy to play along with this ‘leak’ charade you keep deriding. And did you ask MCN’s permission?

    Keep ‘keeping it real’ guys.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      1. We’re in no one’s pocket. 2. We get along fantastically with everyone over at MCN. 3. Take the day off and go for a ride before you start randomly shooting coworkers in a fit of rage.

  • DougD

    Anyone else noticed how CW and now MCN have turned the tables lately and beat the blogs to breaking news? Pretty fascinating in a journalism classroom sense, really.

    The funny thing is, ultimately, blogs and print mags need one another. Blogs scour the depths for important stories that slip through the cracks (and break big national news, too), and the major mags have a business model to bring in major stories from around the globe. Yeah, yeah, gross generalization, but that’s just the macro picture.

    BTW, Wes, you said a little while ago (just after the redesign, actually) that HFL would be unveiling some new revenue-generating thing … advertising? paid subscription?? What’s it gonna be, and when will we see it? I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to start receiving targeted e-mail advertising via HFL since you guys know my e-mail address now …

    • pauljones

      They didn’t beat HFL to the punch; they simply broke the embargo. Wes and Grant decided to play it straight and respect Kawasaki’s wishes, and as a result has only posted information that CW and MCN have already “leaked”, rather than the full load of information that they have sitting in front of them right now.

      • DougD

        Well, yeah, that’s what physically happened—HFL re-published what MCN published, and HFL is sitting on embargoed information until Oct. 5.

        I’m talking more metaphysically … major magazines have found a way to beat blogs to the punch—there’s no denying that. Whether it’s in good taste is another argument altogether.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Doug, don’t you work for a print bike mag? Trying to slip in some anti-HFL spin on this isn’t terribly ethical without disclosing that.

          And no, you don’t know what you’re talking about, CW hasn’t found some way to scoop HFL, they tried to play a dirty trick and got caught out. We still managed to own this story while honoring our agreement with Kawasaki, I guess we just like to stick by our word.

          It’s not like they did some original reporting either, they just cobbled together an article from the same information everyone else has. What’s original reporting in this case is discovering what they were up to and taking advantage of it to the maximum possible degree.

          Oh, and I’m getting very sick of people hemming and hawing over the style of Journalism here. Don’t you people exist in a larger world than motorcycles? All these discussions are very old hat.

          Oh and as for MCN? They’ve always done a great job scooping new bikes and generally remaining relevant, which is why they’re doing well financially while our country’s dinosaurs are rapidly going extinct.

          • DougD

            *Used to work for a print motorcycle mag.

  • The Lawyer

    I’m tired of the trolls on this site. I would do exactly what Wes and Grant do if I had the skills, and if I didn’t need a job for my Ducati habit. They are the only motorcycle bloggers I can relate to. Seriously, I think print rag guys would much rather go on a Brokeback trip with Wes and Grant on Beemers than work in their crap cubicles for 25k a year.

  • gregorbean

    I had a 2003 Z1000 that I loved. Did a little 6000 mile trip on it, great sport touring capabilities for a sweet looking naked. I’ve owned a bunch of bikes over the years and it was one of my favorites. I’ll be buying one again someday, but it’ll probably be a first gen with upgrades to the suspension. I like the look of the older ones better than the newer gen ones they’ve been putting out.

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

      Speaking of their romantic getaway to the great white north, when is that feature coming out? I need something to inspire me to take all this goddamn accrued vacation time I have for a road trip!

      • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

        Ah crap; obv that’s in response to the comment above.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        I’ll finish writing it this weekend. Sorry, it’s been a crazy month.

  • twopointninethree

    I’m guessing the California state legislature are Buell fans.

    • twopointninethree

      hooray, totally replied to the wrong story