Leaked Online: 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 Photo

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2014 Kawasaki Z1000

Dutch site Oliepeil has snagged the first official photo of the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000, ahead of its EICMA debut. More power, less weight and better handling, or just mean new looks?

The current Z1000 was released in 2010, equipped with a 136 bhp motor and steel tube/cast aluminum backbone frame. It’s basically a muscle bike, very fast in a straight line, but a little wobbly in the corners. At 481 lbs (wet) it’s also a little too heavy.

2010  Kawasaki Z1000
2010 Kawasaki Z1000


Looking at this picture of the old bike (above), we can identify areas where the new one has been changed:

- Textured seat (a la 2013 Kawasaki Z800)
- Narrower tail unit
- Crazy new headlight unit
- New mirrors
- New tank
- New radiator shrouds (ditching integrated indicators)
- New brake calipers
- No more fork shrouds
- New cylinder covers
- Smaller belly pan

What’s stayed the same appears to be:

- The Frame
- The Swingarm
- The exhaust headers
- The exhaust canisters
- Same pillion peg hangers
- Same clutch and generator covers

Other than the organic new shapes in the headlight unit, the most exciting potential change is to the engine, hinted at by those new cylinder covers. Look at them closely and the sides are now smooth, rather than featuring the ribs of the old model. Because the exhaust and lower half of the engine appear to remain the same, this hints at internal modifications rather than an all-new motor. Perhaps more capacity from a longer stroke?

Stay tuned for complete EICMA coverage.

Related Links:

Team Green: 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review
Team Green ATV: 2014 Kawasaki Teryx Review
Team Green: 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 — First Photos and Specs

  • Robert Glover

    I had a 2010 Z1000 that I bought new; I let it go just over a year later because I got tired of the payments and insurance on a bike with such limited range (4 gal tank and 35 mpg). But I gotta tell ya — there was NOTHING wrong with that bike in the handling department. Yeah it was a tad heavy, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was definitely fast. Some dude in a Porsche 911 Turbo S tried to race me on the I-5 south between OC and San Diego and every time he’d get on it, I’d blow past him. It got awfully windy even with an aftermarket windscreen. :)

    • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

      You realize that your example for handling is a giant straight freeway, right?

      • Robert Glover

        That wasn’t intended to be a handling example.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Very little ground clearance, slow steering, overly soft forks. Cheap-o shock. It’s our job to provide objective assessments based on riding virtually every bike out there.

      • John

        Yep. That’s the job alright.

  • Alberto Morgado

    You can confirm in this photos some changes…
    - Textured seat
    - Narrower tail unit
    - Crazy new headlight unit

  • Mats Pedersen

    The old z1000 was based on the old ninja 900 engine, the new one is based on the zx10r… exited too see the numbers on the new one.

    • Jonathan Berndt

      really? looks like the bottom end is based on the previous Z1!

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        Again, I can’t really emphasize enough how poor the information you find on other motorcycle website is.

  • David Gasser

    The only thing wobbly about the handling of the Z1K in this video is the camera. I think the Z is a great handling motorcycle in the right hands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLSyd4eozOE

  • Brett Lewis

    Comparing to what I can see on the newest Ninja 1000, it looks like the same motor. That motor was refreshed slightly with no increase in displacement. Not that I would complain…

  • John

    Oh dear lord that’s hideous.

    • Piglet2010

      Looks like something Ellen Ripley would eject out an airlock.

      • Justin

        i was trying to figure out what it reminded me of…

  • Street Kore

    When they brought back the Z1000 in 03, Kawi spent quite a bit of effort trying to make a factory streetfighter. With input from the Fighter community. The 2010 model I think went a little over the top with the extra covers. This new one looks like they went for more of that hardcore German styling that was very popular in Europe at the height of the Fighter movement. I think that might have been a mistake this time. Too organic, aggressive, and verging on outdated. It definitely looks better then the last model, but I don’t know if that’s gonna help sales much.

  • John

    Ummm, I don’t mean to state the obvious here, but it looks to be the exact same engine as the 2014 Ninja 1000, so I don’t see how there’s any big mystery here. The specs will almost certainly be the same and the improvements to the Ninja will largely follow for the Z1000 so…..uh…..hmm.

  • Justin McClintock

    I remember when Kawasaki introduced the Z1000 in 2003. It was a nice looking bike with a funky exhaust. The second gen one, I always thought looked just a little over the top funky. This new one just looks like a straight up caricature of a motorcycle.

    • Mykola

      Agreed. I was just going to drop the comment “Ick,” but these are the points behind my sentiment. My own 1st-gen-Z750-with-first-gen-Z1000-flyscreen may have conventional RSU forks, a box-section swingarm, ho-hum spring and damping settings, and weight too much, but at least it looks like a proper naked bike. I’ll still be looking to Yamaha when I decide to get a new bike.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    not sure who to credit KTM or Kawi

  • http://statesofmotion.blogspot.com/ FastPatrick

    Ladies and gentlemen, Kawasaki presents the 2014 Elephant Seal.

  • Robotribe

    Admittedly, I’m the type here who dog-piles on bikes that look like this, but I give props to Kawasaki for “going all the way” with this look. If they were looking to attract perennial Batman and Manga fans, or even just someone who was looking for a liter naked bike who didn’t share a silhouette with Aprilla, Triumph, Ducati, Honda, or Yamaha, at least they’ve met that mark with this one. The closest comparison in profile that comes to mind is the KTM, but that’s always been on the bleeding edge of someone’s definition of innovative styling. The outgoing Z1000 looks like a “half-step” compared to this one.

    In my opinion, what Kawasaki’s done here is created the super hero (or super villain, I suppose) fantasy bike that fuels the fantasies of non-riders who make the pilgrimage to Comic Con every year. The real question is whether or not there are enough motorcycle riders they can sell this to who harbor the same fantasies.

    Truth we be told, if this was the early 90s, and I was still in my 20s, I’d be drooling over this bike.

  • VagrantCoyote

    Not sure what Kawasaki is on about lately in terms of styling, much prefer their bikes pre 2010. Oh well.

  • ThinkingInImages

    Well, it’s a “look”, in a kind of alien way. I’m trying to be polite – but damn – that is not good looking motorcycle.

    It may have raised the bar on the “not good looking” category and taken the crown from MV Agusta.

  • Heeno

    If you’re listening Kawasaki, bring the W800 to the U.S.A.

  • 80-watt Hamster


  • Aakash

    Hurts my eyes to look at it.

  • Justin

    found these over at the ADVriders forum:
    Coming from someone who considers ‘ugly bikes’ to be a separate category to be savored and enjoyed, this thing is repulsive, in a really….really bad way.