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.