To publicly suggest that one “ride naked” may seem a little risqué at first – until the listener sees the Kawasaki Z1000 motorcycle. With its emphasis on power, backroad agility and obvious lack of sportbike “clothing,” even the most polite riders just have to look.
The Z1000 backs this aggressive, super naked style with an in-line-four, DOHC 16-valve engine, which produces tractable power for hard acceleration in any rpm range. The lightweight, all-aluminum cylinder block, with chrome composite plated lining for wear resistance and superior heat dispersion are features borrowed from the Kawasaki NINJA® sportbike line.
Digital fuel injection utilizing 38mm throttle bodies and sub-throttle valves promote smooth, responsive engine operation with less fuel consumption. The high-speed 32-bit digital ignition provides precise engine management and enhances the fuel injection system.
Keeping the entire engine cool is a large-area radiator with an electric fan that maintains operating temperatures at the optimum level. Simultaneously, a liquid-cooled oil cooler helps keep the six-speed transmission operating at maximum performance. Part of the Z1000’s allure lies in the four stainless steel mufflers that are heat-treated to an attractive golden color. Enhancing its appeal is the KLEEN® (Kawasaki Low Exhaust Emissions) catalyzer system that helps keep exhaust emissions that flow through the quad mufflers environmentally friendly. In select markets, an additional honeycomb catalyzer system reduces emissions even further.
The Z1000’s engine is mounted in a rigid, yet lightweight diamond frame with thin-walled tubes, which contributes to responsive handling performance. The engine itself is mounted as a stressed member of the frame, adding an unflappable feel to the chassis. Plus, a detachable right front-top engine mount eases maintenance.
At the front of the frame, an inverted fork with 41mm tubes deliver exceptional stability and steering performance. To meet the requirements of different riding conditions, the fork is preload and rebound adjustable. In addition, the fork offset is designed to improve handling and provide a fluid ride.
On the rear, an extruded-aluminum swingarm features a hexagonal structure with ribbing for reduced weight and exceptional rigidity. Attached to the swingarm is Kawasaki’s bottom link UNI-TRAK® system that produces progressive force to the nitrogen gas-charged shock as the suspension is compressed. The shock is equipped with a piggyback reservoir and a rebound damping adjustment.
Contributing to the Z1000’s superb handling characteristics are 17-inch rims and radial tires. The tires offer excellent traction, while the rims look great with a polished finish that contrasts nicely with painted hubs and spokes. Front brakes are dual semi-floating 300mm discs gripped by lightweight four-piston calipers, while the rear brake caliper holder is also designed for low weight and mounts directly to the swingarm.
The seat cowl with LED taillight, swingarm-mounted inner fender and front fender are all designed to give the Z1000 an aggressive, sporty image. The galvanized steel fuel tank is slender and helps create a seating position that is comfortable while allowing the rider to mold to the machine naturally. The bikini cowl with dual, multi-reflector headlights helps to accentuate the bike’s provocative lines.
The bikini-type cowl covers and protects a lightweight, compact instrument cluster featuring a bar-type LCD tachometer and digital LCD speedometer. In addition to a digital temperature gauge, clock, tripmeter and fuel gauge is a comprehensive range of indicator lamps.