2014 KAWASAKI Z1000 – FIRST LOOK

    

2014 KAWASAKI Z1000 – FIRST LOOK

   
KAWASAKI Z1000
KAWASAKI Z1000
  Kawasaki’s current Z1000 has been one of the only Japanese nakeds to truly go head-to-head with Europe’s finest over the past couple of years. The Z’s awesome all-around performance has had us smitten since the bike won Cycle World Best Standard honors in 2010, the year of its last major redesign. A stomping 1043cc inline-four, radical styling, and sweet-handling chassis was the recipe for success. But Kawasaki has thrown a bunch of upgrades at the bike for 2014 in an effort to keep pace in a highly competitive market segment occupied by KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R, Aprilia’s Tuono V4, Ducati’s Streetfighter and MV Agusta’s Rivale.

It’s obvious that Kawasaki took the already radical styling to a new level. Press materials refer to “Sugomi” styling, a Japanese word that means “Someone, or something inspiring awe, leaving an indelible impression, daunting in stature or ability, and commanding respect.”

Okay, whatever you call it, beyond the styling changes, the engine has been worked over with the same alterations recently unveiled on the Ninja 1000. This means there are new intake cams, revised velocity stacks and more aggressive ECU settings for improved throttle response and more bottom-to-midrange power. Shorter final-drive gearing should provide better acceleration, while a taller sixth gear helps retain highway-cruising manners.


Significant upgrades have been made to the chassis, as well. Up front, a new Showa Separate Function-Big Piston Fork (SSF-BP). The left tube is dedicated to the single spring (with preload adjustment), while the right handles the adjustable compression and rebound damping. The single shock offers spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustability. One-piece monoblock radial-mount, four-piston front brake calipers and a revised ABS pump should improve braking performance, while cast-aluminum supersport-style wheels reduce unsprung weight by 3.3 pounds.

Other updates include increased 4.5-gallon fuel capacity (up from 4.1), new exhaust silencers, a new aluminum handlebar, textured seat and redesigned dash and information interface.

The new Z1000 will be available in either Golden Blazed Green or Metallic Graphite Gray for $11,999.

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