March 13, 2013

Kawasaki Review: 2013 Kawasaki Z1000SX

The Kawasaki Z1000 attracts riders with its muscular good looks and then seduces them with its incredible power and charismatic feel. Serious torque, comfortable ergonomics, and a mesmerizing aesthetic make for an unforgettable experience.

Its distinctive look begins with a front cowl that slopes back radically, highlighting the Z’s aggression. The line-beam headlights are integrated nicely into that angled cowl. Then its shapely fuel tank is flared on the sides for serious knee grip and is slimmer in back for a snug fit.

The seat is low and narrow at the front to make ground contact easy, and flows beautifully rearward to end in a futuristically retro LED tail light behind a red lens. 

An aluminum frame, similar in concept to the Ninja® ZX™-10R’s, cradles the engine from above. The design allows a narrow mid-section, which fosters a high degree of rider comfort and feedback in addition to keeping weight low and chassis rigidity high.

The engine bolts solidly to the frame in three places, stressed-member-style, and there’s also a rubber mount at the upper rear crankcase area for added vibration damping and torsional rigidity.
Suspension at both ends is thoroughly modern and wickedly functional: a beefy, fully adjustable 41mm inverted fork up front and a spring preload and rebound damping adjustable Uni-Trak® shock in back.
A solid-mount handlebar and aluminum footpegs lifted from the Ninja® ZX-10R contribute to the Z1000’s quality, top-shelf feel. Brakes? Totally modern: Radially mounted calipers, Ninja-spec 300mm petal-type rotors and a radial-pump master cylinder all provide the latest in braking feel and feedback.

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