2010 Kawasaki Z1000 – First Ride

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UPDATE: Full Review now available on Motorcycle.com

Almost forgotten among a group of new high-profile sportbikes is the new Kawasaki Z1000. After having ridden it yesterday in the twists and hills of the Central California coast, I’m here to tell you that this is a real-world sportbike to be reckoned with.

Forget the old Z1000. It didn’t handle well, its suspension was unbalanced, and its motor – while potent – gave forth too much vibration. These issues are non-existent with the latest Z, which is one of the most entertaining streetable sportbikes we’ve ridden.

Pete gave us an advanced look at the latest Z in an article you should check out here, and I’ll provide a thorough ride report on Monday. But for now, just know that there may not be a better way to spend $10,499 on a sporting motorcycle.

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  • http://psrey.com @Reyzie

    Once upon a time, I thought the Z1000 was the perfect bike for me. That is, until I bought one! Mine was a 2006. Admittedly, coming from a GSXR750 was a tough act to follow, but I really expected MUCH more out of the bike.

    Engine performance, to me, was “ok,” but only on par with average, run-of-the-mill R6 or CBR600. (But had it handled like one of the latter, I probably would have loved the Zed.)

    My MAJOR problems with the Zed were the suspension and brakes, and the resultant ill handling nature of the thing! ABSOLUTELY AWFUL for sport riding!!!

    I rode the Z1000 for about 6 months, saw me go from the front of the pack to the absolute last, had MANY near death experiences and sold the thing before it killed me. It was one terrible motorcycle or, at least, one terrible choice for my style of riding!

    So although the 2010 looks to be a serious contender, before I’ll consider buying one, I’ll need to see a credible Motorcycle.com (or perhaps sportrider.com)comparison test with other naked bikes and see how it fits into the overall motorcycling scheme. Is it a sport bike or a commuter? We’ll see.

    Talk to first or second generation Z1000 owners about their bikes and they’ll tell you it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Sorry guys, but you’re wrong and I won’t believe you this time around!

  • Kevin Duke

    I’m curious whether you read our full review that is linked in this blog post. If so, you’ll know that I had a first-gen Z1000 for more than a year, so I have a solid point of reference. The new Z is completely different that the old Z. Stay tuned to see how the Zee stacks up against the streetfighting icon Triumph Speed Triple.

  • http://www.scootersmotorbikes.com ScootersMotorbikes

    This is a fantastic looking bike, Kawasaki have done a great job on the styling and developed something worthy of mention (and admiration). Read you other review on the Z1000, enjoyed it. Great stuff.

  • Fayce

    I had an 03 Zed and put more than 30,000 miles on it in two years with a year in storage while I was in Iraq. I will say this, my style of riding had me in the front of the pack in twisties. My only complaint was not enough RPMs in the straights against the likes of GSXRs, CBRs, and Ninjas. Other than that, the bike was perfect. Upgraded front for springs to Ohlins and steelbraided brake lines and those problems were fixed as well. If it wasnt a 1000 of some sort, it was behind me. I am excited to get ahold of a few more ccs out of this new one. I currently ride a 00 ZX12R.