FIRST RIDE: KAWASAKI 2014 Z1000

FIRST RIDE: KAWASAKI 2014 Z1000

DSC_0809 (Custom) DSC_0797 (Custom)         DSC_0505 (Custom) I always love to buy Japanese Bike magazines  even when I don’t understand Japanese, every magazine sure have a Streetfighter build form a Kawasaki Z series bike. Sincerely I always has been a sport bike fan but the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 gave me a reason to love the word SUPER NAKED streetbikes. Now, though, there’s a new Z1000 in town, a fourth-generation bike that Kawasaki says is harder edged and visually tighter, while also having a tauter ride without all the gadget that other manufacturer, has install in their SUPER NAKED bikes. Kawasaki give the rider the feel of riding a REAL streetfigher bike. How did Kawasaki built such a bike? A tech free SUPER NAKED that everyone can enjoy even if you’re a new biker.DSC_0796 (Custom)   DSC_0502 (Custom)

Quick answer? YES!. Based on my test rides of  this 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 in Kuala Lumpur’s menacing traffic with drivers playing CANDY CRUSH  on their hand phones in the bloody KL traffic, blocking my way to the traffic lights (other reason is the LRT constructions in every corner of KL city) and my daily rides on the Z1000 is between 100-200 km here and there, to really get the feel of the Z1000, undeniably its really for CITY communing,  riding, through traffic with ease.. Even going long distance trips with other bikers on Sunday weekend, is pleasant especially to the curvy hill of Genting Highlands and to Bukit Tinggi for Sunday lunch, even you are on a sportier machine, dramatically you may only see my tail lights. Kawasaki’s new sugomi style (designed to evoke a crouching predator, such as a panther) reminds everybody that some substantive changes have taken place beneath the skin from this Japanese manufacturerDSC_0584 (Custom) DSC_0712 (Custom)

I always buy Japanese Bike magazines  even when I don’t understand Japanese, every magazine sure have a Streetfighter build form a Kawasaki Z series bike. Sincerely I always has been a sport bike fan but the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 gave me a reason to love the word SUPER NAKED streetbikes. Now, though, there’s a new Z1000 in town, a fourth-generation bike that Kawasaki says is harder edged and visually tighter, while also having a tauter ride without all the gadget that other manufacturer, has install in their SUPER NAKED bikes. Kawasaki give the rider the feel of riding a REAL streetfigher bike. How did Kawasaki built such a bike? A tech free SUPER NAKED that everyone can enjoy even if you’re a new biker.DSC_0566 (Custom)

Quick answer? YES!. Based on my test rides of  this 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 in Kuala Lumpur’s menacing traffic with drivers playing CANDY CRUSH  on their hand phones in the bloody KL traffic, blocking my way to the traffic lights (other reason is the LRT constructions in every corner of KL city) and my daily rides on the Z1000 is between 100-200 km here and there, to really get the feel of the Z1000, undeniably its really for CITY communing,  riding, through traffic with ease.. Even going long distance trips with other bikers on Sunday weekend, is pleasant especially to the curvy hill of Genting Highlands and to Bukit Tinggi for Sunday lunch, even you are on a sportier machine, dramatically you may only see my tail lights. Kawasaki’s new sugomi style (designed to evoke a crouching predator, such as a panther) reminds everybody that some substantive changes have taken place beneath the skin from this Japanese manufacturer.

DSC_0614 (Custom)

For instance, the 1,043cc inline-4 has been thoroughly reworked for improved midrange and top-end power. Thanks to a new intake camshaft (with 0.3mm less lift and six degrees less duration), plus a modified airbox, (the only sound you will hear from the two standard exhaust is non existance) a revised ECU, and taller velocity stacks for improved cylinder filling, the DOHC 16-valve mill pulls hard all the way to its 11,250-rpm redline and “soft” rev limiter. Furthermore, new internal passageways in the crankcase reduce high-rpm pumping losses, and overall smoothness is enhanced by a crank-driven balancer. Lastly, a pair of ducts in the Z1000’s fairing route cool intake air directly to the airbox.

Although fuel injected (via four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies), the Z1000 is not ride-by-wire, meaning this RM76,900, priced Kawasaki, could be the one of the best Super Naked 1,000cc you can buy. This Kawasaki doesn’t have traction control, which one could argue is in character with the minimal streetfighter nature of the bike. Nevertheless, in spite of its immediate throttle response, the Z1000 is remarkably easy to ride smoothly, even in slow around-town situations, thanks to its excellent fueling. And when you finally get to a spot where you can open the throttle and let the engine rip, two new passages incorporated into the airbox are designed to produce an intake howl that “complements the physical sense of acceleration.”

Not that it’s needed in this Kawasaki. The new Z1000 is super quick, aided by final-drive gearing that’s shorter than the Ninja 1000’s. Moreover, the Z1000 is a bit more relaxed at highway speeds, thanks to a taller sixth gear. For the record, 190Km/h in sixth gear equates to an indicated 8,000 rpm on the Z1000’s new bar-graph tachometer.

Beyond the engine and sugomi bodywork, the new Z1000 has an extensive other new hardware, including:

• A twin-spar aluminum frame based on the Ninja 1000’s. It’s cast as a single unit with the swingarm pivot to eliminate welds. The engine, a stressed member, bolts solidly to the frame in three places and is rubber-mounted at the upper rear crankcase.

• A die-cast aluminum subframe. The lightweight three-piece design allows the Z1000 to be narrower under the seat, reducing the reach to the ground.DSC_0605 (Custom)

• A Showa separate-function SFF-BP fork, with 41mm tubes and springs in both legs. The spring-preload adjuster works on the left tube, whereas the compression- and rebound-damping adjusters are only on the right. The main goal with this fork, says Kawasaki, is smooth initial travel for improved feel during braking. In back, a horizontal shock with stepless rebound damping and a remote preload adjuster is said to be unaffected by exhaust heat.

• Monoblock four-piston front brake calipers. Although the gold calipers are badged by Kawasaki, they are made by Tokico and feature differentiated piston diameters (32mm top, 30mm lower). Kawasaki has also switched to a radial-pump front master cylinder and grippier pads, for firmer initial feel.

• Supersport-style wheels. Kawasaki says these black six-spoke units, made of cast aluminum, cut total unsprung weight by more than 1.8kg.

• A compact instrument cluster that’s not much bigger than an iPhone. Unusual tachometer features a bar graph that “jumps” from a vertical lower LCD screen to a horizontal row of bright LEDs across the top. It’s easy to read, with a large digital readout for speed. Previous Z1000, notably, had its gauges tucked low in a spot ahead of the top triple-clamp. New bike has the gauge panel mounted above the wide handlebar, which makes the Z1000’s signature design feature—its prominent headlight assembly featuring four LED bulbs—look like it’s mounted much lower than it actually is.

• Other noteworthy new Z1000 bits include a larger 17 liter fuel tank, twin-outlet mufflers covered with brushed stainless steel, and a grippy new seat with a Z-pattern cover. Seat itself is narrow at the front, allowing the rider move forward into the slots molded into the tank. The rear seat, with a matte-black covering, can almost be mistaken for bodywork.

So, what’s the new Z1000 like to ride? Impressive! It’s totally at home in the city, where it can spurt in and out of traffic with ease. And it’s a delight on twisty hills roads, where the suspension that feels a tad overly firm in the bumpy city gives the bike a welcome composure in high-speed sweepers. A wide power band and abundant torque eliminate the need for frequent downshifts, and the gearbox is click-click second nature, blessed with an easy-to-modulate clutch.

DSC_0592 (Custom) DSC_0502 (Custom)

With a claimed curb weight of 220kg, well for me who weights 50kg doesn’t  really feel it (I tot I was riding my RG125V) and a dedicated effort by Kawasaki to centralize the bike’s mass, the 2014 Z1000 leans into corners well (knee down with ease on hilly roads and high speed bends),aided by steering that’s precise but not too quick. The geometry, identical to that of the Ninja 1000, features 24.5 degrees of rake and 4.0 inches of trail.

I rode with a biker friend owns a Kawasaki 2012 Z1000 for comparison. My quick take: I prefer the lower, more forward seating position instead of 2012 bike or even more than the Z800, which fits taller riders better than the new bike. That stated, the 2014 Z1000, because of its lower, more forward-canted riding position, feels sportier and gets the rider more out of the wind, which is a legitimate concern if you commute long distances on the bike. Moreover, the throttle of the 2014 Z1000 is much snappier, and the suspension is significantly firmer, more ready to play.

In short, Kawasaki’s new Z1000, which retails for RM76,900 base bike price is a great bike. Say what you will about its styling, but this Kawasaki is an impressive update on what already was an excellent bike.

After spending some quality time with the Kawasaki , the new Z1000 can wrangle another Best award from me, RC Moto!. While some might say the new Ninja 1000, with its better wind protection and optional saddlebags, is the more versatile Kawasaki and a better choice, the Z1000 has more attitude, more of the raw appeal that sets an emotional hook. Nice to have choices, isn’t it? Next bike to test is the Ninja 1000 SX.

For instance, the 1,043cc inline-4 has been thoroughly reworked for improved midrange and top-end power. Thanks to a new intake camshaft (with 0.3mm less lift and six degrees less duration), plus a modified airbox, (the only sound you will hear from the two standard exhaust is non existance) a revised ECU, and taller velocity stacks for improved cylinder filling, the DOHC 16-valve mill pulls hard all the way to its 11,250-rpm redline and “soft” rev limiter. Furthermore, new internal passageways in the crankcase reduce high-rpm pumping losses, and overall smoothness is enhanced by a crank-driven balancer. Lastly, a pair of ducts in the Z1000’s fairing route cool intake air directly to the airbox.

Although fuel injected (via four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies), the Z1000 is not ride-by-wire, meaning this RM76,900, priced Kawasaki, could be the one of the best Super Naked 1,000cc you can buy. This Kawasaki doesn’t have traction control, which one could argue is in character with the minimal streetfighter nature of the bike. Nevertheless, in spite of its immediate throttle response, the Z1000 is remarkably easy to ride smoothly, even in slow around-town situations, thanks to its excellent fueling. And when you finally get to a spot where you can open the throttle and let the engine rip, two new passages incorporated into the airbox are designed to produce an intake howl that “complements the physical sense of acceleration.”DSC_0735 (Custom)

Not that it’s needed in this Kawasaki. The new Z1000 is super quick, aided by final-drive gearing that’s shorter than the Ninja 1000’s. Moreover, the Z1000 is a bit more relaxed at highway speeds, thanks to a taller sixth gear. For the record, 190Km/h in sixth gear equates to an indicated 8,000 rpm on the Z1000’s new bar-graph tachometer.

Beyond the engine and sugomi bodywork, the new Z1000 has an extensive other new hardware, including:

• A twin-spar aluminum frame based on the Ninja 1000’s. It’s cast as a single unit with the swingarm pivot to eliminate welds. The engine, a stressed member, bolts solidly to the frame in three places and is rubber-mounted at the upper rear crankcase.

• A die-cast aluminum subframe. The lightweight three-piece design allows the Z1000 to be narrower under the seat, reducing the reach to the ground.

• A Showa separate-function SFF-BP fork, with 41mm tubes and springs in both legs. The spring-preload adjuster works on the left tube, whereas the compression- and rebound-damping adjusters are only on the right. The main goal with this fork, says Kawasaki, is smooth initial travel for improved feel during braking. In back, a horizontal shock with stepless rebound damping and a remote preload adjuster is said to be unaffected by exhaust heat.

• Monoblock four-piston front brake calipers. Although the gold calipers are badged by Kawasaki, they are made by Tokico and feature differentiated piston diameters (32mm top, 30mm lower). Kawasaki has also switched to a radial-pump front master cylinder and grippier pads, for firmer initial feel.

• Supersport-style wheels. Kawasaki says these black six-spoke units, made of cast aluminum, cut total unsprung weight by more than 1.8kg.

• A compact instrument cluster that’s not much bigger than an iPhone. Unusual tachometer features a bar graph that “jumps” from a vertical lower LCD screen to a horizontal row of bright LEDs across the top. It’s easy to read, with a large digital readout for speed. Previous Z1000, notably, had its gauges tucked low in a spot ahead of the top triple-clamp. New bike has the gauge panel mounted above the wide handlebar, which makes the Z1000’s signature design feature—its prominent headlight assembly featuring four LED bulbs—look like it’s mounted much lower than it actually is.

• Other noteworthy new Z1000 bits include a larger 17 liter fuel tank, twin-outlet mufflers covered with brushed stainless steel, and a grippy new seat with a Z-pattern cover. Seat itself is narrow at the front, allowing the rider move forward into the slots molded into the tank. The rear seat, with a matte-black covering, can almost be mistaken for bodywork.

So, what’s the new Z1000 like to ride? Impressive! It’s totally at home in the city, where it can spurt in and out of traffic with ease. And it’s a delight on twisty hills roads, where the suspension that feels a tad overly firm in the bumpy city gives the bike a welcome composure in high-speed sweepers. A wide power band and abundant torque eliminate the need for frequent downshifts, and the gearbox is click-click second nature, blessed with an easy-to-modulate clutch.

With a claimed curb weight of 220kg, well for me who weights 50kg doesn’t  really feel it (I tot I was riding my RG125V) and a dedicated effort by Kawasaki to centralize the bike’s mass, the 2014 Z1000 leans into corners well (knee down with ease on hilly roads and high speed bends),aided by steering that’s precise but not too quick. The geometry, identical to that of the Ninja 1000, features 24.5 degrees of rake and 4.0 inches of trail.

I rode with a friend biker which owns a Kawasaki 2012 Z1000 for comparison. My quick take: I prefer the lower, more forward seating position instead of 2012 bike or even more than the Z800, which fits taller riders better than the new bike. That stated, the 2014 Z1000, because of its lower, more forward-canted riding position, feels sportier and gets the rider more out of the wind, which is a legitimate concern if you commute long distances on the bike. Moreover, the throttle of the 2014 Z1000 is much snappier, and the suspension is significantly firmer, more ready to play. DSC_0632 (Custom)

In short, Kawasaki’s new Z1000, which retails for RM76,900 base bike price is a great bike. Say what you will about its styling, but this Kawasaki is an impressive update on what already was an excellent bike.

After spending some quality time with the Kawasaki , the new Z1000 can wrangle another Best award from me, RC Moto!. While some might say the new Ninja 1000, with its better wind protection and optional saddlebags, is the more versatile Kawasaki and a better choice, the Z1000 has more attitude, more of the raw appeal that sets an emotional hook. Nice to have choices, isn’t it? Next bike to test is the Ninja 1000 SX. DSC_0803 (Custom)

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