Longer stroke, more poke for Kawa's 2010 Big Z

Time of article published Apr 29, 2010

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A superbike or sports tourer usually has plastic body panels that pretty much hide the engine and other mechanical bits - but some people like their motorcycles naked.

After all, to some eyes, the engine is the prettiest bit of a bike and a naked bike's straddle is more comfortable with higher handlebars making it easier to control around town.

Kawasaki's litre-class naked Z1000 has been extensively revised for 2010. Its styling is much like that of the previous model but it's actually a new bike.

The fuel-injected, in-line, four-cylinder engine has been stroked to 77x56mm from the 77x51mm of the previous 953cc engine to make 1043cc and a lot more midrange torque. Kawasaki quotes 102kW at 9600rpm and 110Nm at 7800rpm and adds that the new engine is also smoother and quicker-revving above 7000rpm.

The aluminium frame is also new, four kg lighter than the previous bike's and, says the maker, 30 percent stiffer. The designers tried to avoid visible welds to keep the frame looking crisp and clean.

The rear sub-frame, previously two steel pieces welded to the main frame, is now a three-piece aluminium die-cast section that saves weight and makes plastic side-covers redundant.

That makes the bike narrower between the rider's thighs and allows his/her toes to reach the ground more comfortably; the new fuel tank and sub-frame also help with a slimmer riding position.

The suspension is also new: at front the chunkier, 41mm inverted forks have stepless adjustment for pre-load, compression and rebound damping.

A back-linkage locates the now horizontal rear monoshock - adjustable for compression and rebound damping - far enough from the engine that it's unaffected by heat and closer to the centre of effort to improve mass centralisation.

The bike's instrumentation is fully digital and the unit tiltable; the braking system has two petal discs and four-pot callipers at the front and another petal disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear.

The 2010 Kawasaki Z1000's retail price is R119 995 and it comes with a two-year, unlimited-distance warranty.



Cylinders: Four.

Capacity: 1043cc.

Bore x stroke: 77 x 56mm.

Compression ratio: 11.8:1.

Valvegear: DOHC with four overhead valves per cylinder.

Power: 101.5kW at 9600rpm.

Torque: 110Nm at 7800.

Induction:Keihin electronic fuel-injection with four 38mm oval throttle bodies.

Ignition: Digital electronic.

Starting: Electric.


Clutch: Cable-operated multiplate wet clutch.

Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by chain.


Front: 41mm inverted cartridge forks adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.

Rear: Horizontal back-link with gas-filled monoshock adjustable for compression and rebound damping.


Front: Dual 300mm, semi-floating petal discs with radial-mount four-pot opposed-piston callipers.

Rear: 250mm petal disc with single-piston floating calliper.


Front: 120/70 - 17 tubeless.

Rear: 190/50 - 17 tubeless.


Wheelbase: 1440mm.

Seat height: 775mm.

Dry weight: 218kg (221 with ABS).


15 litres.


Two years unlimited distance warranty.




R119 995.


CB1000R - R102 999

Suzuki B-King - R116900

Yamaha FZS1000 Fazer - R118 560

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