2014 Kawasaki Z1000: FIRST LOOK

Cycle News Staff | November 5, 2013
  The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 was introduced at the EICMA Show in Milan today.

Kawasaki literally took the wraps off its new 2014 Z1000 today at the EICMA Show in Milan, Italy, the “streetfighter” getting totally naked in its latest version. Goodbye bodywork, hello “Sugomi” styling.

So what is “Sugomi” styling?  How about “seductively sculpted shapes invoking a crouching predator?” There’s also special “Z” logo ignition keys, machined aluminum steering stem bolt, and a textured “Z” motif seat cover.

And it’s more potent, according to Kawasaki.

The Z1000’s 1043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve engine features revised intake cams that boost its low-to-midrange torque. And it also gets additional airbox vents and new cylinder connecting passageways that help strengthen mid-to-high rpm performance by improving breathing and reducing the pumping losses associated with displacing air inside the crankcase.

Four 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies feed the powerplant with help from a re-tuned ECU that’s setup to provide a livelier engine feel. There’s also extra ducts at the front of the bike to route fresh air to the airbox while a new, non-woven air filter element provides better flow at revs. The Z1000 gets shorter overall gearing, but a slightly taller sixth gear helps maintain reasonable rpm at highway speeds.

The powerplant sits in an aluminum frame that’s similar to the ZX-10R on which Tom Sykes recently won the World Superbike title. The lightweight frame cradles the engine with the power plant bolting to the chassis in three places, with a rubber-backed fourth mount provided for added vibration isolation and torsional rigidity.

The main frame and swingarm pivot pieces are cast as a single unit, with welds eliminated wherever possible and the new sub-frame tapers to a very shallow cross-section at the rear.

The Z1000 gets a new fully adjustable 41mm inverted SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston) fork up front and a preload- and rebound-adjustable horizontal back-link shock in the rear. The single-shock system features a damper mounted nearly horizontally above the swingarm for optimal mass centralization and heat resistance.

The bike also gets one-piece monobloc radial-mount front brake calipers offer world-class power and feel and the bike comes with ABS. A 250mm petal-type rotor and single-piston caliper provide the stopping power at the back of the bike.

The Z1000’s definitely has a look that will turn heads and in keeping with that look the bike offers a sit-up-and-beg riding position with its wide, large-diameter aluminum handlebars offering up lots of leverage.

The Z1000 will sell for $11,999.

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