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2010 Kawasaki Z1000

2010 Kawasaki Z1000Kawasaki Z1000

2010 Z1000Z1000

The 2010 Z1000 takes the Super Naked concept in a totally new and strikingly contemporary direction.

Mating Ninja ZX-9R-based engines with innovative chassis designs and striking bodywork, previous Z1000 models offered supersport performance adapted for the street, wrapped in the most avant-garde designs of the their time.

Now, the totally re-designed and re-engineered 2010 Z1000 takes the Super Naked concept in a positive and bold new direction. In order to deliver a kind of excitement never before experienced with Super Naked models, development of the new Z1000 started totally from scratch – resulting in a fresh and compelling new Super Naked machine.

Unlike the “mono-form” design of supersport models (where the ensemble is designed as a single piece), Kawasaki naked model designs are collections of parts – each meticulously crafted as both stand-alone components, and as parts of a whole.

While many Super Naked models are often no more than supersport models with the fairings removed, the new Z1000 realises a stunning VISUAL IMPACT by being conceived and created in complete design freedom.

Supersport-based engines and chassis offer high performance, but the number of riders who are able to enjoy this performance on the street is limited. Rather than pursuing “speed” and performance figures, Z1000 development focused on the “excitement” derived from riding a sport bike on the street, thereby
achieving a high RIDING IMPACT.

The new Z1000 takes the aggressive styling of its predecessor a major step forward. From the sharply sloped front cowl design - made possible with the slim new line-beam headlamp - to the minimalist tail section, the new Z1000 presents a very condensed, "mass-forward" image.

This dynamic design is reinforced by the front fork covers and wide shrouds adorned with intakes for the new Cool Air system. Where its predecessor formed the image of an athlete poised to explode out of the blocks, the new Z1000 gives the appearance of a ominous predator feigning sleep – menacing and ready to leap forward without a moment’s hesitation.

Condensed, Mass-Forward Image for Dynamic Design

Sharp front cowl slopes back at an acute angle, contributing to the aggressive design and the image of a
low, forward-located centre of gravity.

In addition to protecting the inverted fork’s inner tubes, fork covers reinforce the low, mass-forward image.

Slim, compact line-beam type headlamp (first use on a Kawasaki) allowed the design freedom to make
the front cowl smaller. Locating the bulbs slightly higher in the headlamp unit gives the Z1000 a menacing look when viewed from the front.

Ignition key cylinder was relocated to the front of the tank (previously forward of the handlebar), allowing
the instrument panel to be positioned closer to the rider for enhanced visibility. Relocating the key cylinder
away from the instrument panel also helped make possible the more compact front cowl. Moving the key
cylinder closer to the rider also contributes to mass centralisation (please see also Mass Centralisation

Dynamic fuel tank design features supersport-style flared edges with a trim shape at the rear, a shape that is
easy to grip with the knees. Concentrating the tank’s volume toward the rear helped make room for the repositioned key cylinder. Steel construction facilitates the use of magnetic tank bags.

Voluminous shrouds with integrated turn signals contribute to the new Z1000’s concentrated, mass-forward

Sharp under-cowl adds to the image of a low centre of gravity and reinforces the mass-forward design.

Minimalist tail cowl is slimmer and more compact, moving mass both physically and visually away from the
rear and toward the front.

LED taillight design reminiscent of the original Z1000’s features red LED bulbs and a transparent lens.

New 5-spoke cast wheels complement the Z1000’s sharp design. The spokes are machined near the rim edge (the machined portions receiving a clear coat), adding to the high-quality appearance. The machined cut-outs were purposely designed to point away from the direction of travel, a counterpoint design element also visible on the new engine covers.

Quad-style muffler maintains a key design element from previous models. The shorter silencer design (each 2/3 the volume of the 09MY model) allows the wheel silhouette to be seen.

Tilting Instrument Panel Fully digital instrument panel features an eye-catching orange lens.

The instrument panel can be angled to suit rider preference. Riders can choose from three positions. Angle
can easily be changed by hand using an adjuster knob on the left side.

Meter functions include digital speedometer, bar-style digital tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, and clock.


Swinging arm features eccentric axle adjusters, contributing to the Z1000’s Kawasaki identity.

Unnecessary material trimmed from the rear flap to give it a light look.

To maximise impact the engine needed to deliver more than just performance figures. Riding impact is about the range of sensations the rider feels. Engineers wanted to offer superb throttle response, power delivery with a hit in the mid-range, and seductive intake howl plus just the right amount of engine vibration make accelerating an exhilarating experience.

All-new Engine

Newly designed liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve 1,043 cm3 In-line Four offers a greater power output (actual power TBC) and stronger torque than that of the previous Z1000. The new displacement was chosen with the desire to maintain the Z1000 name.

Bore and stroke of 77.0 x 56.0 mm were chosen to achieve the desired engine character. Compare this to the bore and stroke of the 2009 Z1000 and Ninja ZX-10R: 2009 Z1000 77.2 x 50.9 mm. Ninja ZX-10R 76.0 x 55.0 mm

A bore slightly smaller than that of its predecessor, but larger than that of the Ninja ZX-10R, and a stroke longer than both of these result in an engine very strong in the everyday rpm range most used by Super Nakeds.

Downdraft throttle bodies allow intake air to travel to the engine in the shortest possible distance, offering improved performance. While downdraft throttle bodies often use short intake funnels to maximise high-rpm performance, the Z1000’s are longer to offer the best Super Naked power characteristics.

Throttle bore is ø38 mm (2009 Z1000 was ø36 mm), chosen to offer the ideal low-mid range response.

Oval sub-throttles help keep the engine slim – important since the throttle bodies are now positioned
between the rider’s knees.

Good over-rev characteristics mean that power does not drop off suddenly at high rpm.

Power delivery is quite linear, but the engine spins up noticeably faster from about 7,000 rpm onwards. Silky
smooth response from mid-high rpm ensures excellent driveability.

Crankshaft and transmission shafts are arranged in a straight line (compared to the Ninja ZX-10R, which uses a triangular layout). This maintains the design from the 2009 Z1000, an engine design that was felt offers the best look for a Super Naked model.

Crankshaft was lowered to allow for the longer stroke without adding engine height. The shaft line, which was horizontal on the 2009 Z1000, is angled 5 degrees down. Thus, engine size is about the same despite the 90 cm3 displacement increase.

A secondary balancer, driven off a gear on the 6th web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration. Of
course, a certain amount of engine vibration was desired as part of the bike’s character (vibration contributes
to the feeling of acceleration, increasing linearly with rpm), so vibration was not totally eliminated. However, adding the secondary balancer enabled the changes to the chassis for improved handling (please see also All-new Aluminium Twin-tube Frame, Fat-type Handlebar below).

Cool Air System

With the airbox nestled between the frame rails, intake air is more affected by engine heat.

The Cool Air system routes cool air to the airbox from ducts above the shrouds, minimising performance loss due to heated intake air. This should not be confused with Ram Air, where force-fed air becomes pressurised in the airbox.

Positioning the ducts close to the rider allows the intake sound to be enjoyed by the rider.

A resonator inside the airbox reduces noise at low rpm, and enhances intake sound at high rpm.

Exhaust System

The exhaust system features a 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2 layout. Silencer end-caps maintain the quad-style image.

Main and pre-catalysers ensure emissions are clean.

An exhaust back pressure valve is located upstream of the right-side silencer. Thanks to the under-engine pre-chamber, silencer volume could be reduced from 4.5 litres to 3 litres each. The silencers are also lighter (5100 g >> 3500 g each). While overall exhaust system weight is about the same when the pre-chamber is
included, the new system offers much better mass centralisation (please see also Mass Centralisation below) and contributes to a lower centre of gravity.

Fuel Pump

Slim-type fuel pump features a unitised fuel gauge. With the revised fuel tank design and the slim-type fuel pump, dead volume inside the tank is minimised.

To deliver an engaging riding experience, Kawasaki engineers wanted a quick-steering and light-handling package. An all-new aluminium frame with 30% more rigidity, increased mass centralisation, using the engine as a stressed member, and a new rigid-mount handlebar all contribute to sharper, firmer handling. A new tank and sub-frame offer a slim riding position, and a number of other changes offer increased control.

All-new Aluminium Twin-tube Frame

The new aluminium twin-tube frame was designed specifically for the 2010 Z1000. Similar in concept to the frame of the Ninja ZX-10R, the frame beams go over engine (on a supersport model the frame beams would be much stiffer), allowing a narrow construction that is easy to grip with the knees.

Lightweight and highly rigid, the frame uses the engine as a stressed member. Torsional rigidity is up about 30%; lateral stiffness is about the same. The frame itself is approximately 3-4 kg lighter.

Handling is improved, offering a firmer, more planted feeling, and stability is enhanced.

The frame beams and swingarm brackets are now single die-cast pieces. The new frame is a 5-piece construction, consisting of steering stem, left and right main frames, and two cross pieces. The two main frame components have open C-shaped cross sections.

As much as possible visible welds were eliminated, offering improved appearance.

The new frame uses 4 (instead of 3) engine mounts. All engine mounts are rigid except the upper rear crankcase mount, which is rubber. The increased rigidity (also due to using the engine as a stressed member)
contributes to lighter, firmer handling while maintaining stability.

Feeling from the engine is also transmitted more directly to the rider.

The rear sub-frame, previously two steel pieces (left/right) welded to the frame, is now a 3-piece aluminium die-cast construction. The new sub-frame weighs less, contributing to mass centralisation.

The sub-frame is an example of form and function combined, allowing the side covers to be eliminated. This also allows the width under the seat to be narrower, offering riders a shorter reach to the ground.

Horizontal Back-Link

New rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm. This locates the suspension far enough from the exhaust that operation will not be affected by heat.

The new arrangement contributes to mass centralisation (please see below).

Visible from the outside, the Horizontal Back-link contributes to the stunning appearance of the new Z1000.

The new rear suspension eliminates the external reservoir tank, however performance is the superior that of the 2009 Z1000.

Linkage characteristics are the same as those of a standard Uni-Trak rear suspension: linkage ratios were set such that rear wheel movement vs shock stroke is the same as would be with Uni-Trak rear suspension.

The rear shock features rebound and preload adjustability.

Mass Centralisation

The new exhaust system (with shorter silencers and under chassis pre-chamber), Horizontal Back-link rear suspension and the use of downdraft throttle bodies are the greatest contributors to mass centralisation.

The new aluminium sub-frame and repositioned key cylinder also contribute.

The result is lighter, sharper handling. Turn-in is light. Steering is neutral after the bike has been leaned over. The bike is stable mid-corner. And the bike goes where you want it to.

Fully Adjustable Front Fork

With the addition of compression damping adjustability, the Z1000’s 41 mm inverted front fork is now fully adjustable.

Settings offer both sporty performance (contributing to light handling on the street and in the hills) and comfort.

Fat-type Handlebar, Grips & Pegs

New handlebar is rigid-mount, contributing to the sharper handling. The handlebar is thicker at the centre (28.6 mm), tapering to 22.2 mm at the grips. (* Note: US-models use a constant diameter handlebar, measuring 22.2 mm throughout.)

Revised position is slightly wider (23 mm), slightly further (14 mm) and slightly higher (7 mm). The revised position and a flatter bend offer a design similar to handlebars of off-road bikes, facilitating higher control.

The new handlebar also looks tough, contributing a futher element of bad-boy image to the Z1000’s appearance.

Tapered-type handlebar grips (like those used on supersport models) offer more direct feel.

Ninja ZX-10R-style footpegs with knurling offer good grip, more direct feel and control, and also contribute
sporty looks.

Pillion footpeg hangers incorporate convenient luggage hooks.

Front and Rear Seats

Seat height is lower, and the seat could be made slimmer thanks to the new sub-frame. The result is an easier reach to the ground.

Compact pillion seat matches the design of the Z1000’s tail section.


At the front, the Z1000’s 300 mm petal brake discs are gripped by opposed 4-piston radial-mount calipers. Caliper piston size is 30 mm.

Radial-pump front brake master cylinder also contributes to the superb control and feel offered by the new

The rear brake features a single piston, pin-slide caliper gripping a 250 mm petal disc.

The caliper is mounted below the swingarm (freeing up space for an ABS sensor) and features a torque rod. The arrangement adds a racy image.

For added braking reassurance, ABS models are available in certain markets.


New tyres contribute to Z1000’s nimble handling.

  • ZR1000D: Dunlop D210
  • ZR1000E: Pirelli DIABLO ROSSO

Tyre sizes are unchanged.

  • F: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
  • R: 190/50ZR17M/C (73W)


  • Metallic Chestnut Brown (with snakeskin-pattern seat)
  • Metallic Spark Black / Atomic Silver
  • Pearl Stardust White / Candy Burnt Orange