2010 Kawasaki Z1000
The 2010 Z1000 takes the Super Naked
concept in a totally new and strikingly contemporary
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,
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
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
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
the instrument panel to be positioned closer to the
rider for enhanced visibility. Relocating the key
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
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,
Sharp under-cowl adds to the image
of a low centre of gravity and reinforces the mass-forward
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Cool Air System
With the airbox nestled between the
frame rails, intake air is more affected by engine
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
A resonator inside the airbox reduces
noise at low rpm, and enhances intake sound at high
The exhaust system features a 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2
layout. Silencer end-caps maintain the quad-style
Main and pre-catalysers ensure emissions
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
The rear shock features rebound and
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
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 &
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
Ninja ZX-10R-style footpegs with knurling
offer good grip, more direct feel and control, and
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
- 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
- Metallic Spark Black / Atomic Silver
- Pearl Stardust White / Candy Burnt Orange