Motorcycle Racing News 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 | Preview

2011 Kawasaki Z1000 | Preview

2011 Z1000

Powerhouse Kawasaki had no idea how popular their liter naked motorcycle, the Z1000 was until they discontinued it a few years back.

The outcry was enormous and the Japanese manufacturer listened, bringing the Z1000 back in a loud way in 2010 with a ground-up re-design.

For 2011, the popular naked machine gets a modest makeover with a refined, aerodynamically wedged bikini fairing that slopes back in dramatic fashion to exemplify the futuristically aggressive styling of the bodywork, seat and tail section, which is equipped with futuristic LED taillight hidden beneath a red lens.

Tucked in behind the cowling’s windscreen is Kawasaki’s famously compact instrument cluster, illuminated by easy to read LCD displays.

The fuel tank is flared with the intent of providing solid knee gripping points toward the front while being narrow at the seat juncture to allow for ease of movement while changing positioning. Seat follows suit, providing narrow width at the critical seat/tank juncture to allow for optimum leg reach to the ground.

The Kawasaki Z1000 borrows chassis technology from its superbike brother, the ZX-10R. The aluminum perimeter frame cradles the 1,043cc, liquid-cooled in-line 4-cylinder engine in low slung fashion for a low center of gravity, contouring to a narrow mid-section.

The frame provides racetrack rigidity for improved handling while the beefy swingarm possesses exceptional torsional strength, an essential element in reducing flex when all that power is put to the rear wheel. Sub-frame is made of aluminum for weight savings and for a smooth look.

Impressive, 41mm diameter inverted forks are fully adjustable and mated to a single shock mounted above the swingarm where it’s shielded from exhaust heat and helps to centralize mass.

The Kawasaki Z1000’s high-compression engine is equipped with digital fuel-injection, which feeds the 56mm long-stroke cylinders through sixteen valves operating off of dual cams.

All of this adds up to incredible snappy response, delivered to the rear wheel via a six-speed transmission.

The famous Z1000 quad-pipe design of the exhaust has been refined with an under-engine pre-chamber allowing the use of smaller, more aesthetically pleasing mufflers.

MotoGP-inspired radially-mounted brake calipers are paired with 300mm petal-type rotors and a radial-pump master cylinder for exceptional feel and response. Five-spoke wheels, a solid-mount handlebar and aluminum footpegs round out the Z1000, giving it a powerful superbike feel while retaining a distinctly naked persona.

Kawasaki has lavished some genuine TLC on their popular naked mount, evolving the upright sportbike into a heavyweight with regard to pure performance while retaining a more relaxed riding experience. Just what a naked upright is supposed to deliver.

2011 Kawasaki Z1000 | Motorcycle Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
  • Displacement: 1,043cc
  • Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 56.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.8:1
  • Fuel injection: DFI® with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
  • Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • Final drive: X-ring chain
  • Rake / trail: 24.5 degrees / 4.1 in.
  • Frame type: Aluminum Backbone
  • Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
  • Rear tire: 190/50 ZR17
  • Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 41 mm inverted cartridge fork with stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 4.7 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4 in.
  • Front brakes: Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper
  • Overall length: 82.5 in.
  • Overall width: 31.7 in.
  • Overall height: 42.7 in.
  • Seat height: 32.1 in.
  • Curb weight: 481 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 4.0 gal.
  • Color choices: Candy Lime Green / Ebony, Ebony
  • Warranty: 12 Months

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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