Z1000...First ride impressions!
Well, as some of you know I went and picked up the Z1000 today. And my first impression is that Kawasaki nailed it on this one. I'm no moto journalist nor am I a professional rider. So, don't be to critical of my evaluation of the bike ok?
After riding my freind's ZRX12000 I was expecting a bike that would be somewhere in between my ZX-6R and the ZRX 1200. Truth of the matter is I was planning on keeping my 600 for the twisty stuff and using the Z1000 for longer semi aggressive rides. In short, I don't think I'll be keeping the 600! This bike blows it away in the hadling department!
This bike turns in like you wouldn't believe. It actually has better handling than my 600. I couldn't believe it. There was some concern about the rubber mouted handlebars as well and I was expecting to find a hint of vagueness in feedback from the front tire. This is not the case either. This bike feels planted and extremely predictable. It turns in like a demon and rider input through the bars is exceptionally well engineered. I found myself carrying corners much quicker and easier than on my 600. Then agian that could be a residual effect of having a smoother powerplant between my legs. I'm eagerly anticipating digging in really hard on this bike. Hopefully steering vaugness won't become evident! Time will tell.
This will have to wait as I've not yet begun to break the motor in. Initally the bike feels a little weak in the low RPM range and doesn't spin up as quickly as my 600. I attribute this to a heavier crank than what's in most sport bikes. But that's a good thing as throttle applications in the city are very smooth and confidence inspiring. No, lurching in first gear the likes of which plagued my 600. And this from a fuel injected bike! I couldn't use first gear to negotiate corners on my 600 without surging forward. I'd like to think that Kawasaki engineered this into the overall design of the powerplant for that very reason.
In essence it looks like I'm going to get the best of both worlds here. A civilized bike while in high traffic areas and a hell of a screamer on the top end. Especially after some engine modification. I expecting to get 160+ RWHP if Muzzy comes out with a Bore kit for the bike. Fingers are crossed.
I'd have to guess that the real power is going to come on around 7 -8 RPM. I'll let you guys know what that's like once the motor is broken in. I'm sure you R1 and GSXR guys won't be impressed as the bikes claimed 140 Crank Horsepower translates into 113RWHP. But as you know, Kawasaki stuffs it's motors. Muzzy are you reading this?
Right now, 4000 RPM has the ZED poking along @ 60 MPH effortlessly. Acceleration is smooth and linear up to about 6000 and that's as far as I've taken it at this piont. Doesn't matter what gear I'm in she pulls like a mule. This is my first 1000 so for me, coming off of a 600, this bike is impressive.
All you Busa, R1 Gixxer and CBR guys might laugh so take it for what it is. Don't be surprised if my ZED spanks your asses after the mods are in place though. Your laughing days are numbered I assure you!
Simply outstanding. Once again I was surprised at how well the bike behaves to rider input in relation to the rider positioning on the bike. It feels light years ahead of my 600. And that's no shit! hard to believe huh?
The reach to the bars is perfect for me. I'm 6' 1" @230 lbs and the riding position is slightly leaned forward. Just enough to take the pressure off of the lower back. The days of my right wrist sleeping are over.
Legroom is great and there's plenty of room to adjust your feet on the pegs. No muffler digging into your heel while riding. The fuel tank is perfectly balanced in design. The width let's you know that you're not on a 600 but it's not so wide as to make it difficult to hang off of the bike.
I was concerned about wind protection as well. Not a problem either. The radiator is very wide and scoops up the majority of air that would normally hit you're legs. As far as the upper body, It's clean smooth air. The front windscreen, although small, must have been designed correctly. In moving my head around I couldn't find turbulence anywhere. My 600 can't even claim that as there's turbulence just above the windscreen on it that bounces your head around ever so slightly.
After spending 3 months reading reviews and looking at bikes I'm confident I made the right choice here. This bike is a sleeper for the unwary to worry about. A little mod here and a little mod there and I'm confident that it'll hang with the big dogs out on the street. And that's exactly where Kawasaki knew I'd be riding it.
If you were thinking about getting one you'd better decide fast. J&D (my dealer) has sold two more that haven't even arrived yet. These puppies are destined to be a classic.