General

2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX: the rivals

It's Kawasaki’s best-seller. That doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

It’s Kawasaki’s best-selling UK model, and we can see why. The Z1000SX is a genuine sports tourer, as ready for a weekend in the south of France as a track day. It probably also helps that Kawasaki has few offerings in the high-selling sub-125cc sector.

But the Z1000SX is by no means peerless. Here’s our rundown of other machines to consider.

Kawasaki Z1000SX specs

Engine: 1043cc in-line four

Weight: 230kg wet (231kg with ABS)

Power: 140hp

Price: £9,299 (£9,699 with ABS)

First Ride: 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX review

Click here to read Kawasaki Z1000SX owner reviews

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

With an old R1 engine, the FZ1 Fazer has specifications that were once the preserve of sports bikes but in a chassis that won’t give you backache.

Like the Z1000SX, it’s perfectly positioned to cater for riders who’ve grown tired of sports bikes but aren’t quite ready to get big-capacity quasi adventure bike. As happy tootling around at a leisurely 3,000rpm as terrifying pillions at 11,000.

Engine: 998cc in-line four

Weight: 220kg wet

Power: 150hp

Price: £9,799 (£10,199 with ABS)

Click here to read Yamaha FZ1 Fazer owner reviews

BMW F800GT

BMW F800GT

A sensibly clothed, competitively priced tourer whose deceptively fast acceleration belies it’s easy-going, leisurely character.

The F800GT will plod along happily at almost any engine speed, with plenty of low-down grunt, but also likes to be revved.

With belt-drive, generous wind protection and good fuel economy (59mpg in Visordown tests), it looks like one of the easiest bikes in this mix to live with.

Engine: 798cc in-line four

Weight: 213kg wet

Power: 90hp

Price: £8,175 OTR

Click here to read BMW F800GT owner reviews

Honda VFR1200F

Honda VFR1200F

Available with Honda’s much-overlooked automatic Dual Clutch Transmission, the VFR1200 offers something no other motorcycle can: 170hp in a twist-and-go.

Traditionalists can get the manual, and it’s still a comfortable powerhouse, with Honda’s Traction Control system to keep things in check.

One criticism is that it’s 19-litre tank (18.5 on the DCT version) can give a range of just 150 miles. With shaft drive, at least you’ll never have to tighten a chain.

Engine: 1237cc V-four

Weight: 267kg wet

Power: 170hp

Price: £12,399 OTR (£12,999 with DCT)

Click here to read Honda VFR1200F owner reviews

Triumph Sprint GT

Triumph Sprint GT

Leaning more towards touring than sport, the Sprint GT comes equipped with massive panniers, offering 62 litres of luggage capacity as standard. At this price, we’re not sure you’ll find many other sports tourer that do that.

It’s also got a gel seat, standard ABS, a huge fairing and a 200-mile tank range.

Its single-sided swing-arm gives it a long, 1537mm wheelbase, and the steering can feel heavy. The kickback is good high-speed stability. 

Engine: 1050cc triple

Weight: 268kg wet

Power: 130hp

Price: £8,499 OTR

Click here to read Triumph Sprint GT owner reviews

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