Kawasaki Z1000 (2003 - 2008)

Below 4000rpm it's like eating a diet yoghurt when what you really wanted was a Mars bar.
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£7345
Available from
2003 to 2008
More poke and handling than most will ever want or need – and it looks horn!
Not much happens below 4000rpm and it just isn't as mean to ride as it is to look at.
A chunky lump of a bike that’ll do your street cred all manner of good down the local and which can do a little bit of everything

User Reviews

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monkimagic's picture
Submitted by monkimagic on Fri, 11/01/2008 - 20:44

Overall Review

9/10 for the Zed, if you want no wind blast which is its inheritate weakness buy a tourer, if you wanna go fast and look good while doing it....buy a Zez 1000

Strengths

Fast, even faster when the wind is in your face, the small fairing deflects more than you would think. The Z gets lots of admirers, people stop to look, its not a common bike so it stands out well. Finish on the 04> models is better, parts are interchangable with some of the Ninja range aswell.

Weaknesses

Not many, the Z is a little lack luster below 3000rpm but wind it up and the front wheel lifts...too easy for some.

Rating Breakdown
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Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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SuperSonic's picture
Submitted by SuperSonic on Tue, 19/02/2008 - 19:35

Overall Review

Maybe not perfect, but a few well placed and cheap mods and the bikes a corker. I've had mine coming up for 3 years and am still very happy with it.

Strengths

Power is good at low to mid revs and it has a great top end, the handling is okay standard but can be improved cheaply. Most people think it looks good (cans can divide opinion though!!) and the riding position is great for real road use.

Weaknesses

Seat is a bit uncomfortable, needs some new cans to sound like it should.

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Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Dylan's picture
Submitted by Dylan on Sun, 16/03/2008 - 21:50

Overall Review

Best naked 1ltr straight four on the road! Definate 9/10 as it stands and 10/10 when you mod the suspension and change the cans. I've had mine 4 years now, it still looks superb and I love it dearly. Pity they've ruined the look on the latest model, otherwise I'd buy another!

Strengths

Can be a pussycat till you're in the mood and get that engine spinning - while not the rush of the ZX9, still enough for an ear to ear grin! Looks to kill for and those twin peashooters make it pretty distinctive, though you'll need some aftermarket ones to lose the cat, unleash more power and at least make it sound as good as it looks.

Weaknesses

Only one. It's quick turning and surprisingly nimble, but take it to it's absolute limit and the lack of suspension adjustability shows, particularly on long bends when it starts acting like a rocking horse. But if you're not into taking a bike to it's limit, this bike has no weaknesses!

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by User 74829 (not verified) on Mon, 31/03/2008 - 01:28

Overall Review

I was so surpride at how relaxing this bike is for a 1000 . It' s good and bad good that if you hav not owner a 1000 befor it's a great intro bad cause it does'nt pull my arms outa my sockets I think Im learning the diffenence between BHP and Torque. It needs way more torque lets face it if you are wanting to remove knee plaastic the whole time you're gonna buy a ZX10R or similar, this bike should corner fairly well which it does but in a straight line leave the plastic fantastic crowd for dead and be pulling and pulling and pulling now it does het a move on after around 5000rpm and it's adictive but short blips from traffic lights take far to long. Overall I love the way she looks but wish she had about 60 more hp or more torque. Great for beginers to the big bike world. Oh and the seat is to hard as the riding postion is just about perfect it makes achange for my butt to give out befor my wrists it's also a little vibey. But it's been a good intro back into biking after to long an absence.

Strengths

Good looking relitively gentle power delivery get lots of attention and it hasn't aged much .Finnish is good feels refined. Has good road pressence

Weaknesses

Needs more Power lots more power needs a zx12r engine or new 1400 engine low down and longer gearing ,Bit heavy,

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by deckitout on Tue, 06/05/2008 - 00:35

Overall Review

A good competent bike, sure it can't hack it with the latest sports tackle, but how many can ride them well anyway. This bike looks great, is really pleasant to poodle about on or give it large and use it like the hooligan it looks like

Strengths

Looks, reworked Engine, this really has been smoothed out, I also owned the earlier model which was a lot courser and vibey. The new model has a lot more torque making it nicer to ride. Initially when I saw the pictures of the new model I though they had really fecked it up, but in the flesh it looks a lot better, I actually prefer it to the old version now.

Weaknesses

Comfort, seat is as hard as....... wind protection, but hey it's a naked

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
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wario's picture
Submitted by wario on Wed, 25/02/2009 - 04:10

Overall Review

Fantastic bike. Exceptionally great used value. A few mod's and you can give literally any bike enough problems that they're wondering how you do so much with so little bike. Upgrade the fork springs and fork valves, insert a reworked 636 rear shock and hang with the best sport bikes. Install a Power Commander and remove the restrictive intake and fit a proper exhaust, and throw on a set of S/S brake lines and get ready to pound on most ZX9's and hang with ZX10s... Best of all, you end up with a bike that is all day ridable and very sexy to boot.

Strengths

Motor, seating position, brakes, chassis

Weaknesses

Motor is choked from the factory, suspension is undersprung and under damped.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Kestrel69's picture
Submitted by Kestrel69 on Thu, 26/02/2009 - 09:17

Overall Review

Test ride a couple of these & was very dissapointed with them. Soon as I came back from the last test ride I went straight back out the Z750S. Much better & ended up buying the 750. The difference in performance just does not justify the extra running costd of the 1000

Strengths

Engine. Handling.

Weaknesses

Cost

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by notabiker on Mon, 13/06/2011 - 20:51

Overall Review

i have been on a lot of the latest sport bikes and i would not trade my ZED for one of them. my friend has a 2010 ZED and a heve been on it many times .except for the mid range PUNCH i like my 2004 better. REALLY

Strengths

my green 2004 Z1000 is a looker for sure. with a MUZZY full system and a tail tidy i am done. i am a modest rider so the suspension is up to the task in my book. i bought it used last year and i keep it very clean. now with 16,000 miles it still looks and runs like new.

Weaknesses

i wish it had a better tach, cant stand the bar graph tach.

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

Overall...I like this bike...A lot. It's got enough poke to keep a smile in place all day, admittedly the power figures (125hp) come in a little short by today's litre bike standards but I've never found wanting. The brakes, again are up to the job. Ample and sufficient but perhaps not the sharpest of the bunch. Wide bars (I've swapped mine for a set of Renthal Ultra-lows) make for super easy turn in and with the lower profile contribute to a slightly sportier riding position. The standard shotgun exhausts are heavy and muffle the engine noise to almost non-existent levels, a pair of stubby slip-ons shave off a considerable amount of weight and also emit a wonderful bark from that in-line four. A small luggage rack can be easily mounted on the rear and a steady right hand can return 160+ miles from a tank making for a really quite reasonable touring machine, although the big Z could benefit from a softer seat on longer journeys. Perhaps a taller screen would be good purchase too. Engine vibration creeps in above 7000 rpm and results in buzzy bars and an odd wasp like noise but isn't severe enough to cause discomfort. With 10,000 miles on the clock my example is still in very good condition showing only minor paint flaking on the swing arm brace where road debris pools off the rear huger. Good examples can be picked up for a competitive price and promise to offer performance that's more than a match for British roads!

Strengths

Cheap to insure Comfortable yet engaging riding position Ample power throughout the rev range Reasonable fuel economy Capable of both Sunday jaunts & touring Plenty of after market parts That 190 section rear tyre

Weaknesses

Buzzing through the bars when above 7000 rpm Budget componentry Paint flaking on swing arm under fender No gear indicator

Rating Breakdown
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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Submitted by Momma ZedHead on Sun, 24/04/2016 - 12:39

Overall Review

i am a Very proud owner of a mint condition Z1000A1h 2003 model, all the power and handling of a super sport but Naked. So if my ZED has short comings from other people's point of view i dont care .To me it is a fantastic looking bike.it Handle's very well and it flick's over very nicely into corner's, i do not care much for the looks of the Newer model's as they have gone all plastic and is too much overkill REALLY SORRY.I have been riding for many years and this is just a awesome piece of kit,modifications are easy to do with some know how.I just love the aggressive look and simpicity.........Best buy if you want to get out there and have fun with the power to back it up :)

Strengths

handle's well and performance is great,great looking bike

Weaknesses

None

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