Kawasaki Z1000SX (2011 - 2013)

the ‘S’ stands for for special and the ‘X’ stands for extra and after two days with the bike I wouldn’t disagree
Manufacturer
Price
£9299
Available from
2011
Superb looks, great engine character, tracks days mid week, touring the Trossachs with the missus at the weekend?
The three way adjustable screen looks pants in the highest position. (Easy to fix, move it down)
A seriously competitive all-rounder. Well done Kawasaki

User Reviews

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Submitted by erazor_head (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2011 - 18:11

Overall Review

Having been a long term VFR800 owner looking for a replacement I was quite interested in trying the Z1000SX. I was fortunate that Bristol Kawasaki asked me to run in a brand new launch model over a very cold weekend. Obviously being brand new with shiny tyres I wasn't about to test it to its limits. My main aim was to do as many miles as possible on winding A roads. First impressions were that it is a really nice looking bike and once on board feels and looks like a Z1000. From the riding position due to the rake of the forks you really can't see any of the fairing. It feels really small despite looking big from the side profile. On the road its handling reminded me of a 400cc with the power of a 1000cc. It is very manouverable at low speed in and out of traffic and on faster A roads really feels solid and planted. I would have loved to open it up but was too respectful of the very few miles on the tach. Just taking it up to 5000rpm however gave some idea of the torque on tap which seems plentiful. After about 70 miles the thinly padded seat started to gripe. The passenger accomodation looks very miniscule and if this bike is to appeal to 40 somethings then I think said middle aged partners of these riders will be complaining. The riding position is more comforable than full on sports bikes and the tank is a reasonable size for covering distances. I had a fun time on the Z1000SX but as I am after more of a tourer than sports bike I've just bought another VFR, 1200 this time.

Strengths

Price, looks, weight, flickability, colour scheme

Weaknesses

Build quality and finish ok but not quite up to top Hondas. Stock exhaust a bit muted. Dials and mirrors look cheap. Pillion seat has minimal comfort.

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Brakes
Handling
Comfort
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mart69's picture
Submitted by mart69 on Sun, 04/12/2011 - 11:21

Overall Review

all round bike. fast sprty tourer.

Strengths

Fast, quick to turn into corners, inspires confidence in fast riding, easy to maintain, looks great. suspension easy to adjust, adjustable screen is great fo the motorways.

Weaknesses

Seat a little to hard.

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Overall Review

Good bike with great motor and great looks. Perfect if you don't want to have a sporty riding position but still keep attitude and a bit of abiliy. However, for me a VFR800 vtec abs (I switched to one) is alot more capable both on touring and on the track. However the engine of the vfr is no loon.

Strengths

Suspension is plush and responsive riding two up (although we're not heavyweight). Good looks and draws a bit of attention. Great motor! Alot of power down low and still a kick up top! Fun on a trackday (however, see con about suspension

Weaknesses

Paintjob seems a bit prone to get scratched, even frame and heelguards. High passenger pegs and even if your passenger is small and light she will not be comfortable for long. Had preload on max even while alone. Suspension is not up to the task, like is often the case.

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Overall Review

Having come off a cb1000r on to the naked z1000 in 2010 it was the bike iall ways wanted but found the lack off a fairing allways a pain so after 2 yrs on the Z1000 i could not find any other bike that would come close to it untill i tryed the Z1000Sx now i still have the best street bike but now with the added benifets of more comfort and protection 100% improvment as far as i am concerned

Strengths

Engine engine engine contols handling quality ,looks fantastic easy to ride jump on and go from crawl walking or warp factor the Sx takes it in its stride, the enine is what makes this bike, The fairing is good and with the screen up i have no bufferting at all , The controls are light and responsive,and the suspension seems to suit this bike and the way i ride

Weaknesses

Stock tyre are pants in the cold not passing any feel to the rider,they have the grip but dont inspire no other cons

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Submitted by 2011sxmark on Tue, 14/05/2013 - 13:26

Overall Review

A great bike and cannot see any reason to change it.

Strengths

A very responsive ride with bags of Kawasaki character. Panniers are typical Givi and work well on this bike. Does almost everything you could want solo, perhaps not so 2up, certainly on the sports side of sports touring

Weaknesses

A very hard seat that has to be upgraded. Heel guards prone to scratching on a £10K bike - come on Kawasaki!

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Submitted by GAZ1000SX on Sun, 07/07/2013 - 08:19

Overall Review

Love it to bits. I never thought I'd find a replacement that ticks all the boxes like my old ZX9R(s) did (I had two, 83 yo in a Vulvo destroyed the first). Wasn't happy with the handling at first but a new set of tyres and a visit to Kais suspension in Atherton absolutely transformed it. The bike feels very light and I love chucking it around. I don't carry a passenger so can't comment on that. The exhausts are love em or hate em affairs. I stuck a pair of slip-ons on I got cheap on Ebay, (Danmoto) from China (£130). Nobody can tell especially with the 'Scorpion' metal badges on I had lying around! It will never be loud of course due to the CAT however these cans do make the sound deeper and you get some nice bubbling and pops on overrun. My mates say they can hear me now when before they couldn't. I would like a complete system to sack the CAT but they are far too expensive (Akrapovic £900+ !). I keep waiting for somebody to come up with a link pipe to do away with the CAT. I have the ABS model but without panniers. The framework for the panniers is rather ugly. As it's just me I get away with a top box on a rack together with a tail pack on the pillion seat. The model must be due an upgrade soon, be interesting to see what Kwak comes up with. I think it will be a headache for them to improve!

Strengths

Comfort (with aftermarket seat), sporty, all day riding, handling, GREEN, always gets nice comments from passers by when parked up, goes like a steam train when you open the tap.

Weaknesses

I personally didn't get on with the stock seat so bought a Sargent and now it's sorted. I was always looking for another gear so bought a gear indicator, Kawasaki should include one on the dash in the next revision IMHO. Doesn't look as pretty with the screen raised but it does work on the motorway (when I remember to raise it - It's quite 'interesting' trying to raise it on the move).

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Submitted by whyhaveone on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 23:30

Overall Review

2013 model owned for ten months with 5000 miles. What a bike, great acceleration, more than enough top end, and pulls way down low in any gear. With it's performance I get an average of 47mpg - yes I know that other MCs will beat this, but as part of the overal package its good. Great for touring and scratching, it does everything that I want in a MC.

Strengths

Looks, performance, seating position, handling, sound.

Weaknesses

Hard seat - but otherwise the seating position is very good. OK'ish screen - easy enough to replace with an aftermarket one.

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Submitted by gearbox on Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:07

Overall Review

does it all but,with some faults{come on Kawasaki,get it right before you release}

Strengths

comfortable,good power range,handles ok with better tyres.

Weaknesses

crap pannier system,very bad fairing fittings,to clean air filter all fairings have to come off!!! crappy rear seat for a touring model

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Overall Review

Had CBR's, FZR'S, GSXR'S, Naked's, Hypersports..... This is the most accomplished all rounder I've ever owned.... Riding 20+ years and just looking for any excuse to get out.. 5000 miles old in 10 months and didn't ride for 6. LOVE IT...

Strengths

Ferociously quick motor.. Good riding position for day long fun. It can tour and does not bore to tears when the road opens up or tightens up for that matter... 170 mile Range. PRICE...

Weaknesses

Suspension is definitely budget end of the market. Is capable and fast, edge to edge on the tyres but is a little crude when pushing on.. Finish ain't Honda but then neither is the price tag.

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Build Quality
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Overall Review

The Ninja is a comfortable, agile, fast, machine. It has great torque and a nice top end. Steering is quick if it a bit twitchy as the handlebars let you know what the road surface is doing. It’s as comfortable in the tightest, twisty roads as it is on the open highway, flat-out. It falls right into tight turns and stands up again just as quickly. It may be heavier than other types of bikes but you would never know it unless you jump right off an R6. The brakes are good enough to do the job, but not so strong that they scare you. The windscreen is effective in it’s highest position though it hits me in the helmet (I’m 6’2”). During cold rides my hands suffer more from the cold than they did on my 2000 VFR. The stock seat-foam is in two parts to create a nesting effect and pushes you forward. I like to move around a lot, especially forwards and backwards and I’ll be replacing it. Minor issues: Neutral is hard to find. And when lowering the kickstand my boot catches the gearshift, throwing the bike into first.

Strengths

Great engine: Lots of torque and fast! Handling is great for any bike, very great for a big bike. Ergos are sporty-relaxed. Not at all cramped, even for a tall person (6'2"). It just pure fun to ride, anytime, anywhere.

Weaknesses

The seat foam is in 2 sections and pushes you forward and down. Neutral is way too hard to find. It's far easier to come to a complete stop when the bike will automatically find neutral from 1st or 2nd. The kickstand hook is too close to the gearshift. My boot keeps catching it and throwing the bike into first.

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