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Radical 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 Unveiled



The new Kawasaki Z1000 has “Sugomi” styling that, according to Kawasaki, invokes a “crouching predator”.  This is not just a styling exercise, however.

Sharing an engine with the new Ninja we recently tested, the new naked Z1000 gets a bump in usable power and refinement.  Other performance features are shared with the new Ninja 1000, including the awesome monobloc radial-mount front brake calipers that impressed us so much.

Here are all the details from Kawasaki:

 The “it” factor is hard to describe, but you always know it when you see it. Likewise, the new 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 has a hard-to-define “streetfighter” style that is impactful enough to ensure everyone knows they’re seeing something special. In a significant departure from the concealing bodywork of its sportbike predecessor, the new Z1000 strips-off unnecessary covers and bodywork to expose the superior functionality of its parts.

The Kawasaki Z design language has been elevated to a higher level with the new Z1000’s “Sugomi” styling.  From its seductively sculpted shapes invoking a crouching predator and painstaking details like its special “Z” logo ignition keys, machined aluminum steering stem bolt, and intricately textured “Z” motif seat cover, to the tighter tolerances of its high-quality components and bodywork, the dramatic result has a very special feel  that helps set the stage for the excitement to follow!

For 2014, Kawasaki engineers concentrated on making the Z1000 more potent and capable than ever.  Its extremely exciting inline-four produces the sort of power that launches you away from stops and out of corners in a way lesser powerplants simply can’t hope to match. The Z1000 engine produces strong, instant-on thrust that’s capable of embarrassing many hardcore sportbikes.


Z1000’s 1,043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve engine features revised intake cams that boost its low-to-midrange torque—where most street bikes spend their time. When the road opens up, this stylish streetfighter can better stretch its legs thanks to additional airbox vents and new cylinder connecting passageways that help strengthen mid-to-high RPM performance by improving breathing and reducing the pumping losses associated with displacing air inside the crankcase. The more pronounced growl of the intake at low-RPM and its intoxicating howl at full-song will put a smile on even the most jaded rider’s face. This engine’s responsive power allows it to excel at almost any street-going activity, be it playing around town, sport riding, or dispatching miles on the open road.

Four 38mm Keihin downdraft throttle bodies inject an ideal mix of fuel and air into each combustion chamber with help from an advanced ECU that’s been re-tuned to provide a livelier engine feel. An updated cool air intake system routes fresh air to the airbox via extra ducts at the front of the bike, and a new, non-woven air filter element provides better flow at high-RPM, while four equal-length velocity stacks help provide snappier throttle response to further increase the engine’s fun factor. Digital Timing Advance contributes to the increased low- and mid-range power, while spark plug-mounted ignition coils help ensure perfect timing for each cylinder.  It’s a perfect engine for a road-going sportbike – aggressive, powerful, flexible, and blessed with the legendary reliability associated with Kawasaki sportbikes.

Shorter overall gearing complements the more responsive engine to deliver astounding thrust at the rider’s command. However, a new, slightly taller 6th gear helps maintain reasonable RPM at highway speeds so comfort and economy don’t suffer when covering miles on a long ride.

A beautifully styled 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2 exhaust offers a pleasing growl that is well-matched to the more-aggressive tone of the Z1000’s intake system. A butterfly valve in the right-side muffler not only helps reduce noise, but also tunes exhaust back-pressure waves to help enhance low-rpm engine response.


The Z1000 features an advanced aluminum frame similar in design to the Ninja® ZX-10R superbike’s. The lightweight assembly curves over the engine, cradling it from above and bolting solidly to it in three places, with a rubber-backed fourth mount provided for added vibration isolation and torsional rigidity. This design allowed engineers to keep the bike’s waist narrow for superb rider interface and maximum comfort and control. The main frame and swingarm pivot pieces are cast as a single unit, with welds eliminated wherever possible for seamless aesthetics. Its new sub-frame tapers to a very shallow cross-section at the rear, allowing the bodywork to take-on an aggressive minimalist profile.

The wheels, brakes and suspension bits that allow this bike to move so gracefully and swiftly are truly state-of-the-art. Suspension is handled by a new fully adjustable 41mm inverted SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston) fork up front and a preload- and rebound-adjustable horizontal back-link shock in the rear. The single-shock system features a damper mounted nearly horizontally above the swingarm for optimal mass centralization and heat resistance. The gas/oil shock offers superb wheel control whether you’re hammering along deserted backroads or prowling across pothole-infested city streets.

Great looking new one-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer world-class power and feel. The ABS equipped disc brake system – 310mm petal-type front rotors squeezed by those ultra-rigid radially mounted “monobloc” calipers, is controlled by an equally race-spec radial pump master cylinder. The new, monobloc front calipers are machined from a single piece of aluminum delivering both increased caliper stiffness and reduced weight. Riders will love the responsive braking power and improved feel at the lever. A 250mm petal-type rotor and single-piston caliper provide good rear brake feel at the pedal for maximum finesse during aggressive riding. The power and feel of the brakes at both ends is amazing, providing supreme confidence when slowing the bike down from speed. The Z1000’s standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) promotes additional rider confidence when riding in slippery situations.

The wheels working with those brakes – lightweight six-spoke supersport-style units – are also the latest in lightweight production technology. They not only reduce unsprung mass, which allows the suspension to function optimally, but also carry the latest in radial tire technology. The result is superb grip, precise handling and reasonably long tread life.

The Z1000’s sculpted styling is easily its most stunning aspect. The thin, compact headlight housing was positioned as low as possible, extending the line that starts from the top of the tank. The new reflector-less LED headlight design is a first for Kawasaki.  It uses four LEDs that enable the housing to be shaped in a way that contributes to the more intense glare of the Z1000’s new face. All four long-life, low-energy LED bulbs: two low-beam (center), two high-beam (outside) illuminate when the high-beams are on, and a separate LED position lamp is located on the instrument cover.  Slim, futuristic looking radiator shrouds partially surround the Z1000’s powerful engine, and a new under-cowl further contributes to the aggressive image. The new slender tailsection bodywork is more compact than the previous Z1000 models, further contributing to the bike’s crouched-forward appearance.   The compact passenger pad was designed to integrate with the rider’s seat and gives the appearance of a solo-seat cover, adding to the sporty look of the new more-compact tail section. A new LED taillight design also adds a futuristic touch to the bike’s rear.


In keeping with its radical looks, the Z1000 offers a highly effective riding position. The wide, large-diameter aluminum handlebars offer great leverage for aggressive maneuvers, and the knurled metal footpegs grip the rider’s boots to provide a direct-connection to the chassis.   It all adds-up to the perfect cockpit for maximum agility without sacrificing real world comfort.

As a package, the Z1000’s engine and chassis are tuned to act more like European “streetfighter” models in both looks and feel.  This innovative bike marks a significant step forward, providing an overall experience that is very different from other Japanese motorcycles, a quicker, more direct feel that is sure to please experienced riders.


A large selection of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories is available through authorized Kawasaki dealers.

2014 Kawasaki Z1000

Features and Benefits

Key Features

  • NEW Uniquely aggressive “Sugomi” styling gives the Z1000 a distinct predatory look
  • UPGRADED 1,043cc inline-four with DFI® offers sharper response that enhances this engine’s already impressive mid-range and top-end power
  • NEW Showa Separate Function – Big Piston Fork (SFF-BP) offers light weight, easy adjustability and excellent wheel control to cope with the high forces associated with aggressive riding
  • NEW One-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer superb braking power and control, along with a premium laser-etched Kawasaki logo and black alumite finish
  • NEW Supersport-style 6-spoke lightweight aluminum wheels contribute to the Z1000’s sporty image while reducing rotating inertia and saving approximately 3.3 lbs. of unsprung weight
  • NEW Shorter final-drive gearing provides quicker response and enhanced riding excitement, while a new taller 6th gear helps maintain highway comfort
  • NEW Analog + Digital instrument cluster includes a large tachometer and a digital display offering a wealth of information on current bike conditions and settings
  • NEW Compact subframe design is more slender and shorter to match the new styling
  • Upright “streetfighter” riding position provides excellent leverage on the controls for maximum maneuverability, coupled with a commanding view of the urban jungle

DOHC, 16-valve, 1,043cc Engine

  • 1,043cc liquid-cooled inline-four offers true open-class power from idle to redline
  • NEW Cylinder connecting passageways reduce pumping losses and improve mid-to-high  RPM performance
  • NEW Intake cams provide improved low-to-midrange torque for instant thrust and maximum rider satisfaction
  • NEW More-aggressive ECU settings provide sharper throttle response
  • Bore and stroke dimensions of 77.0 x 56.0mm offer an ideal balance of peak power and low- and mid-range flexibility
  • 38mm Keihin throttle bodies cram the air/fuel mixture directly into combustion chambers via downdraft intakes for maximum power
  • Oval sub-throttles help keep the engine slim, and a slim midsection allows an ideal bike/rider interface for maximum comfort and control
  • Engine’s rev limiter comes into play “softly,” providing usable overrev character because power doesn’t drop off suddenly at high RPM
  • The engine’s relatively low crankshaft position allows a moderately long stroke without adding engine height
  • A secondary engine balancer, driven off a gear on the sixth web of the crankshaft, eliminates excess vibration and contributes to rider comfort
  • NEW Shorter final-drive gearing provides quicker acceleration and enhanced riding excitement, while a new taller 6th gear helps maintain highway comfort

Digital Ignition

  • Digital Timing Advance enhances low- and mid-range power
  • Individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each of the four spark plugs independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder
  • ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up

UPGRADED Cool Air System

  • Intake system routes cool air to the airbox via ducts in the fairing, minimizing performance loss due to heated intake air
  • UPGRADED Airbox features additional atmospheric intakes to further enhance the engine’s intoxicating intake howl
  • NEW Non-woven air filter element provides better flow for enhanced high-RPM performance
  •  REVISED Velocity stacks are now equal-length and provide improved throttle response and a more exciting engine character
  • Intake ducts are positioned close to the rider to allow the intake howl to be heard and enjoyed

UPGRADED Exhaust System

  • The exhaust system features a 4-into-2-pre-chamber-into-2 layout to provide ample silencer volume without requiring excess bulk in the rear mufflers
  • NEW Oval-shaped connector tubes are larger than last year’s round tubes and help improve engine response for heightened excitement at all rpms
  • Main and pre-catalyzers help ensure clean emissions
  • A butterfly valve in the right-side muffler not only helps reduce noise, but also tunes exhaust back-pressure waves to help enhance low-rpm engine response
  • NEW Brushed-metal finish on the silencers provides enhanced visual appeal
  • Exhaust system offers excellent mass centralization and contributes to a low center of gravity

NEW Larger Fuel Tank

  • NEW 4.5 gallon (17L) fuel tank offers increased range
  • Radical shape and two-tone finish complement the Z1000’s new Sugomi-inspired styling
  • UPGRADED Slim-type fuel pump features an integral fuel level sensor with enhanced accuracy for 2014

NEW Monobloc ABS Brakes with Petal-type Rotors

  • NEW One-piece “monobloc” radial-mount front brake calipers offer superb braking power and control, along with a premium quality look from their laser-etched Kawasaki logo and black alumite finish
  • Opposed four-piston radial-mount monobloc calipers with differentiated diameter (32mm upper, and 30mm lower) pistons provide excellent feel and progressive braking response
  • A radial-pump front brake master cylinder contributes to the superb control and feel offered by these high-end monobloc calipers
  • NEW ABS pump features a fluid pressure sensor that allows more precise control of line pressures and also provides data to the ECU to help suppress rear lift under braking
  • A low-battery mode helps preserve ABS effectiveness when the battery charge is low. (although riders may notice that ABS operation is less smooth than in normal mode)
  • Petal-type 310mm front brake rotors are full-on sportbike hardware
  • NEW pad compound has a higher coefficient of friction that contributes to the enhanced power and sensitivity
  • A single-piston rear caliper grips a 250mm petal-type disc. This compact caliper is mounted below the swingarm, and located by a torque rod

Aluminum Backbone Frame

  • Aluminum backbone frame is similar in concept to the Ninja ZX-10R’s, and helps make the bike narrow and easy to grip with the knees for maximum rider comfort and feedback
  • The frame is lightweight and highly rigid, and uses the engine as a stressed member for solid handling and optimum stability
  • Frame elements are tuned to transmit optimal engine feedback to the rider
  • The frame uses four engine mounts, three of which are rigid, one of which (the upper rear crankcase mount) is rubber
  • NEW Compact subframe design is more slender and shorter to match the new styling
  • The sub-frame is an example of form and function combined, negating the need for side covers and allowing underseat narrowness for a shorter reach to the ground

NEW Separate Function Fork – Big Piston: (SFF-BP)

  • New SFF-BP fork combines the features of Showa’s big piston and separate function forks, featuring springs on both sides, with dedicated preload adjustability in the left tube and dedicated damping pistons and adjustability in the right tube
  • Big Piston design provides smooth action during the initial part of the stroke and contributes to excellent feel during heavy braking.  The large-diameter damper piston is much bigger than those used in traditional “cartridge” forks
  • Big Piston design allows the fork oil to act on a much larger surface area, so the damping pressure can be reduced without compromising effectiveness.  Reducing the damping pressure allows the slider to react more smoothly, which is especially noticeable during the initial part of the stroke.  The result is greater control as the fork begins to compress and very calm response during braking-induced weight-transfer, for greater chassis stability on corner entry
  • Fork settings were tuned to cope with the extreme forces of aggressive use, while still providing a comfortable ride
  • SFF-BP design offers easy adjustability, by locating all adjusters in the caps at the top of the two fork tubes: preload on the left; compression and rebound damping on the right.

Horizontal Back-Link Rear Suspension

  • Rear suspension design positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm where it’s less exposed to exhaust heat and contributes to mass centralization
  • Stepless rebound damping adjuster allows damping characteristics to be tuned to match changes in spring preload and/or loads

Rider Interface

  • NEW A wide, large-diameter solid-mount tubular aluminum handlebar contributes to the Z1000’s quality, top-shelf feel
  • Double-taper grips, like those used on supersport models, offer a more direct feel than traditional designs
  • NEW Intricately textured seat cover features a distinct Z-logo pattern
  • Ninja ZX-10R-style footpegs with knurled surfaces offer good grip, direct feel and control, and purposeful looks

NEW Instrumentation

  • NEW Extremely compact dual-element digital instrumentation keeps the front of the motorcycle as compact and unobtrusive as possible, making the bike almost disappear from the rider’s field of vision
  • NEW Dual element bar-graph tachometer with 0-4,000 rpm indicated vertically along the left edge of the lower display and a larger 4,000rpm+ tachometer filling the entire horizontal upper display
  • NEW LCD functions include ABS and Economical Riding (ECO) indicators
  • Additional LCD functions include a unique digital speedometer, odometer, dual trip meter, clock, instant and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, and low-fuel warning lamps

2014 Kawasaki Z1000 Specifications*

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 / 4.0 in.
Frame type: Aluminum Backbone
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.5 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41 mm inverted SFF-BP fork with stepless compression and rebound damping and spring preload adjustability / 4.7 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, remotely adjustable spring preload / 4.8 in.
Front brakes: Dual 310mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston monobloc calipers and ABS
Rear brake: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper and ABS
Overall length: 80.5 in.
Overall width: 31.1 in.
Overall height: 41.5 in.
Seat height: 32.1 in.
Curb weight: 487.3 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Color choices: Golden Blazed Green / Metallic Graphite Gray
MSRP: $11,999
Warranty: 12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus: 12, 24, 36, and  48 month plans are available
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.9950 Jeronimo RoadIrvine, California 92618




*Specifications are subject to change. Media are encouraged to visit for most current specifications.


  1. ROBBIE RADEL says:


  2. Mikej says:

    Look at the wheelbase and weight
    This will be so blistering fast on any swervy rode it will not matter what it looks like. You won’t be able to make that out anyway.

  3. davidex400 says:

    a Barbie doll wouldn’t be comfortable on that “pillion” if that’s what it is…. im sorry I like function over form, but this just may be too ugly

  4. Exunt says:

    The Reptile Queen approves of this bike.

  5. Hevace says:

    The previous version was a “maybe” for me. This is “No F*#@%}& Way!” Seriously, look at that seat. That horrible, horrible seat.

  6. Motorhead says:

    Mommy, that bike is scaring me!
    Don’t worry son, your daddy will handle it.

  7. Anti-NormG says:

    Perhaps it takes the Japanese designer to understand that, in a world so overcrowded with, well, everything and everyone, it takes a bold statement to a. get noticed, and b. appear progressive. IMHO, that’s my take on the thinking behind the styling of this bike. I’m a huge Kawasaki fan, but I can’t deny this is a wretched looking machine made to appeal to those who undoubtedly want to turn heads just for the sake of capturing others’ attention.

    • Doug says:

      I’m a Kawasaki fan as well, and agree with the spirit of you’re comment. The bike might actually look better in the real, but right now the photos have me feeling sad. I would point out it’s the headlight thing that is trying WAY too hard. The rest is looking good. Maybe the headlight things are the new “codpiece” of the euro street fighter scene.

      • jake says:

        This bike is ahead of its time. I suspect it is a forerunner for future similar designs to come. Does Kawi pull it off? Sort of. Like the animal look, but if that dang headlight was just a little shorter, more compact and less droopy booby, that slight change I suspect would make a world of difference.

        Also, no problem with the muffs, but change them out with something that is longer and leaner and the look improves. It helps to complete the viper look.

        I don’t think this bike will be a sales failure.

  8. eUROLISM says:

    Euronese must COPY again soon…

  9. Sean says:


  10. viktor92 says:

    Really ugly

  11. Pablo says:

    It is not for everybody. But I like it. It is distinctive and not a cookie-cutter sport bike.

  12. jim says:

    I suppose you could describe a toad waiting for an insect to fly by as a” crouching predator”, but it’s still a toad.

    • jake says:

      Come on, you are being too harsh. Look at the tapered tail, look at the green strip from front all the way to the back, look at the scaly seat. It’s supposed to be a snake, a viper.

      Now you could say a snake on top of a toad waiting for a fly, but to say it is simply a toad is just not fair.

  13. AFW says:

    They should’ve called it the T1000.. T for Terminator. Very forward design, not for everyone.

    • jake says:

      Actually, the longer I look at this bike, the more it is growing on me. I guess my inner Vanilla Ice is starting to come out.

  14. Dai says:

    Is this naked version for Europe only? Very nice looking bike. I like the shape and styling. Very muscular looking. Love the power even more. I will test ride this at Long Beach show, if not available, will try Ninja 1000.

  15. Les says:

    Remember when bikes used to have headlights instead of sculpted plastic alien heads? Ah, yeah, good times they were.

    • jake says:

      Did Halloween already pass? Well anyway, close enough. It was release at the appropriate time.

  16. Crazy Shamus says:

    Well, it’s obvious someone here has bike envy issues. But that’s ok because we all do to some degree which is why we look at this website. I will confess I am an owner of one of those red, hot Italian bikes (I got a good chuckle out of the “over the hill” comment thank you). I never had any intention of buying one because I don’t care about popular names and labels and frankly didn’t really know they had a reputation (Yes, I was out of touch with the motorbike world). I stumbled upon and bought a Multistrada because it was the only bike on the planet that offered a balance of what I wanted/needed. I paid a premium for it, but holy S#6t it’s been a phenomenal motorbike and worth the extra cost hands down.

    As for the Z, I am bit biased as our friend below is. I’ve owned a Ninja 750 and loved it and have always had liking for Kawa sport bikes. As for the Z, it seems to be that you either love or hate them. I happen to think this new bike looks awesome and sounds like it should ride awesome! I might even have to make a trip down to the Long Beach International motorcycle show to test ride one for the fun of it.

  17. JonL says:

    Just keeps getting fuglier and fuglier……..

  18. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    That’s what it is..they replaced the headlight with a snapping turtles’ head.

  19. Superlight says:

    A Japanese version of the Ducati Streetfighter, but with Transformer overtones. No thanks.

    • KAWZIES says:

      Yeah. Ok. Ducatis are European so they’re somehow better. You couldn’t pay me to buy a Ducati with it’s higher priced maintenence and price, fragile parts and butt ugly L-twin engine. People get all hot for them because they’re Italian and red but this bike makes them look 2 decades over the hill. I’ve owned 2 “Z”s and they are rock solid dependable and fast as hell. This is a Japanese version of a very hot motorcycle-not those lumps of crap from Italy.
      They are their own machines with they’re own unique styling. “japanese version of the Ducati streetfighter”-what a load of crap. The streetfightwer (stupid name) came out in 2009. The modern Kaw Z’s came out in 2003. Who’s copying who?

      • Neutron73 says:

        Agreed. Ducati gets “props” from the press because they are red and Italian, yet are not innovative or standout for anything. The last Ducati I liked was the 999, and it has been downhill ever since. I’ve never owned one (I’m a Kawasaki guy (owned 4)) and I think this thing is….interesting. Definitely not run-of-the-mill, and I have to say I am equal parts intrigued and taken aback. I’d prolly buy it because at the end of the day, it does present an interesting case of unique styling and what appears to be ridiculous performance.

  20. Doc says:

    No matter the angle, it still looks like something the cat left in the litter box.

  21. BOSCOE says:

    Fugly Speedracer styling.
    I’m so over this.
    How about something quick, fast, lightweight and good-looking?

    • Jim H. says:

      +1 on the styling making me barf, said the 50 year old zrx1200 rider who would love for this to be something so very different.

    • halfbaked says:

      I so over fugly as a descriptive adjective. If you really don’t like it that much then why don’t you just so instead of trying to sanitizize it and turn it into something other then what it is: a harsh, ugly word that leaves absolutely no room for misunderstanding that you are trying to characterize something in the most brutal and extreme manner. So if that is what you mean then say it instead substituting the Hello Kitty version.

  22. Yoyodyne says:

    For all of our collective grousing, it’s worth noting that the Ninja 1000 ABS has more conventional (I’d say very attractive) styling, is more versatile, weighs only 22 pounds more and has the exact same price. So kudos to Kawasaki I guess for giving people good options.

    • VLJ says:

      Ninja 1000 = much less goofy-looking, same basic mechanicals, larger fuel tank, decent wind-protection, superior passenger accommodations, and optional hard luggage.

      Yep, seems like a no-brainer.

  23. jp says:

    UGLY…. they should have released the zrx1200daeg instead of this….

  24. Michael H says:

    I’m going to make a radical statement here.

    I’ll bet that is a really, really fun bike to ride. Sweet Kawi engine, great transmission and brakes, good handling, decent suspenders. Get on it and head for the countryside and have a blast with it.

    Ducks and covers.

    • starmag says:

      There’s nothing radical at all about what you said Michael. I don’t think there’s any doubt this is a fun, reliable, high performance motorcycle. Despite all of Kawasaki’s proud acronym-laden features, (DTA,SFF-bp,ECO, DVD,RCA,NBC, etc…), the majority of the conversation here is about STYLING. It will always matter, regardless of the underlying specifications. That is, the ability of a bike to get me to turn around to look at it one last time after I park it. It will always be somewhat different things to different people,(some folks probably think Bkings are beautiful),but to me this style is not only unattractive, but played out as well. History won’t be kind, but time will tell. I perceive a future business opportunity in round headlight kits.

    • Gary says:

      I agree 100 percent. And it really doesn’t look THAT bad (my opinion). But when a Kawi exec says it looks like a crouching predator, he deserves a bit of blow-back.

      Being a registered Old Phart, I pine for the cafe racer days. To me, a high-performance bike doesn’t look right without some kind of bikini fairing.

      But that’s just me.

      • mickey says:

        gary you have to understand Japanese culture to know the Japanese think like that. Read the report from the stylist who designed the CB 1100. He also said that sport bikes look like animals about to pounce and went on to explain why the CB 1100 didn’t look like that. To the Japanese how something is perceived is more important that it is to us. Sometimes it seems like fantasy, the things they say, but a lot of Japanese culture is bathed in fantasy. It’s just how they think.

        • halfbaked says:

          Thanks for that in depth analysis of Japans cultural idiosyncrasies. Did you acquire this extensive knowledge watching reruns of Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. Also why would they market a bike in the US with concepts geared towards the home audience.

          • mickey says:

            I read and comprehend. You should give it a try.

          • mickey says:

            And to answer your question, this is not designed for the home audience, it is designed for us, by engineers who BELIEVE we will like it because it looks like an animal about to pounce. Symbolism .

        • Gary says:

          That explains why my Asian wife keeps calling me a crouching a$$hole.

        • halfbaked says:

          Actually animal analogies are pretty standard in automotive and motorcycle design regardless of what country they originate from and to what degree their culture is bathed in fantasy.

  25. Gutterslob says:

    The hunchback of Sugomi Dame

  26. 74WaterBuffalo says:

    All that origami and yet the turn signals are old school. What?

  27. 74WaterBuffalo says:

    More is… well much less in this case. Origami meets transformer.

    Looks like Picasso painted a frog. Uoooglyy.

  28. CMoses says:

    Why the long face Kawi?

    That certainly made the Ninja 1000 look a LOT better…. Too much influence from the UK and Japanese tuners with the stink bug rear end and Transformers face headlight pod. That was clearly not designed for the US.

  29. Jay says:

    I prefer/need a flat seat, like a Bonneville or something. I don’t know why they make the seats such an untenable shape.

  30. Randy says:

    Radical? Nothing new here – this is Kawasaki doing what Kawasaki does – wraps a competent chassis around a great motor and rolls it in glitter.

    487 pounds curb is so last decade, and in my state of jaded old age decrepitude unacceptable.

    I don’t really care about styling anymore, I want a bulletproof slim 400 pound bike with plush suspension and normal ergos (not a Multi – had one of those!). Yamaha has seen the light!

  31. red says:

    With the “arched back” and low flat headlight nacelle, looks like a snake about to strike.. To my eye, the headlight is what really hurts it. Something half normal looking there would make all the difference.

    Pretty clear the manufacturers are going after the younger crowd with these funky designs. who cares what us old farts think.

  32. ScooterMama says:

    Marvelous work of art. Love looking at it. Would never buy it. Ever. Reminds me of highly stylized choppers — OOO, look, beautiful lines, very pretty — but a crap motorcycle.

  33. Norm G. says:

    like the 1300 KTM, it’s got that whole scoliosis/”broke back mountain” styling thing going on.

    • Dave says:

      In the case of the Kawi, it’s their over-the-head frame design and squeezing the airbox narrower. Not sure why on KTM.

  34. HARRYISCOOL says:

    With my height of 5’4″ and inseam of 34″ this bike is perfect for me.

    • Tom R says:

      Oh my word, sounds like a carnival freak. But this is about what this bike seems designed for.

  35. CURBEATER says:

    Remember the 1998 R1 anybody? They also said it was ugly and all, it was the best selling bike ever. It’s not ugly this bike, it’s new and 75% of you will buy one in the end be honest.

    • VLJ says:

      Practically no one described the original red and white ’98 R1 as ugly. That thing was universally hailed as gorgeous. It’s still the prettiest of all the R1’s.

      And 75% of this crowd here at MD couldn’t even agree to breathe air in the same way, much less actually go out and purchase the same motorcycle.

      • mickey says:

        VLJ says:
        November 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

        And 75% of this crowd here at MD couldn’t even agree to breathe air in the same way, much less actually go out and purchase the same motorcycle.

        Lol, I’m not in charge of such things, but that has to be the post of the day…and sooooo true!

  36. Tom Shields says:

    Some folks been drinkin’ too much Haterade lately.

  37. ApriliaRST says:

    The only thing worse than controversial styling is bland styling that tries appealing to everyone.

    “Has no soul”? Umm… usually having soul means “has big flaws but I like it for when it works”.

    Personally, I “get” the styling of this bike although standard bikes with high speed capabilities and no storage don’t cut it for me. This bike will sell in numbers sufficient to justify it’s release.

  38. mickey says:

    All I can say is your passenger must have a tiny tush, and will have to be the type willing to get cozy. I had to look close and yep, there are passenger pegs.

    • starmag says:

      Ageed. From at least the ’40’s to the ’80’s decent passenger accomodations were a forgone conclusion on most bikes even down to 100cc. Do the manufacturers perceive us as getting more self-centered? That is, willing to torture our passengers as long as we look cool? Apparently so.

  39. Mike says:

    I love bikes, always have. Love new technology probably more than most. But am I a very large minority here in saying most all motorcycles these have lost soul?

    Honda Hawk 650GT, Certain VFR750’s, The VMAX, 916 or the Monster! These bikes had soul. What has soul now? Maybe the FZ-08? But if you have to question it, it doesn’t have it. What bike(s) will show show soul?

    • sl says:

      This is a good question. I will have an answer in the morning….sometime tomorrow. If someone out there has an answer becareful, we are limited if we reply to a reply to a reply.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      I’ve owned my Hawk GT for 22 years, and agree with you, finding another bike with comparable soul has been difficult. Tried a 2001 VFR800, 2003 SV650, both great bikes but lacking that little something extra.

      But I have a feeling an Aprilia Tuono V4 R might just do the trick (can’t justify spending that much dough, though).

    • Blackcayman says:

      There’s an FZ-08???

  40. Spider says:

    Thank you very much…the last few days have been so exciting reading about the new bikes and looking at all the pics. You all do a great job. As an “older coot” it brings a smile to me to see all the choices we “old coots” have but mainly to see what the new generation of riders have to choose from today! It really is remarkable to have such high quality bikes to ogle after. Just like in life tho, you have to try and filter out the negative naysaying picky people lurking in these pages. Don’t let them rain on your… bike dreaming!!!

  41. beasty says:


  42. TimC says:

    This makes the new BMW naked look like a first-gen Monster.

  43. Brent says:

    At least I’ve learned the proper Japanese word for the style, “sugomi”. Before I just had to call it “gratuitously hideous”.

  44. dino says:

    i like the looks, specs, even the exhaust cans and color… but the headlight ‘fairing’ i just can not understand. many comments about people loving it, so it must be good styling (when it is so polarizing).

    it would be tempting to throw an old round headlight bucket on there, or maybe an old 1980’s rectangular headlight from a Honda nighthawk 700S??

  45. Hot Dog says:

    Way cool! I like the thinking out of the box.

  46. Gabe says:

    I generally look down on folks who make nasty, snarky comments about motorcycle styling on discussion boards, but…the headlight looks like saggy old-lady boobs. It’s just true.

    • dino says:

      now we know why many bikes have beaks now… it acts like a support (underwire?) to keep the headlights from sagging like that after years of hard livin’!

      also takes your attention from the exhaust cans. maybe, those cans are starting to look good to me now…

  47. RENDELL says:

    I think this is the best looking naked motorcycle on the market, period. I am impressed. I am eagerly waiting the Motorcyce Daily first ride and review.

    • VLJ says:

      1. How old are you?

      2. To borrow NormG’s favorite expression, will you actually get off the dime and write a $12,000-ish check to buy one?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I can’t say it is the best looking naked on the market, but I like the look a lot. I’d probably write the $14K-ish check for the new Monster first, though.

  48. VLJ says:

    Does anyone else here get the feeling that Kawasaki may not have a very keen grasp on their prospective market? Seriously, what group of riders has always been responsible for the vast majority of liter-class naked bike sales? Adults, that’s who. And by “adults,” I don’t merely mean legal-drinking-age adults either. No, we’re talking mid-thirties on up; specifically, guys in their forties on up. And what do these adults almost universally loathe?

    This kind of overdone, goofy, cartoonish styling. Adults who ride liter-class nakeds typically want classic, handsome, ballsy styling. They won’t be caught dead on something that looks like it came out of a Tokyo gumball machine.

    • Dave says:

      It wasn’t very long ago when 20-something’s made more money and could get easy financing to buy bikes like this. I don’t know who they plan to sell this to. It’s a Ninja 1000 without a fairing, not a zx10r.

      • VLJ says:

        Exactly, Dave. Who will Kawasaki sell this to? The late teens/twenty-something kid in Icon gear who will appreciate the crazy styling of this thing is still committed to riding ZX-6Rs and ZX-10Rs. His father with the ZRX-1200 Eddie Lawson Replica is the target market for this bike, only dad just shakes his head in bewilderment at this sort of anime-styled nonsense.

        • Yoyodyne says:

          Yep, you got it exactly right. Reminds me of when Honda sold the VFR800 with an Asphalt paint job, totally wrong for the target demographic.

    • jake says:

      Inner city kids don’t need jobs to make money and they probably don’t need much financing either. They pay upfront with cash.

      Congrats to Kawi for noticing and responding to a long ignored demographic group – pimps and drug dealers. Hey, if Harley can target and sell to turban wearing Hindu’s in India, then Kawi can sell to hustling inner city kids. Which one seems less crazy and out of place?

      • VLJ says:

        Step off, j-nizzle. We already gots the pimps and hustlers tip down cold, yo. Check your station. Playas don’t represent on whack-azz naked rides. – Slammed and blinged Busas and ZX-14s everywhere

  49. Don Fraser says:

    Will sit on sales floor longer than the last version, eventually Kaw will offer a big price cut

    • Yoyodyne says:

      Blow it out at $9500 and I would be all over it, ugly paint or no.

    • starmag says:

      “Will sit on sales floor longer than the last version, eventually Kaw will offer a big price cut”

      Yep, offer up a naked bike with polarizing styling admired by few, then using circular logic claim that nakeds don’t sell in America, while Europe and Japan buy up the GSX1400, FJ1300 and CB1300. I wonder how the traditionally styled CB1100 is selling. I’ve seen new prices on adhuntr of $9k.
      This would have been so much better with just a round headlight and a standard exhaust can.
      But I guess that wouldn’t be “rad” enough.

  50. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    WTF Japan?

    Then again, the new speed triple is Godawful ugly as well…

    I guest ugly sells (I know, I ride a V-strom)

  51. takehikes says:

    uh, OK. Naked? Remove the yards of plastic hiding all kinds of shit then it would be naked. I’ll pass.

  52. Dan says:

    Man that is one ugly bike

  53. Blackcayman says:

    can’t the headlamps be even smaller and lower, like down by the brake calipers?

    …guess I’m getting old. The styling seems like a Transformers Toy. That being said, I could actually ride the new Yamaha FZ-09, althought everyone knows I’m waiting for the FJR-09.

    Next year I can officially get an “Old Guys Rule” t-shirt when I turn 50

  54. quickstop says:

    From the front it looks pissed off.

  55. Yoyodyne says:

    I guess tank bags are out of the question…

  56. starmag says:

    Quasimoto, is that you?

  57. Yoyodyne says:

    That’s the only color option, deal-killer for me right there.

  58. iliketoeat says:

    That looks like a pimply 13-year-old boy’s idea of a “cool” motorcycle. No, thanks.

    I like designs where form follows function, and this is the opposite of that. There is no reason for all these crazy shape, other than just a designer’s feverish imagination. That just does not look good.

  59. Gary says:

    It’s crouching, alright … and about to take a dump.

  60. The_Duck says:

    What a great looking bike!!..amazing..this statement is non negotiable!.

    • jake says:

      If you are from the wild and wooly inner city, then Sugomi translates into “so cool”.

      If from the suburbs and domesticated like me, then Sugomi translates into “so ugly”.

      If I bought this bike, I’d be afraid the new organic looking headlight would eventually grow little arms and legs and walk away.

  61. Dave says:

    Meh.. I think all of the brands are getting too far away from “naked”. With that many body elements I think I’d rather have some wind protection too. I liked the original orange one.

    • Cory says:

      Yeah, My definition of “naked bike” usually revolves around the ability to remove at least one spark plug without touching bodywork. The second generation Tuono started this trend, I think.

  62. VLJ says:

    “Giant robot, attack!”

  63. John says:

    It actually looks deformed.

  64. randy says:

    I see footpegs,but no rear seat?

  65. PN says:

    I like it, especially the color scheme. It looks distinctive.

  66. Tom Shields says:

    A video and more pics are up on

  67. Tom Shields says:

    Holy crap, that thing looks brutal from every angle. Love it.

  68. Hateraide says:

    $12K MSRP! OUCH!

  69. TexinOhio says:

    Love it love it love it! Then again I never want to have the same thing as the general crowd does in any fashion. Friend of mine sent me the press release this morning and the front headlight assembly looks like the top half of a Terminator metal skull or Batmans cowl. Very angry looking, then again another coworker said it looked like a grass hopper so either way…

  70. roadrash1 says:

    I can’t wait until this phase of headlight design is behind us.

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