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Kawasaki Announces New Z1000 R for European Market


Earlier today, Kawasaki announced a new “R” version of the Z1000 naked for the European market. Upgraded brakes and suspension are part of the package. Here is a press release issued by Kawasaki UK:

With its unique Sugomi design philosophy and a reputation for being among the most authentic Supernaked machines currently available, the standard Z1000 has just been joined for 2017 by the stunning Z1000 R Edition.

Fully Euro4 compliant and sacrificing none of the power and performance of previous models, the Z1000 R Edition takes the combination of aggressive styling and incredible rider-focussed Kawasaki engineering to another level.

Equipped with braking and suspension components of the highest order, the R Edition has an evocative, menacing Metallic Spark Black and Metallic Graphite Grey colour scheme that is underpinned by a special graphic package complete with yellow-green accents, seat material embossed with the Z logo and further individual touches adding to an incredible visual appearance.


Catching the eye too are 310mm Brembo floating front disc rotors with lateral grooves for heat dissipation acted on by state-of-the-art Brembo M50 calipers supplied by stainless steel braided brake lines.

Handling care of an ร–hlins S46DR1S rear shock is made easily adjustable thanks to a remote pre-load adjuster. Combined with revised front fork settings and a modified rear suspension linkage ratio, the handling of the Z1000 R Edition is both more refined and responsive.


In terms of electronics, revised ECU settings account for smoother power delivery while a digital gear position indicator is augmented by and an adjustable shift-up light which illuminates the rev counter display as the desired ratio change speed is achieved.

Already a highly respected and inviting machine, the announcement of the Z1000 R Edition will delight those fans of naked streetfighter class machines that like their ride to be refined yet raw.


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Provologna says:

    I can think of few things that could possibly make this bike look uglier.

  2. Mr.Mike says:

    Looks like the beak-on-the-front style has been replaced with a snake head. I guess that’s better than a pig snout or elephant trunk.

  3. billy says:

    Not a naked. It’s got bodywork around the headlight, the frame, and radiator. Geez.

  4. paul246 says:

    I’m an old fart (62yo) rider and I personally feel this bikes looks as bad-ass as it really is and I would be proud to own and ride it.

  5. Doc says:

    My thought is this. Being a Honda guy for the most part, before the CB1100F was released here, I tried to convince myself the CB1000R was the way to go. Especially since I didn’t think the 1100F would come here. And I didn’t want a CBR. So I looked at youtube. There was a guy in Spain I think with a Blue Flame slip-on on his and it howled. Sounded great. Sat on it in the showroom. Very comfortable. But the styling I couldn’t get past. Similar to this bike. Digital gages. Origami styling. Can’t get into it. Handling wise, performance wise they may be fantastic. But I still have to look at it. This bike and bikes like it don’t grab me. My 1100F does. I smile looking at it and feel good about it being in my garage. This bike, the 1000R, and others like them just don’t do it for me. IMHO they won’t age well. That is sad because otherwise I’m sure they are great bikes.

    • PN says:

      Ah, I go on how a bike makes me feel while riding it. But then how it looks has some effect on how you feel when riding it and then how you feel about it. I found the original droopy headlight on the Versys a little off-putting but then I bought one and grew to like it and I really loved that bike. So it’s more complicated than looks alone or feel alone because they interact. I still prefer how a bike looks first because that will the most effect on how I feel about it. The more I look at this Z1000 in black, the more the lines flow together. To me, it’s a good design and I’d love to get one.

    • slipjoint says:

      I agree, one of the best parts of any ride is walking up to a good looking motorcycle, and looking back as you walk away after. Just like a romance, it can happen with function over looks, but it’s long term when you have both.

      • Selecter says:

        I have to smile when I read assertions like this, because my experience has been 100% opposite.

        I would turn around to look at my V11 LeMans. But man, what a piece of crap. I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

        If I painted some black spots on my white Super Tenere, I’m pretty sure I’d have some farmer trying to milk it within a few hours. It’s the best bike I’ve had so far (of fourteen) and I can’t wait to get back on it. I do not intend on getting rid of it, ever, for any reason at all. It is *definitely* the first bike I’ve had that I can say that for.

        So, I am one that couldn’t give two damns about the looks. My best bikes have been the ugliest. I’d gladly give this Z1000 its fair shake. And I certainly don’t yearn for a certain bike just because of looks. It’s how, even with two dealers nearby, I still don’t own an MV Agusta. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Chris says:

    Some riders buy based on what a motorcycle does, not how it looks. A Scottsman once told me, “Ya nivver look at the mantlepiece when ya’r pokin’ the fire.” That can apply to motorcycles as well, I’d venture.

  7. Don says:

    My XDiavel has the droopy headlight look but the air coming over the top at highway speeds is really smooth – and the wind isn’t pushing on me too hard either.

    • TexinOhio says:

      That’s another great bike that I’ve done some long term demo tests with and actually would be a bike I would trade the Z1K for.

      Beautiful bike that does not conform to the norm.

  8. Norm G. says:

    fwiw if you can get past the looks and remember these are “dynamic conveyances” this Zed sounds AMAZING with an exhaust fitted. had the pleasure of encountering a rider last year while out on a push bike, and admittedly it spun my head around. more of a blur really, but it was one of the year or 2 older models sporting K-heavy’s metallic green paint. I heard it approach well in advance of seeing it. this is one of those “intangible metrics” that ranks pretty high up in my “intellectual food chain” so if “stealth” is your goal…? (and there’s nothing wrong with that) let’s just say your search continues.

  9. ben says:

    ugly headlight is a deal breaker regardless of power and spec level. yuck

    • slipjoint says:

      since the light housing doesn’t seem to have integrated the instrument panel I think you would have a decent chance of another headlight and signal mount. But that tail, there just isn’t much to be done with that. They should just make them solos.

  10. Krisd says:

    Front = limp dick

    Nuf said…..

  11. Bob says:

    The headlight “pod” is the new beak.

  12. Mgood3Mgood3 says:

    You know I have no desire to learn anything more about this bike. It looks like a big frickin bug. What is wrong with those Japanese designers? Are they on some kind of drugs or something?

  13. TexinOhio says:

    As an actual owner of a 2014 I have to step in and defend the Z1K. It’s an amazing bike for general street use. I ride it to work with a gas cap mount tank bag, and can run softside saddle bags is I so choose.

    At 5’6″ with a 28″ inseam the bike sits me perfect. My shortish arms put me in a “semi-tuck” with wind not ever an issue. At 200 pounds my friend whos also a service tech set up the suspension with me over a day of riding Ohio back roads to sort it out perfectly.

    It’s very balanced in power and handling and never seems to get finicky no matter what I’m putting it through. ABS is the only “trick” feature but I’ve never seen a need for all the bells and whistles from the more pricey naked.

    The head lights are the best I’ve ever seen and the low slung assembly lights the road very well with the high beams really giving a much stronger distance view.

    Overall its a great bike it just looks weird according to some here and people that see it in person.

    I had a 2003 and got the 2014 as soon as the dealer had one. It’s not for the people who like the standard look or the cookie cutter look either. It has it’s own unique look but overall it’s a great quality dependable bike.

    • ROXX says:

      That’s exactly what makes this bike so sad.
      It performs wonderfully but looks so unGodly!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Overall its a great bike it just looks weird according to some here and people that see it in person”

      as they say “hearing is believing”.

      wait, that’s not what “they” say…? (aw crap)

  14. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    Maybe it looks better in person, but I’m not real keen on the headlight/housing so low down on the front fork. Certainly useless in terms of breaking the wind.

    Other than that it looks like it would be a lot of fun. The Ninja 1000 would probably suit me better.

    And yeah, putting on a bottom of the line Ohlins shock with limited adjustability is not much of an upgrade, suspension-wise, although even a base Ohlins is probably still a fair bit better than the average shock put on most production bikes – probably a larger shaft, more sophisticated damping, etc. No compression damping adjustment is too bad, though. I’ve had a true fully-adjustable aftermarket shock on one of my bikes, and the flexibility of being able to tune it to give just the kind of ride you want is great. Better ride comfort and control at the same time.

  15. yellowhammer says:

    What do you guys do with these type bikes that Dirk keeps showcasing? Your girlfriend cant ride on it with you. You cant carry anything with you or stash anything anywhere on it. You’re legs bent over into a continual cramp; your derriere stuck up in the air; how are you going to put many miles behind you? And, your staring right into on-coming cicadas. Oh well, I once saw a video of an Indian dude who crawled 100 miles on his knees dragging a 300 pound sledge by fish hook lines embedded in his back, so I guess some people can endure anything for style points.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “What do you guys do with these type bikes that Dirk keeps showcasing? ”

      You ride them, man! Who cares about bringing a girlfriend along, a little bug innards on your visor or if you can make it across three states in one day in utter comfort? There are other bikes for that kind of thing.

      Something like this gives its rider a nice, raw visceral experience. It is brutally fast, handles great, stops hard enough to loosen your eyeballs and keeps you smiling the whole time. And this bike in particular is pretty darn comfortable, in my opinion.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Something like this gives its rider a nice, raw visceral experience. It is brutally fast, handles great, stops hard enough to loosen your eyeballs and keeps you smiling the whole time.”

        that’s a BINGO…!!! (Hans Landa voice)

        I fear something the laymen overlook is the one thing that’s also staring them in the face along with the Manga styling, ie. the KAWASAKI ENGINE.

        I4’s always full of character, you can tell at no point was the manufacture of sewing machines ever part of their industrial History. (see entry for Suzuki)

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “I4โ€™s always full of character”

          I agree with you there. Whenever I hear someone talk of I4s being flaccid or bland or lacking character, the first thought that pops into my head is, “This poor sod has never ridden a sporty Kawasaki.”

        • Norm G. says:

          (epiphany alert…!!!)

          re: “I4โ€™s”

          in semi-related news, speaking of “4 zylinders”, i’ve just discovered the KTM RC16 is a full 90 degrees. so this would NOT be the “ready built” V4 as once raced unsuccessfully by Team Roberts for 10 rounds back in ’05 (you guys forgot about that engine didn’t ya?). ok well that original 990 mill was a narrow angle 72-75 degree design.

          Q: ok, so what does it all mean Normeous…?

          A: it means (unlike the old V of Suzuki and the new V of Aprilia) any team of engineers who not only make a conscious decision to sort a full trellis for their chassis…? but also invest copious Euro to remake their entire engine program just to open up their V to 90…? aren’t there to make up the numbers. no, they are signalling their intent to OPEN A CAN OF WHOOP ASS on Ducati and Honda…!!!

          whereas before he wasn’t too fussed, Norm will now sit and watch their Valencia debut and subsequent tests with “bells on”. (who…? Klaus Belzon, an old drinking buddy)

    • stan says:

      Around here, you install a 5 ft long swingarm on it, put on an obnoxious pipe, and teach your significant other to booty clamp on that little plastic wedge behind the seat. Then on Sat you rip w.o.t. up and down my street until 3am.

    • stan says:

      “…girlfriend…”? This demographic does not have one.

  16. mechanicus says:

    It’s a monument to anti-utilitarianism.

  17. mickey says:

    Somewhere there’s a 13 year old Japanese kid thinking “Man. that thing looks badazz” or however 13 year olds would say that these days

    • spectral says:



    • Stratkat says:

      and thats who its for, the next generation. we who are slamming the thing, are probably all from a certain generation. i dont like the front end either, but i understand why they did it.

  18. Craig says:

    the light while from the side is bad… you can easily see from the front it forms a ramp to help air go over the rider instead of into him and from that standpoint… I like it ok… not my favorite, but if it works… I get it.

    My complaint falls on almost all current nakeds… the tanks are beginning to be so talk (airbox / emissions / electronics) that it almost looks like you couldn’t lay low on the bike to get out of the wind…

    Look at a 2012 Street Triple and the tank is flat and low… imagine putting a tank bag on top of this one… It would block your view. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I like what they are doing though… keep it up and keep it cheap…

  19. kjazz says:

    I like most everything about this bike…..except that headshell. Just looks goofy to me. Too far down the forks. But, if sitting on it, you never have to look at it. Good reason to buy one and ride it !!

  20. Dino says:

    I like most all of this bike, mechanicals mostly.

    Ironically, strip off all the ugly overstyled plastic (should a “naked” have this much plastic styling?) and it would be a whole lot easier to love.

  21. Vrooom says:

    What the hell is that thing sticking out the front? Some kind of giant cold congested nose housing a headlight? The thing surely goes like stink, but that is probably the ugliest appendage I’ve ever seen on a bike. I suppose if I lived in southern California or Spain (yeah I know it’s Europe only) I might buy it and remove that wart and rig some more conventional headlights, but that’s a lot of work for a new spendy bike.

  22. PN says:

    This is one of my favorite bikes.

  23. Harry Robinson says:

    I like it, Kawasaki have always made good looking bikes but then I’m a european

  24. MGNorge says:

    If it’s any consolation, as stated, it’s for the EU market.

  25. GoodlyRun says:


  26. Neil says:

    I like it. I mean, we critique the Japanese for their “modern” styling, but it IS a machine. It’s really about function and in the U.S. that means, taking off from a stop and pulling into traffic on a beast and passing traffic on the highway to get into a safer spot. This bike will be fast and it will handle and stop well. That’s the name of the game. When I rode the first iteration the exhausts hit the back of my boots, but I enjoyed the ride. It looks cool in person as well. Let’s see if we get the new retro 900.

  27. k1d_swabe says:

    Is it just me or the bike really has a pair of headlights that mimic an old hag’s sagging pair of boobs?

    • MGNorge says:

      You need to get some more vitamins!

    • ROXX says:

      Yep. Saggy transformer boobs to be specific.
      That thing is ugly as they come!
      Bunch of stuck on plastic parts that don’t match or flow.
      Standard bike with a passenger pillion like that? No thanks…

    • CrazyJoe says:

      If I was a doctor i’d ask it to cough. Wait I just figured out why they call them nakid.

  28. Curly says:

    Well, I do like the wheels. The brakes seem OK too.

  29. Dave Joy says:

    When you look at 70’s and 80’s superbikes that are still around today they look so good and collectable. Can you imagine this bike in 40 years time, with faded and cracking plastic, ugly lines and no lasting qualities.! OK, I may be an old biker, but even some young riders out there know where I’m going here!

    • Butch says:

      I’m with ya’ Dave.
      I wouldn’t waste my time to even wash it.

    • red says:

      as fellow old biker, I couldn’t agree more. 40 year old Z1 will still stop me in my tracks.. This thing? never. It looks more like a snake face than insect. either way – not good.

  30. Beasty says:

    Amazing! A beak and a headlight all in one. Ugly must sell, ’cause the Japanese keep making ugly.

  31. VLJ says:

    They mention the addition of steel braided brake lines on this one, but why aren’t they standard on all sporty bikes? Most Euro brands seem to include them as standard on their performance bikes, so why not the Japanese too?

    Such an easy, effective upgrade. Just slap them on every bike to reduce costs. Done.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It is amazing what a difference a steel braided line can make

      • stickman says:

        That is all my CBR600RR needed, to be a decent track bike (short of a pair of tires). They really should be standard on sport bikes.

  32. Starmag says:

    Quasimoto, is that you?

  33. Jonny Blaze says:

    Wonder where the new Z900 fits in in the Z range. Or is it a decoy to get our mind off the retro Z900, supposely to be released at the Milan show.

  34. azi says:

    No compression damping adjustment on the S46DR1S shock, and basic internal reservoir design. I don’t see a huge advantage over the standard rear shock once the preload is dialled in (apart from being gold and shiny).

  35. Bill N says:

    I sure don’t find the “new’ style in bikes very attractive. I guess I’m in the wrong demographic group. If these bring new riders in then maybe it’s all worthwhile.

  36. Don E. says:

    That got to be the ugliest headlight ever. Chop it off and put on a retro round light bucket.

  37. Tank says:

    Is “Sugomi” Japanese for ugly?

  38. whisperquiet says:

    Meh………..where are the updated, long, long over due updated mid-size/650 cc dual sport bikes?

  39. Tom R says:

    “Fully Euro4 compliant…”

    No specific mention of ABS Brakes in this release. Is ABS a requirement of Euro4 for all motorcycles for 2017 and onward? If so, does this mean that bikes such as a KLR650 must now have ABS in order to be sold in Europe?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “If so, does this mean that bikes such as a KLR650 must now have ABS in order to be sold in Europe?”

      Yes, though the KLR is not sold in Europe and hasn’t been available there for over a decade now.

      Everything has to have an OBD2 port as well, which is great for the Euroriders.

  40. randy says:

    the bike is already $11999 right?all that stuff will price it right with the european stuff and then it will get killed in the horsepower war.Should have done more with the motor Kawasaki.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Should have done more with the motor”

      it’s no bespoke engineered H2 or nothing, but really what is…?

  41. Xootrx says:

    Looks like an insect.

  42. Arturo says:

    Snout on that thing looks like it got ‘Lucilled’ by Negan on TDW.

  43. Jeremy in TX says:

    There’s that word again: “authentic.” Actually, authentic wasn’t good enough in this case. They had to say “most authentic Supernaked” to get the point across.

    • jimmihaffa says:

      That’s because Supernakeds don’t win at anything anymore. Everywhere you look over in Europe, Russia, China Supernakeds are not getting respect, they’re being disrespected. Kawasaki is going to change all that, they’re going to Make Supernakeds Great Again, Believe me.

      • thrus says:

        Plastic around the headlight, in front of the tank, around the radiator, under the front, under the seat. Perhaps “Supernaked” is the wrong choice of what to call it, because next to a Monster it sure doesn’t look supernaked.

        • Fivespeed302 says:

          Maybe “superstandard” would be a better description, although it doesn’t have the same ring to it.