In 2003, Kawasaki introduced the Z1000, with a heritage going all the way back to 1973 when the famous KZ 900 was introduced — a very powerful bike of that era.
In 1977, the KZ900 became the KZ1000, which later became more famous as a police bike used all the way up into the 21st Century.
Also known as a “standard,” the Z1000 is a “naked” bike, which describes a motorcycle stripped down to its fundamental parts. The emphasis is on functionality and ergonomics rather than aerodynamic body panels and fatiguing riding positions common on sport bikes.
The Z1000 is essentially a super sport bike with a clear view of its brawny engine. Lack of bodywork contributes to how easy it is to work on and perform maintenance.
It does have a tiny fairing which seems to push the limits of considering this a “naked.” And speaking of design, the most pronounced visual elements include wedged, sharp angles, an orange seat, and the megaphone exhaust components.
I took the 2008 Z1000 out for a ride and was instantly appreciative of the comfortable, upright seating position and wide handlebars. Before I was out of second gear this inspirationally potent and angular chunk of motorbike put a wide smile on my face.
Whether you like the styling or not, this is truly a “fun” bike, great for commuting, riding through canyons or just playing around.