In Search of Perfection: Yamaha FZ1 vs. Kawasaki Z1000

By Ari Henning, Photography by Kevin Wing

Kawasaki Z1000 | Price $10,499

The Z1000 towers over the FZ1 from idle on up to 10,000 rpm. Power builds steadily and is readily available anywhere in the rev range. With a torque curve that elevated and flat, shifting is voluntary. Its 73.6 lb.-ft. is a substantial sum, even by big-twin standards.

Tech Spec

Engine type: l-c inline four
Valve train: DOHC, 16v
Displacement: 1043cc
Bore x stroke: 77.3 x 56.0mm
Compression: 11.8:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 41mm Showa fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Showa shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Tokico four-piston calipers, 300mm discs
Rear brake: Tokico single-piston caliper, 250mm disc
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Dunlop D210F
Rear tire: 190/50ZR-17 Dunlop D210
Rake/trail: 24.5°/4.1 in.
Seat height: 32.1 in.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.0 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 483/459 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 123.2 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Measured torque: 73.6 lb.-ft. @ 7500 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.55 sec. @ 130.7 mph
Top-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 2.45 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 36/31/34 mpg
Colors: Orange/white, black
Availability: Now
Warranty: 12 mo., unlimited mi.

Kawasaki Motor Corp.
9950 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618

A narrow waist and subframe make the Z1000's 32-inch seat feel lower than it is, and you really have to lift your feet to hit those precariously high footpegs. A torturous saddle and intense high-rpm vibration in the bars, tank and seat are the bike's biggest drawbacks.

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For me and my wife and for short highway stance, I think the Yamaha FZ1 is the bike to have The throttle response at low rpm will never get you in trouble. And in rainy weather much easier to controls. And gas mileage is better than the KZ1000 by far. The brakes are better and suspension and also cornering. The Kawasaki's pillion seat is terrible compared to the FZ1 Plus a slightly used FZ1 can be had at $5500.00 or less. Find a slightly used Yamaha FZ1 and at a good deal Would seal the deal. Both bikes make way more power than I would want or need on the street
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