In Search of Perfection: Yamaha FZ1 vs. Kawasaki Z1000

By Ari Henning, Photography by Kevin Wing

Yamaha FZ1 | Price $10,299

That shallow area before the power spike at eight grand feels like it takes forever to push through, but once the Yamaha's 20-valve head starts breathing freely things get exciting in a hurry. More than 20 horsepower come online in less than 1000 rpm, but as soon as the power peaks at 11,000 rpm, the party is over.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c inline four
Valve train: DOHC, 20v
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 53.6mm
Compression: 11.5:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 41mm Soqi fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Soqi shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Akebono four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Nissin single-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Dunlop D221F
Rear tire: 190/50ZR-17 Dunlop D221
Rake/trail: 25.0°/4.3 in.
Seat height: 32.1 in.
Wheelbase: 57.5 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.75 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 500/472 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 125.7 bhp @ 11,000 rpm
Measured torque: 67.4 lb.-ft. @ 7750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.48 sec.@132.2 mph
Top-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.21 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 30/26/28 mpg
Colors: Raven, Candy Red
Availability: Now
Warranty: 12 mo., unlimited mi.

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA
6555 Katella Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630

The FZ1 follows the old formula of paring down the bodywork and installing a tubular handlebar, or in this case a flat drag bar. A little wind protection goes a long way, but what makes the FZ1 win in the comfort department are a civilized seat, less vibration and nearly an inch more legroom.

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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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