2011 Kawasaki Z Review


The 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 is built on an aluminum frame that gracefully sweeps over the engine in a simple curve. The narrow mid-section gives a great amount of comfort and stability to the rider. The aluminum build also allows for a lightweight bike with plenty of rigidity in the chassis. The standard engine is a 1043-cc, four-cylinder coupled with a six-speed transmission. It produces 131 horsepower from the rear wheel, and it can top out at 150 miles per hour. The Z1000 offers a great naked sports bike without the high costs.

The fuel range is about 90 miles per tank. The fuel gauge gives some problems with readouts, which means it cannot be trusted. Corners and bumpy roads give an unstable feeling, and the suspension can be a bit softer than many naked bikes. The Z1000 feels rather heavy at 481 pounds. The standard tires can lack a bit of grip, but they are easily replaced. Color options include plain black, brown, and orange and white. The instrumentation is very basic, and they require manual adjustments. The instrument cluster can also be adjusted by tilting it three ways, but this is hardly a selling feature. Reliability is a non-issue with Kawasaki, and the Z1000 is no exception here. Like past models, the 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 is well built and uses quality materials despite the low pricing point.

The fuel economy is a bit low at 34 miles to the gallon, but this is expected from high performance vehicles. The front inverted fork suspension is fully adjustable, and the rear UNI-TRAK suspension can also be adjusted, but it proves it a bit difficult to do at home. The braking is a bit unimpressive, and the engine doesn't put out as much power as most naked sport bikes. The motor becomes buzzy around 5000 rpm, and there appears to be a need for a seventh gear or better gearing setup. Anti-lock brakes are available as an option. While this is Japan's best naked sports bike on the market, it may not stack up as well against many of the more prominent names in the naked sports bike segment. Regardless, the low price point and the high quality build make it a worthy opponent. For the price, there isn't a better naked sports bike.

New For 2011

  • The Kawasaki Z1000 received major overhauls for 2010, such as an all-new engine and a balancer shaft to reduce annoying vibrations. As such, the 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 receives no major revisions.

2011 Kawasaki Z Specs

  • Model: Z 1000
  • Engine Type: 1043-cc, four-cylinder
  • Bore and Stroke: 3.03 inches and 2.2 inches
  • Compression ratio: 11.8:1
  • Valve Train: Double overhead camshaft
  • Induction: Liquid
  • Ignition: Electric
  • Transmission: six-speed manual
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: 34 mpg
  • Brakes (Front): Dual hydraulic, 11.8-inch disc
  • Brakes (Rear): Hydraulic, 9.8-inch disc
  • Suspension (Front): 1.6-inch telescopic fork with front adjustable fork pre-load and front adjustable rebound damping
  • Suspension (Rear): UNI-TRAK, twin sided swing arm with rear adjustable rebound damping and rear adjustable shock
  • Wheelbase: 56.7 inches
  • Rake: 24.5 degrees
  • Trail: 4.1 inches
  • Seat Height: 32.1 inches
  • Curb Weight: 481 pounds
  • Tires (Front): 120/70 ZR17
  • Tires (Rear): 190/50 ZR17


  • A dust cover is available to protect the 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 from dust, dirt, and debris while stored.
  • A premium dust cover is available to better protect the Z1000
  • Seat cowl constructed of high-quality ABS plastics with factory-match paint. These are used to replace the factory rear seats and give a custom appearance to the seat.
  • A tall windshield is available for riders that need more protection from the elements. This can also be tinted.
  • A tank pad is also available to reduce the likelihood of paint scratches and other potential blemishes

Key Competitors For The 2011 Kawasaki Z

  • Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Low
  • Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200X
  • Yamaha FZ 1
  • BMW F 800 R
  • Ducati Monster 1100