2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX First Look Preview

The sport-touring Kawasaki gets electronic upgrades for 2020.

The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX features a 1,043cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine that has a strong, linear powerband, which makes it near perfect for spirited touring rides on all types of roads; The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX utilizes a frame built from five cast aluminum pieces including the steering stem, left and right main frame spars, and two crosspieces.
Left: The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX features a 1,043cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke inline four-cylinder engine that has a strong, linear powerband, which makes it near perfect for spirited touring rides on all types of roads. Right: The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX utilizes a frame built from five cast aluminum pieces including the steering stem, left and right main frame spars, and two crosspieces.Kawasaki

If you’re the type of sport-touring rider who prefers the excitement of a supersport almost as much as the comfort of a touring bike, then Kawasaki has a bike you might want to check out. The Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX is back for 2020 and it comes with a list of refinements for this model year. The smooth and exciting 1,043cc inline four-cylinder engine combined with its lightweight aluminum frame still provides the base platform of this motorcycle, while the latest evolution of rider-assist tech and a healthy dose of _sugomi_ styling take it to the next level.

The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX frame uses four engine mounts, three rigid and one rubber for the upper rear crankcase mounting point. This type of mounting configuration and the fact that the engine is used as a stressed member creates a frame with rider-friendly handling characteristics.
The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX frame uses four engine mounts, three rigid and one rubber for the upper rear crankcase mounting point. This type of mounting configuration and the fact that the engine is used as a stressed member creates a frame with rider-friendly handling characteristics.Kawasaki

From the outside looking in, the most conspicuous changes are the new bodywork, headlight, and wider front fairing design. The new look is right in line with the aggressive styling of the ZX-series sportbikes and a clue to the performance potential. As it is with all the Ninja motorcycles, the 1000SX is all about the thrill of the ride, first and foremost.

The cockpit of the 2020 Ninja 1000SX is roomy and open. The taller, adjustable windscreen offers improved wind protection while the bodywork routes the warm engine air away from the rider’s legs.
The cockpit of the 2020 Ninja 1000SX is roomy and open. The taller, adjustable windscreen offers improved wind protection while the bodywork routes the warm engine air away from the rider’s legs.Kawasaki

That being said, Kawasaki’s designers have made a concerted effort to make this ride a little more comfortable these days. A taller, adjustable windshield offers much improved wind protection and can be operated without the use of any tools. Ultra-bright LED lights and integrated turn signals keep the lines clean and sporty looking while drawing minimum power from the charging system. The new seat uses denser padding and an ergonomic design to improve both rider and passenger comfort. Combine this with an already relaxed riding position and you get a motorcycle that is even easier to ride long distances.

The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX offers four riding modes that combine both KTRC and Power Modes. Together these systems determine traction control and power delivery levels based on the given riding situation. Available settings include Sport, Road, Rain, or Rider (in Rider mode, the systems can be set independently).
The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX offers four riding modes that combine both KTRC and Power Modes. Together these systems determine traction control and power delivery levels based on the given riding situation. Available settings include Sport, Road, Rain, or Rider (in Rider mode, the systems can be set independently).Kawasaki

Not everyone will use their bike exclusively to tour, so the Kawasaki Genuine Accessory saddlebag mounts have been integrated into the rear passenger grab bars, which eliminates the need for unsightly mounting brackets. This creates a clean appearance when the bags are not on the bike so you can look good even if you are just taking a tour of the local back roads. A new, 4.5-pounds-lighter exhaust adds to the new, sporty appearance of the bike as well. If you dig beneath the new fairing, you’ll find the engine is now equipped with new electronic throttle valves which allow the ECU to better manage the latest generation of Kawasaki’s rider-assist technology. Not only do they improve throttle response based on the rider’s on-the-fly selection of the four ride modes (Sport, Road, Rain, or the customizable Rider mode), but they also allow the ride-by-wire system to work more effectively with the latest versions of the new and improved rider-assist systems.

Both the rider and passenger seats used on the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX offer improved comfort, courtesy of a dense urethane padding. The rear passenger grips are positioned so they are easy to hold, which also improves passenger comfort.
Both the rider and passenger seats used on the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX offer improved comfort, courtesy of a dense urethane padding. The rear passenger grips are positioned so they are easy to hold, which also improves passenger comfort.Kawasaki

These include the new Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), dual-direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), along with the electronic cruise control and Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), and are managed by the updated version of the six-axis Bosch IMU. Rider comfort is the name of the game, and with the latest additions to an already impressive list of rider-assist tech, the 1000SX starts to separate itself from the competition.

Braking systems on the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX are managed by the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System (KIBS) that is calibrated to be most effective during sporty riding speeds.
Braking systems on the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX are managed by the Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Braking System (KIBS) that is calibrated to be most effective during sporty riding speeds.Kawasaki

All of the rider assist along with the smartphone connectivity via the Rideology app and access to the standard information are run through the good-looking full-color TFT dash. All changes are manipulated via the controls on the left handlebar, and if you’re not familiar with the Rideology app, it allows you to track and monitor motorcycle performance and share your routes with friends after the ride is wrapped up.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires provide the sticky connection to the tarmac while the light six-spoke wheels help to improve the handling of the 2020 Ninja 1000SX.
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires provide the sticky connection to the tarmac while the light six-spoke wheels help to improve the handling of the 2020 Ninja 1000SX.Kawasaki

Fans of the Ninja 1000SX will be happy to know that the rolling chassis remains pretty much unchanged. It still utilizes a fully adjustable 41mm fork, horizontally mounted rear shock with remote preload adjuster, radial-mount four-piston calipers, 300mm dual rotors, and wide, sticky tires. This year the bike comes with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 rubber. The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX will be offered in only the Metallic Graphite Grey/Metallic Diablo Black colorway with an MSRP of $12,399.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX Specifications

PRICE $12,399
ENGINE 1,043cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-valve cylinder head, inline 4-cylinder
BORE x STROKE 77.0 x 56.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 11.8:1
FUEL DELIVERY DFI w/ 38mm ETV throttle bodies
CLUTCH Wet multiplate slipper clutch
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
FRAME Cast aluminum
FRONT SUSPENSION 41mm inverted cartridge fork adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Horizontal back-link adjustable for spring preload, rebound damping; 5.7-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 4-piston calipers, dual 300mm discs w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE 1-piston caliper, 250mm disc w/ ABS
WHEELS Cast aluminum
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22; 120/70ZR-17 / 190/50ZR-17
RAKE/TRAIL 24.0°/3.9 in.
WHEELBASE 56.7 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.3 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 5.0 gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 514 lb.
WARRANTY 1-year limited warranty
AVAILABLE November 2019
CONTACT kawasaki.com
A single-sided muffler contributes to a much sportier look, while the swingarm features eccentric axle adjusters, contributing to the Ninja 1000SX motorcycle’s Kawasaki identity.
A single-sided muffler contributes to a much sportier look, while the swingarm features eccentric axle adjusters, contributing to the Ninja 1000SX motorcycle’s Kawasaki identity.Kawasaki
The front part of the rear frame is narrow, which in turn allows the width under the seat to be very slim. This, along with a narrow base of the fuel tank, creates a short reach to the ground.
The front part of the rear frame is narrow, which in turn allows the width under the seat to be very slim. This, along with a narrow base of the fuel tank, creates a short reach to the ground.Kawasaki
The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX has optional saddlebags that are large enough to hold a full-face helmet and provide a one-key system that can be unlocked and removed with the ignition key; Dual 300mm semi-floating petal discs with radial-mounted, Monoblock opposed four-piston calipers and ABS.
Left: The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX has optional saddlebags that are large enough to hold a full-face helmet and provide a one-key system that can be unlocked and removed with the ignition key. Right: Dual 300mm semi-floating petal discs with radial-mounted, Monoblock opposed four-piston calipers and ABS.Kawasaki
By using a horizontal back link rear suspension position, the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX shock and linkage can be located above the swingarm, improving mass centralization.
By using a horizontal back link rear suspension position, the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX shock and linkage can be located above the swingarm, improving mass centralization.Kawasaki