Kawasaki Z 1000 model 2003
Full on attack
Kawasaki is flying its flag with four fascinatingly emotionally designed innovations. And thus ties in with good old traditions.
Kawasaki Z 1000 ?? what a name! It was exactly 30 years ago when Kawasaki presented the most powerful mass-produced motorcycle of its time to the amazed public (see also page 76 ff). The 900 Super 4 with the abbreviation Z1, the original model of the Z 900 and 1000, dozed off everything that moved on two wheels. And justified the image of Kawasaki to always be a little bit more evil than the others.
The new Z 1000 builds on this. The double headlights in the small cockpit fairing looks grim, the angular rear cuts through the air razor-sharp, and the stainless steel four-pipe exhaust system is not only reminiscent of the glorious 70s, but also promises a rumbling four-cylinder sound.
It seems certain that things are going well. The not exactly weak ZX-9R engine was enlarged in displacement to 953 cm3, provided with an injection and designed for a lot of bang from below. In the conventional tubular steel chassis, the more than 130 hp engine should ensure a crashing speed, wobble and only brake moderately like the ancestor, but the new one should not. This is ensured by the spring elements from the ZX-9R and its brakes.
Kawasaki shows great attention to detail in the finish. The rims delight with polished horns and stars painted in the color of the tank, the slim exhaust system is heated to achieve a uniform golden color. The four-cylinder has ribs and attached plastic plates as protection against abrasion. The small, round instrument cluster in the cockpit was also stylish: the analog tachometer shows digital speed and much more. The new super naked bike shouldn’t be cheap, Z 1000 fans should reserve a five-digit euro amount for the Z 1000, which is available in orange in green or in black with a red seat.
In the 600 class, Kawasaki is going full throttle with two completely new models: the ZX-6R for all non-racing drivers and the ZX-6RR for real racers. Technically, they differ mainly in the displacement, which is 599 cm3 for the double R in accordance with the regulations of the Supersport class, and 636 cm3 for the ZX-6R. Both have a revised, performance-enhanced engine with injection and catalytic converter, a new, stiffer chassis with an upside-down fork and, brand new in series motorcycle production, radially attached brake calipers at the front and a centrally-sucking ram-air system that draws the intake air through the steering head directs. Pure racing, which is also signaled by the new design. The visual appearance of the ZX-6R and RR is based heavily on the recently presented MotoGP racer, with which Kawasaki will soon compete in the premier class of motorcycle racing.
Reasonable how the Greens save development costs: the cockpit, rear, inner fenders, front fenders and indicators are identical in both ZX-6R and Z 1000. Kawasaki has kept silent about the performance and weight of the 600 series until the official presentation in September. But they shouldn’t bring much less than 120 hp and much more than 190 kilograms, because they should set the class standards.
The fourth novelty takes a completely different direction. The VLike its predecessor, the VN 1500, the N 1600 remains a classic cruiser. Now with a significantly longer wheelbase, a new design and, above all, more momentum from the lower engine speed. More stroke gives the V2, which has never been weak-chested anyway, an extra portion of pulling power. The instruments are now sitting on the tank, following the American model.
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