QUICK FANG: Kawasaki Z1000 ABS SE – Hammer Time

15 April 2013
Kawasaki’s ‘Z’ family of bikes is celebrating its 40th anniversary but the technology in the 2013 Z1000 ABS is a world apart from that of the original model to bear that name. 
Introduced in 2003, the modern Z1000 has benefited from a series of refinements over the last decade and now come with ABS as standard. Our test bike is a Special Edition model that comes with a tank pad and a striking livery, the $16,799 (plus ORC) price tag representing a $300 premium over the standard model. 
The ride position is a neutral ‘sit-up-and-beg’ affair that will provide a high degree of comfort on the long haul, while the paint, sharp bodywork, twin-tube alloy frame and edgy graphics all contribute to an aggressive-looking package. 
The fork and rear monoshock are both fully adjustable – it’s near sportsbike fare in a more ergonomically accommodating package. 
The fully digital LCD instrumentation has a trick orange lens that can be angled to three different positions to suit riders of varying heights. Besides large digital numerals for the tacho and speedo you get an odometer, trip meters, a fuel gauge, and a clock. 
The 1043cc in-line four provides strong linear power with the fun starting from around 4000rpm. From there the engine pulls hard to its redline, the howl from the exhaust and the air induction only adding to the fun. 
While it holds a line well, when pushed hard it did develop something of a gentle wallow through the bends. It’s not a concern – moreover it’s just enough to let you know you’re on a feisty naked bike – and this too adds to the ride experience. Similarly, under hard acceleration I did note a slight head shake – it’s all part of this visceral ride. 
Under heavy braking the Z1000 ABS keeps it together nicely, and as with other sports models with ABS in the Kwaka line-up the system is seamless in its operation. 
The mirrors offer blur-free rear vision and the small screen actually offers surprisingly good protection from the wind’s blast.
For any performance-oriented riders who aren’t into head-down, bum-up sportsbikes, the Z1000 ABS SE is a very tempting option at a very reasonable price.


SPEX - Kawasaki Z1000 ABS SE
Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four
Capacity: 1043cc
Bore and Stroke: 77.0mm x 56.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection
Type: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Frame: Aluminium twin-tube
Front Suspension: 41mm inverted fork, fully adjustable
Rear Suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable
Front Brakes: Twin 300mm petal discs with radial-mount four-piston calipers with ABS
Rear Brakes: 250mm petal disc with single-piston caliper with ABS
Wet Weight: 221kg
Seat Height: 815mm
Wheelbase: 1440mm
Fuel Capacity: 15lt
Max. Power: 101.5kW (138hp) at 9600rpm
Max. Torque: 10Nm (81ft-lb) at 7800rpm