The motor is a version of the ZX-10 superbike and in the Z1000 puts out 138 horses and in my quick ride I'd have to say that it is not underpowered! The engine was very user friendly in that I found it would pull pretty cleanly from low revs and at the open road speed limit (just over 4,000rpm from memory) you did not need to change down to get respectable acceleration for passing. But if you did give it to it in the lower gears the bike really took off on a mission to lose your licence.
The motor also sounded very sweet and the standard mufflers while a tad on the ugly side sounded nice - in fact I reckon I would not consider aftermarket muffles as there was plenty of the right sort of noise when giving the bike a few revs. One thing I didn't like was the cable actuated clutch but I think this was just that it felt "different" to the hydraulic clutches I'm used to - the clutch was actually easy to use and didn't require the grip of a rock climber. Overall I really liked the engine and it's performance.
Comfort-wise the bike also felt fine. Obviously I only had a couple of short rides on it but the riding position was quite nice, although I was a little surprised with the reach to the bars. I thought that the handle-bar position might have been a little higher - instead it was somewhere between say a Bandit and a sports bike. Not uncomfortable by any means.
The brakes were not as fierce as I was expecting but worked very well and felt nice and progressively - I'll take progressive over fierce any day. I didn't really get to really sample the bike's handling and to be honest it was wearing a really worn Bridgestone (yuck!) which was certainly affecting the handling (making the bike tip into turns very quickly). The service manager at the bike shop says that they do handle very well with good rubber but do indeed turn pretty quickly. An owner would soon come to grips with this.
|Digital speed with analogue tach|
So who would buy one? Well, I'm not sure how good they would be touring (I doubt that they're very pillion friendly) but Monie (a VFR800 pilot) did the Capital 1000K Cruise on one last year and raved about it so they can't be too bad. I think that they'd probably suit a more "sensible" sport bike rider (if there is such a thing?). The bike has more than enough power for most people and is undoubtedly more comfortable than a "proper" sports bike. Dunno if it'd be much chop as an adv bike though...