Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kawasaki ups the ante in the supernaked segment with 2017 Z1000R

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The 2017 Kawasaki Z1000R gets Ohlins rear suspension, Brembo brakes and a new paintjob

For 2017, Kawasaki have unveiled a higher-performance Z1000 - the new, Euro 4-compliant Z1000R, which gets revised ECU settings for smoother, more consistent power delivery, and revisions to the main and pre-catalysers for reduced emissions. Braking performance has been improved in a big way, with a pair of new 310mm Brembo brake discs at front, with grooved stainless steel rotors, stainless-steel braided lines and Brembo M50 cast-aluminium monobloc radial-mount 4-piston calipers.

The 2017 Kawasaki Z1000R also gets uprated rear suspension - the new Öhlins S46DR1S rear shock features an aluminium body with single-tube construction, large φ46 mm piston, and internal air and gas chambers separated by a floating piston. This fancy spring is said to offer a more supple ride, improved stability and better high speed handling. Also, its remote preload adjuster makes it easy to adjust settings without tools, when carrying a passenger.

Revisions to the Z1000R's styling include a special black/gray paintjob with yellow-green graphics, tank pads with R edition graphics, frame pads and a seat embossed with the 'Z' mark. Output remains the same at 142bhp and 111Nm of torque, which provide highly entertaining performance in a package that weighs about 221 kilos.

The regular, non-R model 2017 Kawasaki Z1000 also gets many updates, including a revised ECU for smoother power delivery, and revised front fork spring rates and damping action for a more supple, comfortable ride, without compromising the bike's handling and sporting intent. At the back, a modified linkage ratio increases rear wheel travel by 13mm, shock absorption is improved and ride quality has been improved. Brake pad material has also been revised for improved braking performance, while fully adjustable mirrors and clutch lever provide improved ergonomics.

In addition to the above, the 2017 Z1000 also gets updated instrumentation, with a new gear position indicator, shift-up indicator (the top part of the bar-style tachometer flashes when the set rpm is reached) and 12h/24h time format clock. A new range of optional accessories includes front axle sliders, crankcase rings, tank pad and knee pads etc.

While the 2017 Z1000/Z1000R is about 40-50bhp down on the top European supernakeds, it's still a damn good machine, with aggressive styling, intoxicating noise from its inline-four engine and exhaust, excellent low- to mid-rpm power delivery and fair handling as long as you remember that this is not a track-oriented racebike. Yes, we like the new Z1000R very much indeed!

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