To paraphrase the gentleman who got out of his car just to take a photograph of the motorcycle – it looks like no other motorcycle. As such, I’d find it hard to describe to someone who hasn’t seen it before. The Ninjas are now common, so relating one to the other is relatively easy – what the Z1000 reminded us most of was the ‘Predator’ character from the movie of the same name, starring a certain Mr. Unpronounceable-last-name. This is a result of Kawasaki’s ‘Sugomi’ design philosophy. If the internet is to be believed, it means “weirdness, ghastliness, dreadfulness and awesomeness” all at the same time. Strangely yet happily, it also sums up the styling of the Z1000
Ex-showroom, Mumbai ₹ 15,10,000
The front grabs your attention with the headlamp - four projector lenses are shrouded in a bikini fairing that looks part Japanese comic book villain, part BMW with an anger management problem. The only other feature that grabs your attention are the mirror stalks – the combination of cast aluminium and black plastic is very fetching. You can distinguish a Z1000 from a Z800 easily from the front – the Z800 has no projector units for headlamps, and the bright green addition to the fairing above the headlamp is absent as well.
The front three-quarter is the best angle to view the Z1000 from – the visual mass of the engine and tank is balanced nicely by the exhausts. The hunchback look makes it look really mean, and yet there is elegance in the way the lines of the headlamp, tank, seat and exhaust are all parallel. From the side, it looks ever so slightly front heavy, which is something we’ve come to expect from supersport motorcycles, but the stubby exhaust ends far too quickly to offer enough visual mass to the rear of the motorcycle. The pillion seat is one of my favourite design elements – no one ever realises it is a pillion seat unless they’re told it is one, or they touch it. The rear three quarter reinforces this view, but is offset beautifully by the vertically stacked two-into-four exhaust end cans that look like they have been fused to each other. This angle also shows off the green strip running down the centre of the tank, and if you look closely, you’ll see that the seat cover has a thousand little ‘Z’s on it. The rear tyre is the normal size for the litre class, but coupled with the fat exhaust end-cans and pointed tail, looks larger than life.