Now then, there lies the black heart in the confines of its frame, which, quite essentially, puts the ‘muscle’ in muscle-bike. The all-new 1,043-cc inline-four motor features what Kawasaki call ‘DFI’ – technology that resembles direct-injection and sharpens power delivery. Essentially a throttle body injection system, DFI has twin 38-mm Keihin units force the air-fuel mixture directly into the combustion chamber through downdraft intakes with the aim to maximise power output across the rev-range. The four cylinders each run a 77-mm bore and a 56-mm stroke, which allow the engine to rev high and deliver at the top, while balancing performance with a strong bottom- and mid-range as well. The smooth but sure six-speed gearbox deserves equal credit here too. Peak power of 142 PS comes in at 10,000 RPM with a more than reasonable 111 Nm of maximum torque coming in at what can actually be considered a rather low 7,300 RPM. A chunk of it comes in early, though, and that helps rideability no end: less left-leg shuffling, even in typical Pune city traffic, with road works taking up 70 per cent of the available space.
Thumb the starter and the motor comes to life with a growl. The exhaust note is all bass and there’s no real scream till much higher up the revs. Speaking of which, the rev counter atop begins at the 4,000 mark, with the first 3,000 revs registering to the left of the digital display below – a very unique and interesting bit, that! As we headed to the twisting roads to see how it handles the bends, I found the Z1000 to be very nimble; even flickable. It does feel like a big bike, but it also lets you feel like you’re in control, like a certain boy wizard atop an eagle-headed stallion or ‘Hippogryph’ if you’re familiar with the lingo. Respect it, and it lets you have fun. However, one wrong move would certainly mean you’re off!