What I’m trying to say is that the bike isn’t half as scary once you’re on it as much as when you’re in front of it. The ride is good and the ’bars-to-seat-to-peg locations are just right for a comfortable position. Going into corners doesn’t really take much getting used to either. It does take commitment, but the big Z lets you take them in your stride. Over the next few minutes I found myself getting more confident and my knee found itself a bit lower each time. The traction from the tyres is excellent and it’s more about finding the balance and carrying through the line, because every other aspect, mechanically, is sound.
On the straight, the Z rockets forward when pushed and the burly bass turns into higher-pitched howl which gets your pulse up quicker than the lights on the top rev-counter can fill up! Hitting 160 km/h is no biggie and the Z remains steadfast and unsettled. Kawasaki claim a top speed of close to 250 km/h, but where I was, there was no way I could get anywhere near that figure. But it’s good to know that, given the room, the Z1000 can hit the double-ton without breaking into sweat.
Another important characteristic is the 17-litre fuel tank. With a conservative efficiency of about 12 km to a litre, we made a mental note for a range of just over 200 kilometres. Another number to consider is the price. At Rs 12.5 lakh (ex-showroom) and Rs 13.74 lakh (OTR, Pune), the Z1000 is five lakh rupees more expensive than the smaller Z800. But is it really 56 per cent better? It certainly seems like it. And, personally, as my favourite street bike, I would plonk down the difference!