Streetfighter – the name itself points to something purpose-built to take on whatever challenges the streets can throw. But it isn’t some human character out of a videogame we are talking about here. It is something entirely different, but yes, it is in every way related to us only.
It is a motorcycle which should now start making sense of things in a somewhat different manner. A Streetfighter is a kind of motorcycle which shall represent the livelier, aggressive and the badass side of the motorcycling world. They are focused along with a dash of versatility as they take the sportiness from full-faired Superbikes and mix it with the practicality of an upright riding stance. Add to it the more street-friendly engine (meaning tuned for less top end compared to a Superbike).
Since the time these kinds of motorcycles have become mainstream, companies are trying hard to make exceedingly aggressive looking Streetfighters today more than ever before. Some of them look so sharp in fact that you might cut yourself if you touch them! Every design has a point of reference behind it – while some just want to make a sharp and edgy looking motorcycle (read KTM for instance), some have a more specific allusion to the source or the inspiration.
Kawasaki’s Z1000 is the latter. It is sharp no doubt, but that isn’t remotely its sole intention. The Z1000 is designed to look like a predator, a panther in the stealth mode as it readies itself to attack its prey. Kawasaki calls it the Sugomi design – a Japanese word meaning ghastliness for one.
While being edgy enough, the Z1000 has quite a fuller body, it hardly looks skinny or petite. It still appears a bit rounded especially because of the inline 4 engine which isn’t really compact. The biggest or the only element which makes it look like an animal ready to attack is the headlight assembly. Of course, the headlight of any motorcycle is ideally its face and so, it has to be the most personifying part or the liveliest part of the whole motorcycle design. Let’s understand something, it doesn’t make a good first impression for a Streetfighter if the face of a motorcycle isn’t aggressive enough.
But that’s only the beginning. The more important things are the engine, chassis and the suspension package which actually tells if the motorcycle is the hunter or the hunted! Now, the Z1000 isn’t the most powerful naked out there but it has got itself covered with a very potent 1043cc engine which produces 142 PS of power at 10,000 RPM and 111 NM of torque at 7,300 RPM. Not the class-leading specs by far but enough to slug it out with the best of the best.
Given its pretty bulky dimensions and not-so-light operating weight of 221 kg, the Z1000 is surprisingly light on its feet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as many modern-day sportbikes are engineered to carry low centre of gravity making them extremely light to handle in varying traffic conditions. Another factor which contributes to the motorcycle’s easy handling is the aluminium frame. One of the highlights of the engine is the sound it generates especially the intake growl. It is intoxicating and the bike doesn’t come with many bells and whistles. As far as electronics are concerned, the Z1000 is equipped with ABS, that’s it.
With the Z1000, Kawasaki has designed their most radical looking motorcycle to date. While their Superbike, ZX-10R, is sharp and focused but nearly not as radical as its naked sibling. We had a wonderful time riding the Z1000, it is versatile and is a blast to ride in the city, on the highways and on twisties, of course.
And if you think that a brand new Z1000 out of a showroom is a bit out of your budget, you can always try OLX to find a second hand one. You never know when you might get lucky!