Look no further, our Flag Ship 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX is everything you could ever want and more.
Hey every body, it’s Peter and this review is one I’ve been looking forward to for a very, very long time. It’s going to be a bias review because I’m a huge fan of this bike. In fact, I was this close to buying this exact bike, this VIN number, but I didn’t, I bought a different bike. So we’re gonna talk in detail about the Ninja 1000SX, why it’s incredible, why it’s such a good value, why it’s not what everybody thinks it is. And I’m gonna go in depth to some of the technology in this bike. And if you have questions, make sure you subscribe and make sure that you let me know when the comments below. If there’s something I left outta this video or something that you want to know, let me know because I’m filming here at Jim Gilbert’s Power Sports, where they give me complete access to their entire vehicle lineup and I can come back to this bike again and again to make sure that you get the answers you need.
And I want to come back to this bike again. Again, this one here is sold. I didn’t buy it, but someone else did. So it’s uh, a do not sit on except for me in this video. But uh, there is another one coming in and I’m sure we can probably get more from there. Again, this is Canada’s number one volume Kawasaki dealer. So you know, if somebody can get one, I’m sure we can. So we’re gonna go in depth with this bike. And again, this is gonna be a slight variation from what I do. I am going to give this a little more time than some of the other ones because this is in very much a flagship road sport bike In the Kawasaki lineup, there are race sport bikes as well, but this one has technologies that we can learn about that will filter into other uh, vehicles.
From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript… enjoy…
Now really quickly, if you haven’t been following this channel, when I said I almost bought this, I’ll tell you what I did by, I’ll throw a picture of it on screen right now. I bought the Z900 RS Se instead. That se kind of made a difference to me, which to be frank, in 2023 like this, in 2023, like I pointed to that cuz it’s just off camera here. Uh, like that, uh, Z 900 Rs. The similarities are that I wanted something that was upright, something with great suspension, great handling and great breaks and good power. Both these bikes have that, which is why it would be not a competitor for most people, but it is a competitor for me. The flip side is, other than the Brembo brakes on that and the Olin shock, this bike is better in virtually every single way.
Uh, maybe seek comfort is kind of a toss up. Uh, I happen to like that one, but this one is also very comfortable for me. But other than that, this one is a lot and this one is in 2023, $300 less expensive. Now the overall value picture does change a little bit because in Canada where we’re filming here, this is a slight jump in insurance over that one. And I say slight jump, I don’t know the exact number offhand, but uh, it is a different insurance class than that. So why do I buy that one? Because I like it. And we’ll talk about why you buy bikes a little bit later at the end of this video. But, uh, let’s go with an in-depth review of this one right now. So let’s start out by talking about what this bike is as far as a class goes.
This is a classic sport bike. Now the modern day sport touring class has really changed to an adventure style bike. Uh, the more upright style bike. And that’s one of the things I like about this is although this looks like it is a race bike, uh, for the street, this has a very upright riding position. And unlike the adventure bikes, it keeps a center of gravity low. And it is a true, you know, sports performance bike. So if you think about it, in the land of cars over the past, uh, number of years, you can buy a sports car, something like a Porsche nine 11 Turbo, which is a lot like this. It’s been evolved a lot over the thing and perfect over the time and perfected. But you can buy something that’s low and sporty like that. But you can also go to these luxury makes and buy a lot of sporty SUVs.
And in reality, the more adventure style bikes that are sport tours are really a lot closer to those sporty SUV SUVs. They handle very well for the street and in fact more than most people would ever need. But there is a difference in having things a little lower and a little more sporty. There’s a reason that you don’t see race bikes looking like adventure bikes. There is a difference in having things a little bit lower, but I’m just gonna hop on this quickly, we’ll hop on it again a little bit later. Uh, so you can see it from dead on the side, but I am sitting basically very upright on this bike. So even though it looks like a sport, uh, race bike, it is an upright styled bike and that does matter. So a sport touring bike has to do a lot of things and really it almost has to do everything.
What I like about this, and I think it should be, you know, I think everybody who buys this should equip it with the hard bags. It’s already sort of mounted in here. You have to get the pieces and parts, but they can slide in there. They work really well. And now you’ve got your luggage attached in a sport type bike. You also have good wind protection both with your legs and with your front. We’re gonna go over that in detail and then it has to be good power and it has to have great handling of great brakes. Now when we talk about good power, this one’s around 140 horsepower And horsepower is an interesting thing because you know there’s a Suzuki that has a com direct competitor to this and pretty much in every test this beats the Suzuki. And I’m not saying that this you prefer the Suzuki, that’s not a bad choice too, that’s a fine choice.
But you know, peak horsepower number is interesting in this too because the Suzuki only has more horsepower at the very, very, very, very, very top of the rev range, which if you take it to the track matters. But this one actually makes more power throughout the rev range right up to that around 140 horsepower mark. Uh, and it’s only the very top end that some of these other bikes. So the same thing happens with some of these other competitors that are more adventurous style. This one has a real torkey engine down low that 140 horsepower is not something Kawasaki advertises in North America. But that’s sort of the agreed upon number a hundred forty, a hundred forty two in that range is where the power is at. And if you think about a street sport bike, that is all the power you need for a street sport bike. It is not up to the 200 horsepower plus race bike, uh, that are the leader bikes, but it still has all the power you need.
But how it controls it, how it deals with it is really the big thing with this bike. So we’re gonna talk about some of those technologies now that allow you to make, allow this bike to be enjoyable and also really a class leading tech bike. So let’s start with the breaks. So I think one of the things that people forget with a sport touring is when you talk about performance breaks are a massive piece of that and breaks are more than just what you see here. Obviously this is a dual disc system, 300 millimeters, lots of um, ventilation in here. Everything about this is top spec, you know, the radial mount, everything about this is really, really good. But you’ve got a few extra things in here. Breaking depends on traction and the traction on these tires, these are the Bridgestone S 22 tires. The rumor is that these were designed in conjunction with this bike, literally for this bike.
So you’ve got really good traction both upright and in a corner. And that traction matters when you’re braking. Now when we talk about traction upright and in a corner you’ve got the K trc, which is the traction control and the abs. Now this is also the advanced ABS system. You’re gonna hear me talk about an IM U inertial management unit. And what that does is is there’s a computer inside here that can tell when the bike’s leaning, when it’s twisting, when it’s raising, all those kinds of things. And from a pure breaking perspective, that IMU allows you to have an advanced ABS system that is corner cornering abs. And that cornering ABS allows us to sense when it’s in a leann and treat the brakes differently than when it’s upright. So overall technology here, you’ve got everything you need. You’ve got the style of brakes that you need that the radial mount, um, uh, style brakes right there.
You’ve got great traction with tires designed for the bike. You’ve got the upside down fork here, which is again less unsprung weight, which is good, that’s good for handling. That keeps the wheel in touch with the ground at at the limits. And then you’ve got everything kind of combined including the electronics that allow you to have top level braking. So from start to finish, like I said, this is a lot like a Porsche nine 11 that’s been evolved over the years from start to finish. You’ve got a really good piece here. Now this used to be known as Z1000. They moved it to the Ninja 1000 when they did, they changed up the geometry a little bit, gave you a little bit better low speed steering and control and all of those elements play into a really comfortable uh, bike that can handle very, very well in all conditions here.
At least all on-road conditions. Interestingly here, the front fork and the style of all this, I don’t know that it’s a carryover between the Zed 900 or not. Of course the one I bought was the SE with the Brembo brakes, but the front suspension has the exact same suspension travel as the Zed 900 Rs and same uh, upside down forks and same style thing. So it’s possible but this is a shared component with that just tuned a little bit differently. So I’m gonna jump across the bike again here just so you get another view of what it is to sit on this bike. But we’re gonna talk about suspension as I do. So first of all, here’s the view of this bike. You can see both my legs are relatively square. I like that slightly back lean, but it’s not like, you know, you’re not square like this but you’re not way too far back where you’re uncomfortable.
So very comfortable seating position here and comfortable overall. So suspension has a lot to do with comfort but it also has a lot to do with handling and how much do you weigh the type of roads you’re on. All kinds of things can change how the suspension works with you. And the nice thing about this one is you have the fully adjustable front fork, the fully adjustable rear shock as well. You can see the preload adjusters right here. I can spin that if I have a lot of weight on the back, whether it’s a passenger or luggage, I can just right away adjust that uh, to make that uh, set that up bright. And of course that fully adjustable front fork in this class, it’s probably standard for everything to have some of those adjustments we you don’t have though is that preload adjuster on every bike.
So having this ability to have that preload adjuster there really makes a difference because it’s both about comfort but also about handling. And if you’re buying a sport tour, you want it to handle great in all conditions and if you load it up a little bit, you wanna sort of restore that ride height, restore that uh, suspension setting to where it needs to be, whether you have a passenger or not or whether you have gear or not. And that makes it really well. So suspension’s very good seating position is very comfortable as well. We’re gonna kind of take a look at some of the technology in here. But before we do that I want to talk about this. Im u again, so this inertial management unit, basically I’ve done a video on it and I’ll put a link in the description of this video about the IMU to kind of explain what it can do.
But little things like that abs, it can sense you know, if you’re leaning left or right it, so when you’re breaking it also senses lift on the front wheel. Now you have traction control that can help prevent that. But a lot of the wheely control on some of the Kawasaki bikes has to do with just the traction control. If the front wheel is moving a different speed than the rear wheel, it says hey, something’s going on and it knows how to control the wheely. With something like this, with all this power, obviously if you take traction control off you can wheelie, but the nice thing is there’s various levels of traction control and it’s not just the wheel speed that is sensing a wheelie, it also senses you coming up. So you have this extra control with your traction control, extra control with your braking and all of those things probably won’t bother you as long as you keep traction, keep wheels on the ground, keep things in place.
But whether you’re an aggressive rider or athletic driver as I like to say, or whether you are in emergency situations or whether you’re in poor weather, the electronics on this bike are really gonna keep you in control. Now that doesn’t replace, you know, using the most important thing to keep this thing in control. But if you’re an experienced rider, uh, you can push the limits of this bike more so than maybe some other bikes with some confidence that there are electronics there that can work with you. Again, this is not a beginner bike. There’s a reason that it’s in a certain insurance class. Uh, this is a very capable bike and you can, you know, you can have some fun on it but you have to be aware of what it can do as well. Uh, but the nice thing is with all of that technology, it becomes a very easy to ride thousand cc bike and also allows experienced riders to find their limits, whether it’s on a racetrack or on certain road conditions, uh, knowing that there is some extra backup from the electronic side rather than just from your hands, your feet and your head.
So let’s take a look at some of the technology in here and then we’ll kind of back away up to some of the other things that I really think are cool about this bike. So as we take a look at the display here, I am filming in a studio with a lot of glare. One thing I wanna point out though is when you have a camera filming a screen, you’re gonna see more glare than you would with your eyes. I can tell you that just it’s factual right now. I’m looking at the exact same angle from my eyes as the camera and there’s just less glare. So the other thing I wanna point out is that even though there is a little tiny bit of glare here, and again it looks like a lot on camera, as soon as you turn this thing on, that bright, crisp, clear TFT display really makes it easy to see.
So again, it’s much harder to film this display than it is to see in person, but it is very, very clear. Uh, I wish I could find a way to, uh, to make it more clear. So you’ve got a lot going on this display. We’ve seen these TFT displays before, but the technology, the software, everything is stepped up here in this ninja 1000 sx. So we’re gonna spend a little of time here and I may have to make a couple cuts cuz again, while I know everything that this bike does, sometimes I forget off the top of my head how to make it do everything. And that’s the same thing with uh, with uh, when you’re riding this thing just because it can do a hundred different things, you’re probably gonna find the 10 or 15 things that you like to find from it the most.
You’ll know how to do those easily. So it’s not that it’s hard to use, it’s just that sometimes it’s hard to film, uh, as I’m thinking and talking and doing everything else at the same time. So let’s just show you the basics. First of all, you have the four riding modes. It’s in the sport mode right now. You can hold the switch down, we’ll show you the switches in a little bit here and come down to road. You can come down one more time to uh, rain mode here and then you can come down one more time to rider mode. And what that’s gonna do is allow you to tailor, for instance, power modes, low power or high power. Um, there is a rider mode in here somewhere. Did I miss that? Oh boy. Anyways, there is an extra mode there and the rider mode allows you to customize low power, high power, um, as well as things like traction control.
There’s various levels of traction control in here and a lot of those things you can go through here easily. I wanna show you some of the extra things in this, uh, display that sometimes people don’t have. And then I kind of have a love-hate relationship with some of this stuff. So I think it makes a lot of sense because it’s cool. But um, lemme just cycle through. We’re gonna use this for a second. Now you can use the handlebars as well. You can see you might lean angle, you can have lean angle always displayed and that’s a bar graph. If I set the um, motorcycle upright, that green angle would come in back in there. We’re gonna come back through here and you can see on the side stand it’s at a 14 degree angle right now. So that is a live lean angle. So what I, or sort of the max lean angle.
So again, haven’t learned lean this thing over to the right yet. If I wanted to, let’s just pick it up for a little tiny second here. We’ll go right lean angle. Oh it won’t go to zero so we have to go further, right? So I won’t sit across it, uh, to do that. But the idea is, um, you can see the lean angles there. Oh, we’ve got some glare back in the shot, so let’s just work with that. Alright, but lean angle’s kind of cool. And again that’s that I am u showing you those kinds of things. Now one of the cool things is you can cycle through, uh, various things there. So we’ve got the lean angle that you can see, right? Hopefully you look what we’re seeing there, right? So we’ll cycle through that. You’ve got the odometer there, trip a, trip B, and then the lean angle and the max lean angle.
Now we go to the bottom side here. We’ve got the battery at 12 volts. We’ve got kilometers per liter, which you can set as leaders per a hundred kilometers if you wanted it or miles per gallon. The states the average. So that was the instant. The average liters per hundred kilometer, this is standard on just about every, uh, bike with any kind of display at all. Uh, there’s your range. So that’s your uh, distance to empty calculated based on how you have been driving and then your average speed as well in here total time. So that’s everything there. Yep, that’s everything there. You do also have currently your, um, display setting here of uh, the outside temperature or the um, the temperature, the ambient temperature, and then your cooling temperature up there as well. Now one of the things I wanna show you, let’s see if I can do this right off the bat.
Uh, if I can’t, I am gonna make a cut here because again, I was just playing with it and I’m sometimes I get confused when I switch from bike to bikes. So, uh, lemme just, uh, hold my selection button down here and I wanna show you, there we go. Coming into here, you have all kinds of things. Now I should point out anything with a TFT display does have the radiology connection, uh, radiology app connection. So you have the Bluetooth services there. Uh, you can have things like your email and, and text notifications coming to the screen, which again, I have mixed feelings about. So I don’t know if I want that when I’m riding because I wanna be paying attention to the road, especially on a motorcycle. Uh, but you can have that. But the other thing the Ride Ology app does with this is it can really track more pieces of your ride.
Uh, I’ll do a video on the Ride ology app in the future, but um, that is something to keep in mind that on this Ninja 1000, what a, what the radiology app can do compared to something like a Ninja six 50 is just a whole lot different. So that’s something to just keep in mind. Uh, for maybe for a future video. I’m gonna go down to display here and I’m gonna change the mode here to uh, we’re gonna go from type one to type two. We’re gonna select that and then we’re gonna just kind of come back here if I can get out. There we go. So now what you have is something that’s pretty cool. Uh, I like this and I don’t, so again, you’re using that imu, it can sense GForce there. You have your fuel gauge down there, but you can see the throttle, you can actually see the throttle position here as it comes up beside the neutral gear indicator there.
So right up in here, uh, you can see the throttle here, which I think is kind of cool. If you’re on the highway you can sort of see what, what throttle position you’re at and if you switch gears you can see it be in a different position, that kind of thing. So that throttle position is kind of cool. One thing I don’t think they should do that they do is they also show you, oops, uh, lemme just remember. There you go. They also show you the brake position. So it switched from throttle here to brake and again shows you brake pressure. Now this is something that it shows instant but it doesn’t seem to show maximum. So you should never be looking down at your display while you are braking. But it is an interesting thing to be able to see uh, your brake pressure there as well.
I would prefer thought pressure again, just because you can doesn’t mean you should if you’re driving, you should never be looking at your brake pressure while you’re uh, riding. But if you’re doing emergency stop and open parking lot, you can kind of see how much brake pressure you’re actually using. Uh, which is kind of a neat thing to do. So this is one of those things where to me the technology is there but the practicality is not. But I think it’s kind of cool. And just so you know, that only shows the front brake pressure. It does not show your rear brake pressure. At least I haven’t found out any way how to do that, uh, in this display as well. Your lean angle is constantly displayed here. Um, and we can change the trip a trip B up top. You can have your max lean angle and your current lean angle, those kinds of things.
So it’s kind of an interesting display that just shows something different. We will select it or switch it back here just for the person who’s buying the spike to keep it relatively normal, uh, way it is. But again, there are so many things in this bike that you can just customize that just make it pretty cool to use. So very cool system here. Now let’s just sort of show you the um, the rest of how we’re controlling all this stuff because there’s some differences in the way this bike is set up with its controls as well. Oops, I don’t think I switched it there. We’ll change that back for the rider and we’ll show you some of the controls. All right, we’re gonna try to film the controls from this angle here. I think you can see everything. We’ll start here with the little trigger thing.
First of all, everything in here is different than just about every other Kawasaki bike. There’s a lot more clickiness to how everything works and I don’t know if you can hear it cause I’m wearing the mic, it’s not near there, but if I be real quiet again there’s that real clickiness. So again, maybe you can hear it, maybe you can’t. Uh, the other thing is because you’ve got this selection, this is what I was using to control that display. It’s all right there. Again, most of your everyday things are extremely intuitive to control something like switching that display I would recommend is pulling over to do. Um, you know, it’s not hard to do but again it does take a little bit more of attention. But your everyday things very easy to control down here. The only thing you can’t see down here is the horn.
Yeah, you’ve got your signal lights here and then there’s the four-way flashers which uh, take, they do stick in there a little bit and pop back out. Uh, so hazard lights down there. So again this plus the reset button here, you don’t wanna accidentally hit that when you’re driving so it’s well placed out but you can easily reach it while you’re driving. Things like resetting the triple odometer or something like that. All easy to do. We’re gonna talk about the cruise control in a second, but I wanted to point out this as well because you’ve got all these controls here. You don’t have your traditional headlight like high beam to regular beam, which is normally what sits here. So the way this works is it is clicky again, a lot of our calak bikes have that flash to pass feature with your high beam. You can just sort of trigger it on trigger, you know, and it just turned while you’re holding the trigger, your high beams on.
But to turn your actual high beam on you push that away and uh, it will allow your high beam to be on. So it’s just kind of interesting uh, that they use this switch to do multiple things on this bike. You’ll also notice here that this is reach adjustable for your clutch lever here. It’s also reach adjustable for your brake lever. We’ll show you that brake lever in a second cuz it’s also a little bit different than some of the other bikes. The big thing with that is it just makes it reachable for everyone. You do have a slipper and assist clutch. So of course what that does is if you’re really aggressive on a downshift, it’s from the racetrack. But also if you just mess up a downshift, you’re not really rev matching very well. Um, it does allow you to let the wheel um, not slip.
So let’s the clutch slip instead of the wheel and uh, that makes it safer so you’re always in traction. And then the side effect of that is it makes for a lighter clutch pole. Now this isn’t ninja or sorry this isn’t Versys 300 x light but it’s lighter than it could be. So you have the slipper and assist clutch right there. And again moving this, uh, somebody pointed out the good point the other day, moving this uh, reach can also just sort of that bite point at least where it feels like that bite point comes in on the clutch. So that’s something else to remember there. You can kind of have that customization there. So if good, good controls there wanna show you the windshield adjustment really quickly here. I’ll have to find an angle that that works. And then we’re gonna go to the right side handlebar controls and show you those.
So taking a look at the windshield adjustment here, I really, really like this. It is super simple to adjust. There’s a little button down here that’s almost impossible to see and it has four different tens. 1, 2, 3, uh, there is four in there. 1, 2, 3, 4, I’m missing them. But the idea is you can have that windshield really straight up or quite a long ways down. I think the middle two positions are probably the ones you would use for most everyday driving. Uh, some people have criticized this because you have to push the lever there and it’s a sort of a two-handed affair. I don’t have any issue with that. I don’t think you should be adjusting the windshield while you’re driving. So they’re basically saying hey, we don’t want you to hurt yourself while you’re trying to adjust things. So we’re making it a two-handed deal. So, um, now the flip side is I think if there was heavy wind you could go from the highest position to the very lowest position easily by just pressing that with one hand.
But coming back up it’s a two-handed affair and I think it’s uh, probably best to stop while you do that. So keep in mind that adjuster works. Whoops, there we go. Steering wheel turned as I was coming around the bike there, no big or handlebars, no big deal. Just tapped my uh, tapped my uh, tripod there. But that adjuster um, also works with the aftermarket taller windshield as well that you can get from Kawasaki. So if you want a bigger windshield right now, this is gonna take the wind off of your chest but probably not throw it over the helmet of most riders, most tall riders for sure. So that little bit taller windshield only adds about an inch or so, but I think it’s a little wider as well. Takes a little extra wind away. Let’s look at the right side handlebars and then we’ll talk about overall protection as you’re driving this bike.
So we’re filming the throttle at a bit of an awkward angle here because interestingly your kill switch here is also your start switch. So instead of having a separate start switch from your kill switch here, uh, they put it into one which again meets the letter of the law. Interesting that they do that. They don’t do that on many other bikes currently we don’t have anything else in stock. Uh, haven’t seen the versus 1000 in person that might have it but there’s not another bike I could think of in stock that doesn’t have a separate kill switch from start switch. They do it like this, it is what it is, works really, really well. So the reason I’m kind of coming from this angle here is you can see that the um, actual brake comes out differently. It doesn’t just sort of pull out the side.
So this is the type of brake feel basically that presses del directly on that piece right there. And what that does is gives you really good precise feel. Again, this is all sport bike type stuff. Um, you know, every design on these brakes are fine, this one is just better and that’s really what it is about this bike. A lot of things on this bike you could do a different way and they’d be fine. But this bike, if there’s a better way for doing it for a better feel, better control, those kind of things, you get that on this bike. So now let’s talk about some of the body work here and the practicality of it all. So we talked about the windshield here, we’ve got a lot of width here. We’ll try to show you a view from the back where you can really see the width, but right now you won’t see it from your angle.
But I want to really sort of emphasize that the body comes very wide here and tucks in here. When your knees are on this bike, they are fully tucked in outside of the wind so it doesn’t show you that you know from the side but as you’re riding it, that is a thing that makes a difference. So again, even though this isn’t that adventure style tall bike, you’ve got good protection on your legs, you’ve got good protection above, you know on your body as well. And then that wide tank that has a real deep cutout here. So we’ll show you that a little bit later here as we go through A lot of the styling is just that styling but you can tell that there’s aerodynamic design to it. Everything here that’s uh, where the engine is that that venting or that open areas that allows that heat to come out.
It’s going to push the, the heat away from your body. So you’re gonna be able to ride this with good protection. It’s not too hot in the summer. Sometimes spikes with a great amount of wind protection are too hot in the summer but you still have that ability to have that air around you. Um, cuz again the engine’s not coming at you but in the winter or in the colder weather anyways, not in the winter maybe uh, you still can ride this in cool weather and have uh, that on there. Heated grips are not standard on the spike but they’re a Kawasaki option. I recommend throwing them on the switch gear mounts, uh, looks perfectly. I actually put them on my Z 900 Rs so that is something that I would do on this bike to sort of finish the package. I’d like to see that standard but uh, it is what it is.
Now coming back to this area here, we did talk about this little handle type here. This handle has built in areas for uh, something like on the Versys 650. You have those hard bags that come standard. I feel like they should come standard on this bike, but again they’re hitting this price point with this bike. Um, but you can easily mount those accessories whether you buy them with the bike or afterwards. Uh, they are simple to mount, they’re about 28 liters so they can take an entire weekend’s worth of the stuff. You can do either the side bags or you can get an actual uh, top bag. You can’t do both on this bike. So it’s something to keep in mind. The styling here, um, allows for the side bags nicely. That’s what I would go with. You could obviously strap something across the seat here cause you have these big handles here.
But yeah, body work down low is about aerodynamics and styling and uh, up here is about practicality with windy wind staying off your body as well. So what I’m finding is it’s really impossible to kind of show you the amount of in, uh, indent here. This is still curving in here from out here. So you get the sharp turn in here and then you’re still continuing to come in in, in into this very narrow tank area allowing your legs to tuck in. So that of course allows you to have great control. You can sort of brace your knees up against anywhere in this for control as a sport bike, but it also blends that wind protection there. Again, the color of the bike, the angle of the camera. It’s very difficult to show on camera how tight this is to feel like a nice small nimble bike, but how wide it is to give you all the protection you need.
I will say the seat, I’ve tried it a few times here now quite comfortable a little bit on the firm side, which I don’t think is an issue for most people. Um, I think that’s usually what you want on a touring bike, but uh, again, the size of it as well. Uh, a lot of bikes have sort of a narrow seat. This is nice and wide. So really happy with that as well. Take a look at the back here. There’s the cool versus uncool of this bike. This is the one thing that I think is a little less cool than it could be. First of all, the cool side. This is a one 90 series tire. Virtually everything else, even sport bike, uh, lineup of Kawasaki is one 60 to 180 in width. This is one 90. And just from looking at it from behind you see that, you can see this is a serious sport bike with a big, big wide tire.
It just looks cool. One thing that doesn’t look as cool is this to me, I mean maybe you disagree with me. Again, this is Euro five compliant, which I like. I like that this is not a um, you know, heavy uh, emissions type bike. One thing to know is that when they redesign this into this current model, you have a single muffler over here used to have the mufflers on both sides that cuts weight anytime you can cut weight is a graded idea. Uh, also helps with handling all the masses centralized in this bike. Anyways, it’s very, very good that way. I just don’t love the styling of it. I would’ve liked to see them style it a little bit better. The other thing is this one, unlike the Zed 900 Rs, the Zed 900, both of those bikes are sound tuned. This one’s not Kawasaki sound tune now it does sound very good.
Um, but I feel like it could have maybe sounded just a hair better if they’d gone through the sound tuning process, but maybe that’s not what this bike rider’s looking for. Relatively quiet, uh, at idle, which is really nice. Certainly. Uh, the other ones are louder. Z 900 Z 900 Rs are louder at idle. Uh, but it sings nicely when you get going, which I think is what most people want. So now let’s talk about who this bike is for. And here’s what’s interesting about the Kawasaki lineup. I came from a Versys 650 and almost bought this and I think that is a very logical move because if you look at the vers lineup, the smaller verus is more of an adventure off-road bike. The 300 then you have the 650. 650 is kind of that upright sport tour. It’s not an off-road bike at all.
It’s kind of a sporty tour. Uh, that 650 engineer is absolutely great for the road, but this is gonna have an insane amount of more passing power. And if you move to the verses 1000, you actually share an engine with this, but you lose some of the nimbleness of the verses six 50, which to me is exactly where this slots in. You add sportiness from the verses six 50, you are just as comfortable in an upright riding position. You certainly change the look of this bike into a sport style bike, but that’s kind of where it sits practically in the lineup. I think it is a very sporty bike, uh, with a lot of power, but the ability to put those bags on the back means that this becomes a true touring bike. Now can you whip it around town? Yes, it feels very nimble.
It actually for uh, you know, over a 500 pound bike, it feels fairly light. And again, that’s because all that mass is centralized, it’s all low. Um, so it’s a comfortable bike to drive around town and that kind of thing. But this is a bike that you really want to get out on the open highway, uh, long sweeping corners, but it still works well in nibble traffic circles, that kind of thing. It should be, you know, very good for all of your handling needs at any speed. But immense power, the electronic cruise control, we didn’t talk about it too much. Basically you set it and forget it, just like a car. Very simple to do. That’s a really nice feature to have here because it allows you to go on those longer trips. The flip side is it also has some performance features. We didn’t talk about shifting this display, we talked about the clutch, but you have an up down, quick shifter, not just up like the ZX six.
It’s up and down, uh, quick shifter. So it does require a little bit of revs to really work well. So if you’re aggressively shifting, um, you’re gonna want to just uh, you know, give it on some throttle and aggressively shifts up without touching the clutch. So again, quick shifter if you don’t know what it is, um, first gear to get going and then above that you can just shift up or down without touching the clutch. The way it does that electronically is it just cuts the, ooh, is it the timing and the shift, I dunno, it cuts fuel something for that split second electronically. Uh, because it’s electron throttle in here, it can cut that, uh, to allow that instant, instant, instant shifts. So again, moving to a bike with this much power but also giving the quick shifter makes this thing accelerate in any speed, in any gear, very, very well.
It’s got power low in the revs. If you just wanna kind of drive around torkey, uh, you know, third, fourth gear, that kind of thing, no problem. But you also have the ability to whip through those gears really quickly. So that quick shifter keeps it sporty. The cruise control and some of the other features keeps it uh, very good for a long distance tour, which makes it a really versatile bike. And then when you mix in some of those safety features, again, hopefully you never need the Kibs that Kawasaki intelligent braking system. So basically the advanced ABS system, this has that. Hopefully you never need to use that, but if you do, it has that hopefully you never need to have the traction control which uses the imu, which can sense lean angles and lift and twist and all those kind of things. Hopefully you never need to use that.
But if you do, you’ve got that as well. Technology is in this bike. Value is in this bike, like I said, $300 less than the 2023 version of the bike. I bought the Z 900 Rs, which doesn’t have the imu, doesn’t have the advanced abs, doesn’t have the digital display with the radiology connection, doesn’t have cruise control, doesn’t have the quick shifter, doesn’t have a whole bunch of things and $300 less with the ability to add factory luggage. This thing is a screaming good deal. Now I think Kawasaki Canada understands that this is an insurance class separate. This is classed closer to those race bikes simply because of the power. Uh, but for an experienced rider won’t be a problem to get insured on it and no problem. Um, but I think they recognize that. So there’s the value equation there. It’s not just purchase price, it’s ongoing insurance costs.
But this thing is absolutely amazing. If you want a fast bike, a touring bike, and a capable around town bike, you know, anything you could want to do, you can do in this. Even taking a passenger. A lot of these sporty bikes have a joke of a backseat. You can take your passenger around town, but you could tour with this. Um, you know, this isn’t something like the Versys 1000 with a big touring seat, but it does give you that. So everything in one bike for a really good value. And again, this class of bike is sort of leaving that overall motorcycle market. They’ve gone to the adventure sport touring style. There’s a reason to still have this. You get better handling in this type of style and you can still have all the comfort. So let me know what you think. This was a really in-depth review because this is a real flagship model for Kawasaki. So many little details. Uh, I’ve done videos on little bits and pieces of this bike in the past. Something like
The, like I said, I linked that in the description. Uh, but if there’s more you want to know or more something you want me to focus on a little bit better, uh, in a separate video, let me know in the comments. Let me know what you like, think about this bike. Uh, let me know if you think I made a mistake. Should I have bought the Z900Rs or should I have bought this? We did a poll and I think it was basically 60 40 people say, I should have bought this instead. And, uh, I guess that’s, you know, you buy the bike you like rather than the bike with all the specs sometimes. But let me know what you think. And again, I wanna thank Jim Gilbert’s PowerSports for giving me complete access to their lineup because I get to look at bikes like this and talk to you about them and come back to them. So there you go. Let me know and thanks everybody for watching.