Kawasaki announced a new R Edition version of the Z1000 for Europe but the future of the naked roadster remains unclear with a new Z900 model on the way. Kawasaki Europe will still offer the base model Z1000 for the 2017 model year but the R Edition may turn out to be a final production run special edition.

2017 Kawasaki Z900 Pre-Preview

The R Edition offers some refinements over the Z1000. The petal-style dual brake rotors have been replaced by Brembo discs with heat-dissipating grooves and M50 calipers paired with stainless steel braided lines.

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The rear shock was swapped out for an Ă–hlins S46DR1S rear shock offers remote preload adjustments, necessitating a modified rear suspension linkage ratio. Up front, the Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston’s settings were revised, with Kawasaki claiming more refined and responsive handling.

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The 1043cc Inline-Four engine is the same as found on the regular Z1000 but with revised ECU settings for smoother power delivery. The R Edition’s instrument cluster also receives a gear position indicator and an adjustable shift-up light that shows when the engine reaches a desired speed for an upshift.

The 2017 Kawasaki Z1000 R Edition comes in a Metallic Spark Black and Metallic Graphite Gray color scheme with yellow-green accents. Other special edition touches include a Z logo-embossed seat and tank pads.

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  • Old MOron

    Hmm, a couple of years ago, when the Z1000 took on the European super nakeds, it fell down in the areas of: http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2014-super-naked-street-brawl-video/2
    weight
    engine
    transmission/clutch
    handling
    suspension
    technologies
    grin factor
    cool factor
    This R edition should fix 2 or 3 of these, but prolly not enough to make it to super naked status. JB makes a good case for the Z in the shootout. This ZR will be even better.

    • denchung

      Provided it’s coming to the States. With the new Z900 coming at EICMA, Kawasaki will have to decide if it will bring one or both to the US.

      • spiff

        It would seem foolish to bring both. I figure they are aligning with the Yamaha small/medium/large formula. (FZ07/FZ09/FZ10)

  • Jeff Keene

    I had really thought that Kawasaki was going to discontinue the z1000 when they announced the z900. The z900 would make an excellent commuter/canyon carver but would essentially concede the super naked market to Europe and Yamaha. The absence of the z1000 would also leave room in Kawasaki’s line up for a super charged surprise to compete with the super nakeds.

    A guy can hope. There is still Eicma left for new model announcements, but the presence of the z1000 undermines the notion that Kawasaki was making room in its line up for a new truly bonkers super naked bike. The presence of the z900 and the z1000 does not make a lot of sense to me. The z1000r, while perhaps a fine street bike, is still going to fall short compared to what Europe and Yamaha are offering. Maybe Kawasaki is just trying to get rid of some surplus z1000 frames.

    Personally, between the z900 and the z1000, I would be more attracted to the z900. I like the looks, I like the lighter weight, and I like feeling like I can spank an engine without feeling like I am consigning my life to the fate bestowed upon me by the gods of gravel and deer. But still, it is only a ~100cc difference. Would motorcycle.com be up for an intra z comparison sometime in 2017? I’ve got to admit that I have a soft spot for Kawasaki and I’m really hoping the z900 is a hit.

    • spiff

      Oh yea, supercharged naked.

  • Born to Ride

    Figure out a way to unleash the 145-150 rwhp that is hiding in this engine, give it a respectable face, and drop 20 lbs off of it. Then and only then will this thing compete with the big boys.

    I would love to see a shootout where the MOrons compared a properly upgraded Z1000 to the competition. If you spent 17000$ on the Kawi, bike MSRP plus upgrades, I’m willing to bet it would put up a solid fight.

    • BDan75

      Real world, you can find them new in the $9000 range. I paid $10,000 OTD (including taxes) for my new ’14 two Octobers ago. Start with that money, spend $60 on a set of Honda CB300F mirrors (look a lot better), $100 on a Yosh fender eliminator (saves a couple pounds and looks a ton better), $1,350 on the single-side full exhaust from Akrapovic (cuts an incredible 21 pounds), and $300 on an ECU flash from Ivan. That’s $11,800 for a new bike that’s close to 25 pounds lighter than stock and is putting 140hp/82tq to the rear wheel. Haven’t done any research, but I’m guessing the closest you could get to that is a leftover S1000R or non-factory Tuono, and you’d probably still be up at least a couple grand. (As always, used is a different story.)

      Personally, I didn’t feel like the bike needed more power, so I went with just a set of cheapish Delkevic slip-ons, which still saved a fair bit of weight. If it was my only bike I’d probably go full-exhaust + flash, but I have an S1000RR for those times when I really need that extra push over the cliff…

  • DAVID

    This is typical Japanese motorcycles great motor!!!! poor brakes and suspension, I ride a an 08 CBR 1000 and ZX 14 (these are great bikes) the guys I ride with that have those exotics the handling and the brakes are just awesome. For some reason they think by having 200 hp is the answer it’s not I rather have a 130-150 rw hp that weights in at 450 lbs or less! that has great suspension and brakes without feeling like the bike was made for someone that’s 5ft/5 in and weight 130 lbs seriously!!!

  • Craig Hoffman

    If you want a good super naked and are on a welfare budget, find a nicely modded ’06 or later FZ1 with a flashed ECU, full exhaust, Penske (or adapted R1) shock, front brake pads/lines. FZ1 forks can be made to work “well enough” by adding 5 weight fork oil in the compression side, 10 weight rebound side. Such a bike makes 145 at the wheel with a screaming 13,000 rpm top end (they can rev higher, the flash unlocks this), is comfy and costs around 4-5.5K and does not look like a prop bike from a bad sci fi movie. Problem solved 🙂