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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I just went to the international motorcycle show here in Minnesota and I had a chance to sit on, and examine, all three of these bikes. I was originally pining for a CB1000R when I was in the market for a new bike last year, but I eventually got my '03 Z1000.

After going to the show today, I realized (as you all probably already know) the CB1000R is being released in the states as a 2011 model. After sitting on all three bikes, and looking at the specs of these bikes, I've come to these conclusions and come up with these questions.

1) The Z1000 is the most comfortable of them all to sit on. The ninja 1000 comes in a very close second and the CB third. The CB just doesn't have quite the same feel as the other two. On the Z, you feel like you're on top of the bike, and in total control of the weight of it. It's really well balanced. The Ninja 1000 is similar feeling, but you feel a little more "in" the bike than the Z if that makes sense. The CB feels a little narrower and less balanced. Not a lot, but slightly. It might be just me, but it almost feels like your sitting on a monster sized dirtbike on the CB. I didn't care for the way the CB "felt".

2) The Ninja 1000 looks really nice in person and the cockpit looks pretty good. The CB1000R looks like its finished very well. Every part is nicely rounded, and there isn't any extra plastic where there shouldn't be. The single sided swingarm is pretty trick, but the wheels, in my opinion, are thick and ugly looking. When you're sitting on all three, you notice one thing immediately. The CB is very minimalistic, the Ninja has a lot of "stuff" going on when you look toward the guages, and the Z is a happy medium. I don't like the way the bars and risers look on the Ninja: They almost look like they were just slapped on as an afterthought. Nothing, including the bottom of the windscreen looks like it "fits" together right. I like the bars and guages on the CB, but overall, the Z does look better in the instrument department.

3) The CB uses a reworked 2007 model CBR1000R engine. Like the Z of the first gen, it's a detuned version of their biggest sportbike engine set up for more midrange and torque. At first I thought this was awesome. The ZX9R made 135 hp or so, and the same engine after the "torque and midrange tweaking" made about 125. So it lost 10 hp, big deal. Surely the CB1000RR motor, which made somewhere around 165-175 hp in '07 would make the CB1000R an absolute monster right? Wrong, it's not even close. Somewhere along the way in the tuning, Honda lost 40-50 hp in translation here.:dontknow: It's listed at about 125 hp, same as the Z. I realize the Z has evolved in the engine since the first gens, but it's close to the same power output as it has been in the past. How utterly disappointing this was to discover!

So finally, as you might imagine, I think the Z is the best of the three bikes. It's not too little, and not too much, and you can call me goldielocks of you want. I prefer the minimalist looks of the CB, and I like some of it's trick little bits too. But it's just a little bit TOO little for me. If they made a naked version of the CBR1000RR, like the one that is being raffled off there, there wouldn't be a question for me. But the CB just seems like they paid attention to all the little details and did them very well, but they lost sight of the big picture while doing so. The Z has it's little things that I don't care for, the newer one gets the more plastic one gets as well, but overall it's MY favorite bike. The Ninja 1000 is nice, but it lacks the refinement of the other two. Maybe a couple years down the road they'll figure out the little mismatched things, but for now it comes in firmly in second place with me. The CB1000R is last in the group for the reasons listed. When I sat on it, it felt exactly like the Harley XR1200R, and it looks like one a little too.

Too bad for Honda, because I've always been a Honda guy till now. I bought my Z because I couldn't get a CB1000R here. Now, I'm a 75% Kawasaki guy and 23% Honda guy.

Keep in mind that this review might have gone totally different if I had found out the CB was pushing 155-165 hp. That kind of power can make up for some shortcomings in other areas. But it doesn't, so I'm cool with my Z. :2cents:
 

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i'm hopin' for 135-140 hp on my2010 z with full muzzy PCv and bcm filter. we'll see this spring when i can get to the dyno.:screwy::screwy::screwy:
 

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GOOD INFO ,THANKS.
what drew me to the 03-06 Z 1000 was MINIMALIST . cant stand plastic that is not necessary.
look at a DUC street fighter from the side. not much plastic but mechanically a lot is going on their. parts,parts and more parts. look at a 03-06 Z1000 . very clean and basic. the engine is just hanging their out in the open. very few hoses and mechanical parts hanging off it. each GEN of zed got more plastic and parts hanging off it. this is not important to a lot of you and that is fine. i come from the 60-mid 80s . motorcycles were standard bikes. MINIMALIST. that is what i like. trick parts like radial brakes etc do not turn me on.
 

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Same here I like the old kz 900-1000 & honda cb750 on down look when i bought my Z I wasn't that hot about the look and still ant. I like the 03-06 better :( I would like to put a round head light on with a bikin fairing:eek:
 

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Good review. There were 3 things that I took into consideration when buying the z instead of the ninja. First the mirrors looked plain ugly, second I was not a fan of the colors, and 3rd Im a naked bike fan and the 1/2 fairing looks kinda funky. But the pro's to the ninja were the larger fuel tank and better wind protection. Its was kind of a toss up for me.
 

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I will be getting the z1000sx/ninja. Its just a matter of time.
 

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Here's what cinched it for me. The Z1000 (2010+)'s motor is purpose-built for the bike. It's not a detuned or reworked ZX10 motor. The motor is all about torque. I'm always amazed at the torque this motor has.

Besides, the Z is sharp looking. To be, the CB looks like an insect.

Rob
 

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+1 rob, there were two things that stood out to me one was the funky looking headlight set up. It reminds me of a gas mask, which is fine if thats what your into. And second is that exhaust, sure does stand out and not in a good way!
 

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Gas mask!! That's even better than insect. The Aprilia Tuano looks more like an insect now that I think about it.

Besides, what is it with companies that only offer one color?? I don't want a black bike. Maybe I'm the exception, but black bikes hide too many of their looks.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
By the way, I'm not saying I don't like plastic by any means. To me, the new style cbr and ninja look flipping amazing. They're beautifully designed bikes. I just like less plastic for something I'll be riding on the street. That plastic has a purpose, wind protection at high speeds. But it only really helps over 90 mph. Plus, there's something equally beautiful about nicely finished mechanical parts. Makes you remember you're sitting on a machine, not a sculpture. My other bike is as minimalist as it gets. By the time its "finished" it'll be stripped down so far it won't even have a chain guard. I just didn't think they did the best job on the ninja 1000 where the bars and windscreen meet up. The bodywork is good, not amazing, but good.
 

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I like a lot of things about the N1000, but to me, at a glance, it looks like any other sportbike on the road. It has the same basic shape. And like you say, all the plastic. I really like that underneath, it's the Z1000 powertrain, but the Z is vastly superior in the looks department. Like you, I love seeing the mechanical bits.

It's also what I love about my DR650. It's such wonderfully simple bike. Air cooled. No cooling crap to deal with. Everything is right there where you can see it and get at it. The bike is light (366 wet). No electronics (other than the CDI).

Rob
 

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a long time ago i had a Suzuki GS 1100 [ 1982 ]. a simple UJM if their ever was one. it was so simple to tinker with. i could have the 4 carbs off and on the bench in about 15 minutes. i have worked on a few newer plastic covered sport bikes. besides being a pain to work around , a lot of the fastners are flimsy and do not like to go back on properly. or the clip falls off the plastic and goes someplace to never be seen again.
 

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Torque! Torque! Torque! Its whats makes a great bike.
Add a little light weight and eceptional handling and what do you get?
2010 Z1000...its whats for dinner...Fyeah!!!!!!
 

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Peak numbers are useful only for bragging. Look at dyno curves from each of the three generations of Zs. One of the first two had good peak power but disappointing low-end and midrange. The other handicapped peak power but delivered good low and mid power. Both of those bikes had flat spots. The latest generation is powerful and smooth throughout the entire range, with a torque curve comparable to that of the near-legendary grunt of the Triumph Speed Triple and even more horsepower. It's a remarkable achievement that hasn't been matched by any of the other Japanese manufacturers.
 

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after 2005 emission laws got tougher on motorcycles , it got hard to keep performance up and pass smog. the new Z1000 for all its high tech like all 06 and up bikes has to pass smog testing that 05 and older bikes do not. yes the 2010 Z 1000 makes gobs of power that you can use at the twist of the throttle. my older Z 1000 is for sure less powerful at lower RPMs compared to the new one. but with the gearing it has and VERY smooth fueling i do not notice a problem with usable power at all . speeds. jut put it one gear lower and hang on.
most statements about the new Z1000 having a lot more power than the older one is about the 07-09 Z1000.
as i have said before the 07 Z 1000 has many sacrifices to gain mid range power and pass stricter smog testing.
for smoothness they added a lot of weight to the crankshaft [ that hurts acceleration]. it also has smaller valves and throttle bodies. also the cams were changed . my friend and i have never done a real drag race to see which bike is faster in the 1/4 mile. he tells me my 04 feels just as fast above 6,000 rpm. as his 2010
 

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my friend and i have never done a real drag race to see which bike is faster in the 1/4 mile. he tells me my 04 feels just as fast above 6,000 rpm. as his 2010
I believe that. As I recall, the dynos are pretty darn similar above that point, as are the peak numbers. The older bikes aren't bad at all - just one was better for top end, one was better for low/mid.
 

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i have seen dyno charts from Muzzy and ivans in maryland showing as high as 132 RWHP on A 03-06 Z1000 with a full system, air box mod and a PC3. that is about 145 crankshaft HP. i think a 2010 with a full system and a PC5 would put out about 135 RWHP with a much better mid range than the 03-06
on a race starting at 6,000 RPM who knows.
 
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