Author Topic: Z1000 vs. FZ1  (Read 4668 times)

Offline Curtie223

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Z1000 vs. FZ1
« on: September 04, 2011, 09:57:37 am »
Great read by motorcyclist.com

 Successful niches have a way of becoming mainstream. That's why there's a beer-brewing kit in my closet and naked bikes at your local dealership. While naked-bike enthusiasts used to build their own out of necessity, stripped-down sportbikes are now a staple of nearly every manufacturer's lineup. Riders are clamoring for a do-it-all machine that's powerful, comfortable, versatile and agile. The new "nearly nakeds" provide a middle ground that approaches ideal.

 Kawasaki's Z1000 and Yamaha's FZ1 lead the pack. Both strive for perfection by pairing powerful superbike-derived engines with versatile chassis and accommodating ergonomics. Neither bike is actually naked. The American market demands some sporty accents, so both are lightly clad in plastic. The Fazer (as it's known in Europe) has been in the mix since 2001 and underwent its only major overhaul back in '06 when it was given a new YZF-R1-derived 998cc engine, updated suspension and an aluminum twin-spar frame in place of the previous steel-perimeter skeleton. The current generation saw the fueling tweaked for better midrange response but no other significant changes-much to the chagrin of those pining for an unclothed and upright crossplane R1. It's a classic-looking bike, with the squinting headlights of its more sporting sibling, exposed engine and exhaust plumbing, and flat drag bar perched on tall risers.
Kawasaki's take on the perfect streetbike traces its roots back to the '73 Z1, but today's angular, broad-shouldered bike bears little resemblance to its progenitor. Totally revamped for 2010, the Z1000 wedges a purpose-built engine into a new aluminum backbone frame similar to that of the 2008-2010 ZX-10R. Engine displacement was bumped up to 1043cc via a 77 x 56mm bore and stroke, and while those figures are exactly 1mm larger, the naked bike's engine isn't just a reworked ZX-10R mill. Kawasaki started from scratch, eliminating the compromises that come with retuning a race engine for the street.

 Stepping off of a cramped repli-racer onto one of these pseudo-standards will prompt a sigh of relief. Ergonomics are reasonable, especially for the upper extremities. The Z uses a wide off-road-style handlebar placed within easy reach of a thinly padded seat. The FZ1's perch is plusher, and the Yamaha sports a narrower handlebar that rests closer to the rider and resides behind a modest windscreen. Paradoxically, the foot pegs on both these bikes are set high. While your upper body remains comfortably erect, your legs are folded tight, although more so on the Kawasaki than the Yamaha and more acutely if you're taller than 6 feet. Additionally, the Z's dual raygun mufflers crowd your heels and force your feet forward on the pegs.

 In line with its futuristic looks, the Kawasaki has an all-digital dash with a bar-graph tachometer and gas gauge on the right and speedo on the left. A clock, dual tripmeters and the usual indicator lights are tucked in along the edges of the orange-screened display, and are manipulated via two buttons on the dash face. The Yamaha pairs an LCD screen with an analog tach. Engine temperature, fuel level, time and speed are displayed in the digital cluster to the left, while the select and reset buttons are directly below. The tach resides to the right with its redline positioned 1000 rpm higher than the Kawi's 11,000-rpm mark. Both machines have large rearview mirrors that are spaced wide enough and damped well enough to remain useful while underway.

 Rolling the Z1000 out of the garage, you're aware of every ounce of its 483-pound wet weight, and it feels top-heavy when rocked between your legs. Positioning the ignition behind the steering stem keeps the dash clutter-free, but it can be difficult to insert the key, especially with gloves on. Let out the rather heavy cable-actuated clutch, accelerate to 15 mph and 80 lbs. of mass seems to disappear instantly. Kawi's trademark Positive Neutral Finder is effective but prevents you from shifting up out of neutral, which is a shame considering first gear is largely unnecessary; this bike would easily launch off the line in second or even third! There's 60 lb.-ft. of torque on tap at just 3500 rpm-nearly as much as a Harley V-Rod makes at that same rpm-and a sum the FZ1 takes twice as long to attain. By far the Z1000's principal asset is its engine: It's got the torque of a turbo-diesel and the kind of instantaneous power that'll let you flash your drain plug at a moment's notice. This is what big-bore nakeds are all about!
If the Kawasaki can be faulted, it's for its uncomfortable seat. The scooped saddle pushes you toward the tank and the stretchy, sticky upholstery leaves your britches in a bunch. Add this to the lack of wind protection and the Z was downright agonizing on the freeway. The Showa fork and shock felt rough over choppy highway pavement, but proved pretty spot-on for back-road fun. And they do offer plenty of tuning options: The fork is fully adjustable and the shock can be tuned for spring preload and rebound damping. Handling is quick thanks to sporty geometry, a pronounced forward weight bias and that motocross-style handlebar. A quick push on the bar slaps the bike on its side, and it can be stood up and ushered in the other direction just as easily. The Kawi will inhale a quick succession of sharp bends with supermoto-like efficiency, but in sweeping corners it feels unsettled and requires constant pressure on the bars to hold a line. The bike's narrow waist and tall gas tank leave little to latch onto during aggressive riding, so it's difficult not to hang onto the bars while leaned over. In really fast bends the front end feels like it's on the verge of letting go, despite the noticeably better traction offered by the Kawasaki's Dunlop D210s compared to the Yamaha's less grippy D221s.

 The FZ1's engine is happiest in the upper half of the rev range, and doesn't really come alive until the top third. In fact, it spins up laboriously until about 8000 rpm, when the R1-derived 20-valve head starts flowing and the tach needle swings toward redline with alarming alacrity. Don't be misled: The FZ1 makes loads of power-its 125.7 bhp at 11,000 rpm outguns the Z1000's 123.2 at 10,000-but it's not immediately or readily accessible. Zack on the Z1000 just floated a big power-wheelie off that last corner. Care to follow suit? Better fill out the appropriate application and wait for a reply. Rapping the throttle open on the FZ1 is like using a rotary phone compared to the Z's speed dial.
Even though the Z1000 has a secondary balance shaft and received a rubber-mounted rear engine mount for 2010, peripatetic vibrations are an issue in the upper revs. Thankfully, there's no need to go there. The Kawasaki is content to troll along in top gear, cruising 70 mph at a buttery-smooth 5000 rpm. Meanwhile, lackluster low-end power and irritating vibration encourage the FZ1 pilot to keep things spinning in the upper register, where pulsations diminish and there's thrust at the ready. The widely divergent riding styles these bikes dictate are responsible for a substantial gap in fuel consumption: On average, the relaxed Kawi got 6 mpg more than the high-revving Yamaha.
 
 Unlike the Z1000, the FZ1 doesn't lose an appreciable amount of weight once its gold wheels are set in motion. The Yamaha tips the scales at an even 500 lbs. with a full tank and spreads its weight over a longer 57.5-inch wheelbase. It takes more time and effort to redirect, but is imperturbably settled once on its side and takes mid-corner bumps and direction changes in stride. The Soqi suspension components' only concession to economy is a lack of compression-damping adjustability on the shock, and the stock settings balance highway compliance with back-road responsiveness well enough. Even with frequent fuel-injection tweaks over the years, the FZ1 still suffers from abrupt throttle response in the middle revs, which makes fast progress up unfamiliar mountain roads more exasperating than fun. While short-shifting is an acceptable strategy for damping the Z1000's swift-punch power delivery, shifting up early on the Yamaha will drop you out of the powerband and out of the contest to reach the summit.
Where the Yamaha excels is in open, flowing curves where the throttle can be steadily rolled open. Not only is the FZ1 more stable at speed, but it offers better wind protection and a better bike/rider interface, with more for your legs to latch onto and a better tank to drape an arm across while bombing through a sweeper. But on a warm day-or even a cool one if you're wearing jeans or thin textile pants-straddling the tank can be downright uncomfortable as engine heat warms the fuel tank and frame spars to a distressingly high temperature.

 In spite of its non-radial master cylinder and calipers, the Yamaha's R1-derived binders provide better feel and power than the Kawasaki's ZX-10R-derived components. The FZ1 has a smoother initial bite and braking force directly proportional to the effort exerted on the lever, whereas the Z's brakes bite hard and then plateau momentarily.

 Around town, both bikes are head-and-shoulders more comfortable than thoroughbred sportbikes of similar capacity, and place you high enough in the saddle to yield a good view of your surroundings. The same characteristics that make the Z1000 the weapon of choice in the hills and canyons make it excel in the cut-and-thrust riding of the city. The FZ1 displays solid balance and stability, and the low-rev anemia that irritates while chasing the Z is all but unapparent compared to the lethargic acceleration of automobiles packing similar horsepower but six times the weight. In slow-moving traffic, however, the Yamaha's heat-management issues prove painful.

 Parked at a scenic overlook high in the Angeles National Forest, the visual disparity between these two bikes really stands out. The Z1000's 2010 updates brought it a few styling tweaks including a sharper headlight housing, new wheels and a few new body panels. You may not dig the Mega-Man appearance, but you can't deny that it is a cohesive and edgy package. Those mufflers are bizarre, but they don't offend. The new chin fairing and fork shrouds look weird individually, but viewed as a whole the bike flows from front to back, with a stout front end and slim, elevated tail that give it a mean, take-no-prisoners appearance.
If you prefer classic to cutting edge, the FZ1 has it. The softer contours of its half-fairing maintain the same easy-on-the-eyes appearance as the original. The bike looks more pedestrian, and behaves accordingly. The level of heart-pumping thrills depends entirely on your intentions.
 
 So, which one is the perfect do-it-all bike? Since the $200 difference between the $10,499 Z1000 and the $10,299 FZ1 is negligible, it all comes down to how your riding style meshes with these bikes' characteristics. If short, fitful sprints are your forte, the decision is clear: The Z1000's responsiveness and instantaneous power delivery hit the spot around town and on tight back roads, but its more constrained seating position, high-rpm engine vibration and lack of wind protection limit its range. If you prefer longer stretches of undulating countryside, the FZ1 takes the lead. With better ergonomics, decent wind protection and excellent high-speed stability, the Yamaha becomes more appealing the farther and faster you ride. It's more accommodating and has the qualities to fit a longer list of uses, including sport-touring.
If you can't decide which one is for you, pour yourself a home-made brew and think about it for a while.

Read more: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/features/122_1101_yamaha_fz1_vs_kawasaki_z100/viewall.html#ixzz1WzlZndIX

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 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline CrossReaper

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 06:27:29 pm »
The new z100 looks sexy as hell but those ER-6 "fairings" need to come off. Looks retarded as hell on that bike. lol

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 06:37:56 pm »
At first I didn't like it either, But after a year of them being out it is growing on me. If all goes right I may have another Z come Spring. We will see.

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline jeff5150

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 11:35:02 pm »
the Z hands down!!!! so damn smexay!!!!!!
81 gl1100....

Offline RandyRocks77

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 11:44:01 pm »
hell yeah for the Z..  :worthy

Offline Krispy1

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 02:49:33 pm »
I'm a little biased on this one because I already own a FZ1. Stock I think I would rather ride the Kawi due to the better low end but after you uncork both bikes the FZ1 will make marginally more power up top. Belive it or not I find that type of power delivery a little easier to ride but my last two bikes have been Yamaha's so I have probably just become more accustomed to that type of power delivery. I have not ridden the Z1000 so I don't know how the wind protection is but I LOVE the fairing on the FZ. On the FZ1 forums we talk about the third Gen FZ1 and everyone wants the crossplane engine but after picking up my 04 R1 this winter I would be VERY happy with a unrestricted five valve R1 motor in a updated and lightened FZ1 frame! I doubt Yamaha has the stones to deliver a bike like that...

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 10:20:08 am »
You defiantly get more wind protection from the Yamaha. Not much screen on the Z.  I now have a Second Gen Z and it's alot like you said about the power more on top. It has smaller Throttle bodies and smaller valves not making as much power as the 1st gen on the bottom. I love the look of the FZ1 and is better I think at the cruising/commuting part of riding than the Z. Plus a more comfortable seat.

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline Krispy1

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 01:35:52 pm »
Seat was one of the first things I changed on the FZ! The stocker looks comfortable but after an hour or so you would get sore fast. 

Offline emd513

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 11:15:58 am »
Like both but the z will have to win it. Like the looks better
03 Zr1000. Totalled
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Offline RandyRocks77

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 11:16:56 am »
car lot down the street has a Z for sale... not sure how much

Offline emd513

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 05:47:42 pm »
Go get it. More Z's in the family lol
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Offline tnzeder

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Re: Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 07:57:17 pm »
I want another Z, would like that European one Z1000 ES I think?

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Offline emd513

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 09:39:12 pm »
Just remember to post pics when you get it
03 Zr1000. Totalled
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Offline RandyRocks77

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 12:16:15 am »
I doubt I get it... i'm more of a cruiser type guy... but aways a little part of me that says hmmm it would be nice

Offline emd513

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 06:52:23 am »
Well get and ride it on those days you just want to get crazy.lol. 
03 Zr1000. Totalled
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Offline jeff5150

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 01:32:48 pm »
dont let the z1000 fool you. it is a very very comfortable bike. very smooth and tame if you ride it conservatively, but will still get down and dirty if you want to. in my opinion its the best all around bike on the market to date.
81 gl1100....

Offline tnzeder

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Re: Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 02:25:08 pm »
Hear hear!!!

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Offline emd513

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Re: Z1000 vs. FZ1
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 09:06:19 pm »
Yeah when I'm done with my she will scream down the road like I stole her. :D
03 Zr1000. Totalled
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