Kawasaki Ninja 1000: the grand master

Kawasaki has had a fairly promising run-up to 2014. It closed 2013 with a flurry of launches – the ZX10, the ZX14, the Z1000 and the bike in this story, the Ninja 1000, were all launched between October and December last year.

And we recently got some time on the Ninja, the latest CBU import from the green team. The Ninja 1000 (N1) was launched alongside the Z1000 (Z1), with which it shares its 140bhp, 111Nm 1,043cc powertrain. The Ninja 1000 has a more neutral sportsbike stance compared to the radically aggressive Sugomi design of the Z1000.

You may think the Ninja 1000 is just the Z1000 with more green on, but dynamically, there are marginal differences that add up. With its twin-tube aluminium frame, the Ninja feels a bit less nimble, but more planted than the Z1000. The Ninja 1000 is longer (6cm) and taller (11.5cm), has a longer wheelbase (1cm) and stands 1cm higher off the ground. Still, the Ninja does protect you from the wind while throttling and offers a slightly more upright riding stance than the Z1000.