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Kawasaki Z800 ABS

Kawasaki Z800 ABS

4.3 from 3 reviews

Great bike - handles nicely

Bought this bike on a whim, new in Dec 2013, was upset at the time as Tony Greg had just died. Handles fantastic, plenty power and economical to boot. Only downsides are the weight, lack of storage under the back seat (I don't expect much but its a struggle to even get the small manual you get stowed without a struggle closing the seat) and a slightly notchy gearbox. Otherwise a cracking bike.

Date PurchasedDec 2013

Great Bike

I purchased a 2014 Z800 6 months ago and absolutely love it.
Kawasaki in NZ discounted a shipment from $15,995 to $10,495 so it was a no brainer at that price.
No problems with the weight and not noticeable at all when riding it in fact in a strong wind it makes the bike a more stable option than my previous Kawasaki er6f 650.
The styling is a head turner in traffic and the more you ride the bike the more you love it.
Very smooth acceleration and handy torque. The only criticism a slightly uncomfortable seat on long trips, 2 plus hours, and a noisy clutch when cold requires a good warm up of the bike on frosty mornings.
Kawasaki have a free fix for this problem just ask your local dealer if you buy one.
I fitted an aftermarket Puig windscreen as I prefer a non naked look to the bike.
Buy it you won't have any regrets.


Kawasaki Z800 great but too heavy - naked middleweight bike comparison

I'm currently looking for a new bike and recently took out the Z800. I've ridden the BMW F800R, Triumph Street Triple R, Aprilia Shiver 750 and Ducati 796.
The Z800 is a great looking bike although the 2014 colour choices aren't my favourite. I was surprised to learn that I couldn't buy a new one in green! Anyway, a great look bike, arguably the best looking mid sized naked.
It's a very high quality bike, up there with the European bikes and with good power. The engine has good mid range and top end with just the right amount of power.
The bike tracks around corners well and feels very stable. There's adjustability in the suspension which is always nice. The only thing for that this bike lacks is nimbleness. I haven't weighed it myself but Kawasaki claim wet weight at 231kg which is getting into cruiser territory. Obviously the weight is higher than on a cruiser which makes the bike feel somewhat cumbersome in city traffic and slow speed manoeuvres.
The dash layout is good and easy to read but I don't recall it having a gear position indicator, though that wouldn't stop me buying the bike if it wasn't for the weight.
The weight is obviously my biggest bugbear because if it wasn't for this I think I would buy it. It's around 13K on the road in Adelaide which is about 2K cheaper than a Stripler, 3K cheaper than a 796 and about the same as the Beemer and Shiver.
If your reading this then you've no doubt read the glowing Stripler reviews and I definitely agree with them, except that the front break is very grabby but it's probably just something you get used too.
The Ducati sounds and looks amazing. The handling is A1 but you need to stay at 4000rpm or above or it surges. Purchase price and servicing is the highest as well.
The Aprilia is a good package. Ride by wire, 3 maps, ABS and rock solid V-twin engine. Where it falls down for me is it's weight. It's feels a tad top heavy compared to the Stripler, Duc and Beemer. It's not Z800 heavy though and the engine note with some decent cans is to die for.
The Beemer handles as good as any other bike listed here. It has terrific standard features (ABS, heated grips). I really like the looks of it which I know can be a bit polarizing. What lets it down for me is the sound of the parallel twin. It performs well enough, in fact very linear, smooth and predictable power but sounds just ok. Not terrible by any means but not as good as any of the other bikes.

Best sound: Aprilia, Ducati
Best looking: Z800
Cheapest: F800R/Shiver (BMW had promotion of 12,990 ride away at the time)
Best handling: Street Triple R, F800R, 796.
Best resale: Street Triple R

Which too buy? That's really hard to answer.
For me it comes down to the Triumph, BMW and Aprilia. I think the Ducati is really nice but I can't justify the extra cost. The Z800 is just far too heavy.
I think your less likely to ride like a moron on the BMW. It's a more sensible bike. The Triumph is the best bike to ride but only just over the BMW. The Aprilia is very good value for money considering it's Italian, a V-Twin and the technology it's got. If you consider the Street Triple and not the 'R' version you close the gap on price between it's rivals and it's a fairer comparison to the Shiver and F800R but then you say to yourself for just a little more you so much value!
Right now I'm leaning towards the BMW. I think it's really well built, love it's looks and I'm less likely to do something stupid on it. Stay upright, stay safe.
Looks, Power, Quality
Weight, it's one fat bit**

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