Expanding its naked bike options for 2016, Kawasaki now offers an 800CC version of the Z1000. An existing model in other parts of the world, it is now available in the US too... well, except for California. Its big brother, the Z1000, isn't left entirely out of the party, as it gets an assist and slipper clutch for 2016.
Kawasaki introduces a new mid-level streetfighter with aggressive styling, smooth acceleration and sporty, stable handling for back-road fun
The aggressive styling and powerful punch of the Kawasaki Z1000 has won it many fans, and now it gets a sibling in the form of the new-to-North America 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS. This mid-level streetfighter brings the same attitude as its bigger brother, with similarly aggressive styling, sportbike heritage and a powerful 806cc four-cylinder engine. Whether it’s being used on back roads for a Sunday fun run or city streets, the stripped down style and sporty handling will deliver grin-inducing performance. What’s more, it is delivered with Kawasaki’s legendary reliability and durability.
The 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS is a 49-state model, which will not be available in California but can be purchased in every other state.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE 2016 KAWASAKI Z800 ABS
• Aggressive, stripped down streetfighter styling
• Reliable and torquey 806cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine
• Smooth power delivery with strong performance at high RPM
• Sporty, stable steering thanks to responsive chassis geometry
• Natural riding position ideally suited to back-road fun or city commuting
• Adjustable KYB front and rear suspension allows the rider to tailor the handling
• Modern instrumentation provides plenty of information with stylish design
• Legendary Kawasaki reliability, durability and build quality
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 806cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16-valve engine boasts strong performance in the mid-range where most street bikes spend their time. Its fuel injection system combines ultra-fine injectors with 34mm Keihin throttle bodies and sub-throttles that offer smooth response across the rev-range. It also has two different length intake funnels to optimize airflow at various engine speeds, providing good response, no matter what the speed.
The exhaust system has large radius curved header pipes to make them as long as possible, while equalizer tubes connect header pipes 1 and 4 as well as 2 and 3. Both these measures are designed to provide superb low to mid RPM engine response. An exhaust valve is positioned upstream of the muffler entrance to help “tune” the back-pressure waves for enhanced response in the same low-mid range. Finally, a short-style exhaust system eliminates the center pipe and uses a short muffler to aid mass centralization and present a strong streetfighter image. The muffler’s complex cross-section allows good lean angles while meeting the necessary noise regulations, although it has been tuned to give a more aggressive sound to suit the motorcycle’s character.
For durability, the engine uses wide radius crankshaft journals as well as large 1.2mm piston-cooling oil jets and a low-friction camshaft chain to reduce operating friction.
In the smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, short overall gearing complements the responsive engine to deliver impressive thrust on command. When the road opens up, the stylish streetfighter can stretch its legs thanks to a tall sixth gear that maintains a more comfortable cruising RPM for highway riding.
The Z800 features a high-tensile steel tubular backbone frame for rigidity. It also has a steel swingarm and lightweight cast aluminum engine subframe. The latter allows the front engine mounts to be positioned behind the cylinders, close to the engine’s center of gravity. This helps to reduce engine vibration (particularly through the handlebars), contributing greatly to ride quality. The inclusion of the engine subframe allows the frame construction to be slimmer, contributing to its overall rigidity.
A brace is used to join the front of the engine subframes (from left to right), again providing ideal frame rigidity, particular in torsional rigidity for increased handling stability.
Kawasaki engineers then used a combination of rigid and rubber mounts so the chassis delivers a planted feeling with a high level of feedback. The result is a superb level of control, with the rider easily able to understand what the bike is doing.
Building on this sturdy platform, the chassis geometry has resulted in nimble, responsive handling together with great stability. The motorcycle’s stance is forward leaning, with the rear raised slightly to further contribute to the aggressive posture of this muscular streetfighter.
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Suspension duties are handled by an inverted 41mm KYB fork up front. It is adjustable for rebound damping and preload, allowing the rider to fine-tune the characteristics to suit their favorite roads.
At the rear, the Kawasaki Uni-Trak® suspension system includes a KYB shock with a piggyback reservoir. Like the front, the stepless rebound damping adjuster allows the rear shock’s performance to be tuned to match changes to the spring preload or passenger loads.
The 2016 Kawasaki Z800 suspension has been set up so that whether you’re hammering along deserted back roads or prowling pothole-infested city streets, the motorcycle will remain poised, predictable and entertaining.
The brakes on the Z800 include dual opposed four-piston front brake calipers offering progressive stopping power and feel. The system uses 277mm petal-type front rotors and a lightweight Nissin ABS unit.
A 216mm petal-type rotor and single-piston caliper provide good rear brake feel for maximum finesse. The power and progressive feel of the brakes at both ends provide supreme confidence when slowing the bike from speed. The Z800’s standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) promotes additional confidence when riding in slippery conditions.
The wheels are six-spoke supersport-style units manufactured using the latest lightweight production technology. Not only do they help reduce unsprung mass, which allows the suspension to function better, but also carry the latest Dunlop Sportmax D214 radial tires. The result is superb grip, precise handling and extended tread life.
BODYWORK & STYLING
The sculpted styling of the Z800 is one of its most stunning aspects. The thin, compact headlight cowl was positioned as low as possible, extending the line that starts from the top of the tank and drops down to create a menacing “face” with its angular lines. The fierce appearance is one of the key styling elements of the aggressive design.
From the side, the curvature of the upper engine shrouds combine with the chiseled lower cowl to create a distinctive shape. The designers intended for these parts to appear to grip the engine, creating the image of a predator holding prey in its mouth.
The visual weight of the front is contrasted by the sleek rear, which features a slim tail section, contributing greatly to the Z800’s aggressive mass-forward stance. And finally, the narrow proportions of the LED tail light add visual interest.
Although not strictly a styling element, the Z800 incorporates useful luggage hooks. These can be found on the neat design of the rear footpegs, as well as behind the license plate holder. Both sets of hooks allow luggage to be secured using tiedowns or bungee straps.
The Kawasaki designers went to great lengths to create elements that would reinforce the streetfighter theme of the 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS. These include the characteristic naked engine, which has black engine covers that are a key visual element. Furthermore, the attractive bends in the exhaust header pipes add to the appeal of a “naked” motorcycle, especially with their “buffed” finish that bring added visual interest.
Other streetfighter elements include the handlebar, which has a flatter bend than a sportbike handlebar, and the risers ensure the grip position is wider, giving the rider more leverage and allowing an upright yet sporty riding position.
Details such as the inner rear fender are another clue to this motorcycle’s purpose, helping to keep the under-tail and rear suspension less cluttered, more pared down, as a streetfighter should be. It all adds up to the perfect style and ergonomics for maximum agility without sacrificing comfort.
The Z800’s futuristic looking instrument panel features three LCD screens in an angular housing that echoes the motorcycle’s edgy styling. The central LCD display contains an altimeter-style tachometer. In fact, three tachometer display patterns are available, allowing riders to customize the display to suit their preference.
In addition, there is a speedometer, odometer, clock, dual trip meters, engine temperature, fuel gauge, remaining range, as well as an Economical Riding Indicator. The latter illuminates when the user is riding efficiently, reducing the motorcycle’s fuel consumption and increasing its range.
The 2016 Kawasaki Z800 is equipped with a standard electronic immobilizer, which is built into the standard ignition key. The key operates conventionally, but the engine won’t start without the correct key being used. The system is fully integrated and requires no additional action from the rider, but will help to protect the motorcycle from theft.
- Aggressive, stripped down streetfighter styling
- Reliable and torquey 806cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine
- Smooth power delivery with strong performance at high RPM
- Legendary Kawasaki reliability, durability and build quality
- Light, sporty steering thanks to responsive suspension and brakes
- Upright “streetfighter” riding position provides excellent leverage on the controls for maximum maneuverability, coupled with a commanding view for back-road fun or city commuting
- Adjustable KYB front and rear suspension allows the rider to tailor the handling
- Supersport-style lightweight aluminum six-spoke wheels contribute to the Z800’s sporty image while reducing rotating inertia
- Short final-drive gearing provides quick response and enhanced riding excitement, while a tall sixth gear helps maintain highway comfort
- Modern instrumentation provides plenty of information with stylish design
- Electronic immobilizer built into standard ignition key. Key operates conventionally, but the engine won’t start without the correct key being used. The system is fully integrated and requires no additional action from the rider
DOHC, 16-valve, 806cc Engine
– 806cc liquid-cooled inline-four offers excellent power from idle to redline
– Intake cams provide abundant low-to-midrange torque for instant thrust and maximum rider satisfaction
– Aggressive ECU settings provide sharp throttle response
– 34mm Keihin throttle bodies feed the air/fuel mixture directly into combustion chamber
– For durability, the engine uses wide radius crankshaft journals
– Large 1.2mm piston-cooling oil jets increase engine durability and reliability
– Low-friction camshaft chain reduces operating friction
– Smooth shifting six-speed transmission provides gear ratios for a range of riding situations
– Short gearing provides quick acceleration and riding excitement, while a tall sixth gear maintains highway comfort
– Individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each of the four spark plugs independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder
– ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up
- Large radius curved header pipes allow the pipes to be as long as possible, increasing exhaust extraction and improving low-to-mid RPM engine response
- Equalizer tubes connect header pipes 1 and 4 as well as 2 and 3 to again improve low-to-mid RPM response
- Exhaust valve is positioned upstream of the muffler entrance to help “tune” the back-pressure waves for enhanced response in the same low-mid range
- A short-style exhaust system eliminates the center pipe and uses a short muffler to aid mass centralization and give a strong streetfighter image
- The muffler is angled to ensure good lean angles while meeting noise regulations
- The exhaust has been tuned to give a more aggressive sound to suit the motorcycle’s character
– Brushed-metal finish on the silencer end cap provides enhanced visual appeal
Larger Fuel Tank
– 4.5 gallon (17L) fuel tank offers generous range
– Radical shape complements the Z800’s streetfighter styling
– Slim-type fuel pump features an integral fuel level sensor for enhanced accuracy
ABS Brakes with Petal-type Rotors
– Dual opposed four-piston calipers provide excellent feel and progressive braking response
– Petal-type 277mm front brake rotors are typically sportbike hardware
– Pad compound has a high coefficient of friction that contributes to the front brake power and sensitivity
– A single-piston rear caliper grips a 216 petal-type disc. The compact caliper is mounted below the swingarm and located by a torque rod
– Nissin ABS pump features a fluid pressure sensor that allows precise control of line pressures
– A low-battery mode helps preserve ABS effectiveness when the battery charge is low (although riders may notice that ABS operation is not as smooth as in normal mode)
High-tensile Steel Backbone Frame
– High-tensile steel backbone frame helps make the bike narrow and easy to grip with the knees for maximum rider comfort and control
– The frame is lightweight and highly rigid, and uses the engine as a stressed member for solid handling and optimum stability
– A steel swingarm provides additional stiffness and rigidity
– Lightweight cast aluminum engine subframe allows the front engine mounts to be positioned behind the cylinders to help reduce engine vibration
– A brace connects the front of the engine left and right subframes, providing added frame torsional rigidity for increased handling stability.
– A combination of rigid and rubber mounts deliver a high level of feedback for added control
– 41mm inverted KYB fork has adjustable rebound damping and spring preload, allowing fine-tuning to suit the rider’s preference
– Kawasaki Uni-Trak® rear suspension system includes a KYB shock with a piggyback reservoir, stepless rebound damping adjustment and spring preload adjustment to compensate for a passenger, luggage or preference
– Futuristic instrument panel features three LCD screens
– Central LCD display contains a altimeter-style tachometer with three selectable tachometer displays available allowing the rider to customize the appearance
– Instrument display also includes speedometer, odometer, clock, dual trip meters, engine temperature, fuel gauge, remaining range and Economical Riding Indicator
– Electronic immobilizer built into standard ignition key. Key operates conventionally, but the engine won’t start without the correct key being used. The system is fully integrated and requires no additional action from the rider
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 71 x 50.9mm
Compression ratio: 11.9:1
Fuel injection: DFI® with Keihin 34mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Final drive: Sealed chain
Rake / trail: 24 degrees / 3.9”
Frame type: High-tensile steel backbone
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Rear tire: 180/55 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm inverted fork with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability / 4.7”
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Bottom-link Uni-Trak® horizontal monoshock with piggyback reservoir, stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4”
Front brakes: Dual 277mm petal-type rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake: Single 216mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length: 82.7”
Overall width: 31.5”
Overall height: 41.3”
Seat height: 32.8”
Curb weight**: 509.4 lb
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gallons
Color choices: Metallic Spark Black / Flat Ebony
Warranty: 12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plan (optional): 12, 24, 36, and 48 month plans are available
**Curb weight includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90 percent capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)