The ZX-10R and ZX-6R superbikes are uncompromising sports machines designed to deliver the best possible racetrack performance; Kawasaki says if you want a bike more suited for everyday use you should look elsewhere.
And this is that "elsewhere" - the revised-for-2007 Z1000, which it says delivers near-superbike performance in a rider-friendly package.
Kawasaki has retuned the engine to deliver more torque across the rev range, particularly in the low to mid-range, with new camshaft profiles, smaller valves, meatier crank webs to increase flywheel mass and smaller throttle bodies (36mm compared to 38mm on the previous Z1000).
The gearing has been lowered for better acceleration at the expense of some top end - which is largely academic on a naked bike anyway - and a lighter, dual exhaust system with two end-caps on each side retains the traditional four-pipe look of earlier Z1000s.
Kawasaki quotes 92kW at 10 000 rpm and 98.7Nm at 8200.
The steering head has been moved 10mm forward for a slightly longer wheelbase, shifting the weight balance a little to the rear, which Kawasaki says improves stability without sacrificing quick steering.
It also says the frame is 15 percent less rigid than that of the earlier model, "for improved feedback to the motorcyclist who likes to ride hard on ordinary roads rather than spend his days playing with a superbike on a perfectly smooth racetrack."
A new cast-aluminium sub-frame relocates the engine mounts behind the cylinder head rather than in front, closer to the engine's centre of gravity which, according to Kawasaki, improves ride quality and reduces vibration.
The handlebars have been moved closer to the rider for a more upright riding position, while the rear of the 18.5-litre fuel tank is narrower and the width of the bike below the seat 40mm less, which Kawasaki says enables most riders to place both feet flat on the ground.
A new pressed-aluminium swing arm hangs on a revised mounting, monitored by an adjustable rear monoshock, while 41mm upside-down forks look guide the front wheel. A radial-pump master cylinder and radial-mount brake callipers are mated to petal brake discs.
Instrumentation consists of an analogue rev counter flanked by an LCD display incorporating a digital speedometer, odometer, trip meter, water temperature and fuel gauges, and a clock.