Kawasaki’s ever-popular Z1000SX gets a raft of updates for 2020 along with a new name. After years as the odd-man-out in the ‘Z’ range as the only Z-model to wear a fairing, it’s finally falling into line with Kawasaki’s normal naming protocol by becoming the Ninja 1000SX for next year. The model already bears that title in the USA, and now falls into line with other Z-based faired models like the Ninja 650, Ninja 400 and Ninja 125.
The name brings with it a selection of worthwhile improvements. While the 2020 Ninja 1000SX looks much like its predecessor, it’s switched the old four-barrelled exhaust – two each side – for a single large end can on the right hand side. It’s a cleaner, lighter look, particularly when the bike’s seen from the now exhaust-free left.
Look closer and you’ll see that the bodywork and front mudguard are redesigned for 2020, with larger air outlets and a more enveloping bellypan. Harder to spot are the new LED lights – headlights, tail light, indicators and even the licence plate lamp are all LED now – and the reshaped, more comfortable seats for both rider and pillion.
On board, 2020 Ninja 1000SX owners will find improvements including an up/down quick-shifter, cruise control, and new riding modes and traction control settings, all operated via a modern (but somewhat small) 4.3in full-colour TFT screen. As with so many other 2020 bikes, Bluetooth phone integration is also included.
Underneath, the engine’s throttles are new and the cam profiles are tweaked, but power and torque are virtually unchanged at 142PS (140bhp) at 10,000rpm and 111Nm (82lbft) at 8000rpm.
At an anticipated £11,300 the 2020 Ninja 1000SX is going to be about £1000 more than the current Z1000SX but the improvements should make the bike worth the extra outlay.
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