The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX is a motorcycle that has not changed much since 2011, however this is more a case of Kawasaki making minor adjustments and upgrades on a spectacularly successful model instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Powered by a 1043 cc inline 4 producing 138 crank HP and 73 lbs-ft of crank torque, the 1000 SX is billed by Kawasaki themselves as a “sports bike for the real world.”
This shows through in the fact that while it is a sport bike, it is also a sport tourer due to the accessories such as hard case saddlebags, higher profile windscreen, and more upright seating position versus a supersport. As well, it comes with electronically controlled cruise control and a slew of stability, traction, and engine management technologies to provide the best comfort and safety in long distance riding.
The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX starts at $12,399 US/$14,899 CA
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX in one place.
41mm inverted cartridge fork with stepless compression and rebound damping, adjustable spring preload/4.7 in
Horizontal monoshock with stepless rebound damping, remotely adjustable spring preload/5.4 in
Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount 4-piston monobloc calipers and ABS
Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper and ABS
Fuel Tank Capacity
19 L (5 US gal.)
Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Diablo Black
TCBI with digital advance
82.7 in (2,100mm)
31.1 in (825 mm)
46.7 in (1,225 mm)
56.7 in (1,440 mm)
5.1 in (130 mm)
32.1 in (815 mm)
516 lbs (235 kg)
12 Month Limited Warranty
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX Features
Assist & Slipper Clutch
Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.
Economical Riding Indicator
Using high-precision electronic control for engine management, Kawasaki models can achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. However, fuel consumption is greatly affected by throttle use, gear selection, and other elements under the rider’s control. The Economical Riding Indicator is a function that indicates when current riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The system continuously monitors fuel consumption, regardless of vehicle speed, engine speed, throttle position and other riding conditions. When fuel consumption is low for a given speed (i.e. fuel efficiency is high), an “ECO” mark appears on the instrument panel’s LCD screen. By riding so that the “ECO” mark remains on, fuel consumption can be reduced.
While effective vehicle speed and engine speed may vary by model, paying attention to conditions that cause the “ECO” mark to appear can help riders improve their fuel efficiency – a handy way to increase cruising range. Further, keeping fuel consumption low also helps minimize negative impact on the environment.
Electronic Cruise Control
Electronic Cruise Control allows a desired speed (engine rpm) to be maintained with the simple press of a button. Once activated, the rider does not have to constantly apply the throttle. This reduces stress on the right hand when traveling long distances, enabling relaxed cruising and contributing to a high level of riding comfort.
Electronic Throttle Valves
Kawasaki’s fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of both the fuel (via fuel injectors) and the air (via throttle valves) delivered to the engine. Ideal fuel injection and throttle valve position results in smooth, natural engine response and the ideal engine output. The system also makes a significant contribution to reduced emissions.
Electronic throttle valves also enable more precise control of electronic engine management systems like S-KTRC and KTRC, and allow the implementation of electronic systems like KLCM, Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, and Electronic Cruise Control.
KCMF (Kawasaki Cornering Management Function)
Using the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software and feedback from a compact IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that gives an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, KCMF monitors engine and chassis parameters throughout the corner – from entry, through the apex, to corner exit – modulating brake force and engine power to facilitate smooth transition from acceleration to braking and back again, and to assist riders in tracing their intended line through the corner. The systems that KCMF oversees vary by model, but may include:
• S-KTRC/KTRC (including traction management and wheel lift management)
• KLCM (including traction management and wheel lift management)
– Designed to optimize acceleration from a stop
• KIBS (including pitching management and corner braking management)
• Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
KTRC (Kawasaki TRaction Control)
KTRC, Kawasaki’s advanced traction control system provides both enhanced sport riding performance and the peace of mind to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence. Multiple rider-selectable modes (the number of modes varies by model) offer progressively greater levels of intrusion to suit the riding situation and rider preference.
Less intrusive modes maintain optimum traction during cornering. Designed with sport riding in mind, they facilitate acceleration out of corners by maximizing forward drive from the rear wheel. And because Kawasaki’s sophisticated software bases its dynamic analysis on the chassis’ orientation relative to the track surface (rather than relative to a horizontal plane), it is able to take into account corner camber, gradient, etc., and adapt accordingly.
In the more intrusive modes (and for some models, in any mode), when excessive wheel spin is detected, engine output is reduced to allow grip to be regained, effectively enabling riders to negotiate both short, slippery patches (train tracks or manhole covers) and extended stretches of bad roads (wet pavement, cobblestone, gravel) with confidence.
Models equipped with IMU incorporate chassis-orientation feedback to offer even more precise management.
Models equipped with multiple Power Modes offer riders an easily selectable choice of engine power delivery to suit riding conditions or preference. In addition to Full Power mode, one (Low) or two (Middle, Low) alternate mode(s) in which maximum power is limited and throttle response is milder are provided.
Clever technology enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using the smartphone application “RIDEOLOGY THE APP,” a number of instrument functions can be accessed, contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. Vehicle information (such as the odometer, fuel gauge, maintenance schedule, etc) can be viewed on the smartphone. Riding logs (varies by model, but may include GPS route, gear position, rpm, and other information) can be viewed on the smartphone. When connected, telephone (call, mail) notices are displayed on the instrument panel. Riders can also make changes to their motorcycle’s instrument display settings (preferred units, clock and date setting, etc) via the smartphone. And on certain models, it is even possible to check and adjust vehicle settings (such as Rider Mode, electronic rider support features, and payload settings) using the smartphone.
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki ABS systems use front and rear wheel sensors to constantly monitor wheel speed. Should information from either of the sensors indicate that wheel lock has occurred, the ABS ECU directs the pump in the ABS unit to modulate brake fluid pressure (releasing and reapplying pressure so that traction can be regained) until normal operation resumes. ABS offers rider reassurance that contributes to greater riding enjoyment.
IMU-Enhanced Chassis Orientation Awareness
The strength of Kawasaki’s cutting-edge electronics has always been the highly sophisticated programming that, using minimal hardware, gives the ECU an accurate real-time picture of what the chassis is doing. Kawasaki’s proprietary dynamic modeling program makes skillful use of the magic formula tire model as it examines changes in multiple parameters, enabling it to take into account changing road and tire conditions.
The addition of an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) enables inertia along 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) to be monitored. Acceleration along longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes, plus roll rate and pitch rate are measured. The yaw rate is calculated by the ECU using Kawasaki original software. This additional feedback contributes to an even clearer real-time picture of chassis orientation, enabling even more precise management for control at the limit.
With the addition of the IMU and the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s advanced modeling software, Kawasaki’s electronic engine and chassis management technology takes the step to the next level – changing from setting-type and reaction-type systems to feedback-type systems – to deliver even greater levels of riding excitement.
Kawasaki developed KIBS to take into account the particular handling characteristics of supersport motorcycles, ensuring highly efficient braking with minimal intrusion during sport riding. It is the first mass-production brake system to link the ABS ECU (Electronic Control Unit) and engine ECU.
In addition to front and rear wheel speed, KIBS monitors front brake caliper hydraulic pressure, throttle position, engine speed, clutch actuation and gear position. This diverse information is analyzed to determine the ideal front brake hydraulic pressure. Through precise control, hydraulic pressure is modulated in much smaller increments than with standard ABS systems. The system limits rear wheel lift under heavy braking and takes downshifting into account while braking, allowing the rider to manage the rear brake. And because of the finer control, kickback to the brake lever is minimal, resulting in a very natural feeling.
Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension
Compared to the Kawasaki traditional Uni-Trak® rear suspension, which mounts the shock unit vertically, with Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension, the shock unit is almost horizontal. The original Kawasaki suspension arrangement locates the shock unit very close to the bike’s center of gravity, greatly contributing to mass centralization. And because there is no linkage or shock unit protruding beneath the swingarm, this frees up space for a larger exhaust pre-chamber (an exhaust expansion chamber situated just upstream of the silencer). With a larger pre-chamber, silencer volume can be reduced, and heavy exhaust components can be concentrated closer to the center of the bike, further contributing to mass centralization. The result is greatly improved handling.
A secondary benefit is that the shock unit is placed far away from exhaust heat. Because it is more difficult for heat from the exhaust system to adversely affect suspension oil and gas pressure, suspension performance is more consistent.