Best Standard: Kawasaki Z1000 - Ten Best Bikes 2011

Kawasaki continues to flex Z1000 muscle.

Kawasaki Z1000 - Best Standard - Ten Best Bikes 2011

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This year, the Z1000 came under heavy fire from a new Triumph Speed Triple and a new-to-the-USA Honda CB1000R, but neither the Triple’s howl nor the Honda’s savoir-faire were enough to dislodge the 127-horse Kawasaki from its position of power. Something about the Z’s blend of massive, smooth, broadband thrust, near-faultless handling when flogged like a borrowed Kawasaki over our toughest test roads, and a high degree of comfort and usability in everyday riding won our hearts and butts for the second year in a row. Then there’s the $1200-cheaper-than-the-Triumph part. No bread? Let them eat Kawasaki.