Kawasaki Z1000SX - Owner's Manual > Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) for models equipped with ABS

How to Ride the Motorcycle / Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) for models equipped with ABS

ABS is designed to help prevent the wheels from locking up when the brakes are applied hard while running straight. The ABS automatically regulates brake force. Intermittently gaining gripping force and braking force helps prevent wheel lock-up and allows stable steering control while stopping.

Brake control function is identical to that of a conventional motorcycle. The brake lever is used for the front brake and the brake pedal for the rear brake.

Although the ABS provides stability while stopping by preventing wheel lock-up, remember the following characteristics:

  • To apply the brake effectively, use the front brake lever and rear brake pedal simultaneously in the same manner as conventional motorcycle brake system.
  • ABS cannot compensate for adverse road conditions, misjudgment or improper application of brakes. You must take the same care as with motorcycles not equipped with ABS.
  • ABS is not designed to shorten the braking distance. On loose, uneven or downhill surfaces, the stopping distance of a motorcycle with ABS may be longer than that of an equivalent motorcycle without ABS. Use special caution in such areas.
  • ABS will help prevent wheel lock-up when braking in a straight line, but it cannot control wheel slip which may be caused by braking during cornering.

    When turning a corner, it is better to limit braking to the light application of both brakes or not to brake at all. Reduce your speed before you get into the corner.

  • Same as conventional brake system, an excessive sudden braking may cause wheel lock up that makes it harder to control a motorcycle.
  • During braking, ABS will not prevent the rear wheel lifting.

WARNING ABS cannot protect the rider from all possible hazards and is not a substitute for safe riding practices.

Be aware of how the ABS system operates and its limitations.

It is the rider's responsibility to ride at appropriate speeds and manner for weather, road surface and traffic conditions.

  • The computers integrated in the ABS compare vehicle speed with wheel speed. Since non-recommended tires can affect wheel speed, they may confuse the computers, which can extend braking distance.

WARNING Use of non-recommended tires may cause malfunctioning of ABS and can lead to extended braking distance. The rider could have an accident as a result. Always use recommended standard tires for this motorcycle.


  • ABS indicator light may come on under motorcycle riding condition. (ex. The front or rear wheel races.) In this case, first turn the ignition key to "OFF", and then back to "ON".

    ABS indicator light goes off by this operation, but if ABS indicator light remains lit after the motorcycle runs at the speed of approx. 6 km/h or below, you should have the ABS checked by an authorized Kawasaki dealer.

  • When the ABS is functioning, you may feel a pulsing in the brake lever or pedal. This is normal. You need not suspend applying brakes.
  • ABS does not function at speeds of approx. 6 km/h or below.
  • ABS does not function if the battery is discharged.

ABS Indicator Light

Normally the ABS indicator light comes on when the ignition switch is turned on and goes off shortly after the motorcycle starts moving.

If the indicator light shows any of the following, a fault or faults may have occurred in the ABS. You should have the ABS checked by an authorized Kawasaki dealer.

  • The light does not come on when the ignition switch is turned on.
  • The light remains lit after the motorcycle starts moving.
  • The light comes on and remains lit after the motorcycle starts moving.

Remember that the ABS does not function when the indicator light is on, but if the ABS fails, the conventional brake system still works normally.

Stopping the Engine

  • Close the throttle completely.
  • Shift the transmission into neutral.
  • Turn the ignition key to "OFF".
  • Support the motorcycle on a firm, level surface with the side stand.
  • Lock the steering.


  • The motorcycle is equipped with a vehicle-down sensor, which causes the engine to stop automatically and the fuel injection warning symbol to blink when the motorcycle falls down and the starter button is pushed in.

    After righting the motorcycle, first turn the ignition key to "OFF" and then back to "ON" for a few seconds before starting the engine.

Stopping the Motorcycle in an Emergency

Your Kawasaki Motorcycle has been designed and manufactured to provide you optimum safety and convenience.

However, in order to fully benefit from Kawasaki's safety engineering and craftsmanship, it is essential that you, the owner and operator, properly maintain your motorcycle and become thoroughly familiar with its operation.

Improper maintenance can create a dangerous situation known as throttle failure. Two of the most common causes of throttle failure are:

1. An improperly serviced or clogged air cleaner may allow dirt and dust to enter the throttle body and stick the throttle open.

2. During removal of the air cleaner, dirt is allowed to enter and jam the fuel injection system.

In an emergency situation such as throttle failure, your vehicle may be stopped by applying the brakes and disengaging the clutch. Once this stopping procedure is initiated, the engine stop switch may be used to stop the engine. If the engine stop switch is used, turn off the ignition switch after stopping the motorcycle.

    See also:

     Kawasaki Z1000SX - Owner's Manual > Jump Starting

    If your motorcycle battery is "run down", it should be removed and charged. If this is not practical, a 12 volt booster battery and jumper cables may be used to start the engine.

     Kawasaki Z1000SX - Owner's Manual > Parking

    WARNING Operating or parking the vehicle near flammable materials can cause a fire, and can result in property damage or severe personal injury. Do not idle or park your vehicle in an area where tall or dry vegetation, or other flammable materials could come into contact with the muffler or exhaust pipe.