For me the Z was a step in the direction of "sensible" motorcycling. I've had sport/superbikes all my life but while the power is fun the rest of the experience sucks. Crappy fuel range, uncomfortable in every way, useless for storage and generally being perceived by others as just a speeding idiot (even when your not) I even find among other bikers that when you pull up at a meet on an R1/GSXR/CBR they just look and instantly give you that look of "oh here's another idiot" a bit like the way you look at a kid that's got his first car and stuck a bore exhaust and go faster stripes on it haha
Where as soon as I switched to the fast naked I got a completely different reaction from people. Even thought my last bike was an R1 engine in a naked frame people didn't see it as a superbike. Reacted completely different to it. More drivers were happy to move out of the way on the road, less of them trying to race me, more bikers would ask about it at show (mainly because my particular one stood out) but instantly the stigma of being on a sport/superbike vanished.
The problem then for me was the fact a had what was basically a superbike without the looks. It was still uncomfortable, still crap on fuel and still wildly impractical at doing anything except going fast so I started to look for something else that still had a decent bit of power but also ticked all the other boxes.
After months of research and watching/reading reviews I couldn't seem to find anything that fitted the bill better than the z1000sx. Sure there were better tourers and there were obviously faster bikes but I couldn't find anything that seemed to gel them together as well as this does.
The looks (although subjective) are pretty spot on, the average person would think its a sport bike until the panniers are put on. It's practical, I mean those panniers, what an amazing bit of kit. One of the cleverest ways to attach them to a bike that I've ever seen. I'd always secretly wanted to put panniers on a bike but never wanted the ugly racks that usually had to be left behind so when I saw the way these worked I was over the moon.
It's still got a more than usable amount of power for any sensible rider who's interested in more than just top trump numbers. And I'm comfy, although I'm sure a better seat is needed
As with most things I'm sure the bike has its flaws but for me at least (with a few mods) it's as close to a perfect bike as I can find. Fast enough, comfy enough, practical and still looks good.
All in all a great all rounder imo