The Z900RS is a purpose-built retro motorcycle which pays tribute to the very first member of Kawasaki’s Z series, the Z1, from the 1970s.
After dropping numerous teasers of its upcoming retro roadster, Kawasaki has made the Z900RS official at the Tokyo Motor Show, 2017. After the discontinuation of W800 in 2016, the Z900RS will serve as the sole retro offering in Kawasaki’s global lineup.
The overall design theme of the RS mostly echoes that of the Kawasaki Z1, which will surely please retro-modern bike enthusiasts. Among many Z1 inspired design elements are the tail cowl and analogue speedometer & tachometer. While its very clear from the name that this bike is based on the Z900, Kawasaki has given the RS a significant number of changes to distinguish it from its modern street-fighter cousin.
To begin with, the 948cc inline four motor, while borrowed from the modern Zed, has been retuned for stronger low and mid range torque. However, the overall power and torque figures, at 110bhp and 72.5Nm respectively, are lower on this retro bike. To better go with the retuned engine, the gear ratios have been altered as well - the first gear is shorter and the sixth is taller.
The trellis frame has been completely redesigned to go with the new retro design on the RS. Compared to the standard Z900, the handlebars are 30mm wider, 65mm higher, and 35mm closer to the rider - all in favour of a more upright riding posture. Furthermore, the footpegs are lower and farther placed. Also, there are areas where the RS is better spec’d than its modern cousin - it gets traction control and radial mounted four-piston monobloc front brake calipers as standard.
The Kawasaki Z900RS will globally go on sale early 2018. If launched in India, this bike will more or less compete with the Triumph Bonneville series.