The 2017 Kawasaki Z900 is replacing both the Z800 and Z1000 in Kawasaki’s 2017 U.S. lineup. The new Z is lighter than both previous Z models, is more powerful than the Z800, and costs much less than the Z1000 – not to mention a design that’s far less polarizing than the Z1000. A strong family resemblance exists between the Z900 and new Z650 (which Troy Siahaan praised in his First Ride Review) by way of styling, but also new steel trellis frames used in both models.
The 948cc inline-Four powering the the Z900 is smooth regardless of gear selection or engine speed, and is characterised by a predilection to quickly spin-up revs above 8,000 rpm while still delivering a linear power from down low through to redline. The Z900 is devoid of rider aids such as traction control, ride modes, cruise control, etc., but does come equipped with an assist/slipper clutch.
The Z900 is agile through the twisties, stable in fast sweepers, yet comfortable and well-rounded enough to be a good mount for commuter duties and/or some sport-touring. The Z’s low MSRP is reflected in the bike’s adequate brakes and suspension units, but for the $8,399 ($8,799 with ABS) the new Z an inarguably good value.
In addition to the video review below, you can read all about the new Z900 in our First Ride Review. And look for a future shootout with it, Yamaha’s revised FZ-09, and Triumph’s new 765 Street Triple later this year.