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.

  • SteveSweetz

    Nice first person shots, might want to blur out that speedo though…

    Or you could always go with the old, “had it set to km/h” 🙂

  • Born to Ride

    How does it compare to the Gixxus in terms of roll-on and handling? I feel like at 450lbs and 950cc, it should really be looked at as a CB1000 and GSX-S1000 competitor now that the Z1000 is gone. I realize that price-wise it is more aimed at the FZ09 and GSX-S750 for sure, but it is really configured to play with the big boys. Plus with Japanese sport bikes, you are never going to pay full sticker anyways.

    • By a small margin we preferred the Z800 to the Gixxus 750
      So, the Z900 should have no problem dispatching the Suzuki. The FZ-09, on the other hand, will be a tough competitor.

      • Born to Ride

        Hey Tom, I actually meant the 1000. Considering that it weighs and displaces what the liter bikes do, it makes more sense to treat it as a budget liter than a oversized middleweight no?

        • Excellent point. I think the Z900 vs FZ-09 is the obvious choice, but including a Gixxus 1k makes it more interesting. I was also thinking Brutale 800. Any other models?

          • To answer my own question: Street Triple 765, Brutale 800.

          • Born to Ride

            Honestly I think the sharp edged triples are in a different class, more street fighter than standard. But yeah based on price and market demographic, the FZ09 is the bike in Kawi’s sights.

  • Mark@OZ

    And don’t forget the seat height if just 795mm. For vertically challenged blokes like me, the stuck-in-traffic manouverability of this bike will be outstanding. The Fz-09 is way too tall for my liking and I think the new Striple will also be pushing 830mm. Every mm counts when you have to duck walk 90 degree lane changes between stationary cars! Finally a BIG bike for the shorter rider!!