Kawasaki has an impressive stable of naked Z bikes (including our MOBO Best Standard winner, the Z900) but not everyone’s a fan of the line’s aesthetic. Sure, some people might like the Michael Bay Transformers look, but some people want their Bumblebee to look more like a classic VW Beetle than a modern Camaro.

2018 Kawasaki Z900 Review

If you’re that type of person, then your hopes may be answered, as Kawasaki released a new video teasing a new retro-styled Z900RS.

We broke the news when Kawasaki trademarked the Z900RS name last year, and our early speculation that the RS would be a retro throwback model looks to be correct. Early in the video, Kawasaki shows a classic Z1, suggesting the new model is heavily inspired by the original.

What glimpses we see of the new Z900RS support that premise. We see a clear shot of a circular headlight, a welcome sight for those who are turned off by the modern Z models’ robotic faces. Other glimpses of the new bike show a black and orange color scheme resembling the original Z1.

From the name, we can surmise the RS uses the same 948cc Inline-Four as the Z900, and likely the same frame. Beyond that, we’ll have to wait until Oct. 25 when the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS makes its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.

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Kawasaki Communities

  • BDan75

    Looks like my ZRX replacement (or supplement) may finally have arrived. Curious to see what Oct. 25 brings…

    • Mad4TheCrest

      I don’t think you can replace a ZRX; but as a supplement this may do just fine. Holding final judgement to see if Kawasaki avoids the CB1100’s pitfalls.

  • Scott Hintz

    Beyond that you will have to wait. What? I see upside down forks, water cooling, single shock, gauge pods, and a small package (that’s what she said). You don’t have any scoop? Get on it! (TWSS)

    • denchung

      Most of it will likely be similar to the Z900, so if you want a scoop, there it is. The big story will be styling, and from what Kawasaki is hinting at, should look pretty good.

  • Robert Brandywine

    I need more of a hint.

  • Kenneth
    • Starmag

      I hope it’s this one and not the one posted by Eric which has some kind of hideous scoop thing above the engine.

    • therr850

      Like that style but the seat needs to have a longer passenger portion. My wife won’t ride on that postage stamp.

      • Kenneth

        Maybe she should have her own Z900 (or Z650) ; )

    • BDan75

      If that’s actually the bike, I definitely like it better than the XSR…but it still feels a little awkward to me. I suppose it’s the frame. Seems like classic UJM styling is sort of an awkward fit with modern frame geometry.

      Wonder how it looks without the big fairing on the side hiding the subframe (I’m not sure if it’s actually a separate part).

      If the seat slopes forward the way it looks like it might, my first stop would be Sargent.

    • therr850

      I see in my email you replied to me. She does still have her cycle endorsement but she is 69yo and has some health problems that prevent her from holding a bike up at a stop. Maybe a Spyder?

  • Born to Ride

    Could this finally be the bike I’ve been begging for? A true retro-standard bike with modern equipment?

    • Jonathan Hatfield

      Same here!

    • SteveSweetz

      XSR900 doesn’t already fit that bill?

      • spiff

        The XSR doesn’t flow for me visually. Performance wise it is there.

      • Born to Ride

        No, the XSR has funky chassis dimensions and it looks like an FZ09 that was modified in someone’s garage. Black boxes in plain sight, poorly integrated lighting, etc… I think that bike is a visual mess because it was poorly executed. It doesn’t help that I think the FZ09 is one of the worst looking production bikes out today.

        • SteveSweetz

          Fair enough. I think the XSR700 pulls off the modern-retro look at lot better myself. However, point is that Kawasaki is following a trend, not setting one.

          • Born to Ride

            Judging by the limited images, the bike appears to be a genuine effort rather than parts bin special. I’m ready to eat my words if it’s a dud on release day

    • therr850

      Hope it sells better than Honda’s CB1100. I like the looks and the shape of the seat but I’m 70yo and can’t say how much I wish there were more like it. Trouble is, I’m pretty much alone when it comes to buying that style.

      • Born to Ride

        I really love the CB1100 and will probably buy one at a deep discount in a year or two. The thing that I don’t like about the CB is the use of period correct wheels and tire sizes.

  • Eric

    Looks like it will be a pretty sweet machine. Almost like that supercharged Z900 thing that circulated a while back.

    • therr850

      I like that.

    • Born to Ride

      I’d ride the shit out of that bike.

  • spiff

    If they nailed the look it’s gonna sell. From what I have read this is an old school in line 4. I bet this bike was designed to be the retro first, and the Z900 second.

  • Fabian

    Finally? I’ve been dreaming of this bike since I was a teen in the 70’s. I’ll sell my Harley. Please don’t eff up Kawa.

  • kawatwo

    Just hope it has a center stand and some nice grab handles and a comfy seat.

  • Navroze Contractor

    The 900 has killed the 800 and the 1000 in one shot! What IS the strategy of Kawasaki?

    • Born to Ride

      The 800 was massively overweight and underperforming, Kawasaki overstyled the 1000 out of the market. I guess they figure it’s time for a reboot?

  • azicat
  • Jeff Cunningham

    Kawasaki just CARB certified a ZR900CJ model on 09-26

    • denchung

      Yep. It’s odd for Kawi to use an internal model name for certification documents (Yamaha does this all the time, but Kawasaki usually does not). The emissions are slightly different from the Z900’s (higher CO) which is likely accounted for by a different exhaust.

      The “C” might stand for “Classic” or it might not stand for anything in particular. The J likely just represents 2018 (each year is assigned a letter, and 2018 for all manufacturers is J in certification documents).

  • Tim Miller

    Old fart’s bike, I need one.