UPDATE: We’ve added some shots of the new Z900RS from Kawasaki’s display at the Tokyo Motor Show, including some customized versions including one with several carbon fiber components.

Kawasaki pulled the wraps off its new Z900RS, a retro-styled motorcycle based on the Z900 platform that recalls the classic Kawasaki Z1. As of this writing, the Z900RS has not been confirmed for the U.S. market, but it has received certification from the California Air Resources Board so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes official.

Like the Z900, the Z900RS is powered by a 948cc Inline-Four, but with shorter-duration cam profiles and a lower compression ratio (10.8:1 compared to 11.8:1 on the Z900). Kawasaki also increased the flywheel mass by 12%. Kawasaki claims the Z900RS gets 110 hp at 8,500 rpm and 72.6 lb-ft. 6,500 rpm. The engine is tuned for low- to mid-range performance, with the Z900RS claiming more grunt below 7000 rpm than the Z900.

As it did with the Z900 and Z1000 before it, Kawasaki carefully tuned the Z900RS to produce a specific sound. While the Z900 was designed to deliver a specific intake howl, the focus on the Z900RS is designed to deliver a strong, deep rumble from its megaphone exhaust when idling or moving at low speeds.

The engine covers were designed to call back to some of the Z1’s motifs, while the cylinders sport faux engine fins to make them look air-cooled. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission with a shorter first gear and longer sixth gear than the Z900. An assist & slipper clutch provides a lighter clutch lever pull while relieving back-torque pressure during excessive engine braking. The Z900RS also comes standard with a two-level traction control system.

Details such as the teardrop gas tank, round headlight, tail cowl and dual instrument clusters are callbacks to the Z1, yet they each maintain a modern touch. Between the analog speedometer and tachometer sits a multifunction LCD screen. The chromed circular headlamp with a convex land give a classic appearance, but the light itself is an LED with six chambers: four for low beam and two for high beam. Like the Z1, the tail has a “duck bill” style cowl atop an oval taillight, only this light is an LED. Unlike traditional LED lights which are a collection of illuminated dots, the Z900RS’ taillight is surface-emitting, which means it forms one solid surface like a classic non-LED light.

The wheels also exhibit a bit of this modern-retro trickery. At a quick glance, it looks like the Z900RS has wire spoke wheels. Look closer and you’ll see it actually has cast wheels with spokes that look like wires.

Achieivng the Z1-inspired fuel tank shape was a key part of the Z900RS’ design. To get it to fit, Kawasaki had to tweak the Z900’s trellis frame, moving the upper rails closer together. Once the tank was positioned, Kawasaki began working on the seat design and tail length for a balanced ratio closely resembling that of the Z1. Kawasaki also modified the riding position to be more upright and relaxed than the sportier Z900. The upper triple clamp is also different from the Z900’s, positioned 40mm higher than on the Z900 while reducing trail and making the Z900RS quicker to steer.

The suspension system is comprised of a 41mm inverted fork offering 10-way compression and 12-way rebound adjustability and stepless preload adjustability. At the rear, Kawasaki decided to keep the Z900’s horizontal back-link shock instead of switching to the more retro-looking (but lower performance) twin shock design of the Z1. The rear shock offers stepless rebound damping and preload adjustments.

The front wheel is equipped with dual discs with four-piston radial mount monoblock calipers while a single-piston caliper is paired to the single rear disc brake. A Nissin ABS system comes standard.

In Europe, the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS will be offered in three color options: Candytone Brown, Metallic Flat Spark Black and Metallic Matte Covert Green / Flat Ebony. We will provide an update on U.S. color options and pricing when they become available.

Kawasaki had a few custom Z900RS on display at the Tokyo Motor Show including this carbon-clad special.

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  • Old MOron

    Bravo, Kawasaki! I like this better than Yamaha’s retro job.

    • Born to Ride

      If you can even call it that.

  • Gabriel Owens

    The XSR900 just got destroyed.

    • DickRuble

      Looks slightly better though the rider’s position seems a bit carricatural. Too early to say it’s a clear winner, though.

      • Born to Ride

        Slightly? Do you have eyes to see friend? Why not harp on the obvious solitary shortcoming relative to the XSR which is the 40-50lb weight advantage. Cmon Dick, you’re slipping.

        • DickRuble

          Ever heard “don’t state the obvious”?

          • Born to Ride

            Never stopped you before. And if you don’t like the classic roadster look, then why bother with the RS? The regular one sounds like it’s more your flavor.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            And I say if you want a old bike, get a real old bike, not a fake old bike.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            I hope you mean CB1100. The naked CB1000R is not a classic looker at all.

          • Born to Ride

            He didn’t most likely.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Yes, to me, these types of bikes appeal to people who want “the look”. Which is subjective, but to me this bike is captured the look way better than the xsr.

      • MyName

        Depends on the rider’s height. Most “models” for this type of photoshoot are a good 6 inches shorter than me… If they look cramped, I shouldn’t even try…

      • Gabriel Owens

        Im the looks department. DESTROYED.

      • Auphliam

        I don’t know it its the actual rider’s position or the faux aggressive poses they used for the photo shoot. I don’t know any normal human that rides around in that kind of “attack” stance when cruising through town.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Oh no. Im in attack mode from 5:01 am till i go to sleep. I wake up at 5 btw.

    • Lewis

      I don’t know about destroyed, but I am likely going with the RS now as long as the MSRP is in line. Likely would have gone with the XSR if not for this Kwak.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Looks wise. DESTROYED.

        • Lewis

          I would say so.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        which brings up a very good point! price point, that is;if it’s too much over $10K it might have a rough go

        • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

          just looked it up-est. European price 8,990 euro;about 10 and a half K USD

          • Born to Ride

            That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Often times bikes are cheaper here than they are overseas

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            hope so!

    • Tanner

      we’ll see. I’ve ridden the XSR900 and that engine is amazeballs. Never been on a bike with an engine that good and I’ve been on many. not sure kawa’s 900 4cyl is competitive with yama’s 900 3cyl

      • Born to Ride

        It’s too bad they have no friggin clue how to make an aesthetically pleasing naked bike. They should have stuck with the quarter faired bike proportions they found in the FZ1 and FZ6. Those bikes still look good today, and are aging gracefully.

  • Steve C

    Nice.

  • Born to Ride

    Shut up and take my money.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Im really trying to be financially responsible.

      • Born to Ride

        Other than the fact that it is perfect in every way for what it is, I’d be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t buy one. I have been pissing and moaning loudly for years that the Japanese need to build a bike just like this. “And if they ever do I’ll put my money where my mouth is….”

        • Gabriel Owens

          Same. But im kinda thinking about the new Goldwing too.

          • Alaskan18724

            Funny. Me, too. Does that make me an Old? It’s been a great couple of days, no?

          • Gabriel Owens

            It has been a GREAT couple of days.

          • MotorbikeMike

            Sure has! This is my absolute favorite time of year, even though its starting to get a little cold for riding in my parts, I love seeing the models.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Move to Texas and ride year round.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Why would there be a fat discount?

          • Born to Ride

            Kawasaki’s that don’t have Zx in front of their numbers seem to sell like shit locally. I can drive to the local big 4 dealer and buy a brand new ninja 1000, 650, or versys from the 2015,16, or 17 model year. All with varying levels of massive discounts.

          • Starmag

            I have a feeling these won’t be sitting around in showrooms long if the enthusiasm in these comments are any indication.

          • Born to Ride

            It’s possible. It may be a moot point though if I decide to preorder anyways.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Just saw a brand new ninja 1000 for 9999 in lamarque texas.

          • Born to Ride

            There is a new 2015 for 6999$ locally. The red one which is my favorite color. See my rant in the Ninja 1000 comment section about that. Haha

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            LOL … I saw that rant.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Yes, its very hard to pass up. Are you aware of all the bikes Ive owned since 2014? Its been a wild ride. Lol.

        • SerSamsquamsh

          Apparently you were born to ride so I’d say get it ASAP. The discount is no consolation for staring at you bike in the garage when it’s winter:)

          • Born to Ride

            Around these parts, winterizing your ride means putting on an extra layer of thermals. Heh

            But honestly, if I keep the bike long term, paying a grand or two extra to get it ASAP won’t really matter. Right? RIGHT??

          • SerSamsquamsh

            Do it! Do it!

            The root beer one is the shizzle. I hope I love it when I meet it in person.

        • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

          end of the year fat discount,but i’ve got several Highland clans in my bloodstream(that squealing high sound? not the pipes,laddie,but a penny being pinched!)

    • BDan75

      Long as there’s a way to get the number off the side cover. But I’d take either color, really.

      • Born to Ride

        The number plate is a little bold, but I give it a pass since it’s the displacement and not some old dude that won all the races before I was born. I don’t want a 46, or a 69 on my bike despite how much I like the riders. I’ll put their sticker on my toolbox or suitcase.

        • Alaskan18724

          69 is something else entirely.

          • Born to Ride

            That’s true. Maybe a little one on the top of the triple clamp for Nicky.

          • Gabriel Owens

            68 and she owes me one.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          From now on everyone has to put a 93 on their bike.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Correct.

          You want a #34 on your bike.

    • Alaskan18724

      Ditto.

  • Mr. Toast

    I…I can’t find anything to hate about this motorcycle!

    OK, maybe the number plate on the green is a bit much, but…that’s all I got.

    4.5 gallons. Whee!

    • Born to Ride

      I was so worried it was gonna get a 3 gallon tank because of the shape in the teaser photos. Very happy with 4.5 gal, the perfect amount for a roadster.

  • Sentinel

    This is the first retro-inspired bike in recent years from the Japanese done right; I love it!

  • John Toporowski

    If they’re trying to bring in the 40 somethings that remember the Z1 and the Zephyr, they did a damn good job. I’ll take one! Orange and rootbeer brown please.

    • Larry Kahn

      I’m 62, and already called my closest dealer to call when they get one. Started street riding in 1972 so was right there first time around.

      • Gabriel Owens

        So cool. As a child born in 77, this is the type of bike that attracted me to motorcycles.

      • Mad4TheCrest

        Ditto me, same age and references. If I didn’t already own a ZRX and a Street Triple i’d be calling a dealer daily until I could place a deposit. Actually if you could blend my ZRX and Street Triple together, the Z900RS is about what you’d get.

  • litedoc

    As an old Kawi rider, 70 H1, 76 KZ900, 82 GPZ1100, I approve. 🙂 Retro done right.

  • Starmag

    Nice. Beautiful gauges, rear duck tail, and flat bottomed tank. A bit busy behind the engine, but not bad. It has enough power, but I wish they hadn’t “tuned it for torque”. A bit less HP than my ZRX1200, but 75LBS(!) lighter. No stupid spoked rims to ruin your day with a tube flat. For me, the best retro by far. Including the new Honda Cafe. Can’t wait for your road test. Want.

    • Born to Ride

      I’d be willing to bet that guy Ivan can fix up that horsepower deficit for you right quick.

      • Starmag

        It’s got enough Hp, especially since it’s lighter. Unlike most riders, I like a zippier feeling engine with a lump in the powerband and I like to shift. Flat powerband “tuned for torque” inline fours can sometime be a bit bland. Like the CB1100.

        • Born to Ride

          Well, it does give up 300cc to the ZRX so it undoubtedly going to be less punchy. T-Rod really liked this engine in the Z900, so I have hope. If not I’ll tune it to my liking

          • Gabriel Owens

            Yeah the guys at a few other publications claim to like the z900 more than the fz09 simply because the motor.

    • Max Wellian

      Yet the wheels still look like spokes in motion. Too kewl!

  • Old MOron
    • Born to Ride

      I give looks and period correctness to the Honda hands down. But this isn’t a full retro job, it’s just such a good one that you don’t see that it is truly a modern bike with beautiful systems integration into the aesthetic. Unlike some other companies efforts…

      • Old MOron

        Yeah, I agree. To be fair to the Kawi, its other side looks better, but I chose this picture because of its similarity to Duke’s styling portrait.

        • Relayer

          The Kaw needs a pipe on the left side, bad.

      • Gabriel Owens

        That honda rear fender makes me swallow down my vomit…which is uncool, i just had spicy food.

    • spiff

      I say the Kawi, I like it’s tail much more.

      • Old MOron

        Agreed, the Kawi tail is much better. But in terms of overall aesthetic, I think I prefer the Honda. For me choosing which one to buy would come down to price and riding experience. No demo ride, no sale.

        • spiff

          Kawi will probably ride better.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Honda pricing usually destroys their chances of winning head to heads.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I didn’t think Honda allows demo rides.

          • Born to Ride

            No Japanese dealer that I know of does. That’s a major reason why I have been riding European bikes exclusively for so long now. Way better dealership experience, but this time I want the machine bad enough that it doesn’t matter.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            All of the big four, and most of the others, do demo days all across Canada. Just go to their interwebs thing. Plus, at most big rider events, the companies all show up for demo rides.

            Can’t believe they do not do that in the States.

          • Born to Ride

            Yamaha does quite often, never personally seen it for the other 3. What I was getting at is that euro dealers have a fleet of demo bikes. You might not be able yo test ride the specific model of the bike you want but they will have some version of it in their demo fleet. Ducati is amazing on this front and so is Triumph. At the big 4 dealer you have to wait for the oem to show up with a truckload if bikes or no test ride.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            OEM (actually, the importer) with a truckload if bikes is how they do it here. Canada is too small a market and too spread out for the dealers to be able to afford much in the way of demo bikes. Usually they are demo bikes in name only, as it’s a tax dodge to provide a free bike to the owner and one or two special employees.

            But, the OEM demo rides are frequent, far-flung, and well advertised in advance. I’ve gotten to the point now, that I take a helmet with me if I drive to any bike related event as odds are there is a demo ride of one type or another that I did not know of, such as at the VRRA event at Mosport. I go every year, so do not even read up on it. But, oops! there’s a demo ride. Or, another was a motorbike themed film festival I went to.

            The importers of all major brands are quite accommodating in that way, here.

          • Born to Ride

            One of the cool things about the demo fleets here is that if you’re willing to buy a bike that someone else has preflogged for you, you can pick up the demo bike a year later with less than a thousand miles on it most of the time at 80% of the msrp. Additionally since it’s sold as a registered bike in most cases, you don’t have to pay the freight and setup nonsense or the extra doc fees.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I’m sure they do that here, but it’s probably all in Toronto, and all to preferred customers/friends/relatives/drinking buddies/that guy on my hockey team type thing.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Yamaha has demo days ALL THE TIME. going to one saturday in irving texas. After that im going to buy some propane and propane accessories.

          • Starmag

            That sounds like a gas.

          • Born to Ride

            It’s true, Yamaha does do demo days every couple months. Too bad they don’t make anything I like. Tenere 700 looks promising though. Maybe in a couple years.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Im only interested in trying the Venture and fz10. Id never buy a venture though. Id seriously consider a fz10 sp. But while im there im gonna try the tenere, fz10, fz09, and fj09. Maybe an r1 if im feeling a lil spicy

          • Alaskan18724

            They do in Lakeland, Florida….

          • Gabriel Owens

            Just demo’d the rebel 500. Its a hoot. Id never own one, but for what it is, its crazy fun. Im 6’1 and a solid 225+. It really supported me well even over rough roads. Silly little fun bike. Jmho.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Yes. Much cleaner.

    • Lewis

      I say the engine in the CB is more pleasing aesthetically, but I will take the Kwak everywhere else.

    • hipsabad

      the honda has the better lines and proportions, imho

    • Dan

      my impression from sitting on the Honda is it felt really heavy, i think the Kawasaki is about 50 lbs lighter

  • spiff

    What everyone asked for. A competent 100hp retro. Not intimidating, yet entertaining. I hope they sell all of them. It would be good for the industry if the cagers and walkers see motorcycles in such a positive light.

    • Gabriel Owens

      I was born in 1977, and to my eyes, this is a true pure motorcycle.

      • StripleStrom

        Born in 75, and same here. Hey Yamaha! THIS is what a retro bike should look like. Kawasaki has a history with doing this type of a design the right way. Look at how loved the ZRX 1100 and 1200 were (before the retro bike category was even that popular).

        • BDan75

          Yep, as one who bought a ZRX11 when they were new, I feel like I was country when country wasn’t cool (anybody remember that song?). Anyway, I think the ZRX1400 everybody’s been begging for would go nicely alongside this. I’d sure buy one…

          • spiff

            That’s a good idea. It could fill a super naked niche.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I remember that tune. Babs and her sisters were quite tidy.

        • Garry Kearns
      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        amen! add a retro classic Triumph,and a Sporty to round things out(and i was born in ’53!)

        • gjw1992

          Born in 57 and the Z1 was the future when it arrived! Bit like y2k – it still is.

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            my first Chevy was a ’57! Y2K was a bit of a bust as i recall

      • JWaller

        I was born in 1975 and totally agree. I guess that’s why I’ve got a Triumph Scrambler. I don’t even feel like it’s a retro bike. It’s just a bike. My dad had an RD350 and CB750 when I was little. Then my step-dad had a Kz650 ltd. What’s now considered retro is what my mind has always considered a typical motorcycle.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Yes, the naked standards are my sheeeiiitttt

    • Rocky Stonepebble
      • 12er

        Watched someone dump one at Moto GP at Laguna Seca on turn 4 during a parade lap about 10 years ago. I still harbor ill feelings towards whomever that individual was.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Thats naughty

      • spiff

        You’re drewaming, but it is a nice dream.

  • Kirk Harrington

    Dear Kawi,
    You are a subframe change and shaft final drive away from being about to revive the ZL900 while you’re at it. Us 80’s guys all remember why these were fun and with the suspension chosen for the new Z900RS this shouldn’t be a far stretch to pull together. I figure you’re roughly $10K for the RS. You could likely get away with $11.2K on the ZL. Duke- feel free to steal this idea and make us 40-50 somethings happy to relive fun times of our youth without spending $15k plus to get there. LOL

  • Tim Sawatzky

    Wow, nailed it! The perfect balance between retro and modern. I hope I get to ride one some day.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Member the CB1100?

    Yeah I member, I wonder if that model is selling very well

    • Larry Kahn

      Not as cool.

    • Alaskan18724

      Would, with 20 more ponies and the reservoir shocks of the Unobtanium model….

  • rick

    Retro done right ! Love the faux kerker!

  • Some bikes just make you smile the first time you see one.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Could we please have a motorcycle.com forum? Make that happen.

    • zachromful

      I can’t remember seeing another bike for the first time and thinking they completely nailed it like this. Struggling to find criticism. We’ll see if they mark it up way too much like the XSR-700 and how it performs on the road I guess.

  • DAVID

    Now this looks retro, with modern engine!! Job well done Kawasaki……….

  • kenneth_moore

    Obviously the CB1100 is very different mechanically, but I have to wonder if Kawi sees it’s steady success and wants a piece of that market. The CB was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this Z.

    Somebody is buying 1100s; Honda is continually releasing new versions and upgrades to the model line.

  • Butch Schultz

    They should have gone with 18″ wheels like Honda did on the new CB1100.
    Looks more period correct IMO.

    • Born to Ride

      No. I want modern tires and mass moment, they made the right call.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Yes. Much better tire selection.

  • Michael White

    I am not really feeling the overdone silver fender brackets or the elongated conical gauge housings–which seem unnecessarily retro (I prefer the simpler XSR panel). But in all this bike has my name all over it. It is a real live UJM like I’ve been asking for for decades.

  • motorboy

    I really like it and if they can sell it for around 9K that would be great-only thing I would have liked to see on it is duel pipes-had a 1976 KZ900 it was a nice bike right up to when I blew the engine-weak crankshaft

  • Lowflying

    “XSR900 just got destroyed.” Strong words mate, but looks are pretty subjective. I like the looks of my XSR (I admit it’s not classically beautiful, but it’s got something that some people like) and the motor is pretty frikkin’ awesome. Ride one, you’ll be impressed by the smooth torque. In fact, I bet the XSR would run rings around the Z (just based on the significant difference in power to weight), but that’s not important here, as this isn’t a litre-bike track shootout. It’s about real-world street riding, IMO.

    Having said that, I like this Z. A lot. The more I study the pics, the more I think they got this pretty right. The only bit I don’t like much is the plastic rear fender. But most modern bikes suffer from that, and it’s easily sorted.

    I think I will be forced to test ride one of these, in Candytone Brown of course. If it’s any good I may be ready to finally move on my ’83 CB1100F, which I’ve been holding onto for sentimental reasons.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Butt hurt?

      • Lowflying

        Dude. Sorry to hear about your butt. Or are you wanting some butt hurt? Not sure what that has to do with my comment. But thanks for your constructive contribution to the conversation.

    • spiff

      How much for the 1100?

      • Lowflying

        Not for sale, yet!

  • Starmag

    After reading this article I went out to the garage and noticed my ZRX looked a little scared. I calmed it down with a detailed discussion about my bank account. I didn’t mention that it’s not out of the woods yet though, I bought some lotto tickets today.

    • spiff

      Lol, the ZRX is paid for. If you did it your garage would rock.

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    The Z900 is ugly. Why did they just not style it as they have the RS, in the first place?

    • spiff

      One bike, two demographics.

  • Alaskan18724

    So…let’s talk about the most important part. Paint. I know matt is all the rage, but it’s only retro on a rat bike. Unless I’m missing something. I want a green one, but I want it to look like 1972 green, complete with yellow accents and stripes and everything! Isn’t the whole point here to let guys and gals of a certain vintage relive their misspent youth? I misspent mine with shiny green Kawasakis….

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      I misspent mine with a snooker cue.
      And two-strokes.

    • Alaskan18724

      Okay. I want green. But if I can’t have green, black. With a sexy little R90S-style bikini fairing. I used “sexy” in a sentence. How very retro of me.

  • Bmwclay

    Sorry, still trying to find a XR1200X, garage queen in my area. What was this article again?

    • mog

      Good luck on the H-D XR1200X. As for the 474 pound Z900 with a 4 cylinder and water cooling, looks ok but a bit too wide for me. I’ll stick to the air cooled twins.

      • Bmwclay

        Found one in AZ. Only has 4100 miles. Calif. won’t register it unless it has over 7500. Guess I could take the long way home.

        • spiff

          Buy an extra speedo of ebay.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          What kind of law is that?

          • Bmwclay

            There are 49 state bikes and there are Ca. compliant bikes. If a bike was sold in another state and has less than 7500 miles it is considered new and cannot be registered in Ca. If you’re caught trying to register one, your bike is denied and black listed forever. Maybe even confiscated.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Wow! Didn’t know that. I guess manufacturers are now making all bikes CA compliant so they don’t run into this problem. The XR1200X was originally designed for the European market so it may not be CA compliant. Yes, if you bought it and came back the Long Way Round, it will be CA compliant by the time it gets here. http://www.longwayround.com

      • Born to Ride

        As an air cooled vtwinvangelist, I gotta say, sometimes you just need a bike that gets it done without all the character.

    • Born to Ride

      Not bad choice, but I’d be willing to bet this bike runs circles around it and looks just as good.

  • MotorbikeMike

    Love this bike, #1 favorite model right now, it’ll definitely have a hefty premium over the Z900, but considering what a bargain that bike is, I’m sure it won’t be out of line. Can’t wait to see one in person at the local bike show or in my dealership.

    • Old MOron

      Oh, good point! The Long Beach bike show is next month. I hope it’s there.

  • Rob Alexander

    Kawi has been gunning for Yamaha lately… gonna have to see this and the XSR900 (and maybe the CB1000, and maybe throw a Scout in for the hell of it) in a comparison test now. Smart move – Yamaha’s been on a roll lately, just watch what they do and then do it better.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Everyone is gunning for Yamaha because Yamaha has been kicking the shit out of EVERYONE. Competition is a good thing.

      • Rob Alexander

        Exactly.

    • spiff

      You forgot the Thruxton and Griso. Maybe the the R nine T in one of it’s variants.

      • Rob Alexander

        Sure… throw in anything in the 850-1200cc retro-bike range as a possibility. Sportster 1200 too. Although, not sure I consider the Griso that retro. It’s got character, but I don’t know about “retro”.

        • spiff

          The class could be known as the gentleman’s rides”.

          • Rob Alexander

            Haha “gentlemanly” doesn’t sell motorcycles in the US.

          • spiff

            Okay, how about “bitter old bastard’s rides”. 🙂

          • Rob Alexander

            That might sell!

          • Starmag

            That would make them b.o.b.bers. Oh wait, that’s taken already…

  • Matt O

    I must be crazy. I like the regular z900 better.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      You are correct.

      You are crazy.

  • JMDGT

    Some guys I knew in High School had Z somethings back in the late 70s. They may have been Z1000’s. This version looks a lot like what I remember those bikes being. Only better.

  • Don Orton

    From a purely retro-aesthetic standpoint, the XSR 900 just got owned.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    good move Kawasaki! i like it;the reduced compression to make it more pump gas friendly,and the emphasis on low and mid range power all good;slap some bags and a windscreen on it,i’ll take it coast to coast! and if someone isn’t really looking hard at it,it could be confused with a Z1,especially with the brown & orange

    • Born to Ride

      I’m torn between the thought of installing the other 900 pistons and having 12:1 compression with the stock cams, or the awesome convenience of being able to run regular gas and understress conditions on the bearings and pins.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        i think you answered you own question! if it can get(anywhere near) 110 hp as it is,why tempt fate?

        • Born to Ride

          Because I’m used to riding Ducati’s with midrange power for days. From what I understand this engine is a sleeved down ninja, I’d just be restoring her natural jugs after the unnecessary reduction procedure. Meh, I’ll wait till the warranty is up to decide.

          • spiff

            If it is sleeved down than it should have decent torque for what it is.

  • Fabian

    I want to cry tears of joy. I’m 17 again.

  • Brian Clasby

    I love the look and analog gauges.

  • Starmag

    Believe it or not, there are Z900rs customs already. Born To Ride may stroke out.

    https://www.google.com/search?biw=960&bih=445&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=vkPyWbXFNMjamwHB57WoAg&q=+z900rs+customs&oq=+z900rs+customs&gs_l=psy-ab.3…18045.18045.0.18719.1.1.0.0.0.0.114.114.0j1.1.0….0…1..64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.8YfXhalatQk

    • Born to Ride

      Gah…. uhnnn… urrk

      *cardiograph flatlines*

  • JWaller

    Anyone wanna buy a Ural? I need the money to get this instead; a retro model that looks good AND performs as well. Someone else mentioned it and I’ll say it again. I was born in the ’70s and this just looks like a motorcycle should. Seems like with that engine, it will have standard motorcycle looks and comfort, like my Triumph Scrambler, but with performance closer to my Sprint ST. I think I like it.

  • Alaskan18724

    Anybody remember Tim Carrithers? Wonder what he’d say about this one.

    • Craig Hoffman

      Probably something good naturedly acerbic, he is a pretty salty guy.

      Met him once in ’89 while riding my ’83 XL 600 up to the Rock Store. He was on a KLR and we proceeded to engage in a spirited dual sport wheelie war. He showed me their Westlake offices afterwards. it was all very cool for a young kid who had just moved to SoCal.

      • Alaskan18724

        I really enjoyed his writing. He and JB kept things…lively. I paid attention to Carrithers because we are dimensionally similar, and when he commented on ergonomics, I could pretty well count on it that I’d feel the same way about a given bike. Saved me from fantasies of MV Agustas and other unobtanium.

  • azicat

    Dagnabbit, I only just bought a Z900 this year

  • Dan

    Hope the footpegs aren’t too high and cramped. Is surprising how often they do that on “standard” bikes

  • Rob Mitchell

    Just love the look. I bet it goes a little harder than the original. But, why on earth would Kawasaki call it RS (Rat Shit)?

    • spiff

      Retro sport?

  • Tanner

    too much forward lean

    • spiff

      I think the guy in the photos is trying to make it look “racey”. There is a pic where he is pulling up to a girl leaning on a bike. He looks pretty upright there.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Hell ya. I love this!

  • Donald Black

    33″ seat height?!? Game over for me.

  • John A. Stockman

    As of now, 178 comments! Well done Kaw! Liking the styling, for the reasons others have noted. A 1957 child, born into a family of accomplished riders and racers. A slight physical challenge kept me off bikes for many years, but got back into the game after many surgeries. 1983 was my year for getting a bike again, an early 80s KZ250, then a succession of Kawasaki KZs over the next 15 years. Kawasaki got this right. Not fond of the folded-paper, anime’ styling treatments, so I love seeing this bike. Going to go to the dealer when one arrives to look it over in person. I remember hanging around the local Tacoma, WA Honda dealer as a kid, drooling over the then-new CB750. The employees at the dealership were quite nice, always saying hi and answering all my little kid questions. Grandpa said it was going to change the landscape for motorcycles from then on. Sure, I was only 9 and my parents presented me with a brand new Z50 that same year, but I dreamed of getting older and riding that CB750. I still loved every minute on that Mini Trail and treated it well. So well, I still have it and it runs and looks great. But I’ll never forget how that CB750 made me feel. Feelings I re-live when I look at this Kawi now, thanks guys! Seat height is a little to high for a pune-type inseam like I have, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to the “looks”. Yeah, wow.

  • Johnny Nightrider

    I’ve always liked Kawasaki’s.Though I was going to buy a Yamaha FZ09.This Kawasaki is so awesome.I’m going to wait to test ride it.

  • Johnny Nightrider

    One last thing.If the frame is a tubular backbone steel frame like on my 88 Kawasaki Ninja750.I’ll buy the Yamaha FZ09 or XSR900.The last tubular frame on my old Ninja 750 was like a big hinge in handling.Was not up to the task of being rigid.It felt like it flexed in the middle.I miss my 2009 Yamaha FZ6 with Aluminum frame and swingarm with quarter fairing and exhausts coming out under the tail.Best bike I ever owned.

  • not a parasite

    I dislike the the idea of California Air Resources Board dictating to the rest of us which bikes are available. There is way too much government in our lives! Kawasaki should stop sucking-up to that commie state. BTW…I will be buying a Z900RS and removing all the smog BS!

  • JerryMander

    Wish they’d put the pegs further forward and/or lower so the rider’s knee isn’t so far past 90 degrees.