2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS Preview

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Finally Coming to the States - Except California

Kawasaki announced it will import its Z800 middleweight streetfighter to the U.S. for the 2016 model year, slotting in below the Z1000 in the company’s lineup for $8,399. Unfortunately for residents of the Golden State, the Z800 will be a 49-state model and will not be available for sale in California.

The Z800 is not a brand new model; it has been available in Europe since 2013 where it replaced the Z750, and is only now coming to the U.S. In this manner, the Z800 is similar to Suzuki‘s GSX-S750 which was also only available in Europe (under the name “GSR-750“) for years before finally coming to the U.S.

Powered by a 806cc four-cylinder 16-valve engine, the Z800 claims strong mid-range performance suitable for street use. Fuel is injected by 34mm Keihin throttle bodies with sub-throttles, promising a smooth response across the rev-range. The Z800 also uses two different length intake funnels to optimize airflow for different engine speeds. Equalizer tubes connect header pipes one with four and two with three to improve engine response at low-to-mid rpms. A six-speed transmission offers short overall gearing for strong acceleration while a tall sixth gear helps the Z800 maintain a comfortable engine speed for highway cruising.

The engine is mounted in a high-tensile steel tubular backbone frame and cast aluminum engine subframe. The subframe connects with engine mounts located behind the cylinder, close to the engine’s center of gravity to reduce engine vibration, especially to the handlebars. Rubber mounts also help quell the vibrations and improving feedback.

The front wheel is suspended by a 41mm KYB fork with adjustable rebound and preload, offering 4.7 inches of travel. At the rear, a KYB shock with a piggy-back reservoir offers adjustable rebound damping and spring preload and 5.4 inches of travel.

Dual-opposed four-piston brake calipers stop the 277mm front discs while the 216mm rear rotor is paired to a single-piston caliper. The Z800 comes standard with a Nissin anti-lock brake system. The six-spoke wheels similar to those on the Z1000 come with Dunlop Sportmax D214 radial tires.

The Z800’s headlight offers an aggressive scowl but is not as squinty as the Z1000’s lamp.

Like the Z1000, the Z800 adopts a forward-leaning stance. A flat handlebar offers a wide grip position, providing more steering leverage while risers give the Z800 a more upright riding position.

Other highlights include a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, digital display with three LCD screens, LED taillight, luggage hooks on the license plate holder and behind the passenger pegs and an electronic immobilizer. Kawasaki claims a curb weight of 509.4 pounds.

2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS Specifications

Engine:Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke:71 x 50.9mm
Compression ratio:11.9:1
Fuel injection:DFI® with Keihin 34mm throttle bodies
Ignition:TCBI with electronic advance
Final drive:Sealed chain
Rake / trail:24 degrees / 3.9”
Frame type:High-tensile steel backbone
Front tire:120/70 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Rear tire:180/55 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Front suspension / wheel travel:41mm inverted fork with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability / 4.7”
Rear suspension / wheel travel:Bottom-link Uni-Trak® horizontal monoshock with piggyback reservoir, stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4”
Front brakes:Dual 277mm petal-type rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake:Single 216mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length:82.7”
Overall width:31.5”
Overall height:41.3”
Seat height:32.8”
Curb weight**:509.4 lb
Fuel capacity:4.5 gallons
Color choices:Metallic Spark Black/Flat Ebony
Warranty:12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plan (optional):12, 24, 36, and 48 month plans are available
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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3 of 25 comments
  • Nathan Heitzinger Nathan Heitzinger on Sep 02, 2015

    I don't care what the weight is, I only care what it FEELS like the weight is. I can't wait for a full review! Could be a great bargain bike at this price.

  • KLRJUNE . KLRJUNE . on Oct 28, 2015

    So far all the road tests I've read (and videos) rave about the motor's torque, great handling and how well it hides it weight.

    • Kevin Duke Kevin Duke on Oct 29, 2015

      Our own Troy Siahaan just finished testing it at the Z800's launch. Details on Friday...