I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had riding the new 2017 Kawasaki Z650 at its intro earlier this year. I figured the bike would be a reincarnation of the ER-6n, the porky naked bike sharing the same basic engine as the Z. Boy was I wrong. The Z650’s 410 lbs (with ABS) feels feathery light between the legs, and the parallel-Twin now has more punch in the midrange and bottom end. Light weight and lots of torque are just the ingredients we like when it comes to the naked bike category.

So, if the Z650 is good, then the Z900 must be better, right? With a claimed 124 hp coming from its 948cc inline-Four, the 900 is also tuned to come alive in the midrange. A steel trellis frame not only looks cool but is said to be even lighter than the one on the Z650. Kawi says the 900 tips the scales at 460 lbs (add 4 lbs with ABS), which is a little on the hefty side, but also why the big Z only slots at the number 9 spot. We’re hopeful Kawasaki cleverly hides the weight and makes the Z900 feel like the Z650 on steroids.