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MD’s 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Test Bike: What Would Readers Like To Know?

One of the most popular bikes introduced to MD readers recently (with 214 Comments at time of writing) is the Kawasaki Z900RS. It was favorably reviewed by us at the press launch, but we did find a few things to complain about. Most notably, a somewhat snatchy throttle response.

We now have a test unit in the garage for a more thorough evaluation, and we would like feedback from interested readers on the things MD should focus on in our evaluation. Aside from our usual testing and reporting in an MD Ride Review, is there something about this new model you would like to know? Let us know with a comment below.


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166 Comments

  1. Justin Martin says:

    Can I put a 70’s style windjammer fairing on it and tour?

  2. Alan says:

    Got one at the dealership (I work for a dealer part time). The bike is very well detailed/painted more like a custom bike or show bike. The added fit and finish quality is apparent – a level above the usual excellent Kawasaki work on its new motorcycles. The seat heigh was NOT high – I am 5-8 @ 200 lb. with a 30 inch trouser inseam – seated on the bike I had one foot flat on the floor and the other foot on the floor with just the heel raised about 3 inches. In other words, I just barely missed flat footing the bike with both feet. The optional lower seat will likely be needed only by very short/light riders i.e. under 5 foot 6 inch and under 150 lb.

    The gas tank looks big and is big because of design and the because the bike appears smaller and is modern. The steering and feel of the bike is like that of a 600 cc bike when you push the bike around – the bike feels like a medium weight bike because the low center of gravity. Handle bars are a close reach in a relaxed upright seating position. The exhaust sound is NOT loud – probably should be louder.

    • mickey says:

      hmmm Scott about 4 posts below this one is 6′ with a 32″ inseam and said he was definitely tip toeing while seated on one. Wonder what the difference is?

      • Alan says:

        Suspension was set for heavy rider vs lighter rider. There is a lot of adjustments that can be made that will affect seat height – I weigh 200 lb. and our bike was set for a sale to a lighter rider.

        Our bike did NOT have the large gap between rear wheel and rear fender that appears in some Kawasaki ad pictures. Same gap size as other Kawasaki 1000 cc bikes and Z’s on floor. Why? Don’t know?

        NOTE: Our bike did NOT have a CENTER STAND [an option]. Some bikes take a while to settle down/compress to correct seat height after being up on a center stand for a time.

  3. Max says:

    Finally got to see one in the flesh. Oddly, I don’t recall the seat height being an issue and my inseam in only 29″.
    Thought the paint was as good as it gets.
    Thought the bike was generally very attractive with two glaring exceptions:
    1. The radiator cap sticks out like a sore thumb while on the bike.
    2. The brackets for the cheapo round reflectors are welded to some rather nice tie downs. Guess you’re stuck with them eyesores too.

  4. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Is the fuelling really as snatchy as other reviews have noted? Is the tank really that large and ungainly?

    • Scott says:

      You’ll have to judge for yourself how you think the tank looks when you see one in person, but I went to go look at the Z900RS the other day and I honestly don’t think it’s that big. I’ve certainly seen bigger tanks on naked bikes. The old CB1000 Big One comes to mind, for example.

      I did notice that compared to my XSR900, the RS does seem to be a little bigger in just about every dimension. It’s a little taller, a little longer, and a little wider. I’m 6′ tall with a 32″ inseam, and I was definitely tip-toeing. I didn’t get a chance to ride it, so it may not matter once you get going. But I know seat height is a Really Big Deal to many people around here.

      It seems like a nice bike, but I still would have chosen the XSR over it, because I’ve never been a fan of all that chrome, even 40 years ago when it was standard fare…

      • Allansb says:

        I also saw the RS and the tank didn’t seem that large although the bike does look bigger than my XSR900. I’m surprised by your comments on the seat height as the specs say it is lower than the XSR. Is it because the seat is wider?

        • Scott says:

          VLJ mentioned below that apparently the US model comes with a thicker “comfort” seat, and that the specs shown are for the “regular” seat. So I guess that can be changed out – for a price, of course. But it was definitely taller than our XSR’s…

  5. cw says:

    Tastes great or less filling.