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2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Debuts at Tokyo Motor Show (with video)

Kawasaki chose the Tokyo Motor Show to unveil the much anticipated Z900RS. A beautiful homage to the 1972 Z1 900, the Z900RS actually has a higher component spec than the much more modern looking Z900 already in Kawasaki’s lineup.

Sharing the same 948cc four-cylinder engine with the Z900, the new RS gets a slightly different state of tune to increase mid-range power, but still makes a claimed 110 peak horsepower (and 73 pound/feet of torque). Unlike the Z900, the Z900RS features fully adjustable suspension and radial-mount, four-piston Monobloc front brake calipers.Β  Claimed wet weight is in line with the Z900 … under 475 pounds with the 4.5 gallon gas tank topped off.Β  Not bad.

The unveiling of the Z900RS in Tokyo is independent of an announcement by Kawasaki of the remaining 2018 U.S. models, which will occur in early December at the IMS in New York.Β  We will provide more details as they become available.Β  In the meantime, enjoy these photos and the video below.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. J. T. Anthony says:

    Bought a 1975 z1 new
    Fastest bike on the road at the time
    Road it for 10 years wish I had keep it
    I like the look of the new one , ride on
    I gave $ 2295.00 for my new bike in 1975

  2. Tom says:

    Ok so I am thrilled about this bike. I have owned a kz 650 and kz 750 back in the late 90’s and it was my favorite bike. I bought a gold wing a year ago to get back into riding and to tell the truth I hate it. Might as well have a car. so I had been looking for the next bike and was just disappointed with whats out there. My choices were harley or harley want to bes and as I said cruisers look good ( some of them) but are boring to ride. Bug bikes- wtf is wrong with people? Just one butt ugly want to be race bike after another racing to see who can design the most uncomfortable seat. So my last choice is spending a year rebuilding a 40 year old bike or spending 20k plus for some one to build me a 40 year old bike. THat is why I am so stoked about this bike. finally a good looking bike that is not a “retro” detuned rolling couch like the cb1100 . I was looking to bite the bullet and buy a yahama xsr 900, at least it looks fun to ride and is not completely ugly. Now I can buy a good looking bike with style and performance. I will add a small head light fairing and a belly pan like the

  3. Mr. Smith says:

    As an owner of many Z1’s / KZ’s over the years, one little detail, I think, would greatly help the look of the engine (don’t get me wrong, the bike is stunning as is). Extend the faux fins on the head a little to the front and back. And put faux fins on the cylinder block. And maybe extend the tail piece under the rear of the seat to cut down on the space. Of course, YMMV. Cheers.

  4. Mike says:

    I’m buying one. πŸ™‚

    The original is my favourite bike of all time so it’s a no-brainer for me. And I think Kawasaki have done an awesome job on this… somehow looks modern and retro at the same time. And like the original it should go well and handle well – as well as being incredibly gorgeous.

    I Hope they don’t take too long to release photos of the cafe racer version – could be a tough decision which to buy. However if they look much like the overblown messes at the Tokyo M/C show then I’ll be happy with the standard Z900RS.

  5. pushrod pete says:

    After obsessively googling this bike for the last couple days, a couple thoughts come to mind:

    1) I agree with those who say it’s not really “retro”. I think that’s a good thing — my thought is that it looks like what a Z900 would look like now if it never went out of production but was instead continually updated.

    2) When I first looked over all the photos, it struck me after a while that I hadn’t noticed what the exhaust looked like. Again, that’s GOOD! Most motorcycles (esp Kawasaki) slap you in the face with ugly obnoxious canisters. This one just blends with the overall design.

  6. Dino says:

    Someone else pointed out rumors of a Cafe version already in the works.. Sweet.
    Now we just need the Suzuki GS1100 to round out the market… C’mon now!
    Good job, Kawasaki!

  7. Bluflame - Western Australia says:

    That brought a tear to my eye. I’ve got pics of my kids on bikes as babies and now they have their own bikes.

    A great advert for a great bike.

  8. Cyclemotorist says:

    What a beautiful motorcycle!

  9. richard says:

    judging by the comments it will be a high demand bike and a wait list to get one..this time last year the new Thruxton got the same amount of attention

  10. Artem says:

    Pretty cool. In three ways I think:
    1. Modern
    2. Z1 looks
    3. It can be transformed into 1984 Ninja 900

  11. MacSpoone says:

    Oh yeah. A Kerker 4/1 exhaust would be right at home on this gorgeous throwback.
    I haven’t looked at a new bike purchase in a very long time. This bike has changed my tune, though…

  12. edbob says:

    Thank you Kawasaki. Good suspension, good looking, etc. You should offer some sort of cool bullet fairing in the accessories. Then I will not be able to resist.

  13. Steven says:

    I was considering the 2018 XSR because I love the white and red paint scheme. I was waiting to see what the RS would look like. I’m sold! Bravo to Kawasaki to produce a retro-styled bike with modern modern touches. Can’t wait to swing a leg over it at the Washington DC IMS.

  14. red says:

    Dang it..I’ve been target marketed. I can’t stop looking at it while humming the tune to “kawasaki lets the good times roll”.

    40+ years and dozens of motorcycles, all bought used. Now that I’m old, have a couple bucks and wracked with nostalgia, they might finally get me.. did I mention my first motorcycle was a 72 kv75 trail. during high school, had a Z1 poster on my wall, right next to farrah. πŸ™‚

    • Mark says:

      Just do it Red. I own the new z900 so I’m sure the RS will be just as good. It will out perform all the Z bikes that came before it. This is the new bike you’ve been waiting for all along.

  15. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Its as pretty as the z900 is fugly…wow. Other manufacturers, please take notice and stop cramming pacific rim bug designs down our throats…

    • Gary says:

      Exactly. Well said.

    • Curly says:

      I concurπŸ‘ No reason bikes have been ugly to be good. This one should sell but then I thought the Zephyr would sell.

    • richard says:

      you guys miss the point..maybe a new Gold Wing will suit your needs

    • Mark says:

      Excuse me? I own the new z900 and it is gorgeous ( says me and everybody who looks at it). But if it ain’t your cup o tea, go out and buy the RS and if it performs anything like the the z900 then you’re in for the best bike you ever owned.

      • austin zzr 1200 says:

        Mark, happy that you are happy with the z900. I went to a dealer, sat on one, looked at it for 5 min…just not my style. Ride what you like…the RS might replace my wee-strom, already got the wife’s approval..the pillion is a huge factor. I grandfathered 1 bike (at a time) into the marriage so the pillion is critical.

  16. todd says:

    This is a great looking – and likely performing – modern motorcycle. I don’t see anything retro. It has similar styling to their bikes from the ’70s but I bought some brand new silverware a while back that looks strikingly similar to the stuff my grandma use to feed us with. They didn’t sell it as “retro”. I’m a Yamah fan but the styling they have been using on their bikes lately is just weird. This makes me really want a Kawasaki now…

  17. SausageCreature says:

    Nice job, Kawasaki!

    Lots of good choices in the retro market these days. Would love to see a shootout with the XSR900, CB1100, Bonneville 120, and R9T.

    One manufacturer is conspicuously absent, though. How cool would a modern GS1000 with a white/blue Wes Cooley replica paint job be? Suzukiiii…come out and plaaaaay!

  18. teelee says:

    Will have to get one, my B-King needs a companion.

    • richard says:

      sorry bud the B king was always an ugly duckling..why it didnt sell well..each to their own..the new Z is way cooler

  19. falcodoug says:

    How much money?

    • iwc3714 says:

      Price will probably be released around EICMA.
      But I guess it will be more expensive than a Z900
      and less expensive than a Triumph Street Twin. So
      $9 000 to $10 400 usd?

  20. paul s says:


  21. My2cents says:

    I’m a kid again and I like it. For me it is retro and modern at the same time. Kawasaki should really bring back that jingle “LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL”

  22. RyYYZ says:

    I’m seriously tempted to get one of these come spring. Which, considering that my current bike is only 3 years old, is quite a statement for me. Especially considering that this isn’t really the type of bike I was thinking about switching to. But I have to admit, I have a hankering for something that actually looks good, unlike most of the new nakeds or ADV bikes. I was considering a new V-Strom 1000 or FJ-09, but their looks (like all the other ADV bikes) don’t do much for me.

    The last time I felt like this was when I replaced my crashed ’95 Concours with a ZRX1100. Which I only kept for 3 years because ultimately it wasn’t well-suited to touring. Not that I tour a lot, but occasionally I like to go for a week or two, and there’s no way I’m putting enough luggage (hard or soft) on something like this new Z900RS, or my ZRX1100, for that (for my taste).

    Regardless, I’m very tempted. It just looks so good.

    ps it looks like it will be a pain to keep clean, which I would want to, because it’s such a good looking bike.

  23. Geoffrey Hill says:

    Looks great. I wouldn’t call it Retro. Just great looking. Been planning to get a small dual purpose bike, Honda 250, then trading in my 1700 silverado. Test rode a Triumph Bobber, and Bonnie. No leg room on Bobber, and Bonnie didn’t really feel like it had enough Torque. Dealer tried to charge me for shipping and set up and $100 over MSRP for his test bike. Plans have changed, New D/P Kaw 250, then this. Kawasaki been doing well.

  24. RENDELL says:

    My eyes are salivating upon first sight! Its just a cool looking motorcycle. I really want it.

  25. RENDELL says:

    My eyes are salivating upon first sight! I want it. I really do.

  26. slipjoint says:

    Wow! What a blank canvas to start from. Looks great out of the box, and cosmetics should be simple and straightforward. Enough interest to support a huge aftermarket in performance improvements. This is going to be a major player.

  27. 10m3guy says:

    It doesn’t matter what Kawasaki or any other manufacturer does. Trolls on this site would trash and bash it. I like the looks of it. I like the blinkers too. I actually own a new Z900. Fantastic bike. These retro bikes are not really my style but it falls right inline with what Yamaha and some of other manufacturers are doing. I have owned 4 Kawasaki’s. They make nice machines.

  28. Ricardo says:

    I am keeping my 1978 CB550K much longer, everything is going to those looks now.

  29. dt 175 says:

    ’72, huh? those models should then be dressed like noddy holder or at least wearing wiiide flares instead of skinny jeans w/ the cuff turned up…

  30. Pete says:


  31. Alex says:

    Awesome. The only thing it needs is an old style fuel tank cap.

  32. takehikes says:

    Love it until I get to the rear tire/fender Grand F***ing Canyon. Christ can that gap get any bigger? totally ruins the look and feel. I’d never buy it just because of that. About as sensible as the beak on other bikes.

    • mickey says:

      I guess they could have redesigned that rear sub frame to drop that gap a bit, which in turn would have lowered the seat and it wouldn’t have an ADV like 33″ seat height. Guess that’s why they are offering an optional “low” seat

      • takehikes says:

        A bit? How about 6″? LOL
        Its not the seat height its the gap.
        They just look ridiculous.

        • dubbltap says:

          Kinda have to agree. But I’m sure you have extra suspension travel over a early eighties bike. Then there’s the twin rear shocks that aren’t there to fill in some of the canyon.
          Have been looking to buy a naked bike soon to….”get back to basics”.
          First thing that caught my eye on the Yamaha XSR900 was the large gap in back and the fugly rear brake light.
          So far I’m liking my choices……Z900RS, XSR900, CB1100 and MG V7 III.

          Never had a Kawasaki bike before although it was a advertisement in Playboy for the late 70’s KZ LTD lineup that started the itch for streetbikes. Then again, I’m sure the nekkid lassies might have helped too!

      • redbirds says:

        I’ve found a lowering “dog bone” at a UK site that will lower the rear by 30mm. Slip the forks up through their clamps a bit and you’re golden. This will put the seat height close to that of my CB1100 and that will work.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t see any problem with it. What should go there?

    • falcodoug says:

      I guess they could have installed a Harley rear fender.

    • RD350 says:

      Since we are all so full of great ideas (har har) how about one more? Kawasaki should offer a premium version of this bike just as Ducati does with their line. An R version I guess (Z900RS-R!) Ohlins, super light wheels, ti-exhaust and perhaps some higher end Brembo brakes just for good measure. It seems to me that there are sufficient numbers of (probably) older guys who have the means to pay extra to have a lighter, better handling and more exclusive ride. And with Japanese reliability! Kawasaki should look to Bull Dock and AC Sanctuary for inspiration here as should any future owner of this bike.

      • RD350 says:

        Sorry .. this comment was meant to stand alone. Not responsive to this thread.

      • Dino says:

        That WOULD be sweet!

      • Tim says:

        MCN is reporting exactly that – for the UK market, anyway. A standard version and a Cafe version with higher spec brakes and suspenders, a small headlight cowl, spoke wheels and a different exhaust. Not that MCN is never wrong about stuff.

        • RD350 says:

          Cool! Thanks for pointing that out. I look at that site as well. Somehow missed it. That’s exactly what I envision! I’d rather have a reliable, high end Japanese bike such as this then an over-priced, PITA, unreliable Italian any day. Love the way they look, don’t want to live with them. Ask me how I know .. lol

    • Tim says:

      Meh. Maybe they’ll offer some accessory fender skirts for the canyon objectors.
      I think the gap on the Ducati Sport Classics was way worse than this.

      • mickey says:

        yea that was pretty bad and the puffy seat that looked over stuffed made it look even worse. The front was great, the rear not so much.

      • Max says:

        Or just sit on it. It’ll decrease and you’ll be enjoying the road.

    • joe b says:

      Wow, all bikes today have single shocks, and the gap between wheel and seat, are you kidding? take a hike…

    • SausageCreature says:

      I agree, but it’s not as bad as on some others. Maybe just a bit of bodywork beneath the seat to reduce the gap a bit.

      I can live with it though. I’m just happy it has a tail section that extends past the rear axle and a rationally sized pillion seat.

  33. Mick says:

    What’s up with the blinkers? They are easily remedied. But they are so out of place.

    • Tim says:

      Same story as the radiator, USD fork and 4 pot, Monobloc calipers, I’d guess. Better performance. To my eye, at least, the LEDs look okay – certainly better than the giant, yellow tea saucers of the original. Maybe an amber lens would be better.

  34. Neal says:

    This isn’t a market segment that interests me but I know a good bike when I see one. Kawasaki nailed it, assuming its less than a grand more than the Z900.

  35. PN says:

    I bet it’s fun to ride. I hope there’s a cafe version coming. It looks a little too conventional for me though so I’m leaning towards the GSX-S750 or maybe the Aprilia Shiver 900. Unless there’s a cafe SV650 coming or a redone CB400F:)

  36. Gary says:

    The problem with most motorcycle manufacturers today (and the very reason many are struggling) is that they are risk adverse. Success comes from those that can innovate, use technology appropriately, and create market segments. Bravo Kawasaki for nailing this one. While you didn’t create a market segment, you also didn’t dance around the edges as many have done for the last 15 years. The market has been asking for a UJM that wasn’t some watered-down version of a naked sport bike. Kawasaki delivered. Thank you for developing a bike with a workable suspension, proper brakes and an engine that can deliver. Up until today I was sure that my next bike was going to be an FZ-09, but I have to admit that this Z900RS clicks all of buttons. I’ll wait for some comparisons…but I won’t wait long…

  37. tuskerdu says:


  38. Bubba Blue says:

    Now it’s Suzuki’s turn to bring back the GS1100E / ES, with the same good stuff it had then, and more.

  39. PN says:

    Hmm, not quite, for me. The gas tank is not that great and the round headlight and instruments aren’t doing it for me either. I’m going with the GSX-S750.

  40. tom says:

    nice bike still think they should copy 1973 Z1 more 4 pipes an air cooled engine but still great looking bike

  41. iwc3714 says:

    Nice job Kawasaki! I was looking to replace my ’15 Ducati Monster 821 for a M.Y. 2018 with a Triumph Bonneville T120 or the new refreshed Monster 821 in yellow, but this certainly threw a wrench in this plan. I wonder if they will come out with a cafe racer version of the RS with a nice bikini fairing at EICMA. I can’t wait to throw a leg over it. Choices, choice. haha

  42. jimjim says:

    Beautiful motorcycle, well done Kawasaki!

  43. Tank says:

    Almost as nice as a Vincent Black Shadow!

  44. Thekawman says:

    Looks like a home run Kawasaki! Only thing I can see that needs improvrment is that brake reservoir on the right handlebar looks pretty vulnerable to me, not sure why they didn’t go with a cast piece other than that I’ll be picking one up. Hey Kawasaki, if you are listening and I’m still scratching my head on this one — Please, please, please bring the KLR 650 into the current century, I’m tired of dealing with carbs!

  45. Auphliam says:

    Yamaha just got super kicked right in it’s XSR

  46. KenLee says:

    Great looking bike. Yamaha and Suzuki should lern, how to do it with their XSR ans SV scrambler. The only one small ugly detail of new Kawi is front brake separate round fluid container taken directly from sport machine. They should use nice integrated soution i.e. from their own GTR 1400. There are also a little too wide tank, but its acceptable considering frame construction. I’m sure they will relase “classic” version with spoked wheels soon and it will be awesome. I still think CB 1100 EX looks better with traditional frame and narrow tank, but Kawasaki could offer a better performance. Difficult choice for potential buyer πŸ™‚

  47. t.lee says:

    where’s spoke wheel’s and 19 inch front wheel

  48. This could be my first ever non enduro bike. I loved the Z1 which was called Frankenstein’s Bride in Germany.

  49. kyle says:

    Really thinking of selling my 2017 T100 for this. I wish Kawasaki teased us a few months back. All I saw was an article that made it sound like this was only a concept.

  50. pushrod pete says:

    I was actually reluctant to click on this site today, expecting to be disappointed.

    I WAS NOT! Beautiful bike — better than the teaser illustrations! WOW WOW WOW.

    Please Kawi, don’t price in the stratosphere, and I’ll take one in rootbeer and orange.

  51. Provologna says:

    OMG, a modern open class UJM, with modern specs, modern performance, and an ALMOST FLAT SEAT!!! Tell me I’m not dreaming!

    How would look on this bike my NOS/never used, Craig Vetter designed, Rifle brand Superbike fairing, w/color matched graphics?

  52. ProvolognaWh says:

    OMG, a modern UJM, with modern specs, modern performance, and an ALMOST FLAT SEAT!!! Tell me I’m not dreaming!

  53. Doc says:

    I wouldn’t sell my CB1100F to get the Z900RS but I would park one next to it. I have no problem buying a modern standard. Up until now though, no one has got it right. Kawasaki got it right. Good job. I watched a 10 minute video of the unveiling on YouTube and the pipe from the head to the collector reminds me of a Kerker megaphone on the old Z1/KZ from back in the day. Even the gage housings have a look similar to the old. Look forward to seeing it in person.

  54. ProvolognaWh says:

    Try this for an eye-opening surprise: Watch the 2018 Honda Gold Wing factory video in the article just prior to this one (a very nice video, good production quality, nothing offensive). Then return to this page and look at this lovely 900. Compared to the GW, this 900 looks like a scooter-sized bike!

    Unless trading is a potential, I don’t recommend CB1100 owners test ride this new Kawi 900.

  55. mcmotohistory says:

    This bike just brings tears to my eyes! Beautiful cosmetics, 110Hp , 475lbs. this could out perform the Thruxton. Bravo Kawasaki!! Your going to sell boatloads of these!

  56. atlantarandy says:

    There are a handful of bikes that I could just sit next to in my garage and just look at and never get tired of looking at them. The 1970 CB750 K1 was one. Even though the Brits were still old school in the seventies, the Bonneville and Commandos had this quality. And the original Z900 was one of them. This new bike is what many of us have been asking for, for 20 years. From some of the comments, I think Kawasaki has accidently made a “retro” that isn’t a retro. They have hit on that perfect sweet spot where the bike looks fantastic…PERIOD! Past or present don’t matter.

  57. mechanicus says:

    I like it. A lot. Sleek beauty. Not 1 negative comment from me. (never thought I’d say that again on this site)

  58. steveinsandiego says:

    looks groovy, man, but i’d want a twin. tyvm.

  59. Butch says:

    Should be fitted with 18″ wheels like the new CB1100.
    Maybe next year.

    • wsg says:

      yeah! and wouldn’t it be awesome if it had like 30 less horsepower too?

      • mickey says:

        Technically 22 hp lol

        The problem with 18″ wheels is finding replacement tires in those sizes. Many of us on the CB forum switched to Michelin PR3s from the stock BS and Dunlops, but now Michelin has quit producing the rears and we are really scrambling to find a suitable replacement. The stock BS fronts wear out extremely fast and the Dunlops tend to start cupping at about 4000 miles. Plus few are confident in them in the rain. Everyone was thrilled with the Michelins, but now we can’t get them. Some have gone to Avons. It’s a dilema for sure that you wouldn’t face with 17″ wheels.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      18s are one of the few things wrong with the CB’s design in my opinion.

      • mickey says:

        The wheel size is not the problem, it’s the lack of suitable replacement rubber. It steers great, handles great, leans into turns fine, holds a line fine …. We just need some decent rubber for them

        Shouldn’t be an issue for this Kawasaki

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I’m sure the 18s work fine. They just look wrong in my opinion, though admittedly period correct. Then like you said, much larger tire selection with 17s.

        • Provologna says:

          Not arguing, really. But the difference between 18″ wheels being the problem and lack of tire selection is exactly zero. Till selection improves, the 18″ diameter wheel is the problem.

          My first reaction Re. the wheel diameters is that I would prefer dual 18s because they look better, being a 1/2″ more space around these modern huge brake rotors. Plus I’m 6-3 so height is never an issue.

          But after reading about the lack of 18″ tire selection, I’m all for the 17s. Maybe on a smaller bike with half the power, tire selection would not be an issue because tire performance is less critical.

          475# + 110hp demands well above average tire performance! 350# + 75hp, no so much.

  60. Mike says:

    WOW! They NAILED it!

  61. Dave says:

    I want one

  62. Dino says:

    Love it. Retro done right! Like the style, single pipe exhaust, round headlight and gauges. With all the right modern performance.. I think i NEED this bike! (Then get my ’73 kaw running!)

    • pushrod pete says:

      I’m debating selling my ’75 H2 ‘perpetual project’ to fund an RS. Riding beats wrenching at this point in my life….

  63. Jabe says:

    I’ve had my share of ugly bikes because I’m not looking at what I’m riding and couldn’t care less what others think about it. Always buy bikes for what they can do. This bike however is gorgeous. I just might change my ways.

  64. Grover says:

    Makes me want to go out and buy some bungees and a milk crate!

  65. Tank says:

    Radiator doesn’t bother me. Best bikes I’ve owned were liquid cooled. This thing is beautiful!

    • Dino says:

      That radiator is tucked in high and tight, and looks fine. Chrome exhaust below guides the eyes away from the grille anyway..

  66. skortch says:

    Not being that into retros, I actually prefer the general styling of the Z900 but would rather have the seat and tail section of this RS. Too bad the subframe is welded and not bolted on.

    But overall well done, Kawasaki!

  67. kawatwo says:

    Let’s go really retro and give it a center stand and passenger grab handles. Maybe a touring edition with both? I’m waiting for the 84 900 Ninja replica πŸ™‚ This does look purrty though.

  68. bmbktmracer says:

    Let’s hope it sells or we’ll all look like fools. hahaha I really love this bike and assuming they match Triumph on quality and attention to detail, I’ll be highly tempted to add it to my stable.

  69. Triplesguy says:

    Beautiful bike. I was chomping at the bit waiting for 10/25 to get a look, and was not disappointed. I have already read some saying should have 4-into-4 pipes. Nope; 4-into-1 was what the fast guys did to their Z1’s BITD, and this pipe looks as good as a modern pipe can given EPA requirements. I’ll pass on a noiser, $1K+ Yoshi, etc. And you can actually clean and lube the chain easily; we pine for fast, but live in the real world of routine maintenance. “De-tuned” is always an issue, but 110 hp is still pretty good (are you listening, Honda?); the proof will be in the torque claim vs reality, and I imagine we will see shortly. The tech aids are a plus; to all the old farts (like me) wh migh object, hey, they work and make the bike safer. For me, the only downside is weight. Yes, it is 130 lbs lighter than my first-year ZX11. But it’s also 60 lbs heavier than an FZ-09. So, is accepting Transformers appearance worth it to save 60 lbs? (And frankly, how can the RS and the FZ-09 be 60 pounds different – what did Yamaha do?) And we don’t yet know the price. But I can’t wait for the inevitable, and hopefully soon, comparison to the other 900’s. I have 5 Kawasakis, but I do still have a bit of room in my garage.

    • Selecter says:

      The current FZ-09 (which is at feature parity with this bike) is a claimed 425 lbs – so we’ll call it a 50-lb. difference. The frame is cast alloy, not steel like this bike’s. Let’s face it, when you try a cast alloy frame on a “retro” (ugh, I feel dirty saying that) bike, people whine like you just shot their dog. Just like with the XSR, in fact! The FZ/XSR also only has 3 cylinders, and loses 100cc to this bike. Not quite sure it’s a surprise that the Z/Z-RS is heavier.

      • Triplesguy says:

        Thank you sir. I forgot the 2017 FZ-09 gained 10 lbs (maybe 12?) for the electronics. I think it’s appropriate to compare this new Kawi to the FZ09, in terms of displacement, power, and hopefully price. As to 3 vs 4 cylinders, my moniker here probably reveals which I prefer, all other things equal. BITD, 3 cylinders topped off at 750cc, and a bigger engine (except HD) went with 4. But these days, obviously that’s no longer true. It’s “whatever works”, and I sure won’t argue with that. If a 4-cylinder producing X HP and Y (flat) torque curve weighs ZZ pounds more than a 3-cylinder producing X and Y, then I see no reason for the 4-cylinder. Except, in this case, to be a tribute to the 903. I get that. Still….. I’d rather not have the extra weight to the extent a 4-cyliner is causing it. (And have a “Triple” of course.) I agree completely about the cast alloy vs steel frame vis-a-vis retro looks. This old guy will always love the look of a well-finished black steel frame. A shame about the weight it adds, though. Now, all that whining aside, this beautiful retro still comes in 130 pounds under my 1990 ZX11 and is shy only about 12 HP. I await the full test showing the torque curve, and the handling of course, but I am hopeful. I may finally have to sell a couple of “classics” and buy this 900RS.

  70. Jeremy in TX says:

    I love it.

    • mickey says:

      you know it’s not going to have a top end hit, right Jeremy? lol

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Don’t speak such things!!!

        Actually, I suspect it will have some zing on top despite the detuning. Kawasaki doesn’t typically like to play lame.

        • mickey says:

          Well with peak horsepower of the RS at 8500 rpms vs the CBs 7000 rpms it will be a short hit lol.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The torque peak is at 6500rpm I think I read which means the bike is making 90hp at that speed. Power increases almost 25% over the next 2K rpms. It may not be as exciting as its more modern-chic Z counterpart, but I should be able to feel that. πŸ™‚

          • xLaYN says:

            Another well presented, well founded, clearly written comment….

            Stop it Jeremy! you are not going to get us to calmly agree with you with those comments while we sympathize more with you… not again!

  71. Denny says:

    Gorgeous motorcycle. It is surprising how lofty it looks compared to its ancient master.

  72. Gary says:

    This bike looks fantastic … better than the original. Not to mention a helluvalot faster and more functional. Well done, Kawasaki. Retro done right.

  73. Josh B. says:

    Holy cow! Never thought I’d want a retro styled bike before, but I really REALLY like this one! Can’t wait to see how it performs!

  74. toad says:

    Looks great but not a fan of the color choices offered in the US market.

  75. xLaYN says:

    Incredible how beautiful a round headlight, proper odo form and tank can make a bike.
    Honda could build a similar platform from the old 919/599 bikes.

    I don’t think this is a retro… but a proper beautiful bike!!

  76. JimW says:

    Love it! As others have said, the only wart is the radiator…

  77. Bud says:

    Not bad. Better than I was expecting, given those brochure images that were circulating.

  78. RD350 says:

    I’m gonna buy one just to show my support of such bikes. We have to step up and buy these bikes when they become available .. unlike in the past .. ahem. Let’s put our money where are mouths are for once. Maybe it will encourage the other OEMs to get their shite together.

    • Max says:

      I did. I bought a Thruxton last year. This looks like a gem too!

      • mickey says:

        I bought 2 CB 1100’s… so doing my part!

        This RS does have a lot of nice features, although I think it needs a real rear fender (chrome to match the front) and wish it had gotten the 4 into 4 pipes I have seen in prototype, and a silver motor like my 77 KZ 1000, but as a “Retro inSpired” bike goes it’s pretty nice.

        If I were still waiting for one of the J mfgs to bring out a retro I’d be all over this, but I love my CB1100 dlx and wouldn’t trade it for one of these. Kaw is just about 4 years too late for me.

    • Lewis says:

      As long as the MSRP is in line, I am putting a deposit on a brown and orange one. I think it should be less expensive than the CB1100EX and a tad more than the XSR 900.

  79. Erik says:

    Just what I wanted to replace my long gone Zephyr 550. I’m in, take my money! Oh wait, time to slow my roll. How much is this gonna cost me?

    • Lynchenstein says:

      I’d bet this to be priced about $1000 more than the Honda.

      • Brian says:

        The Honda (I assume you mean the CB1100RS) is pricey–above 12 grand, I believe. I’d be surprised if the Kawasaki is even close to that, considering the bike it’s based on is in the mid-$8,000 range.

    • Dino says:

      Hopefully under $10k.. That would still qualify as a good deal I think…

  80. Vrooom says:

    That’s a good looking bike, they should sell. At least in California and the southern states where nakeds mostly move.

  81. Blitz11 says:

    Let’s see — give my daughter my 690 duke, sell the Super Tenere, and replace both with this? This is the first bike in 20 years that i really want – the others are just tools. Man, Kawasaki did this one up right. More than a tool – an object of desire. Nicely done.

  82. austin zzr 1200 says:

    perfect. Kawasaki actually reads these threads, they must because they built my next bike off the criticisms of Z900s and praise from retro bikes rendered correctly. At this point, I almost don’t care how it rides (I’m sure its a performer).

    Well done and I’ll take a green one, please

  83. Josh says:

    Way to rip off Honda’s nostalgia old picture of dad and kid.. πŸ˜‰

    The premise of the ad was pretty dumb- but the bike looks like it should be pretty good.

    Glad to see more UJM becoming available.

    • Mark says:

      Agreed! The return of the UJM is upon us. Who needs a specialized bike when you have a bike that can do it all. I think they have a home run with this one. Beautiful

  84. Dave says:

    That is very nice. Good job Kawasaki, you do tempt me……
    Glad they didn’t do like Honda and kill the power the bike should’ve had.

  85. Tim says:

    Yes, please!

  86. Rob says:

    It looks like a great bike. That said, mfg’s, please do a better job of dressing up/hiding the radiator. The rest of the bike looks integrated and there’s a slab of something hanging off the front of the bike. It is incongruous and disjointed.

    • Bryan says:

      I don’t know, I didn’t even notice until you pointed it out. Looked air cooled to me.

    • Sentinel says:

      I agree with you, but blacking out the filler cap and side plates would go a long way to help in that regard, and easy enough to do yourself post-purchase.

  87. RD350 says:

    Great job Kawasaki! Classic retro looks and modern-ish performance. Exactly what we want in a retro design. Its especially impressive considering what the donor bike looked like. This bike will be a great platform for easy modification and customization. Four into Four perhaps? Or maybe a Kerker 4 into 1? How about an Yvon DuHamel\Yoshimura replica!

    • Rokster says:

      Man, with a 4 into 1 exhaust the beautiful RS will be absolutely perfect. C’mon Yoshi!

    • Rokster says:

      Man, with a 4 into 4 exhaust the beautiful RS will be absolutely perfect. C’mon Yoshi!

    • RyYYZ says:

      Kawi did what Yamaha has not done with their retro-styled models so far (XSR900 and 700, Bolt) – spend some money to modify the donor bike to make it better suited to the retro look, rather than just bolting on or restyling some cosmetic pieces. Sorry, Yamaha, Kawi just ate your 900-class retro model lunch.

      • RD350 says:

        Agreed … as a long time Yamaha man I am very disappointed with their styling and offerings in recent years. They have some great motors such as the FZ700 twin that I would buy in a minute if they would put it in a good looking and higher performing package. A true middle weight sportbike, a really handsome retro, a classic street tracker, a retro DT scrambler, a street-motard .. any of these with “that motor” if done right, could pry 10k out of my pocket.

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