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Kawasaki Announces Z900 SE for Europe With Upgraded Suspension and Brakes

This may well become a U.S. model (we should know in early October), but, for now, Kawasaki has announced a Z900 SE for Europe that includes higher spec suspension and brakes when compared with the standard Z900.

MD has tested each generation of the Z900, and is very fond of the current model. Fully adjustable suspension on the SE (including an Öhlins shock) should make a great handling bike even better. It looks like the price premium in Europe over the standard model is pretty significant, so we will have to see if U.S. pricing (assuming the bike is made available here) reflects a similar bump.

Here is the Kawasaki UK press statement regarding the new 2022 Z900 SE:

Already a hot favourite with tens of thousands of Supernaked fans across Europe – and a best seller in its class in many countries – the popular Z900 will now be available as an SE model.

Employing Kawasaki’s now familiar specification refinement policy for these premium models, the Z900 SE seeks to take the already highly regarded Z900 platform to the next level offering refinements to ride quality and chassis feedback without taking away the essential “Sugomi spirit” that has made the machine so popular. 

A clear change at the front of the machine is the adoption of a new Brembo brake package. Calipers are now M4.32 radial-mount monobloc items acting on ø300 mm Brembo rotors using the same company’s brake pads fed by steel braided brake lines.  The net result for Z900 SE riders will be stronger stopping power, more precise control and greater feel.

In terms of the front forks these are ø41mm inverted design having compression and rebound adjustability plus stepless preload adjustment. Complementing the other chassis changes, the visual appeal of the front suspension is now enhanced via the use of gold-coloured fork our tubes.

The same attention to detail is evident at the rear of the machine which now boasts a new shock absorber in the form of an Öhlins S46 unit which is the same construction as that of the Z1000 R edition. Its aluminium body encompasses a single-tube construction with a large ø46 mm piston plus internal oil and gas chambers separated by a floating piston. For convenience and quick adjustment, the Z900 SE rear shock absorber is also fitted with a remote pre-load adjuster. Along with retuned front suspension settings, the adoption of the S46 from Öhlins takes handling and chassis response to the next level and will meet the performance needs of even the most demanding Z rider.

Underpinning these easy to spot new components is a focussed suite of rider aids all designed to give Z900 SE owners the best ride possible yet not mask the base appeal of such a visceral Supernaked machine. KTRC traction control is part of the specification along with selectable power modes and an assist and slipper clutch. The exhaust note has been “sound tuned” by KHI engineers while within the riders view as part of the meter assembly there is a useful Economical Riding Indicator plus the ability to Bluetooth connect the machine to the riders’ Smartphone via Kawasaki’s unique Rideology App allowing the integration of several machine details plus information from rides taken and a variety of other options.

Available in a single, distinctive colourway of Metallic Spark Black / Candy Lime Green, the new Z900 SE is sure to find a place in the hearts of a huge number of riders in the coming year. Available from December 2021, the Z900 SE will be priced at £10,749 as Standard and £11,699 for the Performance Edition.


  1. Dr. Iball says:

    Get real, Kaw, its time for some world class professional design help. Hyundai did it with Luc Donckerwolke, Mazda with Ikudo Maeda, Kawasaki with: ? This bike is the polar opposite of simplicity, beauty, fluidity – everything nightmares are made of, really. Shame on you Kawasaki – you are a modern company and should know better. This is not a tool or a train car. Motorcycles are an emotional purchase. The vibe is Ultraman had a baby with a squid. The looks are staggering to where if I happened upon it unexpectedly, I may hit it with a pipe until kilt, or run away howling of terror and disgust. And it’s sad because mechanically they are turbine smooth, powerful, reliable, and efficient. This newest vomit is most likely one man’s ego, the product of a tone deaf design head who encourages the engineers to make it look however they want as long as it’s the way he likes it.

    • Motoman says:

      I disagree with your entire post.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        Iball is correct. All these styles on modern motorcycles, do not present a vision of human / machine interface and graceful motion. They are awful. GO Retros !

        • Dave says:

          Art is subjective. I think this look is a little over the top too, but it’s not new to Kawasaki. They are succeeding with it to their apparent satisfaction. If this new up-spec model would be styled like the RS version.

          If the majority of buyers chose the retro look, that’s what we’d see in the majority of these company’s bike’s styling.

    • Bud says:

      I agree with your entire post.

    • Montanasan says:

      Great engineering, terrible styling. A smooth bike should have smooth lines. Transformer toys are ancient history, why continue to use them for styling inspiration?

    • red says:

      I don’t hate it quite as much as the mt09 cyclops. or anything ktm. but no, it’s not a looker.

      The RS is a looker but also porkier and detuned. so here we are stuck with ol ugly.

    • richard says:

      its an up to date style that appeals to the younger generation….retro Kawasakis dont sell well in large numbers..the z 900 sells like hot cakes…its all business ..the manufacturers know what sells and design their bikes accordingly.

  2. Tom R says:

    What a brand Brembo has built for themselves. It seems as if every article, press release, and road test speaks of their brake system as head-and-shoulders above their competitors…which might or might not be true.

    • Spoone says:

      You know…
      In 4 decades of riding, and a slew of bikes both with and without Brembo stoppers onboard…I could honestly not tell a difference between my Tokico equipped bikes, vs Brembo equipped bikes.

    • Guu says:

      I wonder the same about Öhlins. Quality components with right set-up can make or break a bike. Many companies make high quality suspension components if the buyer is willing to pay for it. And they are all pretty bad on the lower cost levels.

  3. Gary in NJ says:

    I’m glad to see premium components as an available option on the bike. When you look at the bikes that the Z900 competes, namely the 890 Duke/Street Triple 765/MT-09, those bikes have better bolt-on components. A lot of former sport bike riders have moved to “naked” bikes, and their expectation is that their new bike shouldn’t give up on desirable features and quality components.

  4. Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

    Not sure why they think even more stopping power is necessary. You can easily lock up the brakes on a standard Z900, front and rear with standard brake lines. What will higher spec calipers get you? I didn’t see a radial master cylinder mentioned, so feel isn’t going to be improved.

    • Dave says:

      People like nice things, especially where they can see them. The spec is probably overkill but it’s “trick”, which Kawasaki believes will attract some Z900 customers (and maybe some who wouldn’t have been) to pay the upcharge.

    • jon says:

      A radial master cyclinder isn’t the only thing in a brake system that gives you more feel. More stopping power probably also means more consistency and less fade. Also gives you the option of braking with less fingers, keeping more of them wrapped around the bars.

    • Motoman says:

      It has a radial master cylinder. Zoom in.

  5. HS1… says:

    Why would they show a motorcycle to the world after it suffered such a severe front-end collision?

  6. Marcus says:

    I’ve read the comments below. And I felt the same way about its insect like looks when it first came out but after reading and watching the glowing reviews I thought I’d check it out.
    Parked up in my garage it’s looks grow on you. It’s a substantial bike with plenty of real world power. After a suspension modification and better tires I couldn’t be happier with it.
    It’s stylish and not as ugly as you think. Check one out in person, you demo.. you buy.

  7. Jon says:

    Not sure if time is just making me immune, but the looks don’t seem as insect-awful to me as usual.

    As this bike has adjustable rebound, compression and preload, in MD technical terms does that mean it has fully fully fully adjustable suspension? 🙂

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload, front and rear is “fully adjustable”. Some bikes, such as the 890 Duke R, have separate high and low speed compression adjustments on the shock. This might fit your “fully,fully.”

      • Jerry says:

        I think he thinks that if you copy and paste a press release here, it means you wrote it, and any mistakes are your fault.

        • Dirck Edge says:

          Yes, I got that. Manufacturers will fudge on the “fully-adjustable” concept, and sometimes they fool me.:(

  8. TP says:

    I’ve always wanted to like this bike because I dig the concept of an updated UJM for today with a honkin’ Kawi motor but it has never been appealing to me. It’s never been a bike where I’ve said THAT would be fun to ride and own. Maybe is is those things, but the styling doesn’t arouse any passion in me at all.

  9. todd says:

    I’m sure it’s a fine bike, it is just hard to get excited about something else after coming in from a ride on my 690 Duke. That will be a difficult one to find a replacement for, if it ever comes to that. I don’t think I would be happy with this.

    • Roadrash1 says:

      I’ve got a 690 Duke too, and it’s a great bike. Mine’s a 2018. I also have a 2013 FZ8 with 44,000 miles on it now. This Kawasaki reminds me of my FZ, except it even looks a little more like it fell out of a robot’s vagina.

    • Michael says:

      6 days ago, I purchased the last 2020 Husky Vitpilen 701 in my region. I feel the same as you. These singles are wonderfully light bikes, and I love the uprated specs of the components standard on the Husky and available for the Duke.

      I’ve owned 2 prior Kawasaki bikes. The original ZRX1100 and the 2003 Z1000 nakeds.

  10. Jim says:

    So ugly.

  11. randyZRX4ME@AOL.COM says:

    It’s coming here. Look at kawi’s homepage and you can see the wheels under the cover. We are getting this, the Z650RS retro and the yellowball Z900RS SE. Let’s hope the price is competitive with the MT-09 SP. Don’t forget the Yamaha has an IMU and quick shifter. Kawasaki has to be competitively priced. Good Times!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good bets for the front row. What three do you think are in the back row for unveiling on 11/23? An updated H2SXSE with radar should be one of them.

      • randy says:

        I’m stumped on the back row. In Europe, they claim the Ninja 1000SX is updated, but I cannot see much new. Maybe that is one of them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wish list: Updated ZX14R (heck, make it a 15R), ZX4R, twin cylinder big bore adventure bike (BMW GS competitor), new cruisers. The reality: Probably two versions of the H2SXSE (one with radar, one without to hit a lower price point), and a Ninja 700 to compete with the Yamaha and Aprilia updated middle weights.

    • BOB says:

      How about the ZX-25R, 250cc four cylinder, 17,000rpm redline, 51hp.
      Sounds like fun.

      • Dave says:

        Bikes like that always seem like a good idea until you have to live with them a while. If you live in a country without licensing “gates”, the N400 we already get is going to be a better all around bike tor ride, even if it’s equipment (suspension, brakes, etc) are a bit more pedestrian.

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