2017 Kawasaki Z900 Review: First Ride

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By Tom Roderick

2017 Kawasaki Z900

Editor Score: 84.25%

Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 8.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Instruments/Controls 3.75/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.75/10
Appearance/Quality 8.75/10
Desirability 8.5/10
Value 9.25/10
Overall Score 84.25/100

For all those traditionalists/purists who bemoan modern motorcycle electronics (TC, ride modes, electronic suspension, etc.), Kawasaki has a bike for you. The 2017 Z900 is lighter and more agile than either the Z800 or Z1000, is more powerful than the Z800, costs way less than the Z1000, and is devoid of electronics save its gear-position indicator.

2017 Kawasaki Z650 First Ride Review

Kawasaki did outfit the Z900 with mechanical technology in the form of an assist and slipper clutch – which makes for an incredibly light pull at the clutch lever, and the ability to bang a series of downshifts without fear of hopping the rear wheel uncontrollably – but otherwise the bike is elemental: engine, frame, suspension brakes. Correctly combining those four ingredients remains a delicate balance, but with the Z900 Kawasaki appears to have a winning package.

Beginning with claimed curb weights we see the Z900 at 463.1 pounds (ABS model, 458.6 pounds for non-ABS) is 24.2 pounds lighter than Z1000 (487.3 pounds), and a whopping 46.3 pounds lighter than Z800 (509.4 pounds). Like the Ninja 650 and Z650 we recently tested, Kawasaki’s weight-loss program can be seen across the new-for-2017 spectrum, as those motorcycles also enjoy considerably lighter curb weights.

MV Agusta
Brutale 800
Street Triple 765
463 lbs. 425 lbs. 413 lbs.* 395 lbs.*
In the big picture, lighter curb weights that are new to Kawasaki only get the Z900 closer to the weights of competing models. These claimed curb weights (* extrapolated from claimed dry weights), tell a story of Kawasaki still having a ways to go in the weight department. A future shootout will better reveal actual curb …read more

Source:: 2017 Kawasaki Z900 Review: First Ride


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