By John Burns Editor Score: 90.5%
2020 Kawasaki Z900
Editor Score: 90.5%
We may have done a grave disservice to the Z900. When it was brand new in 2017, we bestowed upon the newly right-sized Kawasaki (bigger than the Z800 but smaller than the Z1000), our coveted Best Standard of the Year award – and that is one dog-eat-dog category. Three years ago we (I) wrote:
What’s going on here is a classic Kawasaki tried-and-true inline-Four, sleeved from the Z1000’s 1043cc down to 948cc (via 77mm bores becoming 73.4mm ones) and inhaling through 36mm throttle bodies instead of 38mm ones. A lovely new steel frame is supposed to lop something like 25 pounds off the less-Sugomi-styled package – down to 463 lbs. But the biggest cut came to the bottom line: A Z1000 with ABS is an $11,999 motorcycle. The Z900 ABS is $8,799 ($8,399 no ABS), and it’s hard to put your finger on any area where Kawasaki economized.
If the smaller-motored bike is any slower than the bigger Z, you’d be hard pressed to tell anywhere up to 6000 rpm or so; the Z900 feels to have more low-rev torque than the 1000. Could be just the reduced weight at work… but this bike has tons of power right off idle and a nice light clutch that makes it easy to deploy. We’ll have to get to the dyno to get the full scoop, but a lack of power feels like it’s going to be the least of the Z900’s problems (if it has any). Furthermore, as Roderick observed, this is one of the smoothest-running Z naked bikes Kawasaki’s ever produced, with barely a tingle coming through the bar at 5500 rpm and 80 …read more