Why We Picked It:
When you think cafe racer, Kawasaki is probably the farthest thing from your mind. Yet, they have been around long enough to know what a cafe racer is, and have a few modern models that harken back to the rock and roll era of the 1960s.
One of these models is the Z900RS Cafe, which takes the frame and tech of a modern Z-series sport naked, tosses out the modern looking body, adds a neo-retro tank and seat, and wraps the front in a cafe racing cowl around it big main headlight. It truly does combine the best of both worlds, modern and classic, in one bike.
The modern part is the 948cc inline-four that howls out 111 HP and 48.5 lbs-ft of torque. It also comes with Kawasaki's massive array of rider aids, which they always somehow manage to shoehorn in while keeping the price low. You get ABS, traction control, stability control, an assist and slipper clutch, and even dual throttle valves to keep you in the power longer.
Draped over that is the classic, so much so the point that they even put the older Kawasaki lettering and pinstriping on the tank. The bars are sport-standard instead of clip-ons, but with the cowl and how long the tank is, you can definitely lean down into a racing tuck when needed.
All of this, for just $12,399? Yes please!