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Kawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1

Kawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1

Kawasaki has paid tribute to the 1970s Z1 with the retro-designed and coloured Z900RS unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Tribute retro styling also includes the ribbed bench seat, teardrop fuel tank, Z1 duck tail and dual analogue instrument pods, the rest is based on the modern Z900.Kawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1

Tribute colours

It even comes in similar brown and orange colours to the bike that won our hearts in the cult Australia bikie film, Stone.

It also comes in a choice of black or matte green.


Retuned power

Kawasaki has retuned the 948cc in-line-four with power down from 93kW to 82kW.

Torque is also down from 98Nm to 72.5Nm, but with more on tap at under 7000rpm.

Despite the lower output, Kawasaki has added traction control and a slipper clutch.

There are also two riding modes for sport and wet road surfaces.Kawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1

Kawasaki has shortened first gear so it is more difficult to stall and lengthened sixth gear for smoother highway duties and fuel economy.

Brakes are uprated to radial-mounted four-piston monobloc front calipers.

It now features a four-into-one exhaust system which Kawasaki says is tuned for a deep rumble.

The Z900RS is suspended on 41mm inverted forks with compression and rebound damping and spring pre-load adjustability.

Unlike the dual-shock Z1, it has the Z900’s horizontal back-link, gas-charged shock with rebound damping and spring pre-load adjustability.Kawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1


Australian Kawasaki Team Green members can register to be among the first to see the Z1 tribute bike in Australia.

It will be unveiled at deus in Sydney on November 15.

To register your interest, send an email to Kawasaki Australia  marketing coordinator Milo Dokmanovic.

Milo has not indicated when the bike will be available for sale here or the pricing.

Those details may be advised at the Deus unveiling.

Kawasaki Z900RSKawasaki Z900RS pays tribute to Z1

Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four
Valve system DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel system Fuel injection: ø36mm x 4 with sub-throttles
Ignition Digital
Starting Electric
Lubrication Forced lubrication, wet sump
Bore x Stroke 73.4 x 56mm
Displacement 948cc
Compression ratio 10.8:1
Ignition system B&C (TCBI EL. ADV. D.)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual
Driving system Chain
Transmission 6-speed, return
Gear ratios: 1st 2.917 (35/12) [JPN: 2.916 (35/12)]
2nd 2.059 (35/17) [JPN: 2.058 (35/17)]
3rd 1.650 (33/20)
4th 1.409 (31/22)
5th 1.222 (33/27)
6th 0.967 (29/30) [JPN: 0.966 (29/30)]
Primary reduction ratio 1.627 (83/51)
Final reduction ratio 2.800 (42/15)
Clutch type (Primary) Wet, multi-disc
Type Trellis, high-tensile steel
Front 41mm inverted fork with compression and rebound
damping and spring preload adjustability
Rear Horizontal Back-link, gas-charged shock with
rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
Wheel travel: Front 120mm
Rear 140mm
Caster (Rake angle) 25.0°
Trail 98mm
Steering angle (left/right) 35° / 35°
Front: Type Dual semi-floating ø300 mm discs
Caliper Dual radial-mount, monobloc, opposed 4-piston
Rear: Type Single 250mm
Caliper Single-piston
Tyre:    Front 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W)
Rear 180/55ZR17 M/C (73W)
Overall length 2100mm
Overall width 865mm
Overall height 1150mm
Wheelbase 1470mm
Road clearance 130mm
Seat height 835mm
Curb mass 215kg
Fuel tank capacity 17 litres
Power 82kW @ 8,500rpm
Torque  72.5Nm @ 6,500rpm
  1. It looks nice , I remember when the original Z1 900 came out and it stole many sales from Norton & Triumph , but , I don’t get this current trend where there needs to be enough space between the rear mudguard & tyre to drive a Mack truck through ( slight exaggeration i know ) .

    1. I agree. I also can’t get into how the rear taillight/guard and number plate assembly on a lot of new bikes look either. But hey, who knows what the kids want these days.

  2. I was ready to place an order right up to the seat height. It amazes me that manufacturers write off sales to under average height riders by not offering lower seat options. How hard would it be to mount seats on blocks which provide 3 height options? Relegating short riders to lower powered bikes or cruisers is dumb business – a free kick to HD and discriminatory. I’d buy the Kwaka in an instance but alas my choice becomes a Triumph Street Twin seat height 750mm; HD Street Rod 750 (767mm); HD iron 883 (668mm); Kawasaki Vulcan S – ergo fit or BMW F800R. All of which means that among scores of manufacturers there are only a handful of bikes physically suitable for smaller riders and all we can do is drool over but not seriously consider bikes such as the Z900RS!

    1. Hi Frank,
      Several others have said the same thing, so I would guarantee either Kawasaki or some smart aftermarket manufacturer will make a four-pot muffler!

  3. All the pre release pics of the bike had a 4 into 4 exhaust . I think a 4 into 1 is a mistake for the retro buyer . Std pipes on an original Z1 make the bike and are very expensive, anyone can bolt on a 4 into 1 , Are they inspired by the Z1 or the Zephr .?? A 4 into 1 is a very desirable look on a bike in Japan , usually a Black low slung Yoshi , I think they are placating the home market . Another gripe is the cheap option mag wheel , for Australia , England and the huge USA market , they would best be served having spoke wheels and a 4 into 4 exhaust , all be it a modern take on the original exhaust . A paint job on a bike does not make it a true instant classic . My 2 cents .

  4. A bike’s styling ultimately relates to the period it was built in. Retro styles such as this one, will suit the tastes of some buyers but as a package, such as having modern running gear, fuel efficiency, reliability, handling and so on, it has very little in common with the original bike it was based on. If riders want the original package then good condition examples can be found, but I suspect most want a modern bike for today’s riding style.

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