The New Kawasaki Z900RS, Z900, Z650, And Future Superchargin Plans!

We had the H1 and H2, but they lacked that superbike character. The rumblings of 40 cylinders rattles through my feet and into my stomach, the sound echoing off an empty school bus as 10 motorcycles stack tightly at an intersection. There are some small feelers on them, and they're in a crazy-comfy spot. Weighing in at a mere 185 kg 407 lbs and equipped with an accessible seat height of 790mm, the new Z650 has been aimed at a very broad target market. The wheels are flat spoke cast alloy items. This was achieved by raising the front and lowering the rear. Compared to the Z900, the handle grips are 30mm wider total , 65mm higher and 35mm closer to the rider, contributing to the more upright riding position. Unfortunately, the throttle feels a bit all or nothing, so smooth transitions will come only with practice. Well hell, even I can figure that out. They were starting to look like insects for a while there. Other manufacturers are way behind in that department, and Kawasaki has very much become the industry leader. Notice the helmet lock and two mounting points. It makes sense that brands want to relive those glory days with new models that harken back to that Golden Age of motorcycling. The bike is a modern design that stands on its own, and pays a little tribute to an earlier Kaw that comes before it. And then we get to the small stuff. The engine has little contrast-cut fins to give it more of an air-cooled look though it is liquid-cooled , and Z1 motifs on the clutch cover and other components pay homage to the classic model. The achromatic scheme continues onto the frame, engine, swingarm and sundry items around the machine for a connection to the culture of the then-and-now, even though the original was more about the bling. They make everyday motorcycle life so much easier and convenient. The rear axle nut is covered in a smart-looking plastic cap. These are a whopping improvement over the 2017 Z900's D214 tires. It's a callback to a time where everyone loved motorcycles—or at least, a time when it felt like everyone did. Part of the appeal for me is that this bike is not trying too hard to be a retro, or a neo-retro thing, or any other silly thing. If I were to buy one of these, it would be the black version, with the modern tank graphics. Tell us about what you've done or want to do here. The gearbox action is quite nice. Oil filter placement is somewhere between questionable and insane, sitting out there totally exposed to damage from road debris. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Adding maintenance throttle was a bit of a chore. But Kawasaki has set out to create a more boutique motorcycle. For a big, plush seat, I expected more long-distance comfort. You do get the stylish wheels, body work, handlebars, seat, and a much improved and smoother powerplant. Polished stainless exhaust are an appropriately vintage look for this bike, and the short upswept muffler is damn fine to look at—not to mention the sound when that 948cc inline-four winds up. I had the bike for about 85 miles, punctuated with several painful stops to take photos, and I wish it had been longer. Lovely model and Street Chopper Editor-in-Chief Morgan Gales shows off his size 13 clodhoppers — if those fit on there, odds are good yours will, too. The footpads are 20mm lower and 20mm more forward. A couple of weeks ago, we got a comment from reader Steve Ferraz. This approach is similar to an old racing trick racers would use before shift lights became common. Now is bringing the heritage of the Z line back with '70s color schemes and more classic, upright styling paired with modern suspension, engine, and chassis components. The superb inline four 948cc engine produces a very respectable 126 hp, which is around 12 more than the Z800 used to. You could really grab a handful and shed speed confidently; however after constant heavy use, they do seem to fade. When Kawasaki pulled the wraps off of the Z1-inspired , it excited the hipster in all of us. The headers feature two walls of piping to keep them from bluing and discoloration due to excessive heat. The upright ergonomics inspire confidence, but the rest of the motorcycle should add to this confidence. The bike left me very impressed. A 795mm seat height offers an easy reach to the ground, with the footpeg, seat to handlebar ergonomics designed to offer a sport-naked feel. Spurg and I were not fond of the proximity of mufflers to feet on the Z900. Anyway, having the power accessible sooner makes around town riding way more enjoyable and besides, ~100 hp is more than plenty to get you in trouble. Reworking fuel mapping would be a pretty easy aftermarket fix though it ought to be right from the factory , and it would transform the entire feel of this machine. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 300 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! Honestly, at first it was noticeable, but not as bad as some initially made it seem. In 2015, that figure was one in every 700 people. Most of all, I love that younger buyers are interested in things from my own youth, I mean, this is what a Japanese motorcycle looked like to me when I was a wee lad. As usual, boosting bottom end takes some off the top, claimed peak output dropping from 125 hp down to a 111. One thing we both agreed on was this: the Z1 certainly had a long, slender fuel cell. The question still remains though, what about the abrupt throttle? And the final, most egregious oversight is the centerstand. This is something that has dwindled on many bikes over the years in favor of cleaner or edgier lines. A hint of metal flake sparkles in the sun on the Root Beer Brown paint. My gripe is with the cost of the accessory one they sell. Rear: preload at half total, and one and a half turns out from maximum rebound. Not to mention, it takes longer too. Finally, an appropriately retro, middleweight bike from a Japanese brand. Complex analysis predicts when traction conditions are about to become unfavorable and the system acts before wheel slippage exceeds the range for optimal traction. Oh man, that thing is awesome. Kawasaki says to achieve the desired engine performance in the low-to-mid rpm range, compression ratio was set to 10. Kawi reps led us through Cali canyons, some of which were familiar to me. The seat is nice and comfortable, again, for long-distance comfort. Further, they are pipe-within-pipe, so there is an air gap that means that the heavy gold discoloration that comes with stainless pipes is not present on these. This model has its own frame, easily distinguished by the more horizontal subframe and flatter seat. The motorcycle had tons of power. The system looks at a number of parameters to get an accurate real-time picture of what is going on: front and rear wheel speed slippage and various engine, machine and rider input parameters are monitored. A Trellis frame supports the assembly. The paint is about six miles deep, and there are two thoughtful tie-down spots, should you care to lash something to your saddle. The Z900 borrows the engine from the Z1000, rather than being a tarted up version of the Z800. During high back torque, such as when too low of gear is selected during downshifting, the slipper function allows some clutch slippage to help prevent rear wheel hop and stalling due to engine lock-up. I was really hoping this would be the bike to get that perfect blend of design and performance, and it still has a shot if Kawasaki irons out those wrinkles in fueling. To that end, the inverted front fork is fully adjustable and the rear shock can be tuned for preload and rebound. New cam profiles with shorter intake and exhaust duration look to build more power lower in the rev range, and compression was reduced from 11. Most attention-grabbing are the wide rim lips, which mimic those of early spoked racing wheels. Also discuss other Kawasaki models here. Chassis The lightweight trellis frame chassis, like the engine, has significant changes compared to the Z900. It's an awesome all-around motorcycle. It weighs a little more than we expected, weighing 210. Less easily distinguished changes are the more relaxed 25. Convex lens and chromed headlamp ring add to the retro design. Final gearing is also taller than the Z900 two teeth down on the back. Get it off ya chest but please keep it clean. Want to know how to post a picture, or maybe it's your first time on a forum? The fronts slow this bike down more than successfully. Mode 2 acts like a rain mode, reducing wheel slippage and wheelies. And, since you've asked for it, here are my unscientific notes on engine heat: it wasn't that bad. The soft settings resulted in a comfortable and flickable bike through the corners. The ability to change positioning easily, even in mid corner, softens that initial riding intimidation. Consider that before you judge the looks or infidelity of the exhaust configuration too harshly. Possibly some more aggressive clutch plates. Naturally, that artificially increased the rake and trail to the detriment of the handling. What else is there to like about the bike? The assist function reduces stalling and the slipper function allows for less wheel lock up when downshifting too soon. It's an apt description, but for some this may not be the ideal combination. Color: Vintage Lime Green Click here to read this in the. Also, includes electrical ancillary components. Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. No doubt about it, the retro angle was more of a guideline than an actual rule, but its still manages to shine through all the new. The company says there's no official word whether it will come here or not. The goal of a more carefree ride is missed as the abrupt throttle causes the bike to pulse uncomfortably through the turns. So, what about the other concept? Inside the intake, there are separate lengths of intake tubes to help tune for best low- and mid-power. I left it in Mode 1, the default setting. Middle-weight nakeds have never looked so good…But which one do we prefer? The exhaust pre chamber is specifically designed to give a nice rumble at idle, on start up and low speed when the rider can hear it. The flylines are defined by the fuel tank that features a distinctly-classic teardrop shape. Hey, it only gets better as the revs climb. Engine Does the engine compare to the original Z1, or the Z900? Universal and ubiquitous, mayhaps, and maybe also unremarkable, but also useful. It makes for an incredibly easy clutch pull for a 900cc bike, and safe downshifting to boot. The changes made—both mechanically and aesthetically—make for an improved package that oozes charisma and charm, while remaining decidedly modern in the process. Emblems on the side covers contribute to the retro styling. Even the bike's unveiling was a notable event: Kawasaki invited the major American motorcycle magazines of the time for a top-secret trip to Japan, and unveiled the Z1's specs while on the airplane. Mode 1 is for standard conditions, and Mode 2 for rain. In the early '70s, the Kawasaki Z1 was the bike to have. The look is vintage-inspired, which harkens back to a time before things got super-complicated. The problem with the problem is that the stakes are incredibly high. Kawasaki also offers cool 70s-replica tank badges. Kawasaki says this arrangement contributes to mass centralization and ensures that the suspension is located far enough from the exhaust that it is not affected by heat. Hell, Kaw, at least tuck it in behind the headpipes. This promotion is time limited and certain conditions will apply. The gasses essentially escape through a straight line but as rpm increases, thus gasflow, the exhaust gasses are routed via a muffler to keep sound level legal. I look forward to more of this, from more and more manufacturers. Double-stitching adds to the high-quality image. At Autowise, we envision ourselves as not just a automobile blog or an automobile news website, instead we see our website as a platform to connect all automobile enthusiast and provide them with all the information they need. Such a sporty motor demands more lean angle from its pegs. Three-stage buffing, then assembling, welding, and more buffing. Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. Kawi borrowed the four-cylinder powerplant from its Z900, but tuned it for a stronger mid-range and somewhat-tamer power delivery. But if this bike has ever piqued your interest, I would definitely recommend taking a closer look and checking it out, because it looks way better in person than it does in pictures. Maybe this shift to more classic styling is just modern design cycling back to more minimal trends. It was 80 degrees out in Los Angeles, and the powers that be placed me in a waxed-cotton jacket. Note that the difference here goes a bit beyond the paint job. The reason I say this is because Kawasaki will not reveal whether they have changed the mapping or not on the Café. Kawasaki calls it a balance between sporty and comfortable. Mounted at the bottom of the front fork are a pair of radially-mounted four-piston calipers that really do a nice job of squeezing the 267mm rotors and slowing you down. We were keeping a great pace; fast but relaxed. A slight increase in rebound dampening stiffened up the rear to my preference, and provided a little more sportiness in the mix. Truth be told, the ride was exactly what I expected: uneventful and very fun. After a while, some seats tend to pound your ass like a sailor on shore leave, but not this one. I don't think the bike was really to blame. When equipped, California evaporative emissions equipment adds approximately 2. A secondary balancer drive off the 6th web of the crankshaft helps reduce vibration. I love the classic looks, the lines of the teardrop tank, the whole bit. On paper, the bike fits into the growing market of retro-stylish, low-horsepower, high-torque bikes, like competitors from Triumph, Moto Guzzi, or Indian. A wide 35-degree steering angle facilitates low-speed maneuvering. I stood there chuckling to myself for a moment as I pulled my earplugs out and composed myself, then happily proceeded to chat and answer his questions. Either way, it does seem like Kawasaki are definitely pushing their Balanced Supercharger Engine technology into every available model. That bouncy feeling paired with the overly aggressive throttle made it hard to ride aggressively and confidently, as it felt inconsistent and unpredictable. Reworking the engine for more umph in the low-to-mid range makes a lot of sense for this model as well, but the messed up throttling makes it hard to enjoy. A rose by any other name, I suppose. Intake and exhaust valves are 29mm and 24mm respectively, with cast pistons manufactured with the same technique and materials used in the H2R, while cylinders are die-cast and feature an open-deck design. In 1973, Kawasaki introduced the Z1 900, a bold in-line four powered bike that would inspire an entire new generation of motorcycle design. See your dealer for complete details. That said, I got used to it pretty quickly. In order to reduce emissions, they map the bike for very little fuel at idle, making the roll onto throttle rather abrupt. Transmission First gear is shorter and 6th gear is taller than the Z900, along with a taller final drive. The rear suspension features 140mm rear suspension travel, which feels comfortable if spongy. The centerstand costs how much? At 472 pounds ready to ride, it may sound like a heavy bike—and in fact, it weighs about as much as a 1000cc sportbike—but it handles its weight well and is superbly balanced at low speeds. A secondary balancer eliminating excess vibration and a heavier flywheel 12%. Kawasaki did an excellent job taking the Z900 platform and making a retro standard out of it. Kawasaki would make a cheaper motorcycle if they could—but what are you paying for? He was pretty repulsed by how wide the tank was. Shorter trail makes steering lighter, while the longer wheelbase helps stability. The bodywork is a case in point. Each editor on the group press ride—a first—received a personalized gold key for his test bike. For comparison, the Z900 churned its peak torque of 68. The seat is wide and comfortable. Braking duties are handled by 300mm front discs and Nissin four pistoned brake calipers. Chrome trim rings finish the headlight can and the twin round analog instruments, but the bodies join the fork stanchions, tripleclamps and mirrors for a healthy dose of blackout treatment right up front. Also an effective stopping option. Throwing your leg over for the first time, it becomes quickly apparent that the triangle is opened up compared to the Z900, a true naked bike. In order to keep the stance era-appropriate, the factory dropped the rear end and lifted the front. An extruded aluminium swingarm weighs just 3. It tickles your hearing senses. It features a slimmer top section to accommodate the teardrop tank, but more importantly, the rear section the welded subframe is more flat and in line with the headlight to taillight. Though it does have fake engine fins. The exhaust pipes double wall construction for both improved performance and a more authentic vintage look. The gain from this is twofold: first is the smoother throttle response makes for a less jerky ride. Short gear ratios from first to fifth and a sixth gear overdrive ensure a strong and punchy mid-range, without losing highway cruising capability. Camshaft duration was reduced to move the powerband south a bit, and the crankshaft bulked up by 12-percent to smooth out the pulses and aid that mid-range grunt. It can feel a little odd at first, but the Café puts the rider in the near perfect riding position, angling them slightly forward from center but not enough that you end up forcing more weight on your wrists than necessary. The motorcycle was already unveiled in October to the Japanese crowd at the Tokyo Motor Show, but it had yet to reach stateside audiences. Kawasaki often speaks of creating an immersive environment and fully engaging motorcycles. I4 engines are typically high-revving, high-horsepower engines with low torque—but for fun around-town riding, it's torque that you want. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 19 great years. For me, it was perfect; there may come a day when active, flip-of-the-switch suspension is cheap and affordable on a motorcycle like this. An assist and slipper clutch is also featured. A short first gear and taller sixth gear give you a sporty feeling off the line but also comfortable, lower-rpm cruising at freeway speeds. They were actually some of the very same roads Spurg had laid out for me on my first ride through Malibu. Brakes are four-piston monoblock radial-mount calipers with sintered brake pads on the front, with 300mm rotors, while the rear is a 250mm rotor with single-piston caliper. Below 7,000 rpm the engine actually pulls stronger than the Z900. Available colours may vary by market. Please do not reply to topics unless you can assist the poster! Position lamps in the high-beam chambers ensure the whole lamp appears lit, like a retro-style bulb headlamp. The suspension is soft with little rebound dampening out of the box, but the soft suspension meant comfortable riding. The cable clutch is similarly smooth and delightfully old school. Wheels are black on the black bike, but brown paint also nets wheels with a polished lip and some spokes polished, which are slightly evocative of an old set of Lester mags. Without having to look at each gauge and only using your peripherals, if the needles were vertical or close to , you knew you were good, or had to shift, or however they had it set up. In fact, the 2017 Z650 is more like a naked Kawasaki Ninja 650, and that is no bad thing. That's definitely a different silhouette than the original Z1's tank, but it's still pretty proportional. Imagine Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider and The Shining—same guy, two totally different personas. I know some bikes hide theirs under the passenger seat in the form of a post or plastic tab, but using those is a hassle and can definitely scratch your paint. The bike is wider than it feels, and with help from that upright seating position, it's unexpectedly nimble. The base-model Z900 was released for 2017, a naked sportbike replacing the Z1000 and one-year Z800. Fit and finish are remarkable, even down to the frame paint. Personally, I thought it was going to be a budget-friendly alternative to offerings from premium European brands in this segment like Triumph and Ducati. Radially-mounted calipers are a nice touch, too. For a non-replica model, the factory stayed pretty darned faithful to the original. Steering offset is increased by 6mm, interestingly reducing trail, in this case helping make the steering lighter. This combination further aids in creating a smoother, more linear ride than the aggressive Z900, while still getting off the line quick. I do, however, have one complaint regarding the ergos: When the going gets extra spirited, the lower footpegs scrape the road too soon and pull the reins in on your fun. However, Kawasaki have dropped a few clues and a few sources have made some interesting comments, but then again it might all be nonsense. The body is angular and intimidating, the new Trellis frame ticks all the right boxes, and the engine is something rather special. The rear brake on this machine is surprisingly effective. Still, this is hardly unreasonable — a Suzuki Bandit 1250S, a modern-appearing big-bore naked, rings in at 560. Front: full preload less half a turn, and five clicks back from maximum rebound damping. Brake feel was the opposite; I got less feedback from the otherwise top-notch brakes than I expected and desired. Turning the key revealed some small but useful instrumentation, including a gear counter, fuel gauge, clock, and traction control setting. Crankshaft flywheel mass has been increased by 12 percent to help smooth vibration. The fork has fully adjustable 10-way compression and 12-way rebound settings, while the shock features fully adjustable rebound damping and preload. Discuss your tyre and wheel issues here. According to the Bureau of Transportation U. The seat can be removed without tools, offering easy access to the battery, fuse box and tool kit.。

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