Bringing back the ethos of the famed Z1 of 1972

With almost every brand entering the neo-classic craze, Kawasaki is bringing one of its own classics back. Although it has the W800, the Z900RS will depict a much more modern take with thoroughly done modish mechanical features, fit and finish.

Unwrapped at the ongoing Tokyo International Motor Show, this is Kawasaki’s attempt at bringing back the legendary motorcycle which had defined the term “Superbike” back in ’72 with a 903cc four-stroke DOHC inline-four machine.

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1972 Kawasaki Z1 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS
Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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This Z900RS, however, carries a state-of-the-art 948cc hauled from the existing Z900 naked streetfighter and is re-mapped to give the former lower peak power that will help it accelerate better under 7000 rpm. But when it comes to numbers, the RS performs slightly lower with peak power coming down from 124 hp to 111 hp and the peak torque from 72.2 lb-ft to 53.5 lb-ft.

The engineers have also changed the gear ratios to make the RS more ‘difficult to stall when first starting to move,’ while sixth is taller for reduced vibration at speeds. Borrowed from the Z900 is the assist-and-slipper clutch making changing gears a breeze.

Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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The RS gets pampered with higher spec components compared to the Z900 like the radial-mount brake calipers instead of the conventional twin four-piston set-up and LED lighting all around. It also enjoys rider aids that include a switchable two-level traction control system that will prevent you from playing God with those Dunlop GPR-300 tires.

Giving the RS the retro flair is that 17-litre teal-drop fuel tank and the flat waistline that shows reminiscence to the ’72 Z1. Kawasaki had to accommodate a complete redesign of the frame just to get this tank at its ideal position. The Z1-inspired tail cowl enhances the traditional appeal of the neo-classics.

Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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The handlebars on the RS are wide and stubby compared to the one on the ’72 Z1 giving it a sporty yet upright stance with decent leverage. The seat comparatively is higher at 835 mm, but Kawasaki will provide you an ERGO-FIT low seat accessory that will sit you at 800 mm. And the wheels, they are cast wheels no doubt but are shaped flat to give the impression of classic wire-spoked wheels.

The instrument cluster is made up of twin pod analog dials and housed between them is an LCD unit that can also be covered to give you that ‘70s aesthetics. The LCD screen features a gear indicator, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, remaining range, current and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, external temperature, clock and the Economical Riding Indicator.

Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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The only down shot of the RS as we see is that four-into-one exhaust unit that looks way too ordinary for a bike of this stature. Nonetheless, Kawasaki says that it will give deep rumbles at low revs and are given a buff finish treatment for that retro appeal. Apparently, Kawasaki had considered 20 other design variations before zeroing in on this.

There are no details with regards to price and availability but is sure to enter the American shores for 2018. We will have to wait till EICMA next week for more in-depth tech specs and details of the Z900RS. It comes in Candytone Brown & Candytone Orange, Metallic Spark Black and Metallic Matte Covert Green & Flat Ebony paint schemes.



Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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Kawasaki unveils the 2018 Z900RS modern-retro to the world Exterior
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