Mild mid-life facelift for the brilliant modern version of the 1970’s Z1by Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 02:42
Kawasaki has tweaked the Z900RS for 2022, with new suspension and a new paint job and a new name: Z900RS SE. Uprated Ohlins suspension front and rear and gold-painted wheels match the new yellow paint job on the tank. Mechanicals stay the same and it will be in showrooms in early 2022.
Kawasaki Z900RS Updated for 2022
Retro, or ’Modern Classic’ bikes are big business for motorcycle manufacturers. Triumph was the first out of the blocks in 2004 with the ’new’ Bonneville and, since then pretty much every major manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon with increasing success. Never mind the fact that their success points to an ageing customer base who are looking at life through rose-tinted spectacles, they are selling like hot cakes and looking good on the balance sheets of the manufacturers.
One of the better attempts has been the reproduction Kawasaki Z1, now called the Z900RS. In line with the best, it combines old-school styling with thoroughly modern mechanicals to give the best of both worlds. Introduced in 2018, it was an immediate success, which was deserved as it was so good.
For 2022, the Z900RS has got an update. Now called the Z900RS SE, it not only gets a unique colour scheme, but also upgraded suspension and brakes.
An Öhlins S46 rear shock with preload adjust and large 46 mm piston compliments a 41mm inverted gold front fork, the aim being a plusher ride with more control throughout the whole range of suspension travel.
Brakes are now Brembo 300mm twin discs up front, gripped by Brembo M4.32 radial mounted monobloc calipers, fed by stainless steel braided hoses.
Cosmetically, there’s a lot of gold going on! Not only is the suspension largely gold, but so are the multi-spoked alloy wheels. All this is set off by the yellow panels on the petrol tank, inspired by the 1972 Z1 Super Four model.
The engine remains untouched which is no problem at all as it was always a lovely unit, with all the feel of an original 1970’s Japanese four-cylinder, but with unmistakably 2000s performance. It is now fully Euro5 compliant.
No prices have been given yet but expect it in showrooms in January or February 2022.