Words by Afzal Rawuther
Kawasaki has launched the Z900RS at a price of Rs. 15.3 lakh(ex-showroom) in India. The bike borrows its mechanicals from the Z900 naked sports bike. The styling is decidedly retro though and the Z900RS seems inspired by the design of the bikes from the 60s and 70s. Kawasaki says that the Z900RS is intended as a homage to the iconic Z1, the first in the Japanese bikemaker’s illustrious list of Z bikes.
The Z900RS features a redesigned fuel tank and changes to the trellis frame as well. The design is retro with modern elements like the LED headlamps, dual-analog style instrument cluster with a multi-function LCD screen. The bike offers a much more relaxed riding position with the handlebar being 30 mm wider, 65 mm taller and 35mm closer to the rider. The foot pegs have also been moved 20mm lower and forward to facilitate a more upright riding position.
The Z900RS is powered by the same 900 cc in-line, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine as on the Z900. However, the motor has been tuned to produce more power lower down the rev range. However, the Z900RS now makes lesser power overall; it makes 109 bhp at 8500 rpm and 98.5 Nm of peak torque at 6500 rpm. The engine is paired to a 6-speed gearbox. The gear ratios too have been altered over the Z900, with the bike now getting a shorter first gear and a taller sixth gear.
The bike gets fully adjustable suspension at both ends; 41mm inverted forks in the front and gas-charged shock absorbers at the rear. Braking is handled by Brembo sourced 300 mm dual-floating front discs and a single 250 petal disc at the rear. The motorcycle also gets KRTC (Kawasaki Traction Control) and ABS as standard.
The Kawasaki Z900RS however comes with a price tag that might just put it out of contention for most buyers – a result of the fact that the bike will come to India as a CBU from Japan.