Kawasaki will reveal the long-rumoured Z900RS at October’s Tokyo Motor Show and has released a video that gives the first glimpses of the bike.
We know that the new bike is based on the Z900 that joined the Kawasaki range this year. But where the Z900 is a fiercely modern design the Z900RS will have styling that harks back to the 1972 Z1.
Chassis and engine
The Z900RS uses the same steel frame as the Z900 and shares its sister model’s upside-down forks and monoshock rear end. However, we understand that Kawasaki has tweaked the geometry to give slightly more relaxed handling. Similarly, the retro bike’s riding position is more upright, with wider, taller bars.
The engine shares the Z900’s 948cc capacity and uses the same bottom end. But it’s not identical. The teaser video shows it has dummy cooling fins on the cylinders. The firm has also restyled the cylinder head to look more like the Z1’s, with two distinct camshaft bulges. Kawasaki has also retuned it to give less peak power but a fatter bottom end, and we expect the gearing to be angled towards acceleration rather than top speed.
In styling terms, the Z900RS is very much a tribute to the Z1. Even the brown and orange paint scheme seen in the teaser is a classic Z1 combination. A traditional-style fuel tank and a Z1-style duck-tail rear cowl will complete the look. Up front, a large, round headlight and twin clocks again add some retro style.
Kawasaki’s teaser video confirms that the bike’s release date is 25 October. It will make its debut in Tokyo but we know that the Z900RS will also go on sale in the European and American markets in 2018.