Kawasaki Z900 RS, happy birthday


TEST – Two special editions of the current Z900RS celebrate the mythical Z1 launched fifty years ago, under the name of Kawa 900.

At Kawasaki, RS stands for Retro Sport. A trend launched in the early 1990s with the Zephyr. A “naked bike”, or naked motorcycle, which contrasted with the streamlined models in vogue at the time. Today, it is the Z900 RS which illustrates the trend by marrying the look of a seventies machine with the most advanced technology of the moment. For an additional €600, the “50th Anniversary” version pushes the mimicry to the point of taking up the Fireball brown and dark orange color of the original “four legs”, embellished, as at the time, with a bar of chrome support for the passenger and some specific acronyms.


Only the four pots are missing. The SE (Special Edition) is more important, since in addition to its Yellowball yellow color, also original, it is distinguished by its Brembo braking, its Öhlins shock absorber adjustable while driving and its golden fork. It is displayed 1,800 € more expensive than the standard version which, at 12,649 € remains a better price-performance ratio.

Retro but not too much


If the saddle a little high can be a problem for small jigs, it provides in return a straight position of the most comfortable. With considerate suspensions, perfectly smooth controls and a very smooth engine at low revs, this makes changes in town or at the pace of the ride particularly pleasant. But, RS is a bit like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. As soon as you turn the handle, it transforms into an impressive sensation factory. Its 4-cylinder, now water-cooled, may be slightly deflated compared to the nasty Z900 (125 hp), in the absence of a windscreen, with its 111 hp of fire, it quickly turns your head . Worthy of a real sports car, the very sharp cycle part keeps pace and therefore fully justifies the name of the model.

Technical sheet

Engine: 4 cyl. liquid-cooled inline, 946 cc, 111 hp, 98.5 Nm

Transmission: by chain, 6-speed gearbox

Saddle height: 835 mm

Tank: 17 liters

Weight: 215 kg

Speed: 220 km/h

Price: from €12,649


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