Kawasaki z900 forums

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  • Bulletkz
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I was at the dealership today looking at the new z900rs and cafe . Nice looking bikes . Thinking about selling my ducati 1098s and buying one. Would be cool to have a new and old .

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  • baldy110
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They look great. Lot better than the other Z900.

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  • hardrockminer
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There was a lot of hype when they first came out in 2018, particularly the one in root beer colours. I looked hard at it but was disappointed that it wasn't more retro than it was. There were lots of little things like tank badges, side covers etc that they could have reprised. I also looked at some things that seemed poorly thought out. The brake master cylinder hangs off the bars on a plastic extension...why not do what they did with the Z1 master? I thought they could have done a better job on connectors for the rad too. It seemed to me that the designers lacked the vision possessed by the original Z1 designers. Just my opinion.

I have several restored bikes along with a 2006 Goldwing with a sidecar. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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  • bluej58
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I'd like to ride one, They've all the mods done at probably half the price some folks throw at these old bikes and got the geometry right.

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  • azman857
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Meh. Doesn't do anything for me. Besides, why buy an imitation when you can have the real deal?

I don't have a plan and I'm sticken' to it! '77 KZ 650 / 750 GPz custom project in progress

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  • TexasKZ
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I like it a lot. Retro style with modern performance and reliability. Same reasons I ride a ZRX.

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2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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  • hugo
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Very nice bike indeed. A Z1000 in a Trellis chassis, w/out plastics, but really has nothing to do with the old Zs or KZs. No more than than a FZ10 relates to a '78 XS1100, or a GSX-S1000 to a '80 GS1000......or a Ford F150 today to a '70 F100....they could have called it a Versys 900.

At least the Honda CB1100 retains air cooling...

.......don't get me wrong, I like this motorcycle...and If I had the room would like to have it, but it is really simply a naked modern bike, and what I consider interesting, is the Trellis chassis which is very light and allows engine visibility and accessibility,.... is what Ducati uses.......but personally, I don't even consider it 'retro'.,.. just very naked by today's standards.

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  • slmjim+Z1BEBE
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An opinion thread. Where's a popcorn emoji when ya' need one?

From the front of the rear tire forward it looks good to slmjim. From there rearward it's too empty to look balanced front-to-rear, especially with all the empty space above the rear tire. The vestigal rear fender aggravates the imbalanced look of the rear end. Never been a fan of 4-1 exhaust systems. I like the balanced look of 4-2.
The abbreviated front fender won't do much for wet weather protection but, does offer the advantage of lessening un-sprung weight hanging on the fork lowers.
Mama Kaw got the paint right and, the striping scheme really enhances and blends with the flow of the lines. Nice color choices.
No centerstand. That's a deal killer for any chain drive bike for us.

Z1BEBE sez "Meh..., and it's too tall; lower seat height, please."
"The passenger seat borders on butt-floss & folds me up like a pretzel. I'm not 22 any more, and partially bionic. Wanna go Ridin' two-up? We're takin' one of the Z1's, one of the CB 750 Nighthawks (my red one preferably, 'cause it's prettier), or my ST1300. I wanna be comfortable for more than five minutes."

Good Ridin'
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  • martin_csr
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The Lime Green looks like a dirt bike. The other colors aren't that great either. I'd rather have a ZRex or Zephyr.

This 93 ZR1100 was on EB a month or so ago. Reserve not met. It was listed as used, but only had about 50 miles on the odometer & looked like a NOS motorcycle.

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  • Mikaw
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I like it... This past summer I was on my '78 LTD 1000 pulling out of a parking lot.. Paying more attention to the traffic and not vehicals in specific, I caught a climps of Kawasaki green flash by... What was that???... In my minds eye I saw a heavily modifiy late 70's bike... Well I had to see it... So becoming a stalker I proceeded to chase him down... From the rear it looked like a fat tire mod with a rear fender delet kit on a 1970 bike... Man I got more excited the closer I got from behind... Finally, I was able to pull up along side of him and at that point reilzed it was an '18 new Z900RS... I talked to him briefly and we aggreed to pull over, he was as interested in my '78 as I was in his... Short story long I like it... I had the same thought as BulletKZ, I would like to have old and new... What appealed to me was, it still has a good upright riding position....

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  • loudhvx
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The retro-bikes, one would think, would be successful like the Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang, but they just never seem to sell, at all. I have yet to see a Kawasaki "W" bike on the street or even the CB 1100 retro. I come across KZ's at a 10:1 ratio compared to the Zephyrs ...maybe 50:1.

I can only guess that anyone wanting one, would rather just have the original, and the original is probably going to cost less to get into (before it's restored). Whereas the price of an original 1970 white Challenger is going to be astronomical for a decent runner.

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  • Bulletkz
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I definitely need to sell my ducati and buy something that I can ride comfortably and have been looking at what to replace it with.
I don't know, it does everything like a modern sportbike but looks cool and it's comfortable.
But it doesn't look retro enough like the Honda cb, Ducati Paul smart or the triumph thruxton r.
I originally planned on buying the triumph thruxton r, but got tired of waiting for the ducati to sell so I bought my kz1000 to build my own . Then I started getting into the old Kawasakis and changed my mind.
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VLJOffline
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Post: #1

2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS
So, my 2017 CB1100 EX has a new garage mate. I just traded in my 2016 Yamaha XSR900 for this thing...

İmage

İmage

İmage

İmage

İmage

(That last picture is just a generic shot of the 'Z'-shaped tail light. I don't have a fender eliminator kit on mine.)

Very Jekyll and Hyde bike, this Z900 ABS. Puttering around town, keeping it below 5K RPM, she's not only smoother than the XSR, she's smoother than the CB1100. Similar to the CB, however, albeit at a higher RPM, the Z then becomes a bit buzzy in her upper midrange. In fact, she becomes buzzier than either the CB or the Yamaha once she's in the 5,500-8K RPM range. Again similar to the CB, once she clears her buzzy patch in the midrange, she smooths right out again.

I've only managed an initial two hundred and fifty miles on her so far, with one Mosquito Ridge rip, but I haven't redlined her yet. I've zipped her up to about 9K, very briefly. I'm trying to do a decent break-in procedure, mainly avoiding freeway droning.

The overriding impression so far is one of polished refinement. Surprisingly so, really, as Kawi was never known for Honda-like attention to detail, but everything I'd read about this bike mentioned how smooth and refined it is, and those people were correct. All its systems are very Honda-like in their operation; much more so than the rawer Yamaha.

I prefer that type of refinement. I like for the clutch engagement, fuel delivery, and throttle response to be basically invisible, as they are on the big CB1100, and this little Kawi manages it quite convincingly.

Another similarity between the Z900 and most Hondas I've owned and ridden is that this Kawi hides its weight very well. Although it's a good forty pounds heavier than the Yamaha, one would never know it from the saddle. It turns more quickly and easily, and the handling is lighter everywhere. Part of this is due to the much lower seat height and sportier bars. The handling is significantly sportier, yet also much more user-friendly at parking-lot speeds. That's one area where the Z really outshines the Yamaha, along with its plusher suspension. The Kawi is much more confidence-inspiring, and much happier simply putzing around at city speeds. She doesn't seem angry and impatient when forced to go stoplight to stoplight at slow speeds. She seems perfectly content to be used as a city commuter.

Very CB-like, that.

She's just a bit different from the CB, however, once you grab some throttle...or stick her in front of a mirror.

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06-14-2019 04:10 PM
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redbirdsOffline
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Post: #2

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

Sounds like a winner in every way. I've had several Kawasakis over the years and all have been satisfying rides. Great purchase, enjoy.


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06-14-2019 04:17 PM
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LongRangerOffline
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Post: #3

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

Congrats!


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06-14-2019 04:25 PM
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pdedseOnline
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Post: #4

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

(06-14-2019 04:10 PM)VLJ Wrote:  .... I just traded in my 2016 Yamaha XSR900 for this thing...

No doubt you will squeeze a lot of motorycle joy out of your new ride, so congrats on that, although I am surprised that you traded in the xsr900!

06-14-2019 05:20 PM
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VLJOffline
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Post: #5

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

Biggest good surprise: the mirrors. They stay crystal clear at any speed, unlike the Yamaha mirrors, which buzz up the moment I hit seventy mph. For being a liter-sized, fairly revvy, solid-mounted I4 bike, the Z's mirrors are very impressive.

Biggest good surprise, Part II: that lowbeam headlight works very well. It kills the Yamaha's. I hate the looks of the one-eye-on, one-eye-off thing, I always will, but I can't deny that it provides surprisingly effective illumination at night.

Biggest bad surprise: motor heat bakes my left shin. Hadn't heard or read any mention of this, and I didn't feel it at all with my boots on today, but when I rode it in the foothills last night in jeans and hiking boots, yep, my left shin was taking a lot of heat. Then again, come winter time, that won't be a bad thing.

Biggest bad surprise, Part II: the fuel mileage. According to my onboard trip computer, today's ride netted 41.6 mpg. Sure, the majority of the ride was ripping around up on Mosquito Ridge, but the XSR900 always netted 46 mpg up there, and everywhere else, for that matter, and I was taking it relatively easy up there today since I'm still doing the break-in miles.

Lived up to the hype: the killer growl of the intake. Rather than having a loud exhaust, this one has a nicely quiet exhaust that is more than made up for by the gorgeous, growling howl that emanates from beneath the tank once you give it some stick. As the rider, I get all the benefit, without annoying the neighbors or attracting the attention of the police. Good deal.

Lived up to the hype, Part II: the strength and speed of the motor. It's not in-your-face beastly, like the XSR, with its crazy RIGHT NOW punch off the bottom. Instead, it's just a straight-up missile. Sneaky fast, due to its linear smoothness. Effortless speed.

Lived up to the hype, Part III: the steel trellis chassis, and the user-friendly handling. Dirck over at motorcycledaily.com went on and on about the improvement in handling brought about by the switch to the steel trellis frame in the new Z650 and Z900. Over the years, I've found that he is usually a reliable source of opinion, and he was correct again on this one.

I've often said that the CB1100 EX is the first liter bike I might recommend for someone to use for their DMV riding test, because it's just that easy to ride, even at parking lot speeds. The Z900 is the sportbike equivalent. Anyone could hop on the thing and immediately feel uncannily confident, safe, and secure.

Otherwise, okay, the looks of the thing...

Obviously, the cat-in-heat tail section is just plain silly. No need for it. I would prefer a flatter tail section, but this is never going to be anything but a solo-rider, comfortable sportbike, so I don't really care. Ditto, the DMV-mandated tail light/license plate assembly. It looks stupid, but most stock sportbikes these days sport something similar. Ditch it for a Tail Tidy, if need be. Again, I just can't be bothered. I don't really care about that stuff.

I'm not a fan of the flat-black paint on the rear of the tank. I'm also not a fan of the two-piece design of the tank. Not only does it look meh, it seems to serve no real purpose, other than to limit the size of any magnetic tank bag I might want to use with it. I also dislike the looks of the brake calipers. They look cheap. Well, to be fair, they are cheap, but they work like crazy, so whatever.

That's my overall feeling regarding the looks of this bike. Meh. Whatever. It's not a horrible-looking bike, thanks to that beautiful green frame, but the tail section is stupid, and the overall theme is still a bit too Transformers for my liking. It's nowhere near as Transformers as some of Kawi's other recent offerings, or the Yamaha MT-10, but beautiful she ain't. My CB certainly won't feel threatened at any swanky Moto Ball, having this new punk rock geisha with the green highlights serving as her wingman, but then the Yamaha was never exactly the Belle of the Ball either.

Different styles, to be sure, the XSR and Z900, but I doubt anyone ever bought either bike mainly for its looks. That's fine by me. The Z ain't pretty, but she works really well, and I already have pretty/classy/comfortable/elegant/timeless/cool covered by her gorgeous older sister in the sparkly red dress. I appreciate that this Z900 isn't a fake retro, like her costlier, slower, needlessly de-tuned siblings, the Z900RS and Z900 Cafe Racer. She isn't trying to hide what she is, or be something that she's not. With no rider modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS, traction control, or any other electronic nannies besides basic ABS, she's just a simple, honest, shockingly affordable, thoroughly modern go-fast machine that also happens to be pretty darn comfortable.

Oh, and she has none of the Z900RS's twitchy on-off throttle response in low gears.

I think I would still take the basic Z over her two Kawi siblings even if they were all the same price. Once the enormous difference in price is factored in, it's a no-brainer. The Z's fueling is so dialed in, the throttle response so user-friendly, traction control isn't necessary. Ditto, rider modes. Just give me one really good one, and you can keep all the others, thank you very much.


(06-14-2019 05:20 PM)pdedse Wrote:  
(06-14-2019 04:10 PM)VLJ Wrote:  .... I just traded in my 2016 Yamaha XSR900 for this thing...

No doubt you will squeeze a lot of motorycle joy out of your new ride, so congrats on that, although I am surprised that you traded in the xsr900!

So am I, to be honest. Well, a little, anyway.

My riding buddy was just flat-out gobsmacked. He couldn't believe I swapped out that painstakingly fettled-over Yamaha, especially for something so seemingly similar.

(This post was last modified: 06-14-2019 06:28 PM by VLJ.)

06-14-2019 06:24 PM
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The ferretOffline
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Post: #6

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

Neat VLJ. You need a sportier bike to fulfill that Mosquito Ridge type itch that the CB just doesn't cure for you. It is a wild looking thing, glad it works better than it looks.

BTW my son just bought an MT-10 and is selling his FJ-09 because he was looking for a little more thrill in his ride. He thought the Yamaha triple was OK, but likes the sound and feel of the cross-plane 4 better.


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(This post was last modified: 06-14-2019 06:38 PM by The ferret.)

06-14-2019 06:36 PM
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RetselOffline
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Post: #7

2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

The writeup is great! I don't think it is a bike I'd consider though. I take my CB to the store and can easily carry home a ton of groceries with minimal accessories. Not sure how you would do that on this bike? For that reason, it would not be an every day rider for me.

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06-14-2019 06:47 PM
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GoldOxideOffline
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Southern Ontario, Canada
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Post: #8

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

I park next to a 2019 Z900 almost everyday, same lookin' as articled here.

I always wondered how it was, and now I have an idea. Thanks - and enjoy!


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06-14-2019 07:22 PM
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CormanusOnline
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Post: #9

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

Good for you, VLJ. I like it when people do what I can't/won't: routinely change bikes and tell us about them. It's a bit of a paradox: I don't much like the look of modern Transformer-style bikes, but I do quite like the Kawasakis. They are what they are and they're not pretending to be anything other than modern get-along-quick machines. I like your description of the headlight as a "one-eye-on, one-eye-off thing". It is. Due to Queensland's crazy motorcycle learner's licence laws, I've been riding out with a young bloke on his 650 Ninja with the same headlight configuration and I almost always end up looking twice in the mirror at what I see as more of "a one-eye-on, one-eye-half-off thing".

I'll look forward to more reports when you've run it in and let rip on it. Where does it red line?

06-14-2019 07:33 PM
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pdedseOnline
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Oregon
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Post: #10

RE: 2019 Kawasaki Z900 ABS

(06-14-2019 06:24 PM)VLJ Wrote:  Biggest good surprise: the mirrors. ...
Biggest good surprise, Part II: ...
Biggest bad surprise: ...
Biggest bad surprise, Part II: ...
Lived up to the hype: ...
Lived up to the hype, Part II: ...
Lived up to the hype, Part III: ...
That's my overall feeling regarding the looks of this bike. ...

VLJ, I always enjoy reading your reviews. Nicely done.

06-14-2019 09:32 PM
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