Kawasaki Z 900 – first driving impressions

Kawasaki Z 900 – first driving impressions

Quite sharp

Just arrived from the driving presentation, test editor Jens Moller-Tollner reveals his impression of the first test kilometers with the new Kawasaki Z 900.

Kawasaki sends the Z 800 to old age. From now on the Kawasaki Z 900 takes over. It’s not just a mere update. Rather, Kawasaki immediately nailed it and completely turned the naked bike inside out. It starts with the engine. Byebye Z 800, welcome Z 1000 drive. He was allowed to work as an organ donor. The stroke of 56 millimeters has remained the same as with the big four, only the bore is smaller. The pistons measure at Z 900 73.4 millimeters, with the big sister the diameter is 77 millimeters.

Kawasaki Ninja 650 in the driving report

Little fighter

Fine tubular mesh + aluminum swing arm

The cure was really good for the nudist. The performance data already show that. What used to be 113 hp at 10,200 rpm and a maximum of 83 Newton meters at 8,000 rpm has now become 125 horsepower at 9,500 rpm. The torque of almost 99 Nm at 7,700 turns is also impressive.

But the engine was just a big construction site, which the men from Akashi worked on with commitment. As field number two, they have devoted themselves very comprehensively to the chassis. The photos already show it: the previously invisible steel bridge frame has become a fine mesh tube on the Kawasaki Z 900, which ends in a light aluminum swing arm. And easy, it hits pretty well because the naked Kawa has lost massive weight with this update. As a little chubby, the Z 800 still dragged a massive 231 kilograms through world history. The Kawasaki Z 900 is said to have turned into a credible 210 double pounds.

Only the traction control is missing

The first rendezvous around Almeria in Spain left no doubt that this statement is close to the truth. Guided by the wide, only slightly cranked handlebar, the Kawasaki Z 900 wipes all kinds of radii – and with an ease that was alien to its predecessor. The significantly more potent motor willingly plays along with the joyful change from short straight lines to nimble inclines, pushing the naked bike forward with vehemence.

But be careful: there is no traction control as a safety feature. Otherwise there is not much that the Kawasaki Z 900 can be criticized for. At most, the engine hangs on the accelerator with a slight load change during very low tours in city traffic. However, these are no longer noticeable when swinging briskly over land.

The bottom line is that the Kawasaki Z 900 is a successful successor to the Z 800. It already makes you curious about the comparison with the new, strong middle class à la Yamaha MT-09, the new Street Triple and the current Suzuki GSX- S 750.

You can read the complete driving report in MOTORRAD 4/2017 or in PDF for download (see below).

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