KAWASAKI’S new retro-styled Z900RS has broken cover in Australia, with a public appearance alongside a pair of custom bikes at Deus Ex Machina in Sydney.
Wearing classic jaffa colours on a teardrop fuel tank, a ducktail rear end, twin circular gauges and a round headlight, the 900RS has obvious styling cues to the original Z1 and Z900. But there’s no four-into-four exhaust, the forks are upside-down, the rear suspension is a single central shock, and the wheels are cast, not spoked — so you’re certainly not going to mistake a new one for the real McCoy.
“We did not try to recreate the Z1, which is a model that stands alone in the heritage of Kawasaki,” the company said in a statement.
“Today, the all-new Kawasaki Z900RS is an evolution of the original Z1 and is set to again make Kawasaki history, by marking our long awaited entry into the Retro category and being our first 948cc in-line four retro model.
“The Z900RS connects heritage and model history, with contemporary thinking. Any visual, technical or engineering references to the Z1 have been moulded in light of the demands from today’s rider expectations and today’s riding environment.”
Kawasaki let Deus loose on a pair of the new Zeds, proving any bike can be a blank canvas if you have the creativity and the vision. (And maybe a few mates, a bong, and a few colourful pills.)
Kawasaki launched the original Z1 in 1972. It proved to be a milestone motorcycle and it made history in the Kawasaki model line-up. The four cylinder, four stroke 903cc Z1 was rated at over 80ps, making it one of the largest capacity and highest power, mass-production machines available in the 1970s.
The next scheduled public viewing of the Kawasaki Z900RS will be at this weekend’s Sydney Motorcycle Show.
There’s no word yet on when we might see one at a showroom in Perth.
UPDATE: Looks like January 2018 for the RS (around $18k rideaway), February for the Cafe ($18.5k).
1972 Kawasaki Z1 SPECIFICATIONS
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS SPECIFICATIONS