New 900cc Kawasaki retro bike but su­per­charged ver­sions will have to wait

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Kawasaki will launch a retro Z900RS in the com­ing weeks as it takes the fight to ri­vals like the Yamaha XSR900 and Tri­umph Thrux­ton, while the ex­pected su­per­charged vari­ants will fol­low in 2018.

Ja­panese sources have told MCN the new Z900RS, il­lus­trated here in a com­puter-gen­er­ated im­age us­ing the very lat­est in­sider in­for­ma­tion, will her­ald a new range of retro Kawasaki mod­els that draw upon the firm’s rich en­gi­neer­ing her­itage.

It was ini­tially thought a su­per­charged ver­sion of the Z900RS would be the first model to be seen, but now Ja­panese sources say the nor­mally as­pi­rated ver­sion will come first.

Kawasaki have made it plainly clear that they want to give their en­tire range of high-end bikes a com­plete re­fresh and at this time it has noth­ing to take on Euro­pean or Ja­panese ri­vals in the modern retro class. Back in Novem­ber 2015, Kawasaki showed a sketch of the con­cept SC-02 Soul Charger which was a retro themed bike which MCN un­der­stands may well bring back the H1 name.

We know Kawasaki has trade­marked the Z900RS name re­cently, and at the Mi­lan mo­tor­cy­cle show when it showed the SC-02 con­cept sketch there was a prom­ise made of 12 brand new mo­tor­cy­cles in 2017 and 2018.

The forth­com­ing Kawasaki Z900RS is go­ing un­der the model des­ig­na­tion ZR900B and has a newly de­signed liq­uid-cooled in­line four-cylin­der mo­tor but has retro-styled cool­ing fins in the same style as the old Z1 su­per­bike from the 1970s. We un­der­stand that the Z900RS will be shown at the Mi­lan mo­tor­cy­cle show in Novem­ber along­side a 675cc three-cylin­der su­per­charged retro - quite pos­si­bly named H1 - us­ing a chopped down ver­sion of the same mo­tor and ex­pected to go on sale in 2018.

‘Ja­panese sources say this nor­mally as­pi­rated ver­sion will come first’

The SC-02 con­cept will form the ba­sis of a su­per­charged pro­duc­tion bike due for 2018

Kawasaki have raided their de­sign ar­chives in styling the new Z900RS, as our com­puter im­age shows Clas­sics like the orig­i­nal H1 have in­spired a new retro gen­er­a­tion

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