Z900RS RETRO IMMINENT
New 900cc Kawasaki retro bike but supercharged versions will have to wait
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