Owning a 1972 Kawasaki Z1 is cool, but even Zed owner and Bike contributor John Naish admits the new RS is a much better bike than its superannuated relative: ‘The RS is a fantastic ride. The Z1 was a fantastic ride too – in the dinosaur era.’ Even Mark Williams, Bike’s launch editor, is impressed: ‘The RS is incredibly sure footed with a ton of linear power instantly on tap.’ Yet the contemporary competition is strong boasting various inline, V- and boxer twins, and triples too. In comparison Kawasaki’s inline four can feel bland, despite two ramps of torque keeping things peppy. It’s disappointing, then, that you have to deal with fuelling and surging issues. No bike’s had it this bad since Yamaha’s first go at the MT-09. But motorcycles don’t solely rely on engine layouts for their character. The RS’S design is a winner with most. Especially presented in the Candytone brown/orange we have here. Simply put, if you love the look and vibe of the RS, the engine, electronics and brakes won’t disappoint. The suspension, on the other hand, may need some investment to hit the sweet spot.
‘Simply put, if you love the look and vibe of the RS, the engine, electronics and brakes wonn’t disappoint’
2018’s Z900RS: much, much more than a retro pastiche