Ver­dict

BIKE (UK) - - KAWASAKI Z900RS 5000 MILE TEST -

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

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