Kawasaki has ditched the Z800 for a Z900 with more power, more sound, but the same price of $12,499 (plus on-road costs).
The Z900 is now a 948cc in-line four based on the Z1000 with the same power output of 94kW (up 9kW on the Z800), but weighing 1kg less at 210kg.
If that sounds good, apparently the intake note has been “crafted specifically so that acceleration can be relished”.
They say their sound engineers shaped the airbox based on acoustic tests carried out in a sound room.
“Distinct from the edgy, powerful howl of the Z1000, the intake note of the Z900 is clear and mild,” they say.
“The frequency of the note varies with engine speed, adding to riding impact – especially at high rpm.
They also say the airbox inlet faces upwards so the rider can hear it better.
All this effort is probably to keep the rider happy with a fruity note while silencing the exhaust note to keep within the legal noise limits.
It’s a smart move that luxury car companies have been doing for several years.
The Z900 may be a little close in capacity to the Z1000 and it remains to be seen if they drop that bike which marked the return of the Z to the brand in 2003. The following year a Z750 was introduced and terminated when the Z800 took over in 2013.
It comes with a lightweight steel trellis frame, 41mm upside-down forks and rear shock both with adjustable rebound and preload.
Brakes are 300mm front discs with Nissin four-piston calipers and ABS.
Other features include Assist and Slipper clutch, stacked instrument cluster with gear position and shift-up indicators and a low 795mm seat height.
It comes in a choice of Pearl Mystic Gray or Metallic Flat Spark Black.
The Z900 will compete against the popular Yamaha MT-09 ($11,999+orc) and XSR900 $12,999+orc), the new water-cooled Triumph Street Twin ($13,350+orc), new Suzuki GSX-750 ($10,790+orc) and BMW’s R nineT variants ($17,690-24,315).
Kawasaki Z900 tech specs
Price: $12,499 (+ORC)
Engine: 948cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 16-valve, DOHC in-line four
Bore x stroke: 73.4 x 56.0 mm
Power: 92.2 kW @ 9500rpm
Suspension: 41mm USD forks with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability; horizontal Back-link with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability