Kawasaki has launched its appealing Z900RS retro-naked motorcycle in India at Rs 15.3 lakh (ex-showroom). The Z900RS pays homage to the legendary Kawasaki Z1, by being classically styled but possessing a modern engine (from the Z900) and technology.
Powering the Z900RS is liquid-cooled, 948cc, in-line, four-cylinder motor as seen on the Z900, although peak power is down from 125hp to 111hp while peak torque is now 98.5Nm. Kawasaki has, however, tuned it for more mid-range grunt – below 7,000rpm, that is. It also features a four-into-one exhaust finished in stainless steel that adds to its classic appeal.
Traction control is standard on the Z900RS and so are 300mm front discs with radial-mounted calipers (the Z900 doesn’t get these). The Z900RS also features an analogue instrument cluster, with a digital screen hidden between the two (speedo/tacho) pods. The screen features a fuel gauge, range, current and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, external temperature, gear position and more. A cool touch is that it can be switched off to give the instrument cluster a more classic appearance.
The frame has been reworked to accommodate the slim and classic-styled 17-litre fuel tank, which leads to a suitably flat seat and tail section. The motorcycle uses LED lighting all-around, but the bulbs are placed in such a manner that it resembles a regularly lit headlamp. Furthermore, the new cast wheels feature flat spokes that resemble classic wire-spoke ones – can’t we just have the real deal instead?
The Z900RS has been made available for the Indian market on a bookings-only basis. In other words, Kawasaki and its dealers will refrain from stocking up on the motorcycle. The Z900RS' exorbitant price is a result of its status as a direct import from Japan (although the recent reduction in import duties should translate to a more affordable price tag). Its sibling, the Z900, comes in from Thailand, which thanks to a free trade agreement is more affordable. Still, and given the extra kit on offer, a price increase of Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh over the Z900 would have been justified and would have placed the Z900RS in between the Triumph Street Triple S and RS models.
Instead, the Z900 RS (at Rs 15.3 lakh) is currently priced higher than the Z1000 and uncomfortably close to the more powerful Z1000R, which features higher-spec suspension and brake components. Kawasaki can expect to sell precious few units at this price and that's probably why the bike will only be delivered as per order basis. Deliveries will begin in July if the order is placed before the end of February 2018.