2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: Specifications comparison

    We compare the 2023 Kawasaki Z900 with the Ducati Monster, Triumph Street Triple R and the Honda CB650R, its competitors in the middleweight naked segment.

    Published On Sep 15, 2022 10:32:00 AM

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    Middleweight naked bike spec comparison. Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals.
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    With Kawasaki launching the 2023 Z900 in India, we have four capable contenders in the middleweight naked segment, which promises a good balance between performance and usability. Read on to find out more about each bike. 

    2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: engine and output

    Middleweight naked spec comparison: Engine and output
    Ducati MonsterTriumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900Honda CB650R
    EngineLiquid-cooled, 937cc 90-degree V-Twin engineLiquid-cooled, 765cc inline three-cylinder engineLiquid-cooled, 948cc inline four-cylinder engineLiquid-cooled, 649cc inline four-cylinder engine
    Power111hp @ 9,250rpm118hp @ 12,000rpm125hp @ 9,500rpm86hp @ 12,000rpm
    Torque93 Nm @ 6,500rpm79 Nm @ 9,350rpm98.6 Nm @ 7,700rpm57.5 Nm @ 8,500rpm
    Gearbox6-speed6-speed6-speed6-speed

    It should come as no surprise that the Kawasaki Z900 has the highest peak output figures here, considering it sports the largest engine of this quartet. The second-largest engine is found in the Ducati Monster, displacing 937cc, and with its V-Twin engine configuration, it delivers its peak torque the earliest. The Triumph Street Triple R splits the difference in between an inline-four and a V-Twin with its triple-cylinder engine tracing its lineage back to the legendary Daytona 675 supersport. Despite displacing nearly 200cc less than the Ducati, it makes 7hp more, although it does arrive much higher up in the rev range. The displacement deficit really hurts the Honda CB650R, as its peak output figures are quite lacklustre in this company. Utilising an inline-four engine, which traditionally delivers power and torque higher up in the rev band, hurts the Honda’s case even more.

    2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: suspension and brakes

    Middleweight naked spec comparison: Suspension and brakes
    Ducati MonsterTriumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900Honda CB650R
    Suspension (f)43mm USD fork41mm USD fork41mm USD fork41mm USD fork
    Suspension (r)MonoshockMonoshockMonoshockMonoshock
    Brakes (f)320mm dual discs310mm dual discs300mm dual discs310mm dual discs
    Brakes (r)245mm disc220mm disc250mm disc240mm disc
    Tyres (f)120/70-ZR17120/70-ZR17120/70-ZR17120/70-R17
    Tyres (r)180/55-ZR17180/55-ZR17180/55-ZR17180/55-R17

    All bikes here sport modern componentry, although, there are a few nuances to how they go about it. Surprisingly, the Ducati Monster (the most expensive bike here by far) features a non-adjustable front fork and a monoshock adjustable only for preload, componentry that’s similar to the Honda CB650R. The Kawasaki Z900, which is the most affordable bike here, has rebound and preload adjustability at both ends, making it a value-for-money proposition. The Triumph Street Triple R, however, is the only one to feature fully-adjustable suspension hardware, both courtesy of Showa. 

    Braking hardware is where the Ducati Monster claws back some ground, sporting Brembo monobloc callipers clamping down upon the largest discs here. The Triumph Street Triple R and Honda CB650R both feature 310mm discs, but (between these two bikes) the Triumph has superior Brembo monobloc calipers mated to steel-braided brake lines, compared to the Nissin units and rubber-braided lines on the Honda. The Kawasaki features the most basic braking hardware here, with axially-mounted Nissin calipers mated to rubber-braided brake lines that clamp down upon 300mm twin discs (the smallest size in this company). 

    All bikes here feature dual-channel ABS as standard but the Ducati takes it one step further by offering cornering functionality as well.

    While all bikes here feature the same tyre sizes, the ones they with come as standard are a different story. The Ducati Monster and the Triumph Street Triple R both come shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 tyres, which offer ample grip in nearly every situation. The Dunlop Sportmax 2 tyres found on the Kawasaki Z900 and the Honda CB650R, however, are a different story. These tyres rob you of feel, especially while leaned over or through a less-than-ideal stretch of road.   

    2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: weight and dimensions

    Middleweight nakes spec comparison: weight and dimensions
    Ducati MonsterTriumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900Honda CB650R
    Kerb Weight166kg (dry) 188kg (kerb)168kg (dry)212kg206kg
    Seat Height820mm825mm820mm810mm
    Wheelbase1474mm1405mm1455mm1449mm
    Fuel Capacity14 litres17.4 litres17 litres15.4 litres
    Ground ClearanceNA160mm145mm148mm

     

    The Ducati Monster is the lightest bike here, thanks to its Panigale-derived frame design, although the Triumph doesn’t trail too far behind. Considering that the Street Triple R’s dry weight is just 2kg more than the Monster, it should have a kerb weight around that ballpark, even with its larger fuel tank. At 14 litres, the Ducati Monster has the smallest fuel tank in this company. 

    None of these bikes feature particularly tall seat heights, but the Honda has the most accessible perch, which should help shorter riders reach the ground easily. Despite sporting a figure of 820mm, the Ducati’s narrow V-Twin engine doesn’t splay out your legs as much as the other engines with their “in-line” cylinder configurations. 

    2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: features

    When it comes to features, the Ducati Monster has the clear advantage in this category, packing in a full suite of electronic rider aids from Ducati’s bigger models. It is also the only bike here to feature a hydraulic clutch whereas the others get a more basic conventional cable-actuated unit. The Triumph Street Triple R (which features a bidirectional quickshifter) and the Honda CB650R feature rather basic LCD digital displays, as opposed to the TFT units found on the Ducati and the Kawasaki. The Honda CB650R is the only model here without riding modes as standard, although it does get switchable traction control. The Z900 is the only one to offers Bluetooth connectivity, allowing notification alerts and turn-by-turn navigation via Kawasaki’s proprietary Rideology app. 

    2023 Kawasaki Z900 vs rivals: price

    Middleweight naked spec comparison: Price
    Ducati MonsterTriumph Street Triple RKawasaki Z900Honda CB650R
    Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)Rs. 12.49 lakhRs. 9.41 lakhRs. 8.93 lakhRs. 9.15 lakh

    Of these four bikes, the Kawasaki Z900 is by far the most affordable here, whilst packing competitive underpinnings and features, further cementing its position as a competitive seller here. The Ducati Monster clearly leans into its brand value, being approximately Rs 3 lakh-3.5 lakh dearer than the other three in this company, placing it uncomfortably close to far more well-rounded and powerful bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX and the Suzuki Katana. While the other three are priced within Rs 50,000 of each other, in this company, the Honda CB650R is clearly outgunned. 

    However, as of late, prices for all these machines (as with nearly everything else) have shot up considerably. All of these bikes command a higher price tag than when they were first launched, despite not bringing anything significantly new to the table. Prices have gone up across the board by anywhere between Rs 40,000-54,000 for these bikes. And while these are premium products where price isn’t a primary concern, it just goes to show how much prices for motorcycles have skyrocketed over the past few years. 

    Which middleweight naked is your choice amongst this quartet? Let us know in the comments section below.

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