The Z800 tank runs into a set of neat cowls, that meet arms encircling the motor, and other minimal bodywork includes a neat tank, with good inner thigh support recesses, a belly-pan, as well as sleek side and flank panels. The new Kawasaki’s ‘Z’ theme extends to its LED tail warning lights and riding saddle.
Quality is top notch, leaving no stone unturned as are fit-finish and attention-to-detail, however, on the flip side, the Z800 is presently only available for India in the one rather gloomy dark shade seen here.
The Z800 is set to win many an Indian heart, being amongst the most affordable of all in-line, four cylinder superbikes available here for now. It’s a four-stroke, 806cc, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected engine, with typically short-stroke bore and stroke dimensions. The Z800 is good for 111.4bhp at 10200rpm, and though this doesn’t feel just quite as fierce on the go as the massive 140bhp output by the Z1000, it’s still more than sufficient for every situation, on any Indian road. Max torque is 8.5kgm available at 8000rpm, and these numbers aside, we found the Z800 makes a refined and in-line four typical, smooth machine, with excellent mid to top end power delivery.
That’s helped by elongated intake trumpets, where the inner two are longer, and outer set more compact. Similarly, the Z800 exhaust pipes curve visibly forward to gain a few inches in length, before smoothly swooping back to the stubby, low set single exhaust box. Throttle response is cracking, thanks to healthy, 34mm wide throttle bodies and the Z800 enjoys a linear and wide powerband. You’ve got enough power to hammer out of corner exits with gusto, but may need to wind revs up slightly before you reach all of the Zee’s performance potential. Once there however, the Z800 is capable of effortless 150kph cruising, with plenty of power in hand, and a top speed in the vicinity of a true 230kph.
Clutch feel is adequate, while the Z800 comes with a six-speed gearbox that shifts effortlessly, whether banging up or down the box. The bike can sometimes feel short geared, but you soon realize this is due to the engine being so flexible, and a smooth runner in higher gears even at low speeds.