After the 34horsepower Versys-X 250 session, we ride the new Kawasaki Z900 , being the successor to Z800, a model which Kawasaki sold over 200,000 around the world and a lot of units in Malaysia. Here we are testing the 2017 Z900.
The Z900 has a lot of potential, which is why Kawasaki expects the Z900 to be another best seller this year with a 125 horsepower, 16-valve, DOHC, liquid cooled inline 4 cylinder 948cc engine, 210kg, ABS and slipper clutch package versus 113hp, 231kg, 806cc Z800. I guess you can do the maths, this Z900 will be a great bike to own!
The low and mid-range power was the focus, but one of the biggest takeaways is the increase in mid-range torque and through our route, the traffic was a menace, just after lunch time, the route we took to Pantai Remis in Kuala Selangor via Selayang, Kepong, Sri Damansara, Sg Buloh, Bukit Raja, Meru, passing Kapar, and finally to Pantai Remis before heading to LATAR Expressway (140km++), and back to Templer Park Country Club.
Going through the heavy traffic was a breeze as the lighter Z900 comparing to the Z800 was a big difference of weight 21kg between Z9 and Z8 means a big deal in terms of handling and in and out corner precision. The Z900 with full tank of petrol weight just 210kg, the Z800 is 231kg, the -21kg less with new trellis frame made the difference, as Z900 was delightfully easy to zigzag through the slow moving Kepong, Sri Damansara traffic while the soft clutching of the slipper clutch, made the clutching like a breeze in the park. After hitting the NKVE toward Meru, Klang, was kinda slow ride at 110-120km/h at the highway escorted by Traffic Police and Kawasaki Malaysia Marshalls, but we took this chance to feel smoothness of the inline 4 engine, verdict the Z900 was super smooth in low revs and throttle response was so accurate as and when you pump the throttle over 5k rpm the torque kick in but since I was wearing suit and leather gloves, I hardly felt any engine or handlebar vibration, one of the smoothest naked bike I ridden. While the Z900 engine derived from the current Z1000 engine, a bore down version and without all the KRT technology still provide an awesome package, for anyone which delivers a sublime of power and handling that is ideal to call Z900 a Supernaked bike. Top speed we got 225km/h but still could go further but the wavy LATAR Highway was not the place to test the top speed. The front suspension was working well when leaning on the hi-speed curve on the LATAR highway 190km/h even front suspension was floating it was manageable at standard factory setting. Overall we were impress with the Z900.
2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS has been set at RM49,158, including GST and Z900 ABS Special Edition, which goes for RM50,959, including GST.
Kawasaki Z900 ABS, Refined Raw
Kawasaki has long believed that SUPERNAKED models should be more than supersport machines stripped of their full-fairing bodywork. The concept of the motorcycle is based on Compact, Light-Weight, Easy-to-Ride, and Superb Handling which only Z riders can experience. Designed with sugomi performance for maximum riding pleasure, the new Z900 mounts a 948cm3 In-Line Four engine in an all-new ultra- lightweight frame. The choice of a 900cc-class In-Line Four was no accident as every twist of the throttle is rewarded by crisp, smooth response and exhilarating acceleration.
Like many legendary Kawasaki 900cc-class In-Line Four machines, the Z900’s package delivers a sublime balance of power and handling that is ideal for a Supernaked model.
Exciting In-Line Four Engine
Powerful 948cm3 liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four engine has a quick-revving character and a strong mid-range hit that pulls strongly to the redline. The new engine is based on the Z1000 power plant, balances exhilarating acceleration with smooth power delivery that facilitates control. Excitement grows as the revs increase. Power delivery is quite linear, but the engine spins up noticeably faster from about 6,000min-1 onwards. Good over-rev characteristics mean that power does not drop off suddenly at high rpm. Silky smooth response from mid-high rpm ensures excellent driveability while contributing to rider comfort and confidence.
Crafted Intake Note
Designed specifically so that acceleration could be enjoyed aurally as well as physically, the carefully crafted auditory note of the intake is a key component of the street riding exhilaration offered by the Z900. The shape of the air box was designed based on acoustic test carried out in a sound room. The intake note of the Z900 is clear and mild. Intake funnels of varying length (50mm for the outer pair; 150mm for the inner pair) offer a balance between performance and the intake sound. The longer inner pair contributes to low-mid rpm performance, while the shorter outer pair contributes to the stimulating intake sound.
All-New Trellis Frame
One of the key components to the new Z900’s light weight is the all-new frame Trellis frame that weighs only 13.5kg and contributes significantly to the bike’s light, nimble handling. The difference in weight is highly noticeable as soon as the bike is lifted off its side-stand. Components of the high-tensile steel trellis frame follow the ideal pipe line. The lines of the frame were made as straight as possible, and when bends were necessary their angles were made as small as possible, resulting in a design that disperses stress extremely well.
Horizontal Back-Link Rear Suspension
Linked suspension delivers a balance of sporty performance and rider comfort. Rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the swingarm. This arrangement contributes to mass centralisation, while ensuring that the suspension is located far enough from the exhaust that operation is not affected by heat.
Assist & Slipper Clutch
The clutch uses an assist cam and a slipper cam that offer two different functions which is not available on a standard clutch. Ordinarily, the assist cam acts as a self- servo mechanism that sends feedback to pull the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plate. In doing so, the total clutch spring load is reduced, thus lightening the clutch lever feel when the clutch is in use. The existence of slipper cam is to react when there is sudden engine braking due to quick downshift or accidental downshift by forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. With this, the pressure on the clutch plates is relieved to reduce back-torque preventing the rear tyre from hopping and skidding.
Ergonomics for Control
With the wide, flat handlebar and relaxed, sporty riding position, the rider is easily able to capitalise on the Z900’s sporty street riding potential. Slightly more upright than the Z1000 and Z800, the riding position offers a blend of control and comfort that allows the rider to enjoy a variety of riding situations. Thanks to the low seat height and bike’s slim overall design, it’s easy to keep both feet firmly on the ground when stopped, an important consideration for many riders.
Visually Appealing Multi-Functional Instrumentation
The new look multi-function display features an easy-to-read layout. An analogue-style tachometer features gear position on the LCD screen. The tachometer offers three selectable display modes, allowing riders to tune their instrumentation to suit their preference and adding a visual element to riding enjoyment. The tachometer also doubles as a shift-up indicator, flashing at the set rpm. The Economical Riding Indicator appears on the LCD screen to indicate favourable fuel consumption. Paying attention to conditions that result in the mark appearing can assist riders to maximise their fuel efficiency.
Brakes & Wheels
The front stopping power consist of a dual ø300mm disc brake together with four piston calipers with resin brake pads delivers plenty of braking power for both new and experienced rider, while ø250mm petal disc brake provides stopping power at the rear. The new Z900 is equipped with a compact and lightweight Nissin motorcycle ABS unit, complying to the European standard.
Z900 ABS Special Edition
The new Z900 Special Edition comes in Blue and is equipped with accessories such as special graphics, single seat cover, meter cover, DC outlet, radiator screen, sliders, engine cover rings, front axle sliders, tank pad and knee pads.