First Look: 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS

Kawasaki pulled the wraps off its new Z900RS, a retro-styled motorcycle based on the Z900 platform that recalls the classic Kawasaki Z1. As of this writing, the Z900RS has not been confirmed for the U.S. market, but it has received certification from the California Air Resources Board so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes official.

Like the Z900, the Z900RS is powered by a 948cc Inline-Four, but with shorter-duration cam profiles and a lower compression ratio (10.8:1 compared to 11.8:1 on the Z900). Kawasakialso increased the flywheel mass by 12%. Kawasaki claims the Z900RS gets 110 hp at 8,500 rpm and 72.6 lb-ft. 6,500 rpm. The engine is tuned for low- to mid-range performance, with the Z900RS claiming more grunt below 7000 rpm than the Z900.

As it did with the Z900 and Z1000 before it, Kawasaki carefully tuned the Z900RS to produce a specific sound. While the Z900 was designed to deliver a specific intake howl, the focus on the Z900RS is designed to deliver a strong, deep rumble from its megaphone exhaust when idling or moving at low speeds.

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