Retro Or Not(Ro)? Kawasaki Z900RS Vs. Suzuki GSX-S1000Z

They’re both Open-class Japanese transverse inline four-cylinder standard bikes, a pair of motorcycles that have followed that divinely ordained orthodoxy since Saint Soichiro carried the streetbike tablets down from Mount Fuji nearly 50 years ago. One of them wants to transport you all the way back to relive that era; the other wants to take you back only ten years with its 2005 GSX-R-derived long-stroke engine. Many MO readers (and some MOwriters) have already pledged their undying love for the Kawasaki Z900RS, and all of us agree the Suzuki GSX-S1000Z is no slouch. In fact, if horsepower is your measuring stick, the Suzuki buries the retro Kawasaki – but you have to work for it a bit more. Our question becomes, then, just how much performance are you giving up if you go retro, and is it worth it in the real world?

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