Kawasaki Z900RS Official Thread

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by quint7, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. workerB

    workerB Running shoes NG Supporter

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    Dunno if any of youuns would want to make the drive, but the local Indian/Kawasaki dealer in Parkersburg, WV allows test rides on their new Kawasakis, as long as you have motorcycle license. I have no connection or affiliation, just stopped in the other day dreaming about a new bike. They've a 900rs cafe.
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  2. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    I had a deposit on my 2018 before most dealers knew what a Z900RS was. No ride necessary - I was sold when I saw the first picture, and it has lived up to my expectations.
  3. treybrad

    treybrad Been here awhile

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    This is exactly what I'd recommend, and I've done many times. The dealers around me will not allow test rides on new bikes, period (though I did score a test ride on a new CB1000R somehow). However, they're pretty flexible and willing to let you ride just about anything in the used fleet.

    I managed to get test rides on a used GSX-S1000, VFR800, Guzzi V7iii, Z900RS (non-cafe) and a few others when cross shopping before I bought my Cafe. If you can go in or schedule the rides during the off-peak times I bet they'll toss you the keys to just about anything you want to ride.

    Good luck!
  4. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    I've tried several bikes that appeared perfect on paper only to find them completely lacking when finally ridden.
  5. dancingweasel

    dancingweasel Virtual Tourist

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    Yes, been there so many times. You just never can tell. Test rides are essential.
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  6. PAULIBIKER

    PAULIBIKER Long timer

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    Yep, hated bikes I thought I would love(SV1000, Triumph Scrambler) and loved bikes I thought I would hate (Honda 919, Vstar 950).
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  7. HodadBiker

    HodadBiker Adventurer

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    You can trust us on this one, didn’t get my used Z900RS out of 2nd gear or over 25mph before stuffing hundred dollar bills in sellers pocket, my favorite bike of the 14 that I’ve had
    2 GPZs
    2 Honda Hurricane CBR 600s
    1 Honda 900RR
    1 FZR 600
    1 FZR 1000
    1 Honda Goldwing
    4 GSXRs
    1 R1
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  8. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

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    I was all hot on buying an FTR1200 and felt like the Z900RS looked cool, but would I like it? I got to demo both of them on the same day and left feeling pretty meh on the FTR and absolutely in love with the Z900RS. I got off and immediately told my buddy, "I'm buying one".
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  9. OSUgasman

    OSUgasman Been here awhile

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    For all the Z900RS fanboys, did you cross shop it with the Triumph Bonneville? These are both on my short list for 2 up casual cruising. Love the looks of both. Will test ride the bonne (rode one for about a week last year and wanted to keep it--STR765RS in shop for wiring issue), and really want to test ride the Z900RS. My first bike was an '88 Ninja 600. Great bike.

    Just curious if anyone else compared this bike to the Bonne.

    Thanks, Brian
  10. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

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    I like the Bonnevilles and wouldn't mind owning one but I already have a Tiger. I kinda just don't want two Triumphs right now.
  11. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    I find that the Z900RS is more closely matched to the Speed Twin, especially with the newest upgraded version of that Triumph.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  12. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior Supporter

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    I have an air cooled 900cc Thruxton and the Z900rs. The Kawi is a hot rod, not a casual cruiser. The 2 are not in the same relm. If you are looking at the speed twinn, it will be pretty close to the Kawi, but still down on power.
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  13. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    No comparison to most of the Bonneville line up...Speed Twin comes the closest, but even then, not real close. Fully adjustable suspenders on both ends are a BIG plus for me & mono shock rear is a bigger plus on the Kawi. Over the course of 55 years I've owned every single engine configuration in motorcycling except the triple. IMO...Japanese I4s are the most reliable, smoothest, & most powerful out there. I haven't seen any performance comparisons between the two, but I'd be amazed if the RS 900 weren't both quicker & faster, & also more nimble around a track.
  14. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    :lol3
    See sig.
    Other than the name on the tank they couldn't be less similar.
  15. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

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    I fully understand they aren't similar bikes, I just have other reasons for not wanting multiples of the same brand in my garage right now. Not the least of which is the closest Triumph dealer support being 100 miles away from me. I took it to the dealer once and it was a huge pain in the ass.
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  16. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

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    I own both, a '16 Bonnie T120 and a '19 Z900RS.

    They are both excellent bikes and extremely different to ride, which is why I have both. The one thing lacking on the T120 is the stock suspension is marginal, especially compared to the Z900RS. I have upgraded the rear shocks to Ohlins and put Matris fork cartridges in mine, big improvement. I have upgraded the rear shock on the Z900RS to a HyperPro fully adjustable, but the stock shock isn't too bad, especially if you mostly ride solo.

    As far as engines go, they are both very good but polar opposites, the Bonnie is all about low-mid range torque, LOTS of it, and the Kawi has good torque for a 4 cyl and better top end. Both are quite smooth running and have good clutches and trans shifting. I'd rate the brakes pretty similar.

    The Z900RS is a LOT lighter than the Bonnie, I'd estimate at least 75 lbs if not a little more. The latest Bonnie has alloy rims which should help, the steel rimmed wheels on mine are boat anchors, especially the front with stock brake rotors. I replaced the rotors with the lighter floating Brembo ones from the Thruxton and saved 3 lbs on the front wheel, not kidding. I am planning to have mine relaced with alloy rims shortly and hopefully tape them for tubeless.

    I regeared both bikes, adding a tooth to the front on the Kawi and adding 2 teeth on the rear for the Bonnie.

    The stock seat on the Z900RS is better, I upgraded to the Triumph "comfort" seat and that's what should have been on there stock, now they are about equal. Ergos are a preference thing, I'd say they are a little better stock on the Kawi as the footpegs on the Bonnie are in a odd kinda forward position. I've changed the pegs on mine.

    I think attention to detail and finish is about the same for both, the Z offers a helmet lock std, still can't figure out why all bikes don't have one, but the Bonnie comes with a center stand and heated grips stock.

    I think in conclusion much of it will be about how you prefer your engine / power delivery to be and your feelings about weight. I'm glad I have both as they make for excellent contrasting rides depending on your mood.
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  17. HodadBiker

    HodadBiker Adventurer

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    Only shopped them on paper. IMHO the late model Thruxton 1200R is the only Triumph in the same league as z900rs, horsepower, suspension, fit and finish.

    2016-2000 Thruxton 1200 97 HP

    2020 Triumph Speed Twin 91

    2019 Triumph Bonneville 1200 80
  18. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    I want the power delivery of the Triumph with the weight and distribution of it that the Kawi has.
  19. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    You are mixing claimed horsepower with rear wheel hp.

    T120 Bonneville claimed 79-80 hp (depends on the source) - dyno'd at 71.8 by Cycle World
    '20 Speed Twin claimed 96 hp - dyno'd at 91.4 by Cycle World
    '21 Speed Twin 98 claimed hp
    Thruxton R was 96 claimed, Thruxton RS 103 claimed hp

    Z900RS claimed 110 hp, dyno'd at 95 hp by the same Cycle World dyno

    Since dynometers vary, I only quoted spec from the same source. Most results I've seen elsewhere show the stock Z900RS around 99-100 hp.

    The claimed wet weight of the standard 900RS is 472 pounds (+2 for the Cafe).
    The measured wet weight for the Speed Twin was 476 pounds.

    Pretty similar to me. :D

    Edit to add.
    Speed Twin rear wheel torque - 79.6 lb/ft @3500 rpm
    Z900RS rear wheel torque - 63.5 lb/ft @ 6,000 rpm
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  20. HodadBiker

    HodadBiker Adventurer

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    I get the claimed part, best to start out with as many claimed HP as possible, they only go down, especially California models, not to mention beach city cops carry decibel meters

    I never owned a Triumph but love the look of their bikes,
    the Thruxton R was the first model that made me want a cafe style bike,
    Speed Twin is also a beautiful bike, for my riding and aesthetic preferences seems like it needs better suspension and lower bars.
    Also never having owned a British or Euro bike was concerned about reliability, maintenance costs and availability but to be honest there are way less Japanese bike dealerships since my last bike 16 years ago.

    This z900rs will not be my last bike but I have to say compared to the 2 Kawasaki’s I had in the 80s 1982 GPZ 550 and a 1984 GPZ 750, this new Kawasaki has really impressed me, it’s refined, smooth and powerful, I was expecting it and all Kawasaki’s to be raw, loud and a bit more klunky. The 11 rice rockets that I owned after the 80’s were not Kawasaki’s, back in the 90s and early 2000s, we thought of Kawasaki’s 4th tier out of the big four Japanese bike manufacturers, big, long, heavy 1/4 mile machines.
    Anyway I’m hooked on motorcycles again and appreciate hearing all about Triumph ownership experience, good, bad and the ugly.
    Would love to get real motorcycle guy input on the inexpensive ones I could actually afford to add right now, like the 2010 era Bonneville/Thruxton 900s
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