While we expected it to be launched at Auto Expo 2018, India Kawasaki Motor has silently introduced the Z900RS naked motorcycle. The bike is priced at ₹ 15.30 lakh (ex-showroom), which is much higher than expected and puts the bike quite literally in a league of its own. The new Z900RS borrows its underpinnings with the Z900, while the styling gets a retro touch taken from the bikes of the 1970s. In fact, Kawasaki says the Z900RS has been conceived as an homage to the iconic Kawasaki Z1.
Speaking of visible changes, the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS gets a redesigned fuel tank, which needed changes to the Trellis frame as well. The overall design theme remains retro mixed with modern elements like the round LED headlamp, dual analog-style speedometer and tachometer dials with a multi-function LCD screen in the middle. The riding position is a lot more relaxed as well with the handlebar being 30 mm wider, 65 mm taller and is 35mm closer to the rider. The foot pegs have also been shifted 20 mm lower and forward to support a more upright riding position, quite similar to the bikes from the '70s.
Power on the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS comes from the 900 cc in-line, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine. This is the same motor as the Z900 but has been tuned to produce more power at lower engine speeds. Power output has been revised over the Z900 and the RS makes 109 bhp at 8500 rpm and 98.5 Nm of peak torque at 6500 rpm. The motor comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox with the first gear shorter, while the sixth gear is taller to make it more highway friendly.
The bike uses 41mm inverted forks in the front and gas-charged shock absorbers at the rear. Both units are fully adjustable at both ends. Braking performance comes from Brembo sourced 300 mm dual-floating front discs and a single 250 petal disc at the rear. The motorcycle gets KRTC (Kawasaki Traction Control) and ABS as part of the standard kit.
The Kawasaki Z900RS has been introduced with a steep price tag, which comes courtesy of the high taxes on Completely Built Units (CBUs), since the bike is directly imported from Japan. The motorcycle competes against the Triumph T120 and Thruxton R, both of which are significantly cheaper.