Thursday, November 10, 2016

2017 Kawasaki Z900 unveiled at the EICMA

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It has a chassis that's completely different from what you'd find on a Kawasaki Z1000 or Z800. But how exactly does the new Z900 fit into Kawasaki's scheme of things...?

Kawasaki have unveiled an all-new supernaked - the Z900 - at the EICMA, in Milan. "Like many legendary Kawasaki 900cc-class inline-four four machines (Z1, GPz900R, Ninja ZX-9R), the Z900’s package delivers a sublime balance of power and handling – ideal for a supernaked model," says a press note from Kawasaki. The bike is powered by a new Euro 4-compliant DOHC 16-valve liquid-cooled fuel-injected 948cc inline-four, which produces 125 horsepower and 99Nm of torque. With its new steel-tube trellis frame, the Z900 weighs 210 kilos and with wide, flat handlebars and relaxed (yet sporty..) riding position, offers all day riding comfort.

The 2017 Z900 features Kawasaki's 'Sugomi' styling cues, multi-function LCD instrument panel, LED taillamp, slipper clutch and three riding modes. Kawasaki have paid a great deal of attention to weight reduction in building the Z900's engine, which has been designed to rev up as quickly as possible, offering high-rpm thrills aplenty. The steel tube trellis frame, which weighs just 13.5 kilos, features lines that are as straight as possible. "Where bends in the chassis were necessary, their angles were made as small as possible, resulting in a design that disperses stress extremely well," claim Kawasaki. Rigid-mounted at five points, the engine is used as a stressed member. A 41mm inverted fork at the front and monoshock at the back (both adjustable for preload and rebound damping) comprise the Z900's suspension, which has been optimised for sporty performance on the street. The Z900 is fitted with twin 300mm petal-type brake discs at front, with 4-piston calipers, and a single 250mm disc at the back, with Nissin ABS.

The Kawasaki Z900 seems to be a bit of a mystery to us. Where does this fit in, in Kawasaki's scheme of things? Will the Z900 replace the Z800 (no such announcement has been made, as far as we know..), or is a milder, lower-cost alternative to the Z1000? The Z900's steel-tube trellis frame is the kind of thing that Kawasaki have used on the supercharged H2/H2R in the recent past, so can we expect to see a supercharged Z900 at some point in the future? Guess we'll have to just wait and watch...

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