Kawasaki has another retro take on its Z900 naked bike, this time coming in café racer form with the Z900RS Cafe. The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe, which was released today at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, follows the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS, a more standard, yet still retro naked bike unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last month.
This new Z900RS Cafe shares the same Z900-based inline-four engine and steel-trellis frame as the Z900RS, which makes a claimed peak power output of 111 hp (down from 125 hp on the Z900 thanks to being retuned for midrange power).
Also like the Z900RS, the Z900RS Cafe will get traction control and a slipper clutch.
Kawasaki released more details on how both this and the Z900RS are different from the Z900 on which they’re based. While similar, the frames of the two new bikes are slightly different in that the upper rails are slightly closer together to better fit the shape of the new tank. It’s also raised slightly at the front and lowered at the rear (again, compared to the Z900), and the triple clamps have been revised to sharpen steering through shortening the trail.
Think of the Z900RS Cafe as the Triumph Thruxton to the Z900RS’s Triumph Bonneville. Or, more accurately, that they’re like the previous iteration of the Thruxton and Bonneville as the new generation of the Triumphs actually share far less than they used to.
The Z900RS Cafe is essentially the Z900RS but with a bullet fairing, humped seat, and different bars. As with those initial Triumphs, the purpose being to offer you a new bike in a few flavors to better reach an audience with more specific aesthetic requirements.
Kawasaki Motors Europe Director Morihiro Ikoma had this to say: “We were delighted at the worldwide acclaim for the Z900RS when it was launched just a few weeks ago. The Z900RS Cafe widens the appeal of the new RS offering and personifies the True Spirit model tagline. Kawasaki took its time to enter the modern classic scene but the wait was worthwhile. The Z900RS Cafe and Z900RS have a unique heritage and an authenticity that sets them apart as the genuine article."
No word yet on official pricing or whether this will be available as a US model, but stay tuned for details as we find them.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our coverage of all the new motorcycles released at EICMA this year!