2020 Kawasaki Z900 ABS First Look

Supersport superstar gets ride modes, traction control, and more.

Kawasaki’s 2020 super-naked
The Z900 returns to Kawasaki’s 2020 super-naked lineup with some more-than-minor updates and improvements. Traction control at last!Kawasaki Motors Corp.

If the Kawasaki Z900 was rakish and aggressive before (our words), it's downright belligerent for 2020. That's taking visual cues into account anyway, which Kawasaki has done with its big supersport naked—it calls the bike a supernaked, naturally—by giving it a healthier dose of that "Sugomi" styling it's always going on about. Transformers-like appearance aside, the Z900 ABS does get quite a few updates for 2020, which includes lighting, a boost in electronics features, the addition of a full-color display, and some tweaks to the frame and suspension. Mechanically, the inline-four engine has been left relatively unchanged, but you know what they say about it not being broke…

2020 Kawasaki Z900
Revisions this year include, uh, “sharper styling,” a new full-color display, and LED lighting all around. The frame is also strengthened and suspension settings improved.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z900 ABS Overview

At first glance, you can pick up the edgier lines, the 2020 Kawasaki Z900 looks a bit more crouched with a low-positioned head and upswept tail. New shrouds, fuel tank cover, under-cowls, and the silver swingarm pivot cover are all more compact, tightening the overall look. A new compact LED headlamp contributes to the menacing vibe, consisting of LED position lamps to give it a distinct look from other Z models, and sharper edges for a more dynamic frame. LEDs are also used in the position lamps, taillight, and license plate lamp, while the turn signals feature bulb-type lighting. The 948cc inline four-cylinder engine is unchanged, but a lot of the other components and systems surrounding and working with it are heavily revised.

electronics suite
A new electronics suite includes three-level traction control (KRTC), two power modes, and ride modes Road, Sport, and Rain.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z900 ABS Electronics Suite Overview

Chief among those is the all-new rider’s electronics suite which beefs up capability and adjustability with the addition of the new Kawasaki Traction Control (KTC) along with integrated riding and power mode. The traction control has three modes, each one offering more intervention than the last, and the system can be turned off completely as well.

Power modes come in two options: Full Power or Low Power, which set power delivery to suit preference and conditions. Low Power mode limits output to approximately 55 percent of Full Power and uses a milder throttle response, though the effect varies according to engine speed and throttle position.

You can also choose an all-inclusive mode to link KTRC and Power Modes to suit a given riding situation in one setting. Three settings are available: Sport, Road, or Rain. The Sport setting obviously gives you minimal intrusion, the Road setting is the best balance for a wide range of situations, while Rain offers better control on low-traction surfaces.

4.3-inch TFT color screen
Like its smaller Z650 brother, the 900 gets a new color 4.3-inch TFT color screen that includes a digital speedometer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, odometer, dual tripmeters, and more. There’s also (finally) Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z900 ABS Color Display Overview

Like its smaller brother the Z650, the Z900 benefits from a new multifunction color TFT display with a selectable background to replace the previous gauges. The new 4.3-inch screen has a digital speedometer, digital tachometer, gear indicator, shift lamp, fuel gauge, odometer, dual tripmeters, current and average fuel consumption, remaining range, average speed, and more. Another feature is Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone, which also shows some features on the display. An app allows you to access a number of functions including vehicle info, record your route, or share info with others. Telephone notifications can also be set to appear on the dash when a call or mail is received.

Bluetooth access
You can pair your smartphone via Bluetooth and access other connected functions via an app, say, to share info and get updates.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Z900 Chassis And Suspension Overview

The Z900 also got some tweaks down below, with the high-tensile-steel, twin-spar, trellis frame getting revisions to add strength to the swingarm pivot area. The new frame was designed to have the fewest bends possible, to better disperse stress and to keep weight to a minimum.

The engine is rigid-mounted in five points, while the twin-tube-type rear frame contributes to the bike’s low seat height. Up front are a pair of 41mm inverted forks featuring stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability; fork settings were updated to match the new frame. The rear shock is also adjustable, and its settings too were updated to match the new frame. The Z900’s final upgrade is to the contact patches, with the bike receiving new Dunlop Sportmax RoadSport 2 tires over the stylish star-pattern five-spoke wheels.

swingarm pivot area
The Z900 also receives a new frame with a strengthened swingarm pivot area. The front and rear suspension were updated to match the frame.Kawasaki Motors Corp.
Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver
The 2020 Z900 ABS in Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z900 Price And Colors

The Z900 ABS is available in available in two colors: Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Spark Black, and Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver.

LED headlamp
An LED headlamp improves illumination while sharpening the look.Kawasaki Motors Corp.
Dunlop Sportmax RoadSport 2
New Dunlop Sportmax RoadSport 2 tires on the Kawasaki Z900.Kawasaki Motors Corp.

MSRP is $8,999 for the Metallic Graphite Gray/Metallic Spark Black, and $9,299 for the Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver.