How Much Power Does the 2020 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe Make?

Horsepower and torque figures on Kawasaki’s modern cafe racer

The 2020 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe hearkens back to the glory days of superbike racing, while equipped with Team Green’s modern-day technology. And if I may say so, it looks epic.

Team Green’s retro-modern is powered by an engine that is heavily based on the manufacturer’s Z900 sport naked model, but has been retuned for a more approachable engine character with strong low-to-midrange power. Both the Z900RS and faired Z900RS Cafe models see modified cam profiles with shorter intake and exhaust durations and a lower 10.8:1 (from 11.8:1) compression ratio. It also uses a crankshaft that is claimed to be 12 percent heavier, contributing to a smooth engine character.

And if you question Kawasaki’s visual intent, take note of the well-incorporated fins on the cylinder head and engine covers inspired by the legendary air-cooled Z1. Kudos, Team Green.

2020 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe dynoRobert Martin

Prior to an upcoming comparison test, we measured the Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe’s power output on our in-house Dynojet 250i dyno. Peak numbers measured 94.65 hp at 8,590 rpm and 63.51 pound-feet of torque at 6,040 rpm, which is significantly lower than the naked Z900′s 113.96 hp and 67.30 pound-feet of torque that we last measured. But take note of the RS Cafe’s linear power delivery and relatively flat torque curve, which translates to a rider-friendly delivery on the open road.

It’s smooth sailing for the Z900RS Cafe.