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.
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.