Kawasaki will return to the lucrative retro market when it unveils the new Z900RS at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.
The Japanese giant has launched a teaser video to trail the new model and while there are no technical details or clear images of the bike (how did they manage to get those barriers in the way!) the end slate does confirm the Z900RS name and an unveiling in Tokyo on October 25.
What the video does show is a clear link to the iconic Z1 of 1972. The original bike is featured in the film, with the new model appearing to echo the orange livery of the Seventies bike.
Mechanically we can expect the RS to be based heavily on the modern Z900, which itself was a new model for 2017. In addition to the paintwork, the RS looks to have a more elegant and classic design than the aggressive Z900. Twin clocks are clearly visible on the teaser video, replacing the single LCD version that is specified on the base model, and there’s a mix of classic and futuristic touches throughout. Overall, despite the old fashioned looks, the Z900RS will be a thoroughly modern motorcycle. LED headlights, modern wheels and tyres and the obligatory ABS brakes should mean that the Z900RS gives a 21st century riding experience.
Kawasaki hasn’t given any specifications yet but we would expect the 948cc four-cylinder motor to get a bit of a retune, knocking off some of the 123bhp top end for some bottom range usability, and the 1972 look is most likely to be completed with a replica of the original Z1’s snaking chrome four-into-two-into-four exhaust system and all new bodywork.
Kawasaki dropped out of the retro market at the end of last year, when the vintage styled W800 was phased out. Where the twin-cylinder W series echoed the old British twins for the 1960s, the Z900RS pays homage to Kawasaki’s golden era and a bike that still has a huge following today.
Expect to see full details announced in the coming weeks, with the bike almost certain to make it’s UK debut at November’s Motorcycle Live.
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