KAWASAKI Z900 (2017 - 2019) Review
- Kawa ushers in decent improvements to mid-size naked
- A2 licence friendly version on offer
- Great base for customisation
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Welcome to the Kawasaki Z900 review - the successor to Z800 ‘intermediate naked’ is now Euro4 compliant and probably 10% better all round – more powerful, lighter and better finished and equipped (although it conspicuously shuns electronic rider aids).
For Kawa power four fans that’ll probably be enough. For the rest of us, this class is now closer than ever to call. A new version of the Kawsaki Z900 was released in 2020.
Kawasaki Z900 can be A2 compliant
The bike was then eligible to receive a reversible update to the ECU that restricted the machine to 35kW – bringing it in line with the maximum required for A2 licence holders.
Riders can get the restriction done at any authorised Kawasaki dealership and the process of having the ECU updated doesn’t take long at all.
“Soon after the Z900 was launched we began work on an A2 compliant version” said Morihiro Ikoma, Director of Kawasaki Motors Europe. “The design brief from potential customers and dealers was a unified voice; keep the look, soul and ethos of the Z900 and create an A2 compliant version to open the world of Refined Raw Z to yet more enthusiastic riders.”
Japan Legends turns Z900 into ZXR900
In July 2019 Spanish firm Japan Legends announced a kit to turn your Z900 into retro-inspired ZXR900.
A nod to the 1989 ZXR750 H1, which celebrated its 30th birthday in 2019, the kit uses a twin headlight fairing, seat unit, belly pan and tank covers to give Kawasaki’s naked 900 a truly retro makeover and arguably looks much cooler than even the factory 'Café' model.
First shown at the Eicma motorcycle trade show, in Milan, last year, the company is now taking reservations on the kit, but there’s no word yet on price yet. Those interested should email: email@example.com
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
New H2R-inspired tubular steel frame helps shed weight dramatically but compared to rivals like the Triumph Street Triple and Yamaha MT-09 the Kawa is still a solid, hefty machine. Steering is lighter and sharper and suspension, with preload/rebound adjustable forks, is reasonable making it nimble enough for most. But pushed hard this remains one of the larger and heavier of ‘intermediate nakeds’.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Euro4 and quest for improvement means old 803cc four is replaced by sleeved-down unit from bigger Z1000. The result is 948cc with a hefty boost in power and torque. It’s a doddle to use, smooth and grunty and, above 6000rpm, thanks to the acoustically tuned airbox, howls like any streetfighter should.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Kawasakis have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years in this respect, most conspicuously with their pleasing use of different finishes and textures – the raised Kawasaki tank badge and crocodile skin effect seat finish are two examples here. As regards reliability, it’s too early to call save that the engine, based on that of the Z1000, is in a fairly soft state of tune and lartely proven, so we’ve little to fear.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Z900 was £8249 – £350 up on the old Z800. We’re not saying it’s not worth that and you do get a lot of improved bike for your money, but this class is hotting up to one of the most competitive of all with most rivals, albeit ones with fewer cylinder and a less quality finish and details, significantly less.
Although the trend for electronics rider aids has, here, been conspicuously shunned by Kawasaki (the Z900 only comes with the compulsory ABS, possible to help differentiateit from its Z1000 bigger brother and keep it cheaper, too), in most other respects it’s well-equipped with decent clocks, adjustable suspension, span adjustable levers and neat detailing.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled transverse four.|
|Frame type||Tubular steel.|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Inverted 41mm forks, preload and rebound damping adjustable.|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, adjustable spring preload.|
|Front brake||2x300mm petal discs four-piston calipers, ABS .|
|Rear brake||250mm petal disc, single-piston caliper. ABS .|
|Front tyre size||120/70x17.|
|Rear tyre size||180/55x17.|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||50 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£180|
|Used price||£6,000 - £8,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||2 years unlimited|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||123 bhp|
|Max torque||72.7 ft-lb|
|Top speed||145 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
Other Kawasaki Z model reviews
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2007-2009)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2004-2006)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z125 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z250SL review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z300 review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z400 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z650 review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2007-2012)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2003-2006)
- Kawasaki Z750R review (2011-2012)
- Kawasaki Z800 review (2013-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS Café review (2018-on)
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI Z900 (2017 - 2019)
15 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z900 (2017 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Annual servicing cost: £80
It's a brilliant bike, easy to ride quickly or just to potter around at 26mph in top gear...
The only real drawback is the woefully poor pillion seat and nothing for the poor pillion to hold on to other than the rider...not ideal.
The engine is so useable it's unreal. Shed loads of power for when you want to grin like a loony.. Also, if you want to pootle around at 26mph in TOP gear, it will do it with no fuss at all and it will pull away smoothly without any problems.
Much improved build quality from when I were a lad
I do all my own servicing. This is made easier due to the bike being well designed.
Not many toys at all as standard.. intact none at all. I'd definitely recommend getting a flyscreen if you plan on traveling at more than 70mph.....
Buying experience: Bought on a PCP contract from J&S at Doncaster... Cost new £8499.00. Part ex'd my 2007 z750 (another good bike,but much heavier than my 900)
The bike itself is awesome... The only real down side is the seat for the pillion... It's no more than an odd shaped, hard, uncomfortable pad. My better half won't even consider being a passenger...
The seat does give me a bit of "numb bum" after a couple of hours riding.
The engine is phenomenal... I can leave it in 6th gear and potter about at 26mph...and then when I wind on the throttle, off we go with no fuss or drama... Or I can drop a gear or three and be off like a rocket..
Build quality is very good indeed..way better than they used to be when I were a lad
I do my own servicing, so it's just cost of oil and filters so far...and I don't use cheap rubbish.
A bigger standard fly screen would be nice...but there are plenty of after market ones available.
Buying experience: From a dealer, brand spanking new..
Effortless performance; smoothness; comfort; handling; clutch and gearchange; styling. Impractical pillion seat.
Ride quality & brakes excellent. Great road bike. My average ride is about 1.5 to 2 hours. Comfort is fine. Would be a good tourer, with luggage. Solo only.
Smooth, effortless, torque and power
Build, fit and finish really good. Better than my Yamaha mt09 Tracer (previous bike), as good as my Triumph Street Triple 765 (before that) Totally reliable.
Servicing costs not yet known. 52 mpg over 10 months.
I have only made cosmetic/styling changes. Bike is still on OE tyres. I have no complaints but many reviews recommend upgrade rubber. Low seat height is lovely. Both feet flat.
Buying experience: Dealer purchase, part exchanged mt09 Tracer. Happy with deal overall.
Makes me feel good
Fade when used heavily
Power where it’s needed, low down in the Rev range.
Nothing to complain about
I’d feel more relaxed with an alarm as standard.
Annual servicing cost: £150
This bike can do it all. Add a screen and Shad luggage and you can tour on it. I've taken mine through Spain and around Morocco. Better suited to short riders. Totally reliable and on tour will give 60 mpg
Suspension ok. Brakes a little numb with lack of initial bite. Changing pads to EBC should solve this. Throw away the tyres and get Michelin Road5s
Beautifully smooth progressive power delivery. So easy to ride in the wet.The power is all there when you need it.
No traction control..
Buying experience: Dealer. Ok.
Annual servicing cost: £200
The bike looks good in green,don't get me wrong,it's an eye catcher when is sunshining. Riding position it's good,the seat is comfortable for a short journey,for a longer one or every day commuting you need a different one . Doesn't matter what weather it is hot or cold the bike is running very hot the fans are constantly on,even on a traffic lights I'm turning off the engine as temperature gauge goes max- the dealer said it's ok - normal. Their is also very annoying ticking noise from the engine-the dealer said it's ok. Probably every one will ask me why I bought the bike? Because it was cheaper than the bikes which I was looking and it had 0% finance over 3 years ,compare to the others and I wanted a new bike. If you got one and trying to part exchange it the dealers will give you peanuts for it as the model Z900 is not very popular. Example mine is on 19 plate ,with 2500 on the clock, good condition and as a part exchange the dealer is offering me £5000 and a Honda cbr 2005 with 20000 on the clock is £4000?!? It makes you wonder.
Not sure when it's bests, sometimes I've got a feeling at 60-70 mph that the engine will blow. As for the pillion seat it's almost non existent,and the pillion must be really fit to get on the bike and feel comfortable,but every 20 miles it needs a break and at the end of the journey a massage.
The performance delivery is great I can't complain. The clutch is soft but sometimes feels a bit funny,like it's slipping slightly. If you are in neutral and want to engage first gear their is always a banging noise, again the dealer said it's normal..
Feels a bit cheep,sometimes there is a bit of steam in the headlights. The colour started to fade a bit,a bit rust on the caliper bolts,sum plug bolt lost its coating. Other than that so far good.
Annual service is a rip off if you compare it to a car. Last 2 services I paid 200 which is basically just an oil change- oil filter,oil and sump washer . And just general checks.
I like to keep my bikes standard. There are a lot of after market parts but haven't put any. Just fitted a new tyre as I had a big nail .
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer brand new. During my purchase as I waited my bike to be delivered,the dealer wasn't keen to keep me updated for the delivery but was too late me to cancel the deal as I left a deposit ,but we live and learn.
Version: ZR 900 BJ
Annual servicing cost: £125
This is my bike I like it, yes I recommend
in the bends the bike easy to throw around and rewarding Never taken a pillion Brakes are great.
125 b h p on tap strong engine pulls well (I Like it)
No corrosion as yet Build quality good No brake down no failed parts
Running costs average
as standard looks good With tail tidy bar mount mirrors fender extender crash bungs and hot grips it now looks cool
Buying experience: Dealer had a good deal
I would recommend
A decent all-round bike would take a break hourly
nice smooth power good performance when needed
Build quality good nice paint job no corrosion found has not broken down as yet
Running cost average
Looks ABS Slip assist clutch Recommend bar mirrors seat cowl heated grips crash bungs fender extender
Buying experience: Dealer £8300 £7300
Annual servicing cost: £200
Can’t fault this bike at all! Solid build, awesome engine, jaw dropping power with super smooth delivery, comfortable, great riding position, sounds beaut, looks like a Decepticon on steroids (gets some looks) excellent brakes and pretty good mpg (unless you thrash it) sticks to the road like it’s on rails and eats the corners like nothing I’ve ever ridden. Love it.
Excellent ride! This bike is comfortable all round, city, street and motorway. Seat is a bit hard but don’t really notice it due to the ergonomic riding position. No stress on wrists, arms, back or legs at all. The most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden! Do feel a few more bumps at higher speeds (as do all bikes) but suspension is plush. Brakes (Nissan) are awesome. Smooth and confidence building. Can easily come to a stop from 80mph within 100yds.
Awesome engine... nuff said. Torque all throughout the rev range. Can be riding at 40mph in 6th gear, hit that throttle, and it just glides beautifully. 2nd gear, hit the throttle to red line and your in light speed. Brutal power, but totally manageable (perfect amount of scary) :) and yes... it’s very fast.
Solid bike with good build quality, my 2017 ZR900 has only done 1,500 miles so still early days but hasn’t missed a beat yet. Everything is solid where it should be and hardly any play or flexing on the plastics and faring.
Rough guess from what I’ve reaserched. Not had it serviced yet since purchase due to time owned.
Not much equipment to comment on! Digital speedo needle with printed rev range I like, gear indicator (digital) is always welcome, ABS and that’s about it. No traction control, but with a bike this smooth. Don’t need it at all. And the pass switch (to flash your lights) doesn’t click and flash your high beams quick enough. Have to hold the pass switch up to a second for your high beam to flash properly.
Buying experience: Bought my 2017 ZR900 for £6,600. 2 previous owners with only 1,450 miles on the clock. Paid mostly cash so haggled the price from 6,900 to 6,600. But for a pretty much new, hardly used 2nd hand 2yr old bike in great condition. I’m not complaining!
Super smooth engine and nice gearbox. Only done 100miles sofar But the Chinese made Dunlop tyres are appalling and spin up too easily even in the dry and sub 5000rpm.I didn't want too risk it so got rid.
Can't fault so far but not been on a long run yet but all seems good.
Super smooth with predictable power delivery.
Low quality tyre's!
Should be good as getting over 50mpg on a run keeping too around 70/80.
As previously said the tyre's fitted need changing in my opinion (too hard) Fitted Michelin Pilot Powers .
Buying experience: Got good deal from Colchester Kawasaki on pre reg 2018 model.
Version: Z900 ABS Black
Brilliant overall bike. Really good value for money. Z900 will give you all of the smiles you want and will wheely easily. As with all bikes in that class you will need to learn some self-restraint with the throttle hand. I have ridden the main competitors before buying the Z900 and chose it because it was the best overall. MT09 pulls a little better from low revs but one revs rise the Z900 would be a little faster but to be honest the overall experience counts and as much as I loved the MT09's engine everything else about it wasn't as good as Z900. The GSXS750 I tested was surprisingly smooth and didn't feel like it would be left behind the MT09 or Z900 but was let down by its seat which, for me, is really uncomfortable and I don't think one can fix that with aftermarket options.
For me the Z900 has the best suspension in the class but that is because I like it on the softer side for comfort. It's soft at first and firms up quickly on braking. It's still preload adjustable so if you want to ride faster you can set it up harder easily. The standard seat is firm and I felt my bottom after about an hour in it so might opt for a softer option. Also because you're seated more in the bike than on top of it there is a little less wind than on other naked bikes such as the MT09. MT09 and GSXS750 have noticeably harder suspension as stock.
This is the best bit about the bike. It's very smooth, economical and at the same time more powerful than all of it's rivals. It does produce some vibrations through foot pegs at 4-5k rpm but to be honest most bikes I rode did have some vibrations at some revs.
The reliability is spot on so far but I have only done a couple of hundred miles on it so far, so no problems expected anyway. The reliability is why I would not even consider the Street Triple, Japanese bikes are better in this area and having an older bike in my garage which sometimes needs some work I wanted a bike that will simply work and not spend much time being fixed.
I am just due for the first service so not sure what will the cost be. In the initial run in period I have averaged 53mpg on the first two tanks and the third tank 55mpg. This is at cruising speeds on A and B roads mostly with occasional blast here and there. 50mpg is easily achievable which means I usually fill up after 160 - 180 miles which is amazing and will be handy when going for longer trips.
Still a fairly new bike but there are plenty of accessories to choose from, a wide choice of exhausts, comfier seat, panniers, screens & other bits. As standard bike there is nothing on it as you would expect, so can't say it's got any equipment. One bit I can say is very useful is the under-seat storage, which isn't huge but fits either my disc lock or a mobile phone nicely. The passenger seat is narrow, firm and without any place for a passenger to grab hold off so you are not likely to ride on this bike with your Mrs unless she's been watching 50 Shades of Grey and is up for a rough ride... I would not recommend it for anyone to actually uses the passenger seat.
Buying experience: Overall brilliant experience from Kawasaki dealer and got a great deal on it. I approached different dealers for different bikes and Honda would offer 0% deals but weren't prepared to drop the RRP much and would not accept any credit card payments, Suzuki Dealer would haggle but finance options are pricey but would accept credit cards. I negotiated a good deal with the Kawasaki dealer and was still given the 0% interest which closed the deal for me.
Annual servicing cost: £220
The Z900 is a great bike overall. I was looking for a bike that will be easy to ride but have tons of power to spare and this bike is it.
This engine is just amazing! It has tons of torque and power is available in every gear. The great thing is that its power delivery is very linear and smooth. Nothing like MT09 where you will be surprised/shocked with sudden surge of power.
This bike is made to be ridden in all situations. I can commute and it runs very comfortably, then come the weekend I can go on those A road and open the throttle and it roars like a lion. No problems so far, it just works.
The bike is giving me around 145miles before the range goes down to "---" Its bit annoying because the range counts down to 35miles and then goes blank!
It does not have traction control but this bike is designed so well that you don't ever feel the need for it. It does not have ride modes but I tried MT09 and S1000R and I would never use B modes or A mode because it gets too twitchy so why not have a real bike with real mode!
Buying experience: I bought my bike from DAYTONA Motorcycles in Ruislip. Great people and great service.
Annual servicing cost: £180
Best of both worlds. Street fighter and tourer.
Power to weight ratio is spot on.
It really does not need traction control because the bike is designed really well. I tried MT09 and it just wanted the front wheel to go up. Z900 can go faster and I don't have to worry about losing control.
Buying experience: Daytona Motorcycles are very friendly people and helpful guys. Excellent so far.
Annual servicing cost: £400
Rear tail tidy had to be replaced ,the factory fitted version is ugly. I also swapped the front cover for a larger meter cover,my opinion,.. it looks cooler and those pesky suicide insects stay off your visor . These two items have cost an additional £200, when you spend 8k on a new bike, I guess it is irrelevant. Also added a radiator guard ,I just felt that it needed a bit of protection as it will take the brunt of any projectiles flung at it when you are behind those haulage lorries carrying rubble!
I owned a Kawasaki ER6N before purchasing the Z900, four hours riding the ER6N would leave me feeling tired ,.. I could ride the Z900 all day!!
The engine is very responsive, treat it with respect or slip that clutch at 70 mph and you will find heaven very quickly!!
It's a new bike , I'm running it in to the recommended rpm ratio to gearing , not over heating the engine .
This is an area that I need to address , I am fortunate to have a cheaper option.
I have mentioned the accessories that I have added to the bike,..like the digital gear indicator,..takes away the embarrassment in town centres ,..no more trying to pull away in fifth gear.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer , paid the RRP, but got an additional two years warranty on top of the two years standard warranty.
Annual servicing cost: £80
Super Fun and easy to ride. Will turn heads wherever you go.
Front brake amazing. Rear brake I feel I have to make extra effort for it to really bite.
Very smooth and "torquish". Very short gears so you will find your self kicking the gear pedal 6 times to get to 60mph. Remember I am behaving and not going over 4K rpm. I am a novice and I feel I can handle the throttle and power delivery like I am a pro. The sound is amazing, but it does not scream due to all the regulations this motorcycle has to comply with. I will most definitely add a good Exhaust once the time come.
Nothing to point. Everything is as good as the first day. I am doing things right and not going over 5K rpm for the first 1000 miles. Cant wait to discover where the real power is, above 6K rpm. Truth to be said, I have gone to the red line a couple of times red light to red light. Again, very funny.
I have not done any service yet since it is new. 2 weeks only. Leaving 4 stars and the price they gave me in the dealer
I like pretty much everything, but for long rides, I would go with the optional soft sit. I am pretty skinny and my bottom complains after the first hour. My favorite thing is the engine and the looks.
Buying experience: Dealer. I paid 10K for the ABS out of the door (taxes, insurance, etc).