2019 Kawasaki Z900 Review and Test Ride

 

Written by The Duke of DC.
Written by The Duke of DC.

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Overview of the 2019 Kawasaki Z900

It’s no surprise that I’m in love with standard or “naked” motorcycles. Their seamless combination of comfort and power makes them the perfect bearer of the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ title. With a hooligan following, unique and aggressive styling, and more than enough power to get you into trouble, the 2019 Kawasaki Z900 is the naked bike no one knows about, but everyone should own. Long gone are the days of European brands dominating the SuperNaked category, with new and improved updates finally trickling down from Kawasaki’s supersport variety into the Z900. And might I mention it’s at a bargain barrel price?
 
Watch my full ride and review here:

 

The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 Top Speed, Engine, and HP

The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 boasts a spirited 948cc 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled engine, producing 123 horsepower @ 9500 rpm and 73.1 lb-ft of torque @ 7,700 rpm. Those numbers aren’t joking around. On my test ride, one thing became abundantly clear: The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 isn’t pulling punches. With power figures like that and a price tag that’s thousands less than comparable Euro bikes, you’d be counting your hundreds and wheely-ing the entire way back from the bank. That 123 horsepower can take you all the way up to an estimated top speed of 135 miles per hour, which may sound low for a bike with this much power, but trust me anything above 120mph on a fairingless motorcycles feels like the speed of light.
Kawasaki Z900 Review 1
 

2019 Kawasaki Z900 Price

The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 Base has a starting MSRP of $8,399 and the Z900 ABS will run you an additional $400, starting at $8,799 for the antilock braking system. The Kawasaki Z650, another similar naked bike, clocks in at a little lower price point with a starting MSRP of $6,999. For reference, another naked bike I’ve reviewed, the Yamaha MT-07, has an MSRP of $7,599, putting the Kawa at a slightly higher price, but still competitive.
 


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The Kawasaki Z900 Specs, Transmission, Tech, and Features

Where the Kawi stands tall in the displacement and power categories, it’s no surprise that it needs to focus savings in another category – in this case, specs, or lack thereof. The bike is noticeably missing rider modes, adjustable traction control, and any rider safety aids aside from the ever-present anti-lock brake (ABS) system. I will give the Z900 props for a very pleasant suspension setup. Consisting of 41mm inverted forks with rebound/spring adjustability, and 4.7 inches of travel in the front and horizontal back-link, rebound/spring adjustable, and 5.5 inches of travel in the rear. Feel was sporty yet forgiving, and with proper adjustment to the rider’s weight, you and your bike would be two peas in a pod.
 
Something that can’t go unnoticed on the Z900 is what Kawasaki is calling Z styling. With more aggressive lines, exposed trellis frame, LED tail and brake lighting, and a stacked instrument cluster, you start to see the makings of a true beast. If the Superduke is a wasp, then the Z900 is clearly the green hornet.
 

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The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 Seat Height, Weight, and MPG

Kawasaki Z900 Review 2

Ergonomics

1: an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely
 
It’s important that you know what the above word really means because the engineers at Kawasaki certainly do. See, the reality of creating a truly ergonomic motorcycle is a science. With research and development resources being put towards designing a motorcycle that is seemingly one-size-fits-all, for an audience couldn’t be further from that reality. Distance to the handlebars, angle of the knee to the footpegs, location, and height of the seat all come together on the Z900 in perfect unison. With a 31.3-inch seat height, yet narrow chassis in the midsection, I was able to get my feet down comfortably and maneuver the 463.1 lb curb weight with ease.
 
Equally important to the ergos and comfort of a bike these days is efficiency because let’s be honest, no bike is cool when it’s run out of gas on the side of the highway. The 2019 Kawasaki Z900 makes an estimated 40 miles per gallon with a tank capacity of 4.5 gallons, giving you a maximum 180 miles of range – which compares nicely with similarly displaced SuperNaked in the class.
 

Final Say

I’ve been known to break things down rather bluntly in the “Final Say” and today will be no different. I truly enjoyed my ride on the 2019 Kawasaki Z900, from the spooling power of the inline 4-cylinder to the comfortable seating position, and I truly think that more people need to know that this is an option in the SuperNaked class. Something I’m hoping my review video and this article will address. All that being said, I think that Kawasaki could increase the price of this motorcycle to just under $10k and update the display to a TFT, put name-brand suspension components, and have adjustable rider modes and traction control, and with all those things they would have a class-leading motorcycle. But who am I to judge? You need to get out to your local Kawasaki dealership and take this thing for a spin yourself.
 

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About the Duke of DC

You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.
 

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