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Meet The 2017 Kawasaki Z900

Chaparral Motorsports
December 28, 2016

Designed for maximum riding pleasure, the new Kawasaki Z900 mounts a 948cc in-line, 4-cylinder engine into a new, ultra-lightweight, trellis frame. Sugomi is a Japanese word that describes the intense aura and energy of an object that is felt in those viewing it. The new Kawasaki Z900 is designed to evoke the thrill of motorcycling in those who see it up close.

2017 Kawasaki Z900 Highlights:

Sublime balance of power and handling

Exciting 948 cc in-line-four engine

Z-styling (Sugomi inspired)

Adept handling and low seat height

The purposeful choice of a 900cc-class in-line-four was intended to reward the rider with crisp, smooth response and exhilarating acceleration at every twist of the throttle. The engine becomes more exciting the higher the revs climb, its smooth power delivery aids control. The lightweight chassis responds quickly to rider input; the nimble handling lends itself to spirited sports riding. Like many legendary Kawasaki 900cc-class in-line four machines before the Z900 (Z1, Ninja®/GPz900R, Ninja® ZX-9R), the Z900 motorcycle's package delivers a sublime balance of power and handling - ideal for a supernaked model.

The 948cc engine delivers the exhilarating excitement of power and freedom to the rider with every release of the clutch. This is a lightweight, nimble supernaked meant to redesign the large displacement naked bike market. The crisp response of the Z900's in-line-four cylinder engine is perfectly balanced by its light, agile handling. Exhilarating without being overly intimidating, the combination is simply sublime.

Engine Highlights:

New 948cc inline-four cylinder engine

Smooth acceleration

Adept in any rpm range

The new liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve 948cc inline four-cylinder engine offers impressive power and strong torque. Designed to complement the new chassis, with a lightweight, strong engine with plenty of torque, the 73.4 x 56.0 mm bore and stroke were chosen tocreate an engine design that exemplifies the thrill of acceleration. Silky smooth response from mid-high rpm provides excellent driveability, with hard-hitting power delivery above 6,000 rpm. Good over-rev characteristics mean that power does not drop off suddenly at high rpm. Four individual 36mm throttle bodies offer ideal mid-range power and the sub-throttles ensure smooth, sensitive throttle response. The downdraft throttle body layout creates the shortest distance possible for the fuel-air mixture, contributing to performance.

The manufacturing process used for the pistons on the Z900 motorcycle take a lesson from Kawasaki's premiere supercharged sportbikes, the Ninja H2â„¢ and Ninja H2â„¢R. Lightweight and rigid, the pistons are formed using a unique casting process (similar to a forging process) that scrapes unnecessary material to achieve the ideal thickness. This enables a lightweight piston, on par with forged pistons. The Z900 uses "sound research" in creating the intake layout. This results in a mix of performance techniques and enhanced intake noise. Inside of the upward mounted airbox are varying length intake runners, with the two outside cylinders being longer than the inside two. This results in a tuning that helps both low and top end power output and provides an exhilarating intake noise during large amounts of throttle input. Twist the throttle and all of the rider's senses are activated.

The exhaust system features a four-into-one-pre-chamber-into-silencer layout, with joint pipes linking the exhaust headers (headers 1-4, 2-3 are linked) contributing to stronger mid-range torque for improved feeling. Silencer's dual-chamber internal construction contributes to performance as well as the exhaust note, while ensuring noise regulations are met. Use of stainless steel material on the end-cap and silencer cover adds a high-quality feel, while contributing to a stylish design that looks compact and light.

Transmission and Clutch Highlights

Short gear ratios for quick acceleration

6-speed for overdrive capabilities

Assist & Slipper Clutch in one, for ease of use and smooth operation

Short gear ratios for first through fifth gears contribute to the Z900 motorcycle's strong acceleration in the rpm range used in everyday riding, while sixth gear is a true overdrive gear. The Assist and Slipper clutch on the Z900 borrows from engineering knowledge learned on the race track and with models like the Ninja H2R and Ninja ZXâ„¢-10R is. The clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam).

When the engine is operating at normal rpm the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever pull when operating the clutch. When excessive engine braking occurs the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and help prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding during quick deceleration.

Chassis Highlights

Trellis Frame

Lightweight with straight bars and reduced complexity

Twin-spar for increased strength

Horizontal back-linked rear suspension

Engine structural part of frame, for increased strength and reduced weight

It's noticeable as soon as you snap the kick stand up, just how lightweight the Z900 really is. Starting with the chassis, which is a new, high-tensile steel, twin-spar, trellis frame, this design contributes significantly to the bike's light, nimble handling. The approach to have the fewest bends and most straight lines in the frame allowed for a chassis that disperses stress extremely well. The frame design also trims all unnecessary material, helping cut down on weight. The engine is rigid-mounted in five points on the engine, aiding in the nimble handling. Twin-tube type rear frame contributes to the bike's low seat height with easy reach to the ground.

Up front is a pair of 41mm inverted front forks which feature stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. Adjustment is via the conveniently located fork top caps. Horizontal-backed linked rear suspension positions the shock unit and linkage above the lightweight aluminum swing arm. This arrangement contributes to mass centralization, while ensuring that the suspension is located far enough from the exhaust that operation is not affected by heat. The rear shock is also adjustable, featuring rebound and preload adjustability. Settings offer both sporty performance (contributing to light handling on the street and in the hills) and comfort.

Wheels, Tires, and Brakes Highlights

Dual 300mm front disc brakes

Dual 4-pison front calipers

Lightweight, 5-spoke wheels enhance the looks and cornering turn-in performance

The Z900 features dual 300mm front petal disc brakes and a 250mm rear petal brake. This contributes to the high level of quality and sportiness. Dual opposed 4-piston calipers with resin brake pads offer a linear brake touch, facilitating control for the rider. The Z900 motorcycle is available with and without ABS. Stylish star-pattern 5-spoke wheels contribute to light weight and quality appearance, while their high rigidity benefits handling.


Z900 ABS - Pearl Mystic Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black

Z900 ABS - Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black

Z900 - Pearl Mystic Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black

Z900 - Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black


Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 948cc
Bore: 73.4 mm
Stroke: 56.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel System: DFI® with 36mm Keihin throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: 6-speed, return shift
Final Drive: Sealed Chain
Front Suspension: 41mm inverted fork with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
Front Travel (in./cm.): 4.7 in
Rear Suspension: Horizontal back-link, stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload
Rear Travel (in./cm.): 5.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Rear Tire: 180/55 AR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Front braking system: Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear braking system: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Frame Type: High-tensile steel backbone
Rake/trail: 25°/4.1 in
Overall Length: 81.5 in
Overall Width: 32.3 in
Overall Height: 41.9 in
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in
Seat Height: 31.3 in
Wheelbase: 57.1 in
Curb Weight: 463.1 lb**


2017 Kawasaki Z900 Base model- $8,399

2017 Kawasaki Z900 ABS - $8,799

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