Kawasaki Motors Australia opened our platform to invite customers to review their own motorbikes! We recently received this customer review of the Z900RS Café, from Shaun here is his review!
December two thousand and eighteen, I found myself an impressed owner of a brand new Kawasaki for the first time ever, the 2018 Z900RS Cafe. I had been shopping and researching for some eighteen months, looking to get a new road motorcycle. I had an affinity with another Italian brand of bike. I had sold my last Moto Guzzi California 2001 Cruiser in 2010 to fund repair of my crashed Jetski that I had very un-strategically placed into the shoreline rocks during a race. I had been road bike less for some 8.5 years by the time I picked up my new Kawasaki. I decided that I wanted a Retro, Cruiser, Bobber, Cafe and or Naked style bike or a modern bike that had more than adequately embodied that look, feeling or spirit.
I had noticed the “Root beer” as known in the US or, as known here in Australia, the “Jaffa” released as a retro, compact, throwback naked sports bike. The Z900RS 2018 that gorgeously balanced and very smart, factory finish with the Jaffa paint work and integral decals. MWAH! That just had the look that I discovered I was looking for and a love affair began. I kept comparing that to other bikes like the BMW R9T, of which I was interested in, by the look of it. But when I sat on it, the reach to the bars was way too long and, once the engine was started, I knew from that Boxer engine note that it just wasn’t going to suffice. All the while still using Z900RS as a point of reference, which once sat upon felt a much better fit than BMW.
I went back to my old faithful brand, the Moto Guzzi, the V9 Bobber. That’s gotta be it. It’s a Guzzi, so it must fit. Looks: Yes. Note of engine: yes, it’s a V-twin Guzzi. It had a sweet sound to that exhaust, Sit on bike: eugh. That seat feels like an old 70’s style poorly sprung bed mattress with abrupt edges. Damn, it just doesn’t work (besides the lack of performance NM listed).
With many other bikes I tested and not meeting my expectations, I started to check out the newly arrived green Z900RS Cafe, of which had just been named “Bike of the year” by the Bikesales team, modelled as a nod to the Eddie Lawson bike from the early eighties, I liked this bike too. I initially didn’t like the look as much as the “Jaffa” as I preferred the full Naked look over the Bikini fairing of the Cafe. When I sat on the Cafe things started to shift for me, I found the Cafe, even though the bars were set lower than the Jaffa, the reach was very comfortable. Coupled with the seat on the Cafe, which is engineered a little lower into the bike than the Jaffa, that is its secret to having a more comfortable riding position.
After an extended deliberation period to determine the right bike for me to get back into a road bike, I decided on the Z900RS Cafe, as the ride test had blown me away. The sound from that factory system/straight four engine sonically impressed into me a sound of an “aspirated” V8-V10 F1 race car from the not too distant past. The protection from the wind at your body from the Bikini fairing was something that I had not allowed for and wouldn’t have it any other way now. Cafe performs, corners and brakes as a 2018 medium sports should with ABS and Traction control. Along with great twin analogue clock-type Speedometer and Tachometer displays, with centrally located digital display, Kawasaki have put together a great feeling, great looking and performing bike.
I have only added two minor bolt-on custom parts, Evo-tech radiator guard and Evo-tech tail tidy. I had been considering the “typical" exhaust upgrade, but after much research have not found anything that would suit me. My criteria for after-market or custom exhaust is a tiny few more decibels so that I can be heard. I do not want to make the bike noisy or vibratory so that it’s annoying while riding it or attract any unwanted police attention. With that in mind I’m probably gonna leave the near-perfect factory exhaust as is. I have taken the bike to Tasmania and done a tour of the West and North of the state. That was amazing, with another one planned for next summer, of which I will be taking my 310X Kawasaki Jet ski to tour with as well. I have done many short 2-to-6 hour rides in and around the Hunter Valley, Putty Road, Wollombi, freeman Waterhole, Bumble Hill, Lostock Dam, Bulahdelah, Mungo Brush and Wisemans Ferry, all of which I have enjoyed immensely mainly due to the Z900 RS Cafe.
Big Thank you to Hunter Valley Motorsports, Rutherford & Salesperson was Phil Sargent, Cheers Shaun.