New Bikes

Why does Kawasaki’s imminent Z900RS have higher-spec brakes than the Z900?

Is Kawasaki making a retro bike that’s actually better than the machine it’s based on?

OKAY, so hands up. When Kawasaki released a new teaser video for the forthcoming Z900RS on Tuesday, we were in such a hurry to tell you about it that we missed this detail.

Usually teaser videos can be accused of giving away almost nothing but this one actually contains some intrigue, at three seconds in, the moment shown above, when we see the front brake set-up of the new retro model.

It shows that the Z900RS has what looks like radial-mounted calipers, while the Z900 it's derived from does not.

The Z900's front brake set-up

The Z900's calipers are Nissins, while the Z900RS' appear to be branded 'Kawasaki'. 

The usual practice with retro versions of existing models is for them to have slightly lower-spec, as in the case of the Yamaha’s XSR900, which has yet to inherit the quick-shifter of the MT-09.

So is Kawasaki bucking that trend by making a bike that’s not just more traditional but also better than the original?

Or is it a sign that the Z900 itself is also getting some upgrades?

We’ll have to wait until Eicma, the Milan motorcycle show on November 7, to find out.

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