Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe Review
✓Looks amazing, smooth power, trick dash
×Seat comfort, a little short on range
What Is It?
The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe is a retro style cafe racer bike based on the Z900RS, with a headlight fairing, lower bars and a seat hump.
Engine: 948 cc Inline Four, 110 bhp
Economy: 45 mpg
Range: 170 miles
Seat Height: 820 mm
What Is It Like?
Choosing The Cafe
So I bought the green one. I fell for it's looks, something I think bikers do more than car drivers, without test riding the Cafe or the other RS versions. The standard Z900RS didn't tempt me.
I ordered her in mid November and collected late March. The wife said I was more excited waiting for the Cafe than I was for our wedding.
On the day I collected her it took three hours to sort the insurance. My insurance company's computer said 'no', no data on the system and the same with the Meerkat lot.
Anyway I took the Kawasaki five day free insurance and rode away. Outside the shop after being shown what to do, I fired her up and set off.
The power delivery, feel of the bike, induction and exhaust sounds are gorgeous. I've now covered around 1,000 miles so can play a little harder.
It's a great bike in a great looking package. I also have a 2006 ZRX1200R, in the right green, so I like the retro look.
I just love riding the bike, it fits, the riding position is good and there's a slight lean forward on the lower bars. I do have a 1976 Z900 A4 and had to put lower bars on that to make the position lean a little, it obviously suits my style.
It's very good and inspiring. I've not tweaked the suspension yet but as I'm on the heavy side it probably won't be altered. Some folks say it's a little harsh but I find it just fine.
They are good, with plenty of power but not too much. The rear brake is adequate but we should only need it for slow manoeuvring or wet weather so it's fine.
I've not yet ridden in the wet so can't say much about that, but grip from the OEM tyres in the dry is good.
No much, apart from a fender extender to the front and a radiator guard. Modern bike mudguards are way too short.
A lot seem to be replacing the rear number plate hanger, but personally the standard one suits the Cafe more than the standard bike.
I may put heated grips on as I don't mind the cold but I'm less keen on the wet. The rear hugger may get changed as well. I need to look at other's bikes rather than catalogue pics before major changes.
Well the seat is a little uncomfortable. I'm not skinny so maybe that's something to do with it. I won't be doing any touring or massive long rides on her, well not very often, so it's not really an issue.
Fuel range is probably 150 miles but I reckon you could be filling up at 120 to be safe by which time it's stretch your leg time anyway.
To Sum Up
Love it, love it's looks. I open the garage, I smile and say 'gorgeous'. The rex is sulking in the corner.
- Colm C, 2018
Get The Gear To Go With It
Z900RS - The Cafe without the fairing / screen, low bars or pillion seat hump.
Check out this video review from The Liferider.