Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe Adds Some Sporty Spice to the New Retro Standard

There are no differences in performance with the standard Z900RS, but the style upgrade is good enough for us.

Alessio Barbanti/Kawasaki

Retro style is a hot trend in motorcycles and it looks like it’s here to stay for a while. The latest example of that is the Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe that was just unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

We were very impressed when Kawasaki unveiled the all-new Z900RS based on the fantastic Z900 naked bike last month. Visually, it’s one of the finest examples we’ve seen of bringing back old-school styling and mixing it with new technology and engineering to create a bike that’s the best of both worlds. The new Cafe variant adds an extra sporty twist to the formula that remains delightfully retro.

There aren’t any performance upgrades to the Z900RS Cafe, but the styling differences are enough to make it stand out. It has a bullet fairing, a humped seat, and different handlebars giving the rider a more sporty riding position. We would have liked to see a more traditional cafe racer-style solo seat with a cowl, but it’s nice that you’ll still have the option of bringing a passenger with you.

The Z900RS Cafe and the standard Z900RS share the same steel trellis frame and the same liquid-cooled DOHC 900cc inline-four engine which makes 111 horsepower and 53.5 pound-feet of torque. Also standard on both bikes are a slipper clutch and traction control.

We don’t know anything about pricing and it technically isn’t confirmed as a U.S. model, but we’d be surprised if the Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe didn’t arrive at our shores as an affordable alternative to the Triumph Thruxton.

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