The 1972 Kawasaki Z1 is one of the most iconic motorcycles in history. The 1969 Honda CB750 started the ball rolling for the inline-4 configuration, and the Z1 upped the ante in two significant ways—it had double overheads and a displacement of 903cc. The superbike wars had begun. The current Z900s are direct descendants of the 1972 Z1, and the 2022 Kawasaki Z900 and Z900RS 50th Anniversary editions pay homage to their common ancestor.
The Z900 takes the ’72 Z1’s place in the lineup as a modern upright naked sportbike, while the Z900RS features styling touches that directly evoke the original Z1. The RS also has a milder tune and slightly different steering geometry.
With its inherent retro styling, the 2022 Kawasaki Z900RS inarguably looks the part with its two-tone Candy Diablo Brown, which includes Orange, in a Fireball Incandescent paint scheme. It’s a premium paint job, with the colors being applied in layers for a glossy look. The frame is glossy black, and the wheels are gold. The side covers boast “900” with “Double Overhead Camshaft” below it in smaller letters, directly inspired by the 1972 Z1. A Z 50th logo is added to the tank, and the seat has a unique texture and stitching color. For added bling, there’s a chrome grab bar around the perimeter of the back of the seat.
The 2022 Kawasaki Z900 50th Anniversary gets Firecracker Red paint, bringing to mind the 1981 GPz1100. Additional styling touches include silver and dark blue highlights, a gloss black frame, plus gold Kawasaki and Z logs on the tank and intake scoop. Look more closely, and you’ll see a Z 50th logo on the front fender, along with red wheels with silver pinstripes. Finally, the fork legs are gold—a traditional 50th-anniversary color.
Both the 2022 Kawasaki Z900 and Z900RS 50th Anniversary models are $300 more than their standard equivalents.
We have tested the Kawasaki Z900 and Z900RS.
2022 Kawasaki Z900 (and Z900RS) 50th Anniversary Specs
- Type: Inline-4
- Displacement: 948cc
- Bore x stroke: 73.4 x 56.0mm
- Maximum torque: 73 ft-lbs @ 7700 rpm (Z900RS: 73 ft-lbs @ 6500 rpm)
- Compression ratio: 11.8:1 (Z900RS: 10.8:1)
- Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
- Fueling: EFI w/ 36mm Keihin throttle bodies
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Assist and slipper functions
- Final drive: Sealed chain
- Frame: High-tensile steel trellis
- Front suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable 41mm inverted fork; 4.7 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted rebound-damping and spring-preload adjustable shock; 5.5 inches
- Tires: Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
- Front brakes: 300mm discs w/ 4-piston calipers
- Rear brakes: 250mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 57.1 inches (Z900RS: 57.3 inches)
- Rake: 24.5 degrees (Z900RS: 25.0 degrees)
- Trail: 4.1 inches (Z900RS: 3.9 inches)
- Seat height: 31.3 inches (Z900RS: 32.9 inches)
- Fuel capacity: 4.5 gallons
- Curb weight: 463 pounds (Z900RS: 474 pounds)
- Color: Firecracker Red (Z900 RS: Incandescent Fireball)
2022 Kawasaki Z900 50th Anniversary Price: $9499
2022 Kawasaki Z900RS 50th Anniversary Price: $12,049