An upgrade to the Z800, the Kawasaki Z900 was launched with vast improvements in styling and performance. The 948cc engine was one of the smoothest motors out there with substantial low-end grunt making it a treat for street riding.
The commanding yet comfortable riding position would make the Z900 a relentless all-day motorcycle that would take you distances without a sore back. However, despite being high on displacement and power- it still wouldn’t match the likes of the Triumph Street Triple when it came to outright performance- particularly handling. Kawasaki decided to amp the road manners on their super-naked street offering with new components.
The 2022 Kawasaki Z900 SE now features 41mm adjustable front forks now finished in anodized gold finish with the plain jane black fork lets being done away with. The unit now offers compression and rebound damping with spring preload adjustability. The upgrade should now provide better front-end feedback and can be customized for performance based on rider preference. Complementing the front suspension is an Ohlins S46 gas-charged horizontal mono-shock unit which likewise offers rebound damping and preload adjustability via a remote pre-load adjuster.
A pair of Brembo M4.32 calipers replace the earlier standard units offering better-stopping power while grabbing twin 300mm Brembo steel rotors. Also contributing to the improved braking performance are new stainless steel braided braking lines that withstand higher fluid pressure resulting in a more precise braking input and feedback. It also holds the advantage over the regular lines when it comes to longevity.
With other mechanical specifications remaining unchanged, the 2022 Kawasaki Z900 SE continues to be powered by the 948cc inline-four engine that cranks out max power of 125 ps @ 9500 rpm with peak torque rated at 98.6 nm @ 7700 rpm. The silky six-speed transmission is mated to a slipper clutch mitigating rear-wheel lockups during aggressive downshifts while reducing grab effort at the lever.
Four riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, and rider customizable) continue to work in conjunction with three levels of traction control. The TFT digital instrumentation panel offers Bluetooth smartphone connectivity via Kawasaki’s Rideology the App. The lighting on the new Z900 ES is all LED.
The Kawasaki Z900 has been a smooth operator and not many competing street-bikes can match the refinement of the Kawasaki motor and the bottom end tractability. However, the Z900 wasn’t as agile as its opponents’ thanks to the extra mass on the muscular motorcycle. But the improvements in the suspension and braking department would render the 2022 Kawasaki Z900 SE a more competing package.