The competition in the middleweight naked streetfighter segment is on the boil because Triumph has updated its Street Triple range and BMW Motorrad has brought in the BMW F 900R. One of the formidable contenders in this segment is the Kawasaki Z900. The green alien is due for an upgrade and the fact that almost all the products in Kawasaki’s range, makes the wait even harder. But now, it is being expected that the updated Z900 will arrive in India this month.
Being one of the most popular motorcycles in its segment, the arrival of Kawasaki Z900 will surely increase the worry in its competition’s department. Its aggressive naked styling accompanied with a firecracker of an engine has worked in Z900’s favour.
The BS4 version of the Z900 is powered by a 948 cc, liquid-cooled, 4 stroke In-line four engine that produces 123 bhp of power @ 9,500 rpm and 98.6 Nm of torque @ 7,700 rpm. It has a quick-revving character and a strong mid-range hit that pulls strongly to the redline. The Z900 comes with key features such as aggressive Z styling, multi-functional instrumentation, assist and slipper clutch, economical riding indicator etc. The power output in its BS6 trim will produce more or less the same amount of power.
It is expected that the Japanese bikemaker will bestow it with some necessary updates like an LED headlamp, TFT instrument cluster with Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity, traction control, 4 riding modes, and 2 power modes. The updated motorcycle is also expected to get new Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres. With these added features, the Z900 will come out as an even more competitive package than before. The competition is all stacked up and it isn’t’ going to be easy for the Z900 to find its place in the segment.
The rivals: Triumph Street Triple RS
The Triumph Street Triple RS serves as the benchmark in this segment. The Street Triple RS continues to get powered by Moto2 derived engine but in a different state of tune. Triumph has now fiddled around with the internals and remapped the engine for better mid-range performance, 9 per cent more as Triumph claims it to be. The Street Triple RS churns out 121 bhp and 79 Nm. It also now gets a bi-directional quick-shifter as standard. It continues to use the top-spec M50 four-piston Monobloc front callipers so that braking is sorted.
The BMW F900R is powered by an 895cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine mated to a six-speed gearbox. The engine makes 105 bhp at 8,500 rpm, with peak torque of 92 Nm at 6,500 rpm. It also gets all-LED headlamps along with a Bluetooth-enabled, fully coloured instrument cluster. Additional features include keyless ignition, cornering ABS, semi-active suspension and more. At the front, the motorcycles get 43 mm gold-finished upside-down forks along with a 17-inch die-cast Aluminium wheel wrapped in 120/70 XR 17 rubber, while a hydraulically adjustable monoshock setup, as well as a 17-inch die-cast Aluminium wheel wrapped in thicker 180/55 ZR 17 rubber, has been fitted at the rear.
We are rooting for Kawasaki Z900 to show the Europeans that the Japanese can pose some serious threat.