Looking for a motorcycle with some speed? Here are two great options from Kawasaki

The ZX-6R is the obvious choice, but

 is the Z900 SE a better choice for the streets?

Hey everybody, it's Peter and this is gonna be a good one. This is one I've been looking forward to do for a while. So in this video we are gonna compare the ZX6R versus the Z900. Now I happen to pull out the SE model, which is the most expensive version of that Kawasaki Z900. However, it's still a little bit less than this, so they're kind of the same price class. And we're gonna talk fast bikes and I'm gonna focus on fast bikes for the street. This is gonna be a little bit of a leader on the track, but on the street each one has its advantages and you may want one over the other. So in this video we're gonna talk about technology, we're gonna talk about seating position, but we're also gonna talk about all the little details that the other videos aren't showing you to make sure that you know which one of these is best for you.

And if you have questions, hit the subscribe button because we're gonna be following these bikes through. And I'm filming here at Jim Gilbert's Power Sports, and they give me complete access to their entire vehicle line. And my job is basically to ask you what you wanna know about these bikes, see it in the comments, I can answer it in the comments section and I can make future videos just for you so that you get to know each of these bikes even better than you do right now. So make sure you ha if you have comments and questions or if you're interested in these bikes that you do, hit subscribe. Let's get going with the review. Alright, so speaking of bringing up things that other videos don't always mention, Kawasaki does not give us horsepower or torque figures for these vehicles in North America.

From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...

So I Googled it, and if you google them, you're gonna find a variety of results and it can depend on, you know, the dyna, the test them, whether it's crank horsepower or wheel horsepower. So I got numbers that are relatively comparable, but again, somewhat debatable and that's fine. The idea is this one here has about 134 horsepower at 13,000 rpm. That's the ZX6R. And then you're comparing that to about a hundred and twenty five, a hundred twenty seven, depending on the stat you look at. But at 9,500 rpm, so a little bit down on horsepower than the Z900, where you see a real difference is torque. This one's around 52 foot pounds of torque. This one's around 72 foot pounds of torque. And what that means is you have similar horsepower numbers, but more torque on the larger motor. But of course this is the super sport, right? So one should be faster.

Well this one's about 12 430 pounds, this one's about 470 pounds. So there's a weight advantage to each to the, uh, lighter bike as well, which a little bit less horsepower, but the way they make their power is what matters. And that 13,000 RPM for max horsepower here, 9,500 RPM over here, and 11,000 RPM for torque and 8,000 RPM for uh, torque on this one. Those are numbers that change the character of the vehicles as they drive. However, they're both a whole lot of fun. They're both very, very quick and they're both a lot of fun on the street. So we're gonna talk about some of the details and really get into things now, uh, so you can help sort of decide what you like and what matters to you. So before we dig into the technologies of each of these bikes, because there's a lot of similarities, but differences within those technologies, let's just cover the first difference that you're gonna have to deal and one that may make a difference to you.

ZX6R seating position is more aggressive. Now the XX six R is what they call a cheater bike. It's in that 600 cc super sport class, but it's 636 cc. So it's actually above the 599 that you usually CC for those race bikes. And this was built as a super sport bike for the street. It's not incredibly uncomfortable. It's definitely, you know, we've got people that do, you know, thousands of miles a year on these things, uh, without any issues. But you can see you're leaned over. This is as upright as I get. You've got high pegs and if you are going to the racetrack, this is a hundred percent your bike. In my mind. And again, I'm gonna show a little bit of bias to the Z 900. I bought a Z 900 Rs, which is the retro sport version of that bike. So I'm gonna have some biases there. But in my mind, there are very few road situations that you're reaching the capabilities of this bike that you can't also reach on that. So you have to kind of decide what you want. I absolutely love

The look of a proper sport Bike and the problem I have with the Zed 900 is I can't photograph it well enough to make it look as good as it does in person. Now, even on the Kawasaki website doesn't really, you know, I impress me that much, but when I see it in person it looks really good. Sport bikes, there's really not an angle that you can't get a good picture of it. So they look great all the time anywhere. And that's a lot of times why people want a bike like this. It's the looks and the performance. So you're definitely getting sport bike look here, but you're also getting a sport bike seating position. Now let's jump straight across to the Zed 900. I'll walk over to this side here. Whoops,

Tap the mirror there. It's okay. They fold if we have to do that. All right, Coming in here, You can see right away Much more upright, much more comfortable CD position. Now again, you still have high pegs, but You have a more upright riding position and  Little bit wider bars. We're gonna talk about some of those Advantages as we go on But this one is, You know, there's really no way to avoid it. This one's more comfortable For the road and that might matter for you if you're gonna do long, long drives, long tours If you're kind of nimble and you know either one is still good, then let's start Talking About the technologies of each one because they each have their advantages. So let's zoo In a little closer. Let's start with suspension. So we're taking a look at the ZedX six R right now. Left Side fork two, we're gonna move to the right side a second. And you've got a preload adjuster right here. Now let's just first of all cover adjustable suspension On something like this. On a Track bike, you're gonna really want to dial in the suspension if you're talking about winning races. So let's see if I can keep the same shot. We'll go over to this side over here. There we go. Oh, I'm gonna hit a little tough spot on my, my tripod has a little tough spot there. But anyways, you can sort of see here you've got the preload adjustment on the other side and then you've got the tension and compression over here. We're just gonna go with what the, what it says on the shock, rather than talking about really the specifics here. But on a race bike, this is really valuable stuff to have really good adjustable suspension because what you'll find is that you can tweak the suspension Just there to get those extra tenths of a second around certain corners, around certain braking and that kind of thing, uh, in order to get a better lap time. Now if you are a street rider, if you're a set it and forget it kind of person, then adjustable suspension loses some value for you. For me, I'm not quite a set it and forget it person, but I'm not gonna play with my front suspension as much. So just something to keep in mind that you do have fully disable suspension here. Let's take a look at the Z, or sorry, the Z900 and show you the suspension there. Take a look at the right side fork tube on the Zed 900. We're actually looking at it from the front of the bike and you can see it's hard for me to get an angle to film it at.

I can come in through the top here and get to it, uh, easily, but this is just the tension adjustment on both left and right side. So you have to do the left and the right side equally at the same point. And it's harder to reach. And I think the reason it's harder to reach is because they understand that, again, for most people's street riding, it's a little bit more set it and forget it with a tweak here, a tweak there. You're not coming in after doing a couple hot labs, making a tweak, going right back out to see if it made a difference. So a little bit tougher to reach, a little bit less adjustment in the suspension, but you still have adjustable suspension front and rear on these bikes. And you can check out the website, we can talk about adjustable suspension further, but like I said, both have it, it's more accessible and a little bit more advanced on the XX six.

Let's look at the re, let's look at the rear suspension now as well. So back to the ZX 6R here, looking at the rear suspension, this is also a little buried, but again, the adjustment is fully reachable. So preload, you can see that you've got lots of adjustment in there. Uh, again, fully adjustable rear suspension here, buried in here because of weight. And we'll talk about that, we'll take a zoom out later and look at some of the geometry of all this stuff. But again, fully adjustable rear suspension that is adjustable with tools. Now you do have a slight advantage on the Zed 900 SE that I'm about to show you because the SE has a, uh, extra suspension upgrade over the regular Zed 900. Let's take a look at that right now.

So taking a look at the Z900, again, this is the SE model with the upgraded Olin shock or Olin shock, however you wanna say that. Uh, they actually have the same design, the horizontal backlink for your suspension, which basically means it's on a link here, puts all the weight forward, but of course a little bit more accessible here. You've got an open frame here compared to the other, uh, frame as well. So we'll talk about some of those differences in a second. But the big thing you're getting here is a preload adjuster right here, which allows you, it's sort of a remote preload, which means as you add weight or a passenger to the back, you can dial in that suspension really quickly with uh, without tools. And of course you can adjust your suspension down here and up there as well. So you've got lots of adjustability here on the rear suspension.

And I will say that the SE may be worth going for if you are a performance rider, these olein suspension, it is an upgrade, it is a better ride, uh, you know, for road holding, for comfort, for all kinds of things. These are, you know, high end shocks here and of course the SE is the only Z 900 with that uh, upgraded shock there. So rear shocks, again adjustability. Same thing on both as far as you know, having a very good adjustability. So let's talk about the brakes on both these bikes. First of all, we're looking at the ZX six R here and you can see the radial mount calibers here. So they're coming in from this angle, bolting in this way. I'm gonna show you just, uh, for comparison purposes, a Ninja six 50, which is a less powerful two cylinder bike. This is a four cylinder bike, but look at the way it's mounted there and then we'll fade back into the way this is mounted here.

And this is more of a performance mounting. So you have real performance type brake system here. They do have pedal style rotors. Now I believe that pedal style rotors were brought in to help dissipate heat. However, there are a lot of very powerful bikes that don't have the pedal style rotors and I kind of think part of it is for style. Something like the ninja 1000 has moved to a, um, solid uh, disc and we're gonna show you on the Z 900 as well. The non petal rotors, of course you've got lots of ventilation in here. Everything about this is a performance braking system. The advantage on the ZedX six R is this Gibbs KA Kawasaki intelligent ABS braking system. Um, this is a more advanced ABS braking system than on the Z 900. Both are very good, but of course this one is better.

So that might make a difference for you, especially when you're riding at the limit. Uh, but now let's just take a look at the ZED 900 or or Z 900 se again, the SE is going to have upgraded brakes. We'll show you them right now. So taking a look here, you can see no pedal style rotors. You do see brembo brakes. Now that might be something worth uh, mentioning. Again, that is only on this SE model. So SE has the upgraded suspension, especially that Olin shock at the rear and it has the gold fork tubes here, which you can just actually, yeah, maybe you can see. Note you can't see 'em, they're off screen. But you also have the Brembo brakes. So Brembo brakes, of course the performance name and brakes. Very, very, very good brakes on this bike. Not that they're any better or worse than the ZedX xr, but of course for the street, not many street bikes have Brembo brakes.

So that is a big uh, step up. You can see the same radial mount, whether you get the brambles or not in the Zed 900, you're still having that radio mount. And of course their dual disks here, you can't always see that on the camera. Both bikes have the dual disks. This one has ABS brakes. You can see the sticker right here. You can see that little uh wheel in the backside there. Um, the sensor wheel right there that helps your abs or that is your ABS sensor. But uh, quality brakes on both these. So we've basically got similar suspension, similar brakes, similar horsepower. Let's start pulling out now and seeing some of the differences. So I wanna talk about the differences in engine character and this is where you could kind of get into the weeds in performance bikes. So we'll get to that in a second because there is a difference in the way they work.

And then we're gonna move to the dash where you'll see some of those differences in the engines shown on the tachometer. So when I say we're getting into the weeds a little bit here, this is a bike with less torque than this one. Now generally be speaking a bike with more torque, you're not gonna have to downshift to make a passing maneuver. Now if that's the only thing I say, it's completely misleading because both of bikes are extremely high performance vehicles. You're not gonna have to downshift to pass anyone. However, to get into your power band on this one, you're going to have to be higher in the revs, which sometimes can involve a downshift. Alternatively, you might be just driving this bike a little bit higher in the revs. None of that's a problem. But down lower in the revs, and you'll see it on the tachometer here, there's just not a ton of power.

In fact, the first 4,000 RPM are bunched together. You're really not driving below 4,000 RPM on the Z 900. You have a very broad power band, which means that any speed at any gear, you're gonna have torque, pulling you through. Torque is that pulling power and that means that you may do less shifting to get some of those passing maneuvers or that hard acceleration from when I say passing maneuvers simply because I'm talking about not the zero 60 speed but that sort of 50 mile an hour, 80 kilometer an hour, the acceleration power there, you could be in many different gears and have max acceleration here, whereas here you're gonna have to keep it a little higher in the revs. So there's a difference to the character. That being said, these bikes are so high performance when you're talking about on the street, you're well beyond legal limits, you know, to really get into some of those types of things.

So it's more of the character when you're driving than the actual ability when you come to the street riding. This one is gonna be quicker on track in part because it handles, but this one does have that torque. And if you're both at, you know, 5,000 RPM and give it this one and a similar gear, this one's going to pull away. So now let's take a look at the dash here and show you some of that information visually through the dash. And there's a real difference in the dashes here as well. So stay tuned for both and we'll show you some of the differences. So taking a look at the Zanax six R before we turn the bike to the on position, you can see that first 4,000 rpm, they're bunched up. So really you're living in that six to 15,000 RPM range and your mid-range is eight 10, you know, that kind of thing.

It's, it's visually demonstrated to you on the tack even though it does rev from zero to 16,000 RPM red line. Really you're living in that 8, 10, 12 range as your mid-range. So you have a higher revving engine here. Let's turn the bike on here on the ZedX four R that's about to come out. You're getting a TFT display, you're gonna see that same TFT display on the Z 900, but here it's a little bit old school, whether it's due for an update or not is up to you. You still have all the information you need. So this F down here is full and low power. You have a full power mode and a low power mode. Both bikes that we're looking at today have that you don't have rider modes here, you will have rider modes on the Z 900. But as far as information goes, although it's displayed in a different style screen, it's all here for you.

So we can go through all the different settings, trip a, trip B, fuel efficiency, all that kind of thing. Um, actually we'll just stay on a tip down here. So let's go fuel efficiency kilometers per liters in instant reading. You can change that to the type of uh, mileage reading you do, whether it's liters per a hundred kilometers, miles per gallon, that kind of thing. Then you have the instant average, we've gone to the average there, then your's arranged empty, then you have a temperature gauge and you have an intake air gauge as well. So that's kind of interesting stuff. On the bottom. On the top is just trip A, trip B, that kind of stuff. Uh, you can cycle through those as well. So gear indicator right there in your tack speed over there. Fuel gauge, temperature gauge, lots of things there, all the basic stuff.

And you're gonna see the same information on the Z 900 right now, but it's in a TFT display which may be your preference for some people. So now we're taking a look at the TFT display on the Z 900. Now it's not on right now and you can see we've got a mirrored finish here. Now there's a couple things that help prevent that mirrored finish. You can see there's like a dual image of my hand in there that is gonna help you, uh, see the screen better in a second when we turn it on. And keep in mind that filming a screen on a camera adds a whole bunch more glare. But even with those disadvantages having the white wall behind me, which is what you see the white wall on the sign, you'll see that when I turn it on, even in bright sunlight, even in unreadable conditions, you would think it is very clear both in person, again, much clearer in person but also here on camera.

So again, all the same information is here. There's a full and uh, a high and low power mode on this bike. There's a road which is our riding mode. So there's uh, rider road sport, uh, and rain in there. And then you have your tachometer, which only goes to about 11,000 rpm. And you can see there's no real tight spacing in there. The numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, but you know they skip five, they skip seven, they skip nine. Uh, but you can see that the spacing is relatively equal, which means you can really kind of vary in there. Now there are some nice advantages in here. You can set this whole tack to blink at a certain rpm. So when you first buy the bike during break-in period, I think it's around 4,000 rpm, it'll start to blink at you, uh, for that short break-in period.

But you can set that anywhere you want. So if you want it to set your blinking at maximum torque around 8,000 rpm, you could set that to blink, uh, or you know, power 9,500 rpm. But really your peak power is in that range, but you've got strong power throughout this whole range, which makes a difference as far as information. Let's just see the same kind of stuff in here. Um, you've got your average kilometers per liter. So again, average fuel efficiency and instant fuel efficiency is there range down there in the very bottom of the screen in case you're not running or looking. Average speed is something we don't have on the other bike. Of course they have the NK temperature. Uh, total temperature or sorry, let's go back. Oops, average range, there we go. Average speed, total time battery condition. And then there's the instant fuel efficiency.

Then I hit above. And same thing on both bikes. You're gonna have odometer trip a, trip B right there. Fuel gauge. Uh, the temperature gauge is, oh, maybe there's not a temperature gauge, just oh there we go. Temperature right there. So the temperature with the um, readout instead of a gauge, you're gonna have the exact temperature you have as a temperature gauge. So again, information is really the same between both. It's gonna depend on what you will like the older school. ZX six really isn't the fully latest screen, but it does have all the information. This one is the up to date screen in the Zed 900. We'll take a really brief look at the left side controls. If you're buying this bike, you probably already know what everything does here. One thing I won't, uh, that you can't see on camera is there's a little trigger here to flash your L E D headlights.

Both these bikes have L e D headlights and of course all your controls through here. This outside is controlling those two displays. Hitting the select is gonna control your rider mode, traction controls, those kind of things on both bikes. They both have adjustable levers here, whether it's the clutch lever or the brake lever. You've got adjustments in there. Both have hazard lights as well. So same basic controls here. Now you can see the mirror stock is coming off of the handlebar here. That's gonna give you advantage in a tuck position. Lemme just explain that to you right now. So when we talk about mirrors, this is pretty consistent versus ninjas. Ninjas here and zed class bikes across the Kawasaki lineup. The ninja bikes have the mirrors mounted to the faring. They also have the instrument cluster in the faring and that means when you turn the handlebars, your mirrors and your handlebars stay put on the Zed class bikes pretty much across the lineup, not just the Zed 900, the instrument cluster, the headlight and the mirrors, they all turn with the handlebars.

Now there are a couple advantages to each of those, but the mirrors in particular, when you get on a ninja, if you get in a tuck position like this, first of all, the tank here is curled out for your helmet chin bar on the ZedX six R. So you can get very, very, very low like this, but no matter how low of a tuck you get in your mirrors are still in front of you. They're way out of adjustment here. But the point is here, they're way in front of you no matter what you have use of your mirrors, whatever you're riding position. So as you jump across to the Zed class bikes, you're gonna have a more upright position and there's an advantage to that as well. So lemme just show you that right here. Let's talk about the negative. If I get in that tuck position, you can see here the mirrors are equal to my face, therefore they're behind me.So it means if I'm in a full tuck like this, they are not within my line of sight. Now the flip side is the benefit of that is they are closer to you. So the ninja still offers you great visibility with them up there on the faring out in front of you. But when they have a mirror closer to you, think about a little handheld bathroom mirror. When you hold it close to you, you can see a wider angle of what's beside you. These are gonna give you a little bit wider, a little bit broader uh, perspective because they're closer to you up on the handlebars. So pros to each one, cons to each one. But that is one thing that I think a lot of people forget to point out when they talk about their mirrors. So if you're a motorcycle nerd like me, you can go on and on about some of the differences here.

There's a different style frame here, little differences. Even the pegs over here are steel pegs. The pegs over here are rubber mounted, at least for the driver position. There's a whole bunch of little tweaks and advantages to each one. But let's just start with who these bikes are for. If you've always wanted a Kawasaki performance bike, you're getting that feeling from both of these for me, and I'm gonna be told in the comment section that I'm wrong, but for me, this isn't a bike that I would take on as long of journeys simply because maybe I'm old, maybe I'm spoiled, whatever. But the riding position, while very fun for a sporty position, is a little bit less comfortable for a regular everyday ride. And that's where a bike like this comes in. The Z 900 is available in a whole bunch of trim lines. This is the top end trim with the oland suspension.

This is the SE model. But even without this, if you didn't like the style, there's the RS model, which the same frame I bought the SE with the same uh, revised front fork settings, the oland's rear suspension, the BREMBO brakes, you can get that in the Rs, which is a retro sport model that's a bike that you'll see on screen right now. I am gonna, I own that, I just bought that this summer and I'm gonna follow my entire ownership experience on there, uh, right here on this YouTube channel. So subscribe if you wanna see that. But there are options to get that Kawasaki performance bike in something that is a little bit more upright, a little bit more comfortable. Now that doesn't mean that this isn't comfortable, this is still a very comfortable super sport bike and it is something that is very track capable.

If you think about going to the track, you can absolutely do that. This one comes from the factory with slightly better track tires. They're gonna wear a little bit quicker, but they have a little bit more grip over here. Like I said, plenty of grip, but they will last a little bit longer as well. So you have options. Again, tires can always be upgraded or changed when they wear. Uh, so you've got, you know, the ability to mix and match there. I think it's the same front size tire, uh, slightly different, uh, rear tire as well, A little bit wider on the Z900. But you've got lots of options in the performance bike category from Kawasaki. So if you're like me and you've always dreamed of this, but by the time you get to this stage, maybe this isn't the comfort you want. Something like this will definitely work and the extra torque in this engine to me actually makes it a little bit more enjoyable.

So lemme know what you think. What do you wanna know about these bikes? Again, I'm filming here at Jim Gilbert's PowerSports . I can come back to these bikes again and again and again. I've done reviews on each of them several times and I wanna make sure I'm building a database of information of your questions, making sure we answer them both in the comments section and in future videos. So let me know what you think and if you're interested in either of these bikes or you wanna follow my ownership experience of the Zed 900 Rs, make sure you hit subscribe. Let me know what you think. I'll see you in the next one. Thanks for watching.

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