Where Is The BS6 KTM 790 Duke?
- Jan 26, 2020
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The Kawasaki Z800 was always a good looking motorcycle but with the passage of time it had started to look a bit dated. To address this aspect, Kawasaki has completely redesigned the Z900. The bike now takes design cues from the manic looking Kawasaki Z1000 and now sports a sharper and smaller headlamp unit, with a full-LED headlight, that looks mean. The fuel tank is curvy, while the sharp looking tank extensions add a dose of attitude.
The bike flaunts a mirror-finish as seen on the Kawasaki Ninja H2 with subtle hues of lime green. The trellis frame also has been finished in green and endows the bike with a nice contrast. The tail-section with the Z-shaped LED tail lamp looks sharper now. Overall, the new motorcycle looks much more modern and it does standout in comparison to its rivals. The instrument console is also new with the tachometer taking centre stage.
The Kawasaki Z800 has already impressed us with its performance and overall performance, making it a good option for someone in the hunt for a middleweight streetbike. But the fact that it weighed almost 35kg more than the Kawasaki Z1000 meant that handling of the bike wasn’t engaging enough. The high kerb weight made it extremely difficult to manoeuvre in city traffic and direction changes at high speed cornering also required more effort. However, Kawasaki engineers have put the new Z900 through a strict diet which has resulted in the new motorcycle being a massive 20kg lighter than its predecessor at 211kg.
Kawasaki achieved this by employing a new lighter trellis frame, instead of the tubular backbone frame as seen on the Z800. Other factors that aided in reducing the kerb weight include a lighter swingarm, crankshaft and engine balancer. Weight reduction is also seen in the casting process of the pistons which is similar to that of the Kawasaki Ninja H2.
The new 948cc inline four-cylinder motor has been built from the ground up. The hike in displacement has resulted in the power figure jumping to 125PS which is an increase of 12PS over the Kawasaki Z800. Peak torque now stands at 100Nm which is made available at 7,700rpm. Kawasaki boffins have used 36mm throttle bodies on the new motor which has improved mid and low-end performance of the bike. The inline four mill has been mated to a 6-speed transmission, the gear ratios have been revised while the 6th gear now acts as an overdrive which should be beneficial while cruising on open highways. The Kawasaki Z900 also gets slipper clutch which means that the rear wheel would slide or hop under hard downshifts and the clutch action is also lighter now.
Apart from the new frame, Kawasaki have also updated the cycle parts of the new Z900. The motorcycle features 41mm dia upside down forks at front. The new USD forks feature stepless rebound damping and spring preload adjustability and it can be conveniently adjusted via fork top caps. At the back, the Kawasaki Z900 sports a horizontally linked monoshock suspension unit that has been positioned above the aluminium swingarm for better mass centralisation. The rear shock is also adjustable for rebound and preload. Dual 300mm petal discs with 4-piston calipers up front, and a single 250mm petal disc at the rear take care of braking. ABS is standard on the Kawasaki Z900 that will be offered in India.
Price & Rivals:
Now all these additions and improvements comes at a price. How much, you may ask. We feel the new Kawasaki Z900 will carry a premium of between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh over the Z800. This means the Kawasaki Z900 will most likely carry a sticker price of around Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh ex-showroom. Talking about rivals, it will compete against the Benelli TNT899 and the upcoming Triumph Street Triple which we recently rode and were impressed with; you can read the story here - Triumph Street Triple RS Review. The Ducati Monster 821 will also go up against it but the Italian bike has been priced at a premium.
Where Is The BS6 KTM 790 Duke?
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