The Kawasaki Z800 is a big step up from previous models; the previous Z750 was pretty disappointing to many people with its bulky weight and ride quality. Kawasaki put a lot of work into the bike making improvements to the engine, chassis and the suspension and it looks like it has worked out the only issue being it’s still on the heavy side at 505lbs…
Kawasaki gave the Z a real make over with the release of the Z800, to look at the design of the bike it is very aggressive and stylised it might be a bit too much for some people but the look emits a lot of the bikes powerful character and sets a certain tone. The bike retains its steel basic frame and engine with the capacity raised to 806cc, along with this has come increased torque and longer engine pipes. The suspension has been altered so gives an extremely comfortable and well controlled ride even at very low speeds as well as taking corners and pot holes superbly but at the higher speeds it does get a little bit bouncy.
The engine is liquid –cooled inline four cylinder increased to 806cc a couple of changes have added a little extra growl to the Z800 this would be the increase in power from 105bhp to 111bhp and shorter gearing over all. Now rubber mounted the Z800’s vibrations are less intense than the 750’s and gives a far more smooth ride across the entire rev range which makes it a pleasure to ride. A lot of the engine characteristics come from a highly tuner exhaust and modified intake cam and all aspects of the engine work together to give increased low to mid-range power.
As far a technology on the bike the Kawasaki Z800 is pretty bare bones there’s no rider modes, traction control or throttle by wire and the dash is a rather basic and simple design, one complaint I have about the bike is the accuracy of the gauges, it always seems like you’re running on empty. At 510lbs this is a pretty heavy bike for its class (with the Street Triple being over 100lbs lighter) on paper but when you get it out on the road it feels lighter than a lot of other 500lbs+ bikes. Despite the weight the Z800 is a fun, solid and reassuring bike to ride with added tactility and tautness along with a beautiful finish of high quality components and cool details ( like the cool tessellation of Z’s covering the seat).
Obviously the Kawasaki Z800 has it’s imperfections like oddly positioned mirrors that seem to reflect more of your elbows than your surroundings and softer throttle response. The Kawasaki Z800 is an overall fine motorbike with more positives than negatives to take from it in the end.