Fifty years after the very first Z model broke cover, Kawasaki has announced no less than five Z50 celebration models. With the iconic 1972 Super Four model Z1 as great, great grandparent, the five machines cover a wide spectrum underpinning the wide appeal of this popular Kawasaki brand family.
The dynamic Sugomi styling of the Z900 has won many fans since its introduction with an unapologetic aggressive attitude matched to dynamic and responsive riding feedback that only a Z could possess. The 50th anniversary editions of the Supernaked Z900 is clad in the Firecracker Red of the Z1100GP, the dominant air-cooled Z model of the 1980s. This hue of red – also found on the legendary GPZ900R – was Kawasaki’s signature colour of the time. As another high-class touch, the fork outer tubes are finished in gold and the frame in gloss black. Incorporating TFT colour instrumentation with Smartphone connectivity, the Z900 includes integrated power modes, KTRC traction control and power mode selection (Full/Low) as well as all-LED lighting.
The A2-friendly Z650 with its narrow chassis and responsive parallel twin-cylinder engine is a firm favourite among riders of all experience levels. Equipped with an LED headlight, a TFT display and Smartphone connectivity, the Z650 energizes the senses and inspires every ride. The vivid red paint, was specially blended for these anniversary models, making their aggressive Supernaked Z styling even more striking. The dark blue and silver highlights accentuate the red and like models of the time, the “Z” emblem and Kawasaki logo are finished in gold, further distinguishing these models from their standard counterparts. Add red wheels, with silver pinstripes, special seat leather and a commemorative “Z 50th” logo on the front fender and the package is complete.
Expanding the boundaries of the Retro Sport scene further still, Kawasaki returned to the roots of the Z brand, choosing the iconic “Fireball” pattern of the original Z1 for the 50th anniversary editions of the retro sport model Z900RS and Z650RS. A special painting process was developed specially for these models. The candy colours of the tank and bodywork are applied in layers to bring out a deep, glossy texture that enhances the inherent beauty of these machines. Complementing the rich colouring, the frames of both machines are finished in gloss black and have a special seat leather with a texture distinct from the standard model, as well as different colour stitching. Both machines feature gold-coloured wheels and “Double Overhead Camshaft” emblems reminiscent of the past and proudly show the “Z 50th” logo on the top of the tank. Additionally, the left and right-side engine covers of the Z900RS feature a “DOHC” emblem.
It is rare indeed for a brand family to last a decade let alone five, yet the Kawasaki Z family moves from strength to strength. In 2022 that strength is made real by the presence of the five Z50 models forming part of a celebration bond between Kawasaki and its legion of loyal fans both established and new to the brand.
Here’s to the next 50 years of Z !
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