Back in 2012, Kawasaki debuted the Z800 naked bike, as a 2013 model. Featuring an 806cc inline-four motor, the European Z800 comes in two flavors: the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja Z800 & the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja Z800e.
In Europe, the Kawasaki Ninja Z800 makes 111hp and 61 lbs•ft of torque, while the Kawasaki Ninja Z800e gets a bit more watered down with 94hp and 56 lbs•ft of torque, though it saves 6 lbs over its more burly counterpart.
Now making the Kawasaki Z800 ABS available in the American market, of course not to the USA’s largest state for motorcycle sales (California), the middleweight streetfighter is any early look at Kawasaki’s model lineup for next year.
One of the things we took issue with, when the Z800 debuted in Europe, was that Kawasaki fitted the streetfighter with KYB suspension that had only rebound and preload adjustability. That trend unfortunately continues for the USA, though overall the Z800 seems like a fun and affordable street bike package.
With that trend in mind, braking is done by two four-piston opposed calipers up front, mated to 277mm petal-style rotors. As the name suggests, ABS comes standard on the 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS. Not exactly a light machine though, Kawasaki states that the curb weight for the Z800 ABS is 509 lbs.
With an MSRP of $8,399 the Z800 is $3,600 cheaper than the Kawasaki Z1000, which should help entice more riders into Team Green. Still, one has to wonder about Kawasaki’s 49-state-only model decision.
We presume it is because the European model required few to no modifications to homologate with the EPA, while the CARB certification process would have caused more delays for Kawasaki.
It’ll be interesting to see if Kawasaki eventually makes a California-legal model of the Z800, or continues to snub The Golden State. This looks like a machine that would do well in the California riding scene.