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.



Source: Kawasaki

  • cage free

    Really foolish of both Kawi and Suzuki not to sell their FZ07 and FZ09 competition in the country’s largest market.. Yamaha says thanks.

  • n/a


    Whip the ABS off it and it’ll be a beast!

  • Jack Meoph

    I live in CA, and CARB needs to step back. If this, or any other bike, can meet ECU standards, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to be sold anywhere in the world. When CARB went berserk back 1996, there were cars in large numbers that were indeed heavy polluters, but the world has moved forward with Zpev, hybrid, full electric technologies, while CARB (a bunch of self important appointees, not elected by anyone), has remained a cabal of eco-zealots, cemented in a past that is long gone and will never return.

  • Sentinel

    As others have said, it’s just too damn heavy, and what a shame, because otherwise I would have been interested. Looks like Yamaha won’t be seeing any real competition for their new bikes here after-all.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    I sort of share your sentiment. I think that they exist as sort of a ‘dead man’s trigger’ version of what they were; outlived their own usefulness, so now the mechanism has gone haywire. They once offered up the idea to outlaw black cars as a bulwark against global warming, which is both outrageous and ineffective.

  • Campisi

    Much of why “the world has moved forward” came about because of CARB. Kawasaki not wanting to do what’s necessary to certify an ageing model for the California market isn’t CARB’s problem.

  • paulus

    It may look heavy, but in real life it is a compact and fun ride!

  • thumper702

    I’m not in the market for this bike—wouldn’t matter, I live in Ca.

    But, how on earth does Kawasaki pile-on the pork that makes this naked middleweight bike 100 lbs heavier than my Street Triple R?

  • thumper702

    So does Triumph! ;-)

  • VForce

    After you have ridden a triple in a naked bike platform, an inline 4 just makes no sense.

  • Mike Edwards

    I’d love to have the Z800 here in California, but LA county still has the most polluted air in the country. There are still days (most of July, August, and September, but starting in February) when when I can’t see the San Gabriel mountains from the 210 (a couple miles to those not familiar). Before CARB, and certainly in ’96, seeing the the SG Mounatins from the San Gabriel Valley was the rarity. I don’t mind riding an FZ-09 so that my family members can get relief from their asthma.

  • 73mach3

    CARB equals high cost! thats why its not here

  • Initially, I was excited to read this as I really LOVE the Z1000. The fit and finish of the bike is fantastic and the components are pretty much top shelf. After looking at this, though, I’d have to wonder if prospective buyers couldn’t scrounge up another $600 to buy an FZ-09. I know, the FZ needs suspension work and doesn’t have ABS. But, more power and about ONE HUNDRED less pounds to carry around (along with larger brake discs and radial brakes)! Suzuki and Kawasaki are came under dressed to this party.

  • VForce

    Kawasaki clearly felt for the 1,000 or less units that they would move in the USA of this model, that paying for CARB certification was not worth it. Can’t say that I blame them, when CARB is a waste anyways.

  • Sentinel

    510 lbs IS “heavy”, and way too heavy for a bike of this class. It’s simply unacceptable.

  • GCP

    Way to heavy for a 800 cc bike.