The Z! Iconic in the past, unmissable today. Impossible to ignore it, it is everywhere: in the streets, between mountain bends, in the tops of sales. And while its chassis wasn’t the best, even if its engine could cough askew in the face of a Street Triple or a GSR, the public has never shied away from the Z 750 since its release in 2004..
2013 marked a turning point, both stylistically and in terms of engine. In this 3rd version, the Z becomes 800, and whips an aggressiveness that can no longer be contained. A cougar face pursued by flint shoulders, a body gathered in a ball of nerves, a savage gaze … The Z was born wicked, he becomes bad.
By the design, which really sticks a slap in the face. On the technical level, it is the best advertised everywhere, without being as transcendent as one might have imagined. The Z 800 gains better suspensions (finally!) Adjustable in rebound and preload as well as more efficient braking. The pancakes go to 310 mm and are bitten by 4 piston calipers.
Above all, the 4 legs are gaining space, and not just a little. Because since Yamaha released the FZ8, the standard for mid-size roadsters is climbing a step up. Kawa revised its 4-cylinder with new crankcases, a cylinder head with revised external patterns, and above all an increase in the bore. The boiler forgets its 748 cm3, wants more availability, and now displays 806 cm3. A figure obtained by increasing the diameter of the combustion chambers: from 68.4 to 71 mm.
That’s not all. Because inflating a carton is good; fine-tuning its internal mechanics is better. Let’s detail a little, starting with the injection bodies which take 2 mm in diameter for a final at 34 mm. The heart being bigger, it has to breathe better. We offer him redesigned intake and exhaust ducts, intake vents of different length (short for n ° 1 and 4, long for n ° 2 and 3), and let’s keep it simple: block -cylinders now in die-cast aluminum (and no longer by gravity), electrofuse treatment to turn the steel liners, piston height reduced by 7 mm and weight reduction by 10%, larger oil jets, new chain distrib, slightly revised gearbox mechanism, etc….
This is enough to meet the competition, with more gniak everywhere in the plans. Everything has been thought of to shift the torque curve down and mid-range while strengthening it. And with a shorter final transmission, the Z will flank a small suitcase to its predecessor..
Our friends outside the French borders will be able to benefit from more watts, because the Z 800 releases 115 nags in full and 8.5 mkg. France tempers the effusions to 106 hp and 8.1 mkg, reached respectively at 10,000 and 8,000 rpm.
Beneath its finery, the Z 800 hides well what it has not changed. The chassis is the one, reinforced, of the Z 750 R. The shock absorber has been moved to the left, the tubular beam frame somewhat redesigned, but overall Kawa takes the same frame and adapts it gropingly – we would have preferred a profound technical change, as was the case for the 3rd generation of Z 1000. Note the lengthening of the swingarm (560 -> 572 mm), the shock absorber with an aluminum body and a separate reservoir, and optional Nissin ABS placed under the driver’s seat.
More fierce, the Z takes advantage of its new qualifier 800 to sport a new dashboard with triple digital windows, striking footrests, a revamped handlebars and a more compact exhaust, among others. We will be less impressed and even a little disappointed by the swingarm (why not have recovered the much nicer element of the Z 750 R?!?), The classic brake calipers (fashion wants radial) and, point of view staff, the machine is loading more and more plastics.
These are peccadilloes, which will not weigh heavily in the balance. The Z 800 will not only build on the success of the 7 and a half, it will push it to its limits. Be careful, it will growl even more.
Basically, it is time for Kawasaki to make a real effort to lose weight in its Z fetish. 229 kilos (3 more than the Z 750), it is still a mass for a roadster, especially since the reference of the segment, the 675 Street Triple, weighs 46 kilos less – a fridge of difference. But the market will pay little attention: the Z 750 has never been the thinnest blade in its segment, but its design and handling have always put it on the track for success. The Z 800 being in the same vein, everything is in place to ensure it a place on the sales podium, and its owners will forgive it for the fat it has on the muscles because they will focus more on the aggressive design and details that make the difference: the rear lights with Z-shaped diodes, the exaggerated silhouette, the consequent volume, the Z spirit.
The price ? He changed category. The Z 800 is placed at a price similar to that of the Z 750 R. In 2014, Kawa made a significant effort to make the roadster more accessible, with a price that was reduced by a "purple".
N.B: The Z 800 is also available in e version, a little less expensive, less well equipped, and releasing 95 horsepower. It will be clampable for the A2 license, will have less advanced suspensions and brakes, and costs the price of the ex Z 750 base.
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Z 800 2013
Model marketed in
about 230 km / h
The technical aspect
Kawasaki Z 800 2014
- Tank: 17 liters
- Width: 800 mm
- Height: 1,050 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,445 mm
- Operating weight: 229 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(71 x 51.9 mm)
at 10,200 rpm
at 8000 rpm