As a recently new owner of a 2020 Z900RS Cafe, I can attest that this is one of the most comfortable bikes that someone who recently had lower back surgery (2019)
A little bit about myself:
I am 47 y/o, 30" inseam, 200 lbs (mostly beer).
New at riding motorcycles,
I started on May of 2018 with a Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS,
I almost totally love this bike, but the suspension sucks, plus the seating position doesn't allow you to stand on the pegs when going over potholes and road buckles.
L5 - S1 Discectomy surgery 2019.
I have been riding bicycles for as far as I can remember, I have ridden in the mountains of Colorado, and I am used to using my legs to work in conjunction with the suspension.
There is no doubt that the Vulcan S is a great beginner's bike, but not very comfortable when going over potholes or bumps on the road, especially if you have back problems.
I had been eyeing the Z900rs Cafe from the day I made the decision to get a motorcycle, But I am wise enough to know that it was too much power for a starter bike, plus the seat height was not going to help me gain confidence when standing over the bike.
Last year I had a chance to ride a Honda Grom, and right then I knew that was the right seating position that I was looking for, so the hunt for a good deal on a new Z900rs Cafe began.
Disappointed with unattainable prices (for me) for a new model, I was left with looking for used models, still not less expensive by much. I started by looking at a used 2019 model for $8,600 with 10 miles, but being the first week in February, in the middle of Wisconsin, not a chance to take it for a test ride, but I was able to sit on it and I liked everything about it, except the seat height.
By the time May rolled around, the bike was a goner, but this was a good thing, I knew I would be able to test ride one before I commit to the monthly payments.
The second used bike I found was a dealer West of Chicago, it was a 2018 model, and it had 3,523 miles, and they were asking $9,500, still more than I wanted to spend for a bike, specially for a used one, my new 2017 Vulcan S was $5,800 new. But I finally got a chance to take the bike for a test ride, and man, I was sold, this was the bike for me.
But they only allowed me to ride the bike on the dealership's large parking lot and around the gigantic shopping center that the dealer seats on, but still no highway action.
The only thing that got me concerned about this bike was that it made a loud clunk sound when going into first gear, so I never pulled the trigger on this bike. Again, this was a good thing, the clunking sound is very normal for this model of bike. The concern was just my lack of experience with this bike, and it was the first thing I checked when I found my brand new bike, it made the same sound when going in first gear.
The third Z900rs Cafe that I found on line was seating at a dealer in St. Charles Missouri, some 350 miles, 5.5 hours drive from my house, I live near the border of WI & IL, and man, they had an awesome deal, $8,500, 0 miles brand spanking new 2020 leftover model, just what I need it 😎. Actually they had 3 bikes of the same year and model.
Although it only took me 5.5 hours to get there, the way back was a miserable 9 hours, and most of it in the rain.
I knew that for this day some rain would be part of the deal, I just didn't think it was going to be that bad, especially when it got dark, and I was wet from head to toe, my hands were purple and wrinkling. So many times I thought I was going to died on that day, from car cars rushing to park under bridges, to semi trucks pulling right in front of me on close to zero visibility rain, by the time I got home I thought to myself, man I have made some bad decisions in my life, today is on the top ten for sure.
The good parts of the day was that when I left the dealer the weather was nice and sunny, right before rush hour, which was great for breaking in the engine, low RPMs and easy riding for the most part. The suspension settings is great right out of the factory, and being able to stand on the pegs when going over potholes and road buckles was such a relief for my lower back
I wish I would have made my upgrade much sooner.
Although the bike looks like it has an aggressive riding position, it does not feel like that at all, It actually it is a very comfortable position, you can ride it like a standard bike, or get down low for the higher speeds, and I can even ride it standing up.... for short distances, but is very doable, and I do it often when riding long distances and I need to stretch my legs. Adding handlebar risers would make it better for riding standing up, but I feel that it would take away from the riding low for higher speeds in long distance trips that I prefer to do. The seat has lots of room to move back and forth, and for additional comfort I keep using the cruiser style AirHawk air bladder that I was already using on my Vulcan S, it feels like riding on a cloud.
Ones I was out of the city and I could relax, I got a taste of resting my feet on the passenger pegs, man this was awesome, another riding position.
The mpg's are great too,
60 mpg @ 60 mph,
50 mpg @ 70 mph, and close to
35mpg @ 120 mph on the highway..... I was told.
and the average is 42 mpg.
So yes, in my opinion, this is a great bike, especially if you have back problems, and are looking for comfort on long distance rides. So stop reading my post and go to your closest dealer and take a used model for a test ride, and buy a new, leftover model for the best deal on the price, but be prepared, you may have to ride/drive a few hundred miles to get your next dream bike.
Now, for those of you who are still reading, bonus riding experience:
This last June Sun. the 20th I had a plan to ride to Colorado from where I live near Chicago, some 1,000 miles +/- . It was a special occasion and I need it to be on top of Mt Evans on Jun 21st, so after many delays and finally getting my radiator grill delivered, my wife following in the minivan and I, left at noon on Sunday knowing that we would hit heavy rain that was coming our way, by the time we intersected the rain, we had 4 hours into the trip, and we were at a rest area somewhere in the middle of Iowa, so we decide that it was best to spend the night at the rest area and wait for the storm to blow over.
Next morning, we resumed the rest of the trip thinking that the worst was behind us, ho man, I was so wrong, thinking that the sunny day and fresh breeze was a sign of the good riding ahead, we got rolling. The closer I got to Nebraska boarder, the more that the fresh breeze turned into high winds, I had experienced a little bit of high winds on a motorcycle before, but nothing like this, this was insane! It went from having a good time riding fast, to holly sh..t, what is going on. It was so crazy that at one point I pulled over at a rest area to check my gear and the bike just in case, and a truck driver pulled behind me and approached me to tell me: I saw you passing me back there, almost going sideways, it was crazy! and I wanted to tell him: yeah man, and that brown puff of smoke back there was not my bike, it was me shi..ing pants. Man, I was cut off guard by the high winds, I literally had to point the bike into the direction that the wind was blowing from, and just give it gas to counterbalance the wind, it was a new experience for me for sure, and yet again, the bike performed like a champ. Once I got to the second half of Nebraska the winds died down and I could finally relax a bit. That late Monday night we got on to our friends house in Westminster Colorado, but we would not make it to the top of Mt Evans as planned, I was too tired after 14 hours of riding. This would be the second time I rode a bike for 14 hours in one day. Mt Evans would have to wait 2 more day, as I wanted to go hiking in Boulder, CO the next day, so we can stretch our legs.
The next few days the weather was great, and on Wednesday morning I rode into Rocky Mountains National Park, it was a beautiful ride, you should do it too.
After exiting the park I was finally on my way to Mt. Evans, but not before going over Berthoud Pass.
Crazy switchbacks, this is not a place to go fast, especially for a newbie like me, my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest.
Going up the road on Mt. Evans was very nice too, a few areas for car camping along the way, nice scenery, it takes about an hour to get to the top, the road is narrow, and closer to the top the road feels more like is designed for a 4x4 truck, but paved, I think is the natural erosion and they just keep paving over it, lots of bumps, but paved. Finally, I made it to the top!!! I knew it was going to be great, I have been there before, so I knew that it was going to be cold as f...., at 14,000 feet even late in June is cold, but I had my heated gloves, so it was all good. Needless to say the views were awesome, just being there it felt like being on top of the world.
A few days later it was time to return home, but the weather just kept getting worse by the day, so I made the decision to leave the bike at my friend's garage in Denver, drive with my wife in the van back home, fly back to Denver the following weekend, get my bike and ride for (2) 8 hours days in nice sunny no wind weather back home, and spending the night at a hotel in Omaha, NE on the fourth of July. Having risked my life the day that I bought my bike riding in crazy rain weather, I promised myself that I would never again risk my life driving in heavy rain by choice, not if I could avoid it.
The total miles for the round trip was 2,374, in 5 days of actual riding, it was an awesome trip!!!!
Full of adventure and a super comfortable ride.
As of today 8/18/21, the bike has a total of 3,939 miles on the clock, that is in less than 3 months.
My Vulcan S had 15,000 of miles when I traded it in,
that was in 3 years.
I love my Z900rs Cafe
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