5 Common Kawasaki Z900RS Problems and Their Fixes

The Kawasaki Z900RS is a great option for riders seeking performance and power without compromising their safety. The bike’s engine delivers huge amounts of power with its 948 cc engine, providing bikers with a thrilling ride. Despite its benefits, it is not completely devoid of problems. 

Kawasaki Z900RS problems include a variety of different gear transmission problems. Overheating, flaws in the brake design, low idling time, and a defective cooling fan are also some of the most common problems this bike faces. 

None of the problems are too severe if you know how to troubleshoot and fix them properly. So, let’s get started on learning exactly that. 

Kawasaki Z900RS Problems
Kawasaki Z900RS Problems

Troubleshooting and Fixing Kawasaki Z900RS Problems 

Kawasaki Z900RS has a liquid-cooled inline-four engine with a shaft drive transmission that can reach a peak speed of 140 mph. 

However, it still had several recalls throughout the years. The bikers have complained about a number of issues with the bike that are also easily fixable.

Let’s learn how to troubleshoot and fix Kawasaki Z900RS problems in the most efficient way. 

1. Transmission Problems While Gear Shifting

Many bikers have reported issues while shifting the gears on their Kawasaki Z900RS. The bike clunks when it goes into first gear. 

The gear rod moves, but it doesn’t shift the gear as intended. When the bike is not warmed up and the idle speed is high, this problem takes a turn for the worse.

The bike jerks during the transmission, and gear shifting starts to feel clunky and rough. The gear meshing accumulates dust and carbon particles over time. 

This interrupts the power transmission and causes the bike to jerk. Worn gears and clutch plates can also be the reason for difficulty engaging the gears. 

Check the gearbox for worn or damaged parts of the gears and replace them. Opt for a higher grade of oil than you’re using now. While parking the bike, make sure not to put pressure on the gearbox. 

Move the bike backwards or forwards before shifting to first gear. While shifting gears, ensure that the RPM matches the next lower gear to avoid clunks in gear shift. 

2. Banging Noise From The Gearbox

Lots of bikers have noticed a loud banging noise coming from the gearbox during transmissions. 

It usually appears along with rough forward jerking. Poor maintenance of the gearbox is noted as the cause of this problem.

If the oil level is not as recommended by the manual, the transmission faces more friction. Low grade oil is also another culprit in this problem. 

There could be an inaccurate mesh between the gears and the engine, which leads to this banging noise.

Use a high quality lubricant oil as the transmission liquid. Change the transmission oil regularly and keep an eye on the oil levels. 

It is best to get an oil change after driving every 10k-15k miles. Clean the gearbox in order to avoid dust and debris increasing the friction.

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3. Z900RS Overheats

Even in normal weather conditions, the Kawasaki Z900RS is known to run at very high temperatures. 

The overheating doesn’t cause any serious issues right away, but it is really uncomfortable to use the bike on a warm day. The bike possesses a temperature gauge to display the temperature.

Low coolant is the main reason for this overheating issue. The 948cc engine needs a high amount of coolant to counter its operating heat. The quality of the lubricants is also vital to this problem.

Always check the coolant level to solve overheating issues. If the coolant level is below the L line, refill it as soon as possible. The fuel and coolant both need to be of high quality. 

It is advisable to lower the cold idle of the bike to 1500 rpm for better results. Minimize riding the bike at too high an altitude as well.

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4. Defective Rear Brakes

The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS had a fault in the brake design. The rear brake system had a flaw where the brake hose and rear wheel rotation sensor lead came into contact with the rear tire. 

This contact has the potential to damage wire and the hose which reduces braking effectiveness.  

The broken wires can impair ABS functionality or speedometer readings. Broken hoses cause the brake fluid to leak. 

The biker can face an accident since the braking efficiency deteriorates the longer you drive, especially at high speed. 

As this is a design issue, only the dealership can fix it by redesigning the brake system. 

They will replace the rear brake free of charge and ensure there is enough distance between the brake line and wheel sensor. They also have a protocol to examine the rear brake wire routing.

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4. Cold Start Issues

When you try to start your Kawasaki Z900RS after being inactive overnight, it takes a long time to respond. 

Especially in colder temperatures, the idle requires a period of time to warm up. 

The cold start doesn’t let the bike throttle back properly. So, you can’t start and use the throttle right away during a cold start. You’ll lose time while waiting for the idle to warm up.

Get the dealership to check out any problems with your sensor inputs for this issue. 

Adjust the cold idle by doing a 0.25 turn and restarting the bike. Set the warm idle speed to 1100 rpm after settling down. 

5. Low Idle Time

After keeping the Kawasaki Z900RS idle for a while, the engine shuts down on its own. This problem occurs due to the engine not receiving enough power. 

The idle RPM refuses to go above 1000 rpm. It is usually higher in colder environments and lower in warm weather.

The filter or fuel injector can get clogged with dirt and debris. Moreover, low grade oil is another reason the engine fails to receive enough power. 

Check the fuel injector and air filter and clean all kinds of dirt from them to unclog them. Switch to quality oil and get a fuel change. If the filter or injector is bad, replace them with the help of an expert.

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Maintenance Tips To Prevent Problems on Kawasaki Z900RS

Keeping the Kawasaki Z900RS in peak health will let you experience the full range of its abilities. The only way to do that is through proper care and maintenance of your bike. 

Like any other bike, the Kawasaki Z900R also requires a certain amount of care in order to function well.

  • Keep the gears and the gearbox free of all kinds of debris.
  • Change the lubricants (oil and coolant) after driving every 10k-15k miles.
  • Always purchase high quality lubricants for your bike. The fuel, coolant, and lubricant have to be of A grade.
  • Check the tire pressure regularly and before heading out every time.
  • Keep an eye out for unusual noises in the gearbox. 
  • Drive the bike well within its mentioned parameters and avoid too high altitudes.
  • Inspect the air filter and the fuel injector periodically for damage or dirt. 


As the owner of a Kawasaki Z900RS, it is normal to have a lot of concerns about your bike. Let’s take a look at some of the inquiries most owners have regarding their bikes.

Is The Kawasaki Z900RS Reliable?

Kawasaki Z900RS is an extremely reliable bike which delivers great performance and speed. It features a powerful 948 cc engine, better suspension, strong brakes, maximum 82 kW power, and 6500 rpm torque. 

Should I Buy A Used Kawasaki Z900RS?

Yes, you can buy a used Kawasaki Z900RS without any worries. But first, test out the engine, gears, clutch, and braking system, along with the overall ride quality. If these components function perfectly well, you can buy a used one at a lower price. 

What Is The Kawasaki Z900RS Recall?

Kawasaki Z900RS went through two recalls in 2018 and 2019. Both times, the recall was for rear brake issues. The wheel speed sensor and the rear brake hose in these years were designed too close. So, the recalls were issues for redesigning this part.


The Kawasaki Z900RS has received high praise from both beginners and experienced riders. But like any other bike, it too has issues that impair its performance, from gear transmission problems to braking issues.

You shouldn’t have any major problems riding your bike for years as long as you stay aware of the possible problems.

Build up a maintenance routine and abide by it. Since this bike is quite an expensive purchase, looking after it properly is also a mandatory duty to avoid the extra repair costs.

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