Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café (2018+) Maintenance Schedule

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café, Kawasaki’s “retro classic” motorcycle released in 2017 for 2018+.

The Kawasaki Z900RS is a more sedate and higher-spec version of the Kawasaki Z900 streetfighter. It uses the same 948cc DOHC fuel-injected inline-four engine, but it’s tuned for more modest power output of 82 kW (110 hp) @ 8500 rpm and peak torque of 98 Nm (72 ft-lb) @ 6500 rpm — similar peak torque, but coming over 1000 rpm lower.

The Z900RS is also available as the Kawasaki Z900RS Café, which is the same bike but with a different front cowl and handlebar position. Both have the same maintenance schedule.

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Maintenance Schedule for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café

Below is the maintenance information for the Kawasaki Z900RS.

It’s broken up into

  • Daily checks
  • The standard service checklist
  • The service schedule of things like oil changes, spark plug changes, and so on
  • Chain maintenance

Daily checks for the Z900RS

You’re supposed to do the following daily/regular checks of your Kawasaki Z900RS. Some of this is what you’ll note as soon as you set off on your motorcycle to ride it.

ItemChecks to perform
Fuel* Adequate supply in tank, no leaks
Engine oil* Oil level between level lines
Tyres* Air pressure (when cold), install the air valve cap
* Tyre wear
Drive chain* Slack: Every 1000 km (600 mile)
* Lubricate: Every 600 km (400 mile), or if dry

See below section on chain maintenance
Bolts, nuts, and fasteners* Check for loose and/or missing bolts, nuts, and fasteners
Steering* Action smooth but not loose from lock to lock
* No binding of control cables
Brakes* Brake pad wear
* Brake fluid level
* No brake fluid leakage
Throttle* Throttle grip free play
Clutch* Clutch lever free play
* Clutch lever operates smoothly
Coolant* No coolant leakage
* Coolant level between level lines (when engine is cold)
Electrical equipment* All lights (head, city, brake/tail, turn signal, license plate, warning/indicator) and horn work
Engine stop switch* Stops engine
Side stand* Return to its fully up position by spring tension
* Return spring not weak or not damaged
Rear view mirrorsRear view sight
Daily checks for the Kawasaki Z900RS

Z900RS Standard Service Checklist

Below is the standard service checklist for the Kawasaki Z900RS.

If items are marked “Annual”, do them even if the distance interval hasn’t been met. Otherwise, it’s less critical (but easy to do).

Z900RS Standard Service itemRequired
Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag) — InspectYes
Fuel system — Inspect (leaks, general condition)Yes
Idle speed — Inspect / Adjust
Drive chain wear — Inspect
Drive chain guide wear — Inspect
Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement)
Brake operation — Inspect (effectiveness, no drag)Yes
Brake fluid level — Inspect
Check more often — recommended every half year
Cooling system — Inspect (general functioning, including fan)Yes
Coolant level — Inspect
Engine vacuum sync — Inspect
Air suction system — Inspect
Tire air pressure — Inspect / Adjust (see table below)Yes
Wheels and tires — Inspect (condition, tread)Yes
Wheel bearing condition — Inspect (no notches, damage)Yes
Suspension system, front and rear — Inspect (smooth functioning, no leaks)
Steering play — Inspect (smooth, no notchiness)
Electrical system — Inspect (all lights/switches)
Chassis parts — Lubricate
Bolts, nuts, and fasteners — Inspect condition / tighten
Z900RS Standard Service checklist

Service Schedule

Below is the full maintenance schedule from the manual for the Z900RS and Z900RS Café, reformatted slightly for ease of understanding.

In the right-most column there’s an entry for every # years or # distance in km/miles you should do each item. At the first of either distance or time interval perform the service.

km x 100016121824
mi x 10000.63.87.611.415.2Every
Conduct standard service checklist (See above)Year
Engine oil — Replace (Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine oil)Year
Oil filter — Replace (HF303RC)
Spark plug — Replace (NGK CR9EIA-9)
Air cleaner element — ReplaceMore often when riding in dusty / wet conditions
Fuel filter — Replace
Fuel hoses — Replace5 years
Coolant, water hoses, and O-rings — Replace3 years / 22500 mi / 36000 km
Valve clearance — Inspect / adjust
Brake fluid (front and rear) — Replace (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Brake hoses — Replace4 years
Rubber parts of brake master cylinder and caliper — Replace4 years / 48000 km / 30000 mi
Brake pad wear — Inspect. Replace as necessary
Brake light switch operation — Check
Steering stem bearings — Lubricate2 years
Evaporative emission control system (if fitted) — Inspect
Kawasaki Z900RS maintenance schedule

Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki Z900RS

It’s important to maintain your chain on the Z900RS, as on any chain-driven motorcycle. Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)400 mi / 600 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary
Target slack: 30-40mm (1.2-1.6 inches)
600 mi / 1000 km
Check chain wear and chain guide wear. Replace as necessary.Service
Chain maintenance — Kawasaki Z900RS


  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Z900RS in dusty or rainy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Checking Chain Slack

To check the slack on the Kawasaki Z900RS, put the motorcycle in neutral, onto its kickstand, and on a level surface. Take everything out of any luggage fitted.

Check the slack on the lower part of the chain, midway between the sprockets, and check it in multiple places (move the motorcycle forwards and backwards) as chains wear unevenly.

Slack on the Kawasaki Z900RS is defined as the free vertical movement of the chain.

Target chain slack for the Kawasaki Z900RS / Café: 30 – 40 mm (1.2 – 1.6 in)

If the chain slack is out of spec, you need to adjust it. Follow the below procedure.

Kawasaki Z900RS Chain Alignment Adjustment Diagram | Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café (2018+) Maintenance Schedule

Adjusting Chain Slack

To adjust the chain slack on the Kawasaki Z900RS (whether standard or Café trim), follow the steps below.

  1. Loosen the rear axle with a breaker bar, and loosen the adjuster lock nuts on either side of the axle.
  2. Turn the adjuster nuts to tighten (or loosen) the chain. Keep checking the chain tension to see if it has come within spec.
  3. Keep an eye on the adjuster alignment marks on either side of the axle, comparing it with the notch. Make sure that the adjustment is to the same point on both sides.
  4. When you’re done, tighten the axle to 110 Nm / 81 lb-ft. Tighten the lock nuts but do not overtighten it.
  5. Re-check the chain slack again to make sure it’s still within spec.

Tyre and tyre pressures for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café

The Kawasaki Z900RS runs tubeless tyres, Dunlop Sportmax GPR in stock trim.

WheelTyre sizeTyre pressure
Front120/70ZR17 M/C 58W250 kPa/36 psi
Rear180/55ZR17 M/C 73W290 kPa/42 psi
Tyre sizes and pressures for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café

About the Kawasaki Z900RS and Café

Kawasaki Z900RS and Cafe static

The Z900RS is Kawasaki’s “retro standard”.

It loosely competes with other classically styled motorcycles like the Honda CB1000R and Yamaha XSR900.

But like each of those motorcycles, the Kawasaki Z900RS is more likely to have retro appeal to people who grew up with old Kawasakis and are used to seeing Team Green produce machines that were once superbikes.

While modern the Kawasaki superbike is the ZX-10R, the Kawasaki Z900RS looks like the superbikes of old, from the days of Eddie Lawson.

Even though it’s not the fastest bike, it’s no slowpoke. The 948cc inline four-cylinder engine produces an impressive 80 kW (111 hp) @ 8500 rpm, meaning it’s both grunty and that you don’t have to rev it to the moon to make it sing. Even better, there are simple mods out there (exhausts and tunes) that can easily extract another 15% from the engine.

The Z900RS also comes with top-spec suspension — a fully adjustable front inverted fork and a preload and rebound-adjustable rear setup. Braking is sportbike level and the bike isn’t too heavy at 214 kg (472 lb). Basically, those looking for a sporty experience and occasional rush will be satisfied.

What’s important to bear in mind is that as a motorcycle, the Z900RS is 100% capable. This isn’t a case of “form over function”. In base trim, the Kawasaki Z900RS has great, usable power, a flat torque line, excellent handling, decent ride safety equipment, and high reliability.

So what’s the but? There isn’t one really, other than the fact that the retro-ness means that the Z900RS loses out on a little of the latest tech that some “streetfighter”-style bikes have.

For example, the latest streetfighter bikes from BMW have cruise control and cornering ABS. The Yamaha MT-10 even has cruise control (though no IMU). These things are becoming standard, and they’ll become frequently-requested items by owners over the coming years. The Z900RS lacks these — though it does have ABS and traction control.

Another slight blemish on the Z900RS’ spec sheet is that in base trim, it underperforms its sporty sibling the Z900. It’s also a lot more expensive. So you realise that you really are paying for aesthetics — and a better suspension set up.

But the real appeal of the Z900RS is the aesthetics. It looks fantastic in any colour (even green, if that’s your thing). The gauges have the right “dial” feel. The paint is superb. The seat is plush.

So if you want a great looking bike that’s also great to ride and own, then the Z900RS might be for you.

In the same vein, Kawasaki has also released the Kawasaki Z650RS, a retro roadster based on the Z650.

Manual for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café

The above maintenance schedule came directly from the manual for the Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Café. You can download it from Kawasaki’s website here.

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