2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS First Look

Bryan Harley | June 2, 2015

Kawasaki announced today it is bringing its Z800 streetfighter to the U.S. Available in the European market since 2013, Americans will now get a chance to climb into the saddle of this mid-level streetfighter with aggressive styling similar to the popular Z1000.

The streetfighter’s angst will be unleashed through an 806cc four-cylinder, 16-valve engine. Its intake cams are said to provide an abundance of low-to-midrange torque and its ECU is set to provide instant gratification at the throttle. Fueling is provided by 34mm Keihin throttle bodies and sub-throttles to ensure constant delivery regardless of throttle position. Kawasaki seeks to extend engine life courtesy of large 1.2mm piston-cooling oil jets and a low-friction camshaft chain.

2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS

The four-cylinders feed into an exhaust system with curved header pipes, equalizer tubes connecting headers 1 and 4 and 2 to 3. The shorty exhaust does away with the center pipe and is designed to allow for ample lean angles. Though it meets mandated noise regulations, Kawasaki says the 2016 Z800 ABS has been tuned so it still unleashes a streetfighter-worthy growl.

The engine is mounted in a high-tensile tubular frame with a steel swingarm and cast aluminum subframe completing the chassis. The engine mounts are situated behind the cylinders to help keep vibrations to a minimum and dial in center of gravity. Smoothing out the ride is a 41mm KYB inverted fork with rebound damping and preload adjustability. The rear features Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak system with a single KYB piggyback reservoir shock and like the fork has a stepless rebound damping adjuster. Stopping action is provided by dual opposed four-piston calipers on the front squeezing a 277 mm petal-type rotor. A single-piston caliper anchors the rear, the petal-style back rotor measuring 216 mm. The braking package includes a Nissin ABS unit.

Angular and aggressive like its namesake, the Z1000, the 2016 Z800 ABS has a handlebar with a flatter bend than a sportbike and riders are situated more comfortably upright. The instrument panel consists of three LCD screens in angular housings, keeping in the theme of the bike’s styling. The center LCD has an altimeter-style tach, but three tachometer display patterns are offered allowing riders to tailor the display to their own personal taste. Readouts include a speedometer, odometer, clock, dual trip meters, engine temperature, fuel gauge, remaining range, as well as an Economical Riding Indicator. The 2016 Z800 also has a theft deterrent system in the key because even though it works conventionally, the engine won’t start without it.

The 2016 Kawasaki 800 ABS is offered in Metallic Spark Black / Flat Ebony with an MSRP of $8399. Unfortunately, California residents won’t be able to get their hands on one yet because it’s not certified for the state.

2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS

Here’s more highlights courtesy of Kawasaki PR. 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS

Key Features
– Aggressive, stripped down streetfighter styling
– Reliable and torquey 806cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine
– Smooth power delivery with strong performance at high RPM
– Legendary Kawasaki reliability, durability and build quality
– Light, sporty steering thanks to responsive suspension and brakes
– Upright “streetfighter” riding position provides excellent leverage on the controls for maximum maneuverability, coupled with a commanding view for back-road fun or city commuting
– Adjustable KYB front and rear suspension allows the rider to tailor the handling
– Supersport-style lightweight aluminum six-spoke wheels contribute to the Z800’s sporty image while reducing rotating inertia
– Short final-drive gearing provides quick response and enhanced riding excitement, while a tall sixth gear helps maintain highway comfort
– Modern instrumentation provides plenty of information with stylish design
– Electronic immobilizer built into standard ignition key. Key operates conventionally, but the engine won’t start without the correct key being used. The system is fully integrated and requires no additional action from the rider

DOHC, 16-valve, 806cc Engine
– 806cc liquid-cooled inline-four offers excellent power from idle to redline
– Intake cams provide abundant low-to-midrange torque for instant thrust and maximum rider satisfaction
– Aggressive ECU settings provide sharp throttle response
– 34mm Keihin throttle bodies feed the air/fuel mixture directly into combustion chamber
– For durability, the engine uses wide radius crankshaft journals
– Large 1.2mm piston-cooling oil jets increase engine durability and reliability
– Low-friction camshaft chain reduces operating friction
– Smooth shifting six-speed transmission provides gear ratios for a range of riding situations
– Short gearing provides quick acceleration and riding excitement, while a tall sixth gear maintains highway comfort

Electronic Ignition
– Individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each of the four spark plugs independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder
– ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up

Exhaust System
– Large radius curved header pipes allow the pipes to be as long as possible, increasing exhaust extraction and improving low-to-mid RPM engine response
– Equalizer tubes connect header pipes 1 and 4 as well as 2 and 3 to again improve low-to-mid RPM response
– Exhaust valve is positioned upstream of the muffler entrance to help “tune” the back-pressure waves for enhanced response in the same low-mid range
– A short-style exhaust system eliminates the center pipe and uses a short muffler to aid mass centralization and give a strong streetfighter image
– The muffler is angled to ensure good lean angles while meeting noise regulations
– The exhaust has been tuned to give a more aggressive sound to suit the motorcycle’s character
– Brushed-metal finish on the silencer end cap provides enhanced visual appeal

Larger Fuel Tank
– 4.5 gallon (17L) fuel tank offers generous range
– Radical shape complements the Z800’s streetfighter styling
– Slim-type fuel pump features an integral fuel level sensor for enhanced accuracy

ABS Brakes with Petal-type Rotors
– Dual opposed four-piston calipers provide excellent feel and progressive braking response
– Petal-type 277mm front brake rotors are typically sportbike hardware
– Pad compound has a high coefficient of friction that contributes to the front brake power and sensitivity
– A single-piston rear caliper grips a 216 petal-type disc. The compact caliper is mounted below the swingarm and located by a torque rod
– Nissin ABS pump features a fluid pressure sensor that allows precise control of line pressures
– A low-battery mode helps preserve ABS effectiveness when the battery charge is low (although riders may notice that ABS operation is not as smooth as in normal mode)

High-tensile Steel Backbone Frame
– High-tensile steel backbone frame helps make the bike narrow and easy to grip with the knees for maximum rider comfort and control
– The frame is lightweight and highly rigid, and uses the engine as a stressed member for solid handling and optimum stability
– A steel swingarm provides additional stiffness and rigidity
– Lightweight cast aluminum engine subframe allows the front engine mounts to be positioned behind the cylinders to help reduce engine vibration
– A brace connects the front of the engine left and right?subframes, providing added frame torsional rigidity for increased handling stability.
– A combination of rigid and rubber mounts deliver a high level of feedback for added control

Suspension
– 41mm inverted KYB fork has adjustable rebound damping and spring preload, allowing fine-tuning to suit the rider’s preference
– Kawasaki Uni-Trak rear suspension system includes a KYB shock with a piggyback reservoir, stepless rebound damping adjustment and spring preload adjustment to compensate for a passenger, luggage or preference

Instrumentation
– Futuristic instrument panel features three LCD screens
– Central LCD display contains a altimeter-style tachometer with three selectable tachometer displays available allowing the rider to customize the appearance
– Instrument display also includes speedometer, odometer, clock, dual trip meters, engine temperature, fuel gauge, remaining range and Economical Riding Indicator
– Electronic immobilizer built into standard ignition key. Key operates conventionally, but the engine won’t start without the correct key being used. The system is fully integrated and requires no additional action from the rider

Specs
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 806cc
Bore x stroke: 71 x 50.9mm
Compression ratio: 11.9:1
Fuel injection: DFI with Keihin 34mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final drive: Sealed chain
Rake / trail: 24 degrees / 3.9”
Frame: High-tensile steel backbone
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Rear tire: 180/55 ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Wheelbase: 56.9”
Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm inverted fork with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability / 4.7”
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Bottom-link Uni-Trak horizontal monoshock with piggyback reservoir, stepless rebound damping, adjustable spring preload / 5.4”
Front brakes: Dual 277mm petal-type rotors with four-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake: Single 216mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper, ABS
Overall length: 82.7”
Overall width: 31.5”
Overall height: 41.3”
Seat height: 32.8”
Curb weight (claimed): 509.4 lb.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Colors: Metallic Spark Black / Flat Ebony
MSRP: $8,399

Bryan Harley

Cruiser Editor |Articles | Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.