2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Kawasaki’s signature Z series. In 1972, the legendary Z1 broke cover in a stunning “Fireball” colorway. To honor the trailblazing model, Kawasaki recreates the look with its Z900RS and Z650RS throwbacks, while the standard Z900 and Z650 deliver a modern take on the livery.
Starting with the retro roadsters, Kawasaki developed a special multi-layer painting process to capture the deep hues and glossy texture of the original Z1. Of course, Team Green released a very similar colorway when it introduced the Z900RS to the market in 2018. However, compared to that rendition, the new paint reproduces the deeper brown and burnt orange candy colors that made the Z1 so appealing.
Along with the special paint job, Kawasaki honors the Z series’ gold anniversary by equipping the two RS models with gold wheelsets. The commemorative bits don’t stop there though. Kawi adds 50th-anniversary logos to the tank and engine case cover while the side covers gain vintage-inspired 900 Double Overhead Camshaft badging. The tuck and roll seat also resembles the 2018 Z900RS’s unit, but the addition of textured material and a grab rail set the two years apart.
While the Z900 RS and Z650RS 50th Anniversary editions are perfect homages to the original Z, the 2022 Z900 and Z650 are the perfect canvas for the Z1100GP’s Firecracker Red livery. Due to the success of the Z1100GP, the Firecracker Red colorway became a staple in Kawasaki’s lineup throughout the 1980s.
To complement the striking color, the modern-day Zs also bear the iconic model’s white and black graphics. Similar to the RS 50th Anniversary models, the Z900 and Z650 also earn celebratory emblems on the fuel tank and fender along with a leather saddle.
The 50th Anniversary Z Series will hit Kawasaki showrooms in Japan on February 1, 2022, and European dealerships will receive models in Spring. In the Netherlands, the Z 900 will go for €11,299 ($12,800 USD) and the Z900RS will retail at €13,899 ($15,725 USD). The Z650 will carry a €8,399 ($9,500 USD) price tag while the Z650RS will command €9399 ($10,650 USD). For now, North American availability hasn’t been announced.