The Z900 is all about pure performance. First up, the 948cc mill is silken in its delivery no matter what rpm it is being revved at. Pottering around in city, it acts perfectly lazy at lower revs. Riding at 50kmph in 6th gear is doable without any knocking. Being a large engine, it does tend to heat up a little, but that is only when it lumbers around for too long.
Open it up to the mid-range – 3500rpm to 7000rpm - and the Z900 will just begin to fly, cooling down in a couple of minutes. Though it is yet to hit the power-band, it certainly gives you an inkling as to what lurks beyond 7000rpm if you dare to whack it open.
Because then, you will not have time to think. The rev-limiter will cut off power even before you realise you had to shift. Meanwhile, the front wheel has already freed itself from its duties on the tarmac. Shift into second and the whole sequence repeats itself in exactly the same way, except at higher speeds. It is only after you shift into third gear, that you can actually comprehend the exact sequence of events.
As a rider, you need to experience all of this before you try and attack a corner. Because the sheer brutality of the opened throttle will catch you off-guard otherwise. But, if you have a steady head on your shoulders, the Z900 isn’t untameable. The right gear and the apt throttle will ease the motorcycle into a corner as if it were a supersport, egging you to go faster every time with all the grip and stability on offer. The firmly setup suspension and the Dunlop rubber provide consistent grip throughout and you will not miss out on the traction control on a bright sunny day. But if it is damp or wet, you need a very deft wrist to be able to manage the traction.
The brakes do a good job of reining in the Z900 and with the ABS to aid, the motorcycle is composed even under duress. Having said that, the front brakes do feel a tad muted in terms of feedback. Overall, the Z900 is fun and insane and will reward the brave but not the reckless.