Retro is a big thing within the motorcycle industry right now with all the major manufacturers having a crack at it in one shape or form. Of course, some manufacturers have a head-start over many of the others as they have a heritage dating back to the very beginnings of motorcycles. Yes, we’re talking Triumph here, who in their rebirth plugged away with the Bonneville which is probably the bike that has spawned this latest infatuation.
And, lets face it, many of us gentlemen and ladies of a certain age, look back to the bikes that we drooled over as youngsters, bikes that we couldn’t afford back then but, we can now; only, we want something that looks the part combined with reliability which brings us to the retro scene.
Quite where you are at on the retro scene depends on what floated your boat all those years ago and whether you want something faithful to the original, such as a Triumph Bonneville or more of a modern take on an oldie, such as the Ducati Scrambler.
Right in the middle of all these retro bikes sits the Kawasaki Z900RS, harking back to the original 1970’s Z1 with clearly defined and familiar styling mated up with modern-day components, the most significant of which is that glorious 4-cylinder motor. Back in the day, the Z1 was a superbike and with a pedigree like that, the new Z900RS undoubtedly has a big act to follow.
With bikes as popular as these, it only seems right that someone would make a model of them. Minichamps were the first, several years ago with a 1:12 scale model of a 1973 Z1, and what a stunning model it was, featuring some amazing detail and superb finish. But, at what price? Well, it wasn’t in the affordable bracket when it was released and now, if available, would have an RRP of around £170.
Thankfully, we have a much more affordable alternative for the modern Z900RS in the shape of four 1:12 scale models from Maisto. Two base Kawasaki Z900RS diecast model motorcycles, one in Candytone Brown and Candytone Orange, the other in Metallic Spark Black; and two Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe diecast model motorcycles, one in Vintage Lime Green, the other in Metallic Graphite Grey. Admittedly, the detail doesn’t compare with that of Minichamps, but then neither does the price and let’s not forget that these models are also suitable for children aged three and over so, they simply can’t have intricate potentially choking hazard parts.
What you do get with these models are accurate representations of the actual bikes; the overall shapes and proportions look right as do the ancillary components and paint colours. The only gripe I have is that the wheels on the Z900RS in Metallic Black Spark should be black and not chrome-effect. However, on balance, these are amazing models for the money. We’ll be putting them in our collection, will you?