Demand for retro styled motorcycles is reaching a peak in Malaysia, and it appears that Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMM) is looking to cash in on the trend, with the impending release of the 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS. Drawing on the heritage of its famed four-cylinder naked sports bikes, the Z900RS takes the best of Kawasaki’s engine technology, and marries it to period correct bodywork.

But, is there more up KMM’s sleeve? Speaking to a source inside KMM who prefers to remain anonymous, there are a few surprises in store for Malaysian riders this year, especially for those who like the retro naked sports look.

There is talk that KMM may be considering bringing in the Kawasaki W175 naked commuter bike into the market. Having previously concentrated on the big bike market over the past decade, this represents a foray into a specialised niche for KMM, should the plan go through.

Currently on sale in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, the W175 is an air-cooled, single-cylinder machine displacing 177 cc, and putting out 13 PS at 7,500 rpm and 13.2 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Fed by carburettor, the W175 is a basic retro-styled commuter bike and retails in Indonesia for 30.8 million rupiah (RM8,426).

Not resting on its laurels, KMM is also seeing good things happening with the launch of the Z900RS, which paultan.org had a look at during the EICMA show in Milan last year. We were told that of the initial import batch of 40 units, 36 have been spoken for by dealers, with the remaining four RS’ allocated for the Kawasaki fleet and will be priced above the RM49,000 KMM is asking for the base Z900.

Additionally, the rather sportier styled Z900RS Cafe, which comes in a very fetching shade of Kawasaki Racing Green, will be forthcoming, possibly by the middle of the year, with something of a price premium above the Z900RS. This bodes well for Malaysian riders, who can expect a choice of three different naked four-cylinder sports bikes from Kawasaki in the local market.

In other news, fans of the Kawasaki Z650 middleweight naked sports can expect something really exciting from Kawasaki Ninja shops in the coming months. This could take the form of a very different Z650 from what Malaysian riders are used to, with a restyling that will raise more than a few eyebrows.

The author was given a look at what is coming up, and it is certainly different. Let’s just say if you thought the Z650 was a little, shall we say, understated in the physical looks department, Kawasaki Malaysia’s new Z650 project will change that perception.

GALLERY: 2018 Kawasaki W175


GALLERY: 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS