Kawasaki Z900RS / Cafe
Here are Z900RS reviews taken from
my facebook page, private email, and other public sources....
Reviews are in date order...
Comparison reviews are marked with *********
Scott Jones recommends Ivan's Performance Products.
Just installed the Akrapovic Header
and Ivan ECU flash on my z900rs cafe.
No more Jerky Throttle and even traction mode 1 you can't
keep the front wheel on the ground.
I already love the bike but this was the icing on the cake.
Comparison review *********
Online post on the Z900RS forum from flynbulldog·
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:45:04 PM »
Entire thread topic is here:
Town / City: Greensboro NC
of you whove read my posts before know that Ive been pretty
outspoken about the horrible throttle snatchiness on the Z900RS.
From the beginning Ive held on to the idea that the problem is caused
by Fuel Cut which is when the fuel is completely shut off on deceleration
causing a feeling (to me) that
someone has reached over and switched off the ignition. And then on opening
the throttle again a very abrupt re-ignition occurs causing a jerky lack
of control and coordination.
Because this condition has been so bad Ive not ridden the bike much
and Ive even put it up for sale which is a shame because in every
other way I really love the bike.
Im not one to go for band-aid solutions that mask the
problem and dont address it directly, so Im not going to use
a throttle tamer or try to nullify the harshness by going for softer gears.
These solutions in my opinion only numb the performance of the bike so you
feel the problem less; they do nothing to correct the issue.
Against my better judgment the first solution I tried was
more like the shotgun approach. Rather than trying to tune the ECU lets
just throw more fuel at it everywhere and
see how it goes
But the Booster Plug was the first thing available
and so many people called it a magic bullet.
It is no magic bullet but it didnt hurt and maybe it might have been
just a ghostly whisper better than it was stock.
So I left it on the bike until a remap was available.
I really wanted to flash my bike with a tune by Ivan because
he has a reputation of being able to do wonders with a lot of these bikes
with this exact problem, and hes been
in the business of offering performance tunes for many years.
I installed one of his carb jet kits on my 2003 Yamaha FZ1 way back in the
day and the transformation was nothing short of amazing.
But he was taking too long to get this tune done and I was just about to
toss my RS over a cliff, so I ordered the 2Wheel Dynoworks flash hoping
it would be the solution.
The 2WD flash was a huge step over the Booster Plug as it
should be, because it is designed by identifying and adjusting problem areas
in the fuel and ignition tables. The 2WD flash also
disables the fuel cut feature so I had high hopes that this would be the
Along with the 2WD flash I also installed the Akro header
with the stock muffler. The guys at 2WD were super cool to me and have great
I think they are a good company to do business with. The bike was much improved
with a noticeable increase in pep all across the rev range and a much smoother
if you can even imagine that with how smooth the Z is in the first place.
The fuel cut felt like it was finally disabled but to me that wasnt
enough, the jerkiness was slightly less but still too harsh.
And although at this point I could ride around the problem I had to work
at it and it was constantly the focus of my ride. That just isnt going
I gave up on a flash from Ivan and I put my Z900RS up for sale, but just
here on this forum and nobody comes here looking to buy a bike, they come
here after theyve already
purchased one. So I guess I didnt try too hard to sell it
Last week I got a message from Ivan that the tune for the
Z900RS was ready.
The tune from 2WD was super nice but at this point I was pretty disillusioned
with the bike and with the fuel cut already disabled,
I wasnt sure that anything was going to make it better. And who wants
to throw another $350 at the bike on a prayer?
But the other option was to give up and sell the bike or trade it in on
something else. There are too many great bikes out there to live with this
thing the way it was. So I decided to do it.
Yesterday I made the three and half hour drive to South Carolina
with my ECU in hand and today I took the bike out on our beautiful twisty
North Carolina back roads for a test run.
Ivan tells you to adjust the idle to 1200 RPM. I didnt need to do
that with the 2WD flash but when I first started up the bike after Ivans
flash and warmed it up it was idling at about 1600.
Im guessing there were some adjustments to ignition timing and possibly
fuel tables even at idle.
The adjustment is a small silver knob just behind the frame rail near the
side cover on the left side, you can easily access it by hand to make the
Ill be the first to say that for me this flash was
by no means a play for power, the bike is no beast and I have other bikes
that are far more powerful so it made no
difference to me that the increase that this flash gives the bike along
with the Akro header goes from 102 HP stock to 116 HP at the wheel with
That should be more than felt by the seat of the pants dyno.
Its been a few weeks since my last ride with the 2WD
flash so any seat of the pants feeling of an increase in power is hard to
One thing is for sure with Ivans flash the bike rips a lot harder
than it does stock and the power is everywhere in the rev range.
And as with the 2WD tune I can feel no flat areas, no burbles or lulls in
delivery, the engine is superb through the rev range.
The miracle here is in that tiny spot just off of closed throttle; that
instant that you crack the throttle open. Before, it was abrupt and harsh
like an on/off switch with a distinct
lack of control. But now the opening is smooth and with variation and control,
the control area is minute mind you, but it is there and it is usable, and
that is all new.
This has been the missing part of the solution that the 2WD flash didnt
address but it isnt the entire equation that encompasses the jerky
The other half of the problem is the harsh deceleration, which is much improved
with Ivans flash but if you are ham fisted it can still be felt.
On my ride today I was looking for negatives and if you look hard enough
you can usually find them.
But I noticed that while I was concentrating on the ride and the throttle
control and the shifting and cornering and coming off and on the throttle,
suddenly I was going fast,
I ride these roads weekly but now I was riding them a good 10 or 15 mph
faster than I normally do on this bike.
Was it because I was trying so hard to find the foibles, or was it because
the bike was so much easier to ride that I just went faster?
Im not really sure but I do know that those twisty North Carolina
back roads were a whole lot more fun today. And theres no doubt that
the bike is better than its ever been.
I suppose that had I gone from stock to where Im at now the difference
would have been tremendous, but because I made small improvements along
the way and had incremental
steps its much harder to discern all of the changes. The bike is finally
at a point that to me feels like the way the bike should have been from
I reserve the right to add to this review when I get more
time on the bike but for now I think Ive finally gotten to a point
that I can live with and I look forward
to more spirited rides on the Z900RS.
Just to let you know I paid full price for my ECU flash from both Ivan and
2wheel dynoworks and have no affiliation with either of them.
This review is strictly my own point of view
Go back to my Main
See how to remove your Z900RS ECU on THIS