Kawasaki Z 900 RS – Detlev Louis Special Conversion

The Louis conversion makes the beautiful Kawa unique, reflecting the company’s tradition.


Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS

Kawasaki Z 900 RS

State-of-the-art technology and suitable for everyday use, packaged in a retro design.

The special connection

If there is one motorbike with which the Louis company has a very special connection, it is the Kawasaki Z 900. After all, it was a Detlev Louis stand where the Ur-Z 900 had its world premiere at the IFMA 1972 in Cologne. In the decades since, there have been many Z models. But it was only in 2018 that Kawasaki unveiled a brand new Z 900 in the same design as the original. It bears the suffix RS and - like its ancestor - is simply a beautiful motorbike.

Therefore, it was clear from the start that the conversion could not be about making the machine “more beautiful”. We wanted to create a unique piece that reflects the tradition of the company and the design language of the Detlev Louis Motorcycle Gear brand.

Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS

The conversion

Another key point in the specifications: the machine needed to be approved by the TÜV (German Technical Inspection Agency) and remain fully suitable for everyday use. That is why an expert from TÜV Hanse was involved in the planning and conversion right from the start. The collaboration with them worked really well, by the way. Once our design requirements had been determined, we were able to clarify in a preliminary meeting which guidelines we had to adhere to. During the conversion, the TÜV expert came to visit a few times to keep the project under constant review.

Of course, we wanted to use parts from our own range wherever possible. We have broken down the details here:


Instead of the original headlight insert, the Gazzini Nino headlight now shines. The small windshield is from SW-Motech.

The ABM Multi Clip Tour slim handlebar stubs allow the ergonomics to be individually adjusted in height and cranking. For this purpose, we mounted Detlev Louis handles and various Gazzini parts: Brake and clutch levers, brake fluid reservoir, handlebar end turn signals, handlebar end trim rings (powder-coated in rim colour) and handlebar end mirrors. The footrests FR T1 including adjustment and joint are also from Gazzini.

Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS

Wheels and chassis

Rims, brake callipers and rear suspension spring are now powder-coated in colour. Instead of the original tyres, Bridgestone AX 41 S were fitted.

The original front mudguard was replaced by one from SW Motech. The rear mudguard comes from W+W and is actually intended for old Harleys. We made it suitable to fit our new Kawa. The brackets for both were made by our workshop crew.

Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS
Louis Bike Specials – KAWASAKI Z 900 RS

Tank and engine

The paint design on the tank is based on the original, but has its own accents. The generator/clutch cover badge (aluminium) has been given a black coating to match. The original exhaust system now has a black ceramic coating.

Rear conversion

The rear frame was shortened as far as the TÜV allows. The seat is a completely new design, but uses the original Kawasaki brackets. We are particularly proud of the embroidered DL logo. However, the shortened rear frame means that the two-person registration is no longer valid. The complete lighting system (rear brake indicator) at the rear of the Zett features two tiny Gazzini 3in1 LED Pepe.The number plate holder with axle adjustment is a custom-made prototype from Gazzini. The number plate frame and number plate light, on the other hand, are parts from the regular Louis range. The Bodystyle chain guard had to be shortened for side mounting.

Cockpit BMW F700 GS

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