For 1998, Kawasaki completely redesigned the ZX-9R. The basic roadgoing bias of the bike, with the relaxed riding position and generous chassis dimensions remained, but the character of the bike was fundamentally changed.
Overall, with a factory-quoted dry weight of 183 kg, the C-model weighed less fully fuelled than the first B-model weighed dry.
Visually, the new bike retained the rounded, voluptuous, organic look of its predecessor, but became sleeker, with a slimmer tail unit and a smaller fairing. As a consequence of the smaller engine and shorter wheelbase, though, the fuel tank became wider and intruded more on the riding position than before.