Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Eleven days after getting my new Z650 I am at the 600 mile mark, now free from the 4000 RPM restriction and free to go to 6000 RPM until the 1000-mile mark. Up until now I have been thoroughly pleased with the bike's low-end performance. 4000 RPM was enough for right at 60 MPH in 6th gear, with plenty of torque remaining if you needed to get a burst of speed without lugging or downshifting. The slipper assist clutch is a major asset in managing the bike at slow speeds. The responsiveness of the clutch and throttle make slow handling extremely stable and precise once you begin to coordinate everything well. Around town, it feels like what it is -- a small, maneuverable bike, easy as pie to handle but also packing respectable heat, if needed.
The exhaust note in around-town use is nothing to brag about. It won't wake the neighbors when I roll in at 1 AM -- but to me that's a GOOD thing! It is really quiet. Now I discover, though, that at about 4500 RPM it starts to hit a note that quickly evolves in to a throaty snarl at 5500 and is really starting to wail at 6000. Really gets appropriate.
And that' really sums up my feelings on the way engine power and suspension complement each other -- it's appropriate to the bike's design parameters. For sure, there are more powerful and faster bikes out there in this class, and I have ridden some of them. I won't lie -- a couple of those bikes were a bit scary. Not from the fact of the extra power, which really wasn't terrifically much, but the fact that applying that power simply wasn't as smooth, linear and predictable as it is with the Z650. When I shift gears, roll on throttle, brake, turn in to a curve on this bike, the feeling is one of absolute, positive control over the bike. The suspension components individually aren't all that great, but put them all together and they work in a way that's -- you guessed it -- completely appropriate to the bike's role, the bike's power, and the way in which the power is delivered.
I'm really looking forward to spending some years with this bike.