An honest Z650 review. May contain bad words. - 2017+ Kawasaki Z650 Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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An honest Z650 review. May contain bad words.

BLUF: A well thought out bike, it?s too bad Kawi used cheap **** parts to build it. Thumbs down. 1 star. Dislike. Whatever rating system you use, spend your $ elsewhere.

I know I?m gonna get blasted for this, but here goes. This is the most well thought out piece of sh*t I have ever ridden. This MC is very comfy for what it is. So much so that I put 6470 miles on it in 5 months. I ride a lot. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. I?ve been doing so for 20 years. The problem is, it?s not the thought that counts when your spending your hard earned money on a brand new MC. This is my first sport-y bike, but not my first brand new, chain driven V-twin.

The good;
Ergos- I had no comfort issues riding on 2,3 even 9 hour trips. It?s a fantastic riding position for me.

Euro 4 done right (mostly)- Kawi did it right. The bike sounds great and doesn?t suffer from the Euro 4 fallout that many bikes will/do. Plenty of torque and HP while still milking those emissions and fuel to satisfy the law.

Looks- it?s sexy!

Fun factor- if you know what you?re doing, this bike can deliver surprising results for a machine of this class.

The sh*t;
Brakes- the ABS has given out on me 3 times while it was active and I was counting on it. Once on a wet off ramp, once behind a panicked cage driver, and once when I was just riding hard out on my own. This is unacceptable. The dealership couldn?t replicate it (of course) so no fix. It?s riders lives in danger. Again, UNACCEPTABLE KAWASAKI.

Gearbox- I don?t know how they screwed up the synchronization of the gearbox, but they did. At about the 4K mile mark I started to have to randomly stomp the p*ss out out of the shifter to get into 1st. Clutch cable is fine. Snicks through the rest of the gears just fine. Again, service dept can?t duplicate. Oddly enough I switched to Kawi synthetic oil about this time. Hmmmm...

Temp- I know E4 means running lean, but no bike should be running at its temp limits when the temp is 85 and traffic is perfectly normal. The temp gauge rockets to the top on my 20 min commute a couple times a week. I know I can re-map and likely stop this issue, but a brand new bike shouldn?t have this problem.

Chain- about 6 weeks ago I noticed chain slop on my way to work. The chain is stretched beyond adjustment. I lube every 500-750 miles. Last time I?d done so was pushing the 700m mark. With ~6400 miles on the clock (and dealership service at 4K), only the cheapest **** chain would stretch like that. I ride hard, but I?m far from even an amateur racer. The engine doesn?t produce enough torque to explain this either. Warranty denied by Kawi but they finally got around to offering chain replacement as ?good will?. F*ck good will, use quality parts!

Fork seals- the bike is in the shop in AZ (chain replacement). I?m in Saudi Arabia. Just got a call from the tech saying my fork seals are shot. I clean this MC every 500 miles or so (when I do inspection/lube). Even in AZ desert dust, that?s horse sh*t.

So there it is. Bring on the hate.

(Disclaimer: I?ve been riding for 26 years and have owned several bikes. I?ve been an aircraft mechanic for 20 years so I fully understand maintenance, warranty work, repairs, etc)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 12:11 AM
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brakes: what do you mean ABS has given out 3 times? Did it not activate when you lock your tire?

temp: did it get to 6 bar? I'm in AZ as well, temp constantly goes to 5 bar but never goes to 6 bar
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 12:05 PM
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My mileage is 8400 miles. So far so good. No complain. ABS save me 5 times. Temperature never go to maximum. chain need adjustment. I did not takecare of the chain in the begining. Apply brake, do not rely on engine braking power only when slowing down.

Btw, never grab front brake. Always apply gradual pressure. I use my ring finger then middle finger finaly if needed little finger and I heard ABS does not work to well on gravel or sand. I don't know my experience with ABS so far is with dry and wet tarmac.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 02:35 PM
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I have the non-abs wanted to learn how to do it properly first before getting me an abs bike. I still practice what I learned in my safety class. But I get it, if you pay for it, then it should work.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 04:19 PM
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One if the reason I got the Z650 because it got ABS.

Other reasons;
1. It is low, both my feet are flat on the ground while sitting on it.
2. It is light, I can pick it up if it fall and easy to reverse.
3. It got clutch assist, I got arthritis.
4. It is narrow and nimble, good for city riding.

My advise is get the ABS option. In panic braking most people will lock the tires.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czrlaker View Post
I have the non-abs wanted to learn how to do it properly first before getting me an abs bike. I still practice what I learned in my safety class. But I get it, if you pay for it, then it should work.
you can learn on an abs bike, when you are going to lock your tire, abs will kick in and you will feel it from your brake lever
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 01:49 PM
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I had to tighten my chain the first time I cleaned it around 800 miles. I never checked it when it was brand new. I'm going to check it again this weekend (2200 miles) after I clean/lube it... how often is typical for chain slack adjustment?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 03:47 PM
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Adjust chain as needed. Chain actually does not stretch evenly. Rotate tire and find the tightest area and adjust. Do not adjust at the loosest point. Better to err on being loose rather than too tight.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 10:48 PM
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Geno,
Did you ever get any of your problems rectified? Particularly the gearbox, fork seals and ABS. Can't imagine the dealer wouldn't be concerned about the ABS in particular....as defeats could lead to injury and lawsuits. Have you noticed any of the vibration issues that many of the reviewers have complained about? Thx, good luck.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 11:50 PM
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Just thought about this but it might be a good idea if we start a maintenance thread where people can post what they did and when they did it.
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