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.
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.
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)