Hello from Denver, CO! Let the modding begin :) - 2017+ Kawasaki Z650 Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hello from Denver, CO! Let the modding begin :)

Hi everyone!

Just picked up a Z650 in black with ABS. This is not my first bike, but it's my first bike with ABS.

Ordered OES frame sliders, spools for forks and swingarm. Also ordered Vagabond fender eliminator after watching their YouTube video.

Didn't realize that it's a one piece exhaust and you can't use any slip-ons. Anyone tried to buy an aftermarket can and weld it in instead?

Any other Colorado Z650 owners who'd like to ride up the mountains together?

What are some of the other mods that you guys did to y'alls bikes?

Glad to be a part of this community! Already learning a lot about this beautiful naked monster!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 05:16 PM
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Congrats on the new Z. What other bikes were you looking at before making a final decision. Seems like these days we have a lot to choose from and its only growing every year. But that's if you also consider the surrounding segments and not only this segment.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by roadhawk View Post
Congrats on the new Z. What other bikes were you looking at before making a final decision. Seems like these days we have a lot to choose from and its only growing every year. But that's if you also consider the surrounding segments and not only this segment.
Thank you! I am super excited and loving it so far.

I did look at GSF Suzuki and YZ07. They were both more expensive and didn't feel as good as Z650. This bike is so comfortable. I drove for an hour and 8 minutes in traffic on the way back from dealership and I was fine after the ride. My CBR600RR or CX500C would have killed me on an hour ride..lol

After having super sport and cruisers, I wanted something that is in between those 2. Tired of messing with fearings to do anything on super sport and cruisers just don't handle as well, IMHO. I think Z650 is the best of both worlds. I did look at KTM bikes online as well and Ducati's new 818 or whatever 787, but it was way more...plus it wasn't liquid cooled so maintenance would have killed me in the long run.

Been researching on exhaust and a little bummed that you have to do full exhaust. Although, the fact that you don't have to tune with Yoshi and all and still get all the benefits is very enticing. Will see what happens.
What all did you consider as far as bikes go?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 12:42 AM
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Hello S2K_MoZo, and congratulations on the new bike.

I got the black Z650 ABS as well, but before I bought it I tested out the FZ07. I was pretty set on it until the lame sales department at the Yamaha dealership in my town decided they didn't want to take my previous bike, a 2005 ZX6R 636 in on trade. So I decided I didn't need to be a customer there and looked at other options. That same day I tested out the Z650 and found it to be a much better feeling and handling bike. Less powerful than the FZ07, but not that far off. Ended up getting more for my old bike on trade in, and the Z650 and Shoei RF-1200 for cost at the Kawasaki dealership.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
Hello S2K_MoZo, and congratulations on the new bike.

I got the black Z650 ABS as well, but before I bought it I tested out the FZ07. I was pretty set on it until the lame sales department at the Yamaha dealership in my town decided they didn't want to take my previous bike, a 2005 ZX6R 636 in on trade. So I decided I didn't need to be a customer there and looked at other options. That same day I tested out the Z650 and found it to be a much better feeling and handling bike. Less powerful than the FZ07, but not that far off. Ended up getting more for my old bike on trade in, and the Z650 and Shoei RF-1200 for cost at the Kawasaki dealership.
Hey HandsomeHooligan!

Thank you! This is my first brand new bike and I've owned a few! Super excited!
Sorry to hear about your encounter with the lame sales department. You know what they say, everything happens for a reason! I started with FZ07 as well but everyone here in CO wanted $8K+ before taxes on those. I noticed that it was heavier and taller too. Out of GSF, FZ07 and Z650..I think Z650 has the most comfortable seat and riding position, IMHO. I think you came out ahead and better off with Z650. Do you miss your 636 at all? How different it is vs. your last bike? Did you get to 600 miles yet? I can't wait to hit 600 miles and then just go crazy. I've been keeping it under 6K RPMs and driving only on side roads till I break her in and get oil changed. I feel like I'm more confident on this bike than anything else I've owned because of the lightweight and how low it is.
What all have you done to your bike so far? What color helmet did you get? I wanted a Shoei RF-1200 but like the exhaust I want, it's out of my price range lol

Congrats to you as well on getting a great deal and joining the Z650 club
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 02:01 AM
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I miss the power of the 636, but I don't miss the riding position at all. The Z650 fits the riding I do a lot more than the 636 did. I do mostly short trips around town and longer weekend motorcycle camping type getaways. Throw some soft bags and a tent on the back and hit the twisties until it gets dark and then set up camp somewhere. I rode the 636 loaded with bags and a tent from British Columbia to northern California and back over 10 days...that was the trip that I realized that I needed to get a bike with raised bars and an upright riding position.

I haven't hit 600 miles yet, I'm at 400ish right now. I haven't been thrashing it, but I also haven't been keeping it down in lower RPM's either. Just been riding it like I would normally ride in town and some highway cruising. I'm aiming to do the first service in two weeks after I get back from a vacation.

I haven't done any mods to my bike yet. Haven't really been super successful with being able to order the parts and accessories that I want. Might be something that I do over the winter break as more stuff comes available. I am looking to get the MRA NRN windscreen, the OEM pannier bracket or manufacture my own, and also some sliders and perhaps bar end mirrors as well. I may even entertain the idea of an Akrapovič exhaust, but not sure yet. What mods are you looking into?

I got the RF-1200 in the black and white Parameter color scheme. I wasn't going to go with one that had graphics on it because of the price, but I ended up getting a deal on it that I couldn't turn down.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
I miss the power of the 636, but I don't miss the riding position at all. The Z650 fits the riding I do a lot more than the 636 did. I do mostly short trips around town and longer weekend motorcycle camping type getaways. Throw some soft bags and a tent on the back and hit the twisties until it gets dark and then set up camp somewhere. I rode the 636 loaded with bags and a tent from British Columbia to northern California and back over 10 days...that was the trip that I realized that I needed to get a bike with raised bars and an upright riding position.

I haven't hit 600 miles yet, I'm at 400ish right now. I haven't been thrashing it, but I also haven't been keeping it down in lower RPM's either. Just been riding it like I would normally ride in town and some highway cruising. I'm aiming to do the first service in two weeks after I get back from a vacation.

I haven't done any mods to my bike yet. Haven't really been super successful with being able to order the parts and accessories that I want. Might be something that I do over the winter break as more stuff comes available. I am looking to get the MRA NRN windscreen, the OEM pannier bracket or manufacture my own, and also some sliders and perhaps bar end mirrors as well. I may even entertain the idea of an Akrapovič exhaust, but not sure yet. What mods are you looking into?

I got the RF-1200 in the black and white Parameter color scheme. I wasn't going to go with one that had graphics on it because of the price, but I ended up getting a deal on it that I couldn't turn down.
Wow, that's a long trip. I've never ridden for more than maybe 2 hours at a time. Usually even less than that. How often did you stop when you did that 10 day trip? Do you carry a lot of tools with you? What about if you need a tide replacement or something? I'm just curious because I've been shopping for insurance that will cover roadside assistance if I go up the mountains here in CO. Riding position of this bike is one of the most comfortable I've been on. When and where is your next trip planned once you break-in the Z650?

Don't they say to not do any highway riding before break-in is complete? This is my first brand new bike so I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

You're right about the stuff being available. There is not a whole lot that's out there yet. I did manage to order fender eliminator and OES sliders for frame and fork with swingarm spools. I'm hoping more companies start making stuff for this bike. I want to get Delkevic exhaust after checking their exhausts out since they have a local warehouse here by my house. Some mirrors would be nice since the ones bike came with are not the best. Have to move around a little to look at the traffic behind you..or may just have to play with adjustment some more. I also bought the tank pad from the dealer since it was $22ish for progrip carbon fiber one. I'd hate to mess up paint or anything on the bike. I was looking at the radiator this morning and was thinking that maybe we need to protect it a little from rock chips...not sure on that yet though. Like you said, winter is the best time to upgrade since you can't ride much anyways.

That's nice! A good helmet goes a long way. Do you listen to music and all on long rides? Set something up in the helmet?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 10:02 PM
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Wow, that's a long trip. I've never ridden for more than maybe 2 hours at a time. Usually even less than that. How often did you stop when you did that 10 day trip? Do you carry a lot of tools with you? What about if you need a tide replacement or something?
There were three of us that went on the trip. We stopped every couple of hours to fuel up, stretch and grab a quick bite to eat. Between the 3 of us we had all the tools we needed. One bike had some electronic issues in the handlebar switch and he lost his headlights for a bit until we stopped at a gas station and opened it up and patched it up. I ended up falling over when coming to a stop, my bags and sliders saved everything except my rear brake. The foot lever didn't fold up so it snapped off and I had to zip tie it to the swingarm so it wouldn't drag. Ended up riding back from Redding, CA all the way back home to Canada with only a front brake...that was interesting at first. Never really thought about if any of us got a flat tire, but I imagine I'd just find something to prop the bike up with, take the wheel off and hitch a ride to the closest dealership...Those are the things that turn trips into adventures and will always be something you will remember that trip for.

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When and where is your next trip planned once you break-in the Z650?
My next trip is actually planned for August 23rd. Going to ride around British Columbia. Probably ride out to the west coast, maybe even onto Vancouver Island for a bit, and then see if I can ride to a place I discovered last year called Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground. I discovered it last year when I was out riding around and my 636 was breaking down.

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Don't they say to not do any highway riding before break-in is complete? This is my first brand new bike so I'm trying to learn as much as I can.
This is the first new bike I've ever owned as well, and you're right that you don't want to hum along on the highway for lengthy periods of time during break in. Up here in Canada most of our highways aren't the giant straight wide open freeways that are all over the US. The highways that I have around me are what most would consider twisty secondary roads, so I'm constantly going up and down the gears and varying my RPM. Depends who you talk to really because it seems like everyone has a different idea about what break in period should be. When I rode the bike off the lot I asked the tech at the dealership and he said to ride it like you plan to ride it throughout the rest of the bikes life. Don't worry about going into the higher RPM's for a short bit. From what I was told that's supposed to helpful to seat the compression rings in. One thing the tech told me was the worst thing I could do during break in was to just lug along a straight open road at low RPM's.

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That's nice! A good helmet goes a long way. Do you listen to music and all on long rides? Set something up in the helmet?
The guys I ride with swear by having music while they ride. I've never really understood that. I've always loved the sound of the wind flying past me and the sweet sound of the motor. That said, my new helmet cuts out a lot of the wind noise, and the Z650 stock exhaust is very quiet I find so I may look into trying out music again or a louder pipe haha. The guys I ride with though are very serious about their tunes on the road. One of them, my father in law, is a bit of an audiophile and he has a pretty crazy setup. He had ear plugs molded for his ears that he can plug Shure ear buds into, and the music he is listening to is lossless quality running through a custom build amplifier that he has inside of his tank bag. I thought that was a bit overkill, but he's pretty serious about it, and if it makes his ride that much better because of it, all the power to him. Hahaha it's pretty funny riding in the group with them...the other two guys with music going are usually bobbing and head banging their heads while they ride.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
There were three of us that went on the trip. We stopped every couple of hours to fuel up, stretch and grab a quick bite to eat. Between the 3 of us we had all the tools we needed. One bike had some electronic issues in the handlebar switch and he lost his headlights for a bit until we stopped at a gas station and opened it up and patched it up. I ended up falling over when coming to a stop, my bags and sliders saved everything except my rear brake. The foot lever didn't fold up so it snapped off and I had to zip tie it to the swingarm so it wouldn't drag. Ended up riding back from Redding, CA all the way back home to Canada with only a front brake...that was interesting at first. Never really thought about if any of us got a flat tire, but I imagine I'd just find something to prop the bike up with, take the wheel off and hitch a ride to the closest dealership...Those are the things that turn trips into adventures and will always be something you will remember that trip for.
Wow. That is indeed a cool story. That's a long a** ride without rear brakes. I understand most people don't use a whole lot of rear anyways, but this gives it a whole new meaning. I can't even imagine going cross country like that. I'd love to...but I'd be worried that I'll break something that I can't fix and be stranded for days...like Top Gear guys when they did buggy challenge on The Grand Tour.

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Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
My next trip is actually planned for August 23rd. Going to ride around British Columbia. Probably ride out to the west coast, maybe even onto Vancouver Island for a bit, and then see if I can ride to a place I discovered last year called Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground. I discovered it last year when I was out riding around and my 636 was breaking down.
It's coming up in 18 days!! You haven't even broken in yet! Is it going to be the same 3 guys? Do you map it out and then use navigation or just start riding and check-in on where you're at when you stop for gas? What about weather? Do you guys just stop if you run into crazy weather?


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Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
This is the first new bike I've ever owned as well, and you're right that you don't want to hum along on the highway for lengthy periods of time during break in. Up here in Canada most of our highways aren't the giant straight wide open freeways that are all over the US. The highways that I have around me are what most would consider twisty secondary roads, so I'm constantly going up and down the gears and varying my RPM. Depends who you talk to really because it seems like everyone has a different idea about what break in period should be. When I rode the bike off the lot I asked the tech at the dealership and he said to ride it like you plan to ride it throughout the rest of the bikes life. Don't worry about going into the higher RPM's for a short bit. From what I was told that's supposed to helpful to seat the compression rings in. One thing the tech told me was the worst thing I could do during break in was to just lug along a straight open road at low RPM's.
Ah, I may have to take her out and take her up to at least 8K RPMs or something. It was so hard to stay out of it. Even my CX500, I redline it all the time...there is something to be said when bikes are revved all the way up there. Thanks for sharing the wisdom, every bit helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsomeHooligan View Post
The guys I ride with swear by having music while they ride. I've never really understood that. I've always loved the sound of the wind flying past me and the sweet sound of the motor. That said, my new helmet cuts out a lot of the wind noise, and the Z650 stock exhaust is very quiet I find so I may look into trying out music again or a louder pipe haha. The guys I ride with though are very serious about their tunes on the road. One of them, my father in law, is a bit of an audiophile and he has a pretty crazy setup. He had ear plugs molded for his ears that he can plug Shure ear buds into, and the music he is listening to is lossless quality running through a custom build amplifier that he has inside of his tank bag. I thought that was a bit overkill, but he's pretty serious about it, and if it makes his ride that much better because of it, all the power to him. Hahaha it's pretty funny riding in the group with them...the other two guys with music going are usually bobbing and head banging their heads while they ride.
I bet it's hysterical. It's like when you pull at a light and see someone going nuts in their car...this would be funnier to see guys do it on the bike. I was always worried about not hearing cars or being able to pay attention so I never use music on the bike. I do see those Harley guys with radio playing super loud with some giant speakers from time to time.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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On a separate note, my fork and frame sliders are on. Rear spools are on as well. Just finished putting the Vagabond fender eliminator and it looks so much better. Great build quality and installation wasn't too hard either.
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