Kevin Wing from Motorcycle.com had a chance to test ride and review a 2017 Kawasaki Z650 and he’s given it an overall score of 85 out of 100.
Sitting between its two Z siblings, the Z125 Pro and Z900, Kawasaki’s Z650 joined the middleweight naked class and is set to compete against the Suzuki SV650, Yamaha FZ-07, and KTM 690 Duke. It’s pricing is on par with Suzuki at $6,999 and ABD will only tack on another $400.
The Z650 may be affordable, but it is in no way cheap with a stylized steel swingarm, analog and digital instrument panel, adjustable brake and clutch levers, textured seat covers, and integrated bungee hooks.
Rounding out the list of goodies is the Z650’s 649cc parallel-Twin engine sitting inside a new steel trellis frame. Changes to the engine were made to provide more low- and mid-range power, around 3000-6000 rpm, and it was able to push out 65 ponies and 43 lb-ft of toque in a dyno test.
Maneuvering around the hills of Malibu, the Z650 sounded a bit lackluster under 5,000 rpm, but once you go past that point the intake growl kicks in. For those of you who are a little lazy with gear shifting, the Z650 has enough midrange pull to cruise along, but you won’t be wining any races.
Whilst throwing the Z650 around the trail’s curves, it felt light and tiny under him even though the bike is packing a curb weight of 406 lbs. Suspenders at both ends will make for a comfortable cruise and for those on the short side, its 30.9-inch seat height makes flat footing easy.
For just $6,999, you can’t really go wrong with the Kawasaki Z650.