Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 dominated the new rider market for a while, at least Motorcycle News made it sound like that was the case, but now riders in Australia have more options with the introduction of the 2017 Z650 & Ninja 650.
Perhaps other countries have something similar, but new riders in Australia fall under the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) and only models with this designation can be ridden by them. Kawasaki has recently added both 650 models to their LAMS lineup, though we can’t really tell if there’s any difference between these beginner friendly models and the motorcycles sold elsewhere.
Even if something was changed in the 2017 Kawasaki Z650, it still retains its fast steering and nimble handling. Kris Hodgson from MC News found it to resemble a streetfighter in light of the model’s performance on road and its “punchy parallel twin powerplant”. Of course the exposed trellis frame and aggressive headlight does add to the streetfighter aesthetics.
Compared to the Ninja 650, the Z650 is a bit more aggressive but that just means the bike has more “thrills” to offer and it’s down to personal preference. An easy going 650 or the sportier Z650. If your heart isn’t already set on one specific model, might we suggest that you test ride them both before deciding.