Kawasaki Z 650 driving report

Kawasaki Z 650 driving report

The lively character remains unchanged

The Kawasaki Z 650 is the second best horse in the Kawa stable after the Z 900 in this country. It cannot be said that it urgently needed a revision. The Greens did it anyway. We were already able to drive the refreshed Z 650.

The most obvious changes to the Kawasaki Z 650 are the TFT cockpit (with smartphone connection) and the LED headlights. Both are identical to the big sister Z 900. Less obvious, but essential for the future are various changes in the inlet and outlet area of ​​the cylinder head. Together with the modified airbox and a significantly larger catalytic converter on the exhaust pipe that is otherwise unchanged from the outside, the drive is now "Euro 5 ready". It is currently homologated according to Euro 4.

Twin with a familiar character

On paper, the peak output remained the same at 50 kW (68 hp) at 9,000 rpm, while the maximum torque fell slightly from 66 Nm at 6,500 rpm to 64 Nm at 6,700 rpm. Nevertheless, there should be more meat on the bone in the middle speed range than before. However, the measures have not changed anything in the basic character of the twin. He is lively, easy to turn and delights with spontaneous throttle response. From about 3,500 rpm he can endure the six without a murmur, but is not downpour to the upper third either. From 6,000 rpm, it really perks up. At 9,000 rpm, the orange flashing speed bar reminds you to change gear soon, at 10,000 rpm the limiter engages. Nevertheless, it can also be economical: Kawasaki states a consumption of 4.3 liters.

New standard tires

In contrast to the engine, the chassis remained unchanged except for the rear spring preload. With moderate damping rates, the set-up is optimized for lighter drivers. At least among adult Central Europeans it reaches its limits when driving quickly and starts pumping. The speedy ride, on the other hand, is enjoyed by the new Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart 2, which has cast wheels instead of the D 215 from the same company. With cool, deep double-digit temperatures on partially damp roads with a salt surface and many photo-related breaks, they could not really convince. Little feeling for the existing grip and occasional slides, which were announced early, did not result in the great confidence. But once brought up to temperature, the grip is okay and they allow a brisk pace and plenty of lean angle.


A 30 mm higher bench costs 160.65 euros extra.

Price increases by 300 euros

In terms of equipment, joy and sorrow are close together. Both hand levers are adjustable. The exhaust is made entirely of stainless steel, but in one piece. So just changing the rear silencer is not. If the 790 mm seat height bends your knees too much, there is a 30 mm higher cushion for you. However, not optional, but for an additional 160.65 euros. Due to the lack of space, there is a main stand neither for money nor for good words, and luggage transport also requires a bit of creativity due to the lack of hooks. Even if the pillion seat has been padded a little more generously, it is only recommended for short distances. Or very small co-drivers.

But these little gimmicks have so far not stopped customers from buying. And hardly will in the future either. The surcharge for the old model is moderate at 300 euros. The green standard Zett costs 6,995 euros, the black one shown and the white one each cost a hundred more. You are almost immediately at the dealer.

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