The Kawasaki Z650 makes the rush of a track-going motorbike accessible to beginners, and its quality could convince enthusiasts to drop down to this class.
In the spectrum of two-wheeled steel, not every bike fits neatly into a single category. The Kawasaki Z650 is one such example, but it’s for this very reason that it has an unshakeable allure. With its lean, athletic build, it straddles a fine line between a beginner’s bike and a more seasoned rider’s middleweight maverick.
Japanese motorbike powerhouse Kawasaki has designed the Z650 based on a slim, compact silhouette to house a masterclass in design balance, as the model all but eliminates the intimidation of bulk while maintaining the heart-throbbing power. Alongside its rivals in the Suzuki SV650 and Yamaha MT-07, they make up the ‘big three’ of the middleweight class. Kawasaki has attempted to surge ahead of the pack recently with new upgrades for the Z650, but do its improvements put them in front? We look at the three main areas of biking - design, performance and practicality - to find out.
With a naked design, the Kawasaki Z650 excels in making upright seating feel comfortable. Too often, upright bikes strain your back on long journeys thanks to its propped-up seating position, but the Kawasaki Z650’s low seating, paired with capable suspension that prevents excessive vibrating, gives you comfort and confidence on the road.
Kawasaki fans can appreciate the signature Sugomi styling. Meaning “aggressiveness”, Sugomi is the design language that defines the Japanese bikemaker’s Z series and its presence here shows that just because it’s a beginner’s bike, it doesn’t mean it has to look friendly. The flared, puffed-out stylings on the front look like something out of a Christopher Nolan-directed Batman film. Match this with the Kawasaki Z650’s choice of colour style - metallic black or grey with small accents of green or red depending on which scheme you choose - and it gives an air of menace.
Equipped with a 650cc Parallel Twin engine, the Kawasaki Z650 is a road-suitable bike that performs well on the track should you visit regularly. It carries 48.5 lb-ft of torque which beefs up the rev sensitivity and makes you feel like you're really taking off when you accelerate. But with the newly-added traction control system, controlling the bike is a breeze even when traversing more uneven and unpredictable terrain.
The bike has a curb weight of 188kg, much lighter than other bikes in its class, and with a set of Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres, the sense of lightness carries into the handling.
It’s an utter pleasure to experience its precision.
Practicality is likely not the main priority when looking for a Kawasaki bike to have fun in, but the company has thought of ways to improve the rider’s quality of life. For one, the fuel capacity is 15L, and with a fuel economy of around 50mpg thanks to an upgraded exhaust system, this means you can travel almost 200 miles on a single tank.
Its narrow handlebars mean you can squeeze into smaller spaces, making it convenient for lane splitting, and the addition of ABS furthers its case as a top pick for a beginner’s bike.
One of the standout features of a bike in this class is the digital dashboard with an ultra-responsive, full-colour speed gauge. Bright and easy to read even in sunlight, the stark black dash design is a fluid continuation of the bodywork. Plus, smartphone connectivity allows you to carry a host of ride statistics with you and share them with your motorbike cohort.
The Kawasaki Z650 is a grand choice for those who want to feel the rush of motorcycling while still having enough stability for newbies. With its new upgrades, the Z650 makes the rush of a track-going motorbike accessible to a greater number of people while having enough quality of life to convince even advanced motorbike enthusiasts to drop down to this class.
If you’re desperate to hop onto the driver’s seat of a Kawasaki Z650 yourself, discover its capabilities firsthand with Cradley Kawasaki today. Reach out to us to make a general enquiry, reserve a bike, set up a part exchange or book a test drive. Cradley Kawasaki is an official Kawasaki dealership, supplier and service based in Cradley Heath, Birmingham. With five decades of history, it is one of the oldest Kawasaki-approved motorbike shops in Birmingham and indeed the UK, and we’re still at the forefront of their famous range. Check out our range of new bikes today and see how a brand-new bike from Cradley Kawasaki will change your riding experience.