2017 Kawasaki Z650 Preview

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Kawasaki tipped its cap at Intermot last month about its upcoming Z650 and Z900 nakeds. It was an odd strategy, releasing a couple of images and what looks to be an early draft of its EICMA press release. Well, now the Milan show is finally here and Kawasaki has officially confirmed the two models.

Of the two, the final Z650 announcement offered no changes from what was announced in Cologne. Some of that is no doubt due to the long-established success of the Ninja 650 (also updated for 2017) which shares its parallel-Twin engine. Used here on the new Z650, the 649cc engine claims peak outputs of 67.3 hp at 8,000 rpm and 48.5 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. The Z650 comes with an assist and slipper clutch to ease its way through its six-speed gearbox.

The Z650 also shares the new Ninja 650’s trellis frame. Claiming a weight of just 33 pounds, the high tensile steel trellis helps contribute to the Z650’s overall claimed curb weight of 412 pounds, or 13 pounds less than the new Ninja.

The suspension system consists of a 41mm telescopic fork and a horizontal back-link shock with adjustable preload. Dual 300mm front brake discs are paired to dual piston calipers while a single-piston caliper stops the 220mm rear disc. A Bosch 9.1M ABS is offered as standard.

There was one notable change from the Intermot announcement to the final EICMA presentation. The earlier press kit casually mentioned helmet lock would be offered for the Z650 as an accessory in the U.S. market, the only indication of whether the bike would be offered here. The new press kit makes no mention of the U.S. (or the optional helmet lock for that matter). Does this change suggest a change of heart for Kawasaki Motor Corp. U.S.A.? We’ll have to wait to find out.

2017 Kawasaki Z650 Specifications

Engine TypeLiquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin
Bore and Stroke83.0 x 60.0 mm
Compression ratio10.8:1
Valve systemDOHC
Fuel systemDFI with 36mm Keihin throttle bodies
TCBI with electronic advance
LubricationForced lubrication, semi-dry sump
Maximum power67.3 hp at 8,000 rpm (claimed)
Maximum torque48.5 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm (claimed)
Transmission6-speed, return shift
Final driveChain
ClutchWet multi-disc, manual
FrameTrellis, high-tensile steel
Front suspensionφ41 mm telescopic fork
Front wheel travel4.9 in.
Rear suspensionHorizontal Back-link with adjustable preload
Rear wheel travel5.1 in.
Front tire120/70 ZR17 Dunlop
Rear tire160/60 AR17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Front brakesDual semi-floating φ300mm petal discs with dual-piston caliper
Rear brakesSingle φ220 mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Caster (rake)24.0º
Trail3.9 in.
Steering angle (left/right)35º / 35º
Overall length81.3 inches
Overall width30.5 inches
Overall height42.5 inches
Wheelbase55.5 inches
Ground clearance5.1 inches
Seat height30.9 inches
Curb mass412 pounds (claimed)
Fuel capacity4.0 gallon
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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Join the conversation
  • Taijean Moodie Taijean Moodie on Nov 14, 2016

    I wish I had the money to afford this beauty! It was a great bike before but now it's just straight up perfect, the only downfall I could say about it is that fact that abs can't be turned off like the ktm rc390.

  • Tennisfreak Tennisfreak on Nov 15, 2016

    Personally I am failing to see a reason to buy this over the Yamaha FZ-07 unless its out of some type of brand loyalty.

    The FZ-07 is lighter, has more HP and torque, and is cheaper.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tennisfreak Tennisfreak on Nov 15, 2016

      The new Honda looks really nice as well.

      Will be looking forward to a round up between all of these great bikes.