KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Kawasaki Z650 naked builds on the success story of the now old ER-6n. The all-new bike uses a similar parallel 649cc 8v twin, which now meets Euro4 guidelines. However, that is where the similarities end.
- Latest news: Kawasaki Z650 cleans up for Euro5
- Related: Kawasaki Z650 vs Yamaha MT-07 vs Suzuki SV650
The 10kg lighter trellis frame is all new, as is the swingarm, which has a further weight-saving of 2.7kg: overall the Zed is 17kg lighter. This significant reduction in weight and improved low to mid-range power makes the Z650 more enjoyable and easier to ride than its predecessor. It's also another reason the 'lost' four bhp is not noticeable as the power to weight ration of the latest Z650 is much better than the bike it replaced. A lower, thinner seat, lighter clutch with slipper action and dramatic styling make it more appealing than ever.
Kawasaki Z650 can be ridden on A2 licence
In 2018 the company launched a restricted A2 licence-compliant version for those who aren't old enough to have passed the full A UK motorbike licence.
The naked Z650 also got Metallic Matte Cover Green, Candy Lime Green and also Metallic Spark Black options as new colourways for 2018.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The old side-mounted rear shock has been discarded in favour of a conventional centrally- mounted horizontal shock with linkage. This reduces the load on the spring and improves the ride quality at both high and low speeds. The rear shock has preload adjustment, but the front 41mm forks are non-adjustable. Both the front and rear suspension are more than adequate out of the box. The Z650 is light, flickable and fun once you’ve managed to build some heat into the aging Dunlop Sportmax tyres which come as standard.
While there is provision for a pillion passenger, the rear seat is pretty small and the pegs quite high. so anyone riding on the back needs to be brave or very small, or both!
EngineNext up: Reliability
The 649cc DOHC engine is based on the old ER-6n but now meets tight Euro4 regulations. Kawasaki have actually lost a few peak bhp compared to the old model - 67.3bhp compared to the 71bhp of the previous model; this is probably due to having to meet new emissions and noise levels which has seen certain exhuast restrictions effect peak power, although the truth is, few will notice the missing four bhp. However, the new engine has a greater spread of torque in the low to mid-range. Peak torque is now 48.5ftlb at 6500rpm.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The new trellis frame is made using similar technology to that of Kawasaki’s flagship H2 sports-tourer. The finish is really impressive considering how competitively-priced priced the bike is. The new clocks are neater as is the overall styling. There are also a whole host of accessories if you wish to personalise your Zed; from an Akrapovic exhaust to soft panniers for touring. Vibrations from the parallel twin are only just noticeable at high speeds unlike the vibey original ER-6n that first appeared in 2005.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The MT-07 has certainly proved a firm favourite over the last few years, but the Z650 has a certain style to it and it's more of an all-rounder than the lively Yamaha. The SV650 has had a recent makeover, but is a little straight-laced in the looks department.
Kawasaki offered some very reasonable finance offers on the Z650.
As expected and in accordance with Euro4 regulations ABS comes as standard. Kawasaki has also fitted an assisted and slipper clutch for the first time which makes for light lever action when changing gears. The Slip and Assist clutch also prevents the rear wheel locking up if you stamp down through the gears. The new digital clocks are an added bonus.
|Engine type||8v DOHC parallel-twin four-cylinder, 6 gears|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm conventional forks, no adjustment|
|Rear suspension||horizontally mounted rear shock, adjustable for preload|
|Front brake||2x300mm petal discs. Nissin twin-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||240mm petal disc, Nissin single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70ZR17|
|Rear tyre size||160/55ZR17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||50 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£90|
|Used price||£3,800 - £7,100|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||68 bhp|
|Max torque||48.5 ft-lb|
|Top speed||125 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||165 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Z650 replaces ER-6n
2019: Z650 Performance. £7349. The extra thousand pounds (over the base bike) gets you a full akrapovic exhaust system which is 2kg lighter than the standard Z650's exhaust. The Z650 Performance also comes with a smoked screen, a tank pad and pillion seat cowl if you're going for the more sporty look.
Other Kawasaki Z model reviews
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2007-2009)
- Kawasaki Z1000 review (2004-2006)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2014-on)
- Kawasaki Z1000SX review (2010-2013)
- Kawasaki Z125 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z250SL review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z300 review (2015-on)
- Kawasaki Z400 review (2019-on)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2007-2012)
- Kawasaki Z750 review (2003-2006)
- Kawasaki Z750R review (2011-2012)
- Kawasaki Z800 review (2013-on)
- Kawasaki Z900 review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS review (2017-on)
- Kawasaki Z900RS Café review (2018-on)
Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019)
3 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Very easy to ride, great looking bike, great fun and excellent value for money. One of the easiest riders ever and extremely comfortable, has all you need in a bike.
Buying experience: Was the fastest purchase ever. After handing over the cash was on the road in less than one hour.
Annual servicing cost: £30
Swapped a GSXR for the new Z650. I have little legs so the low seat is confidence inspiring. It's comfy and I like the streetfighter styling. The handling is good. I'm still running it in, so I'm missing the power of my previous bike. I bought it for commuting and trips to a caravan 70 miles away. You either get power or economy, and it has good mpg. I like the comprehensive digital dash, small but easy read and has all usual features (clock, fuel gauge etc.).
I've only covered 100 miles on mixed roads, however, the bike coped with everything well. It's comfy and I had no scares. It's predictable and reassuring.
Small physically (as is the bike), smooth, torquey and economical. It beats cars from traffic lights.
None yet as the bike is new, but my daughter's has had no problems in 2 years. Seems well built and painted nicely.
DIY usually and can get fully synth oil and filter for £30. If it needs plugs and air filter, brakes etc. the all-in cost is less than £150.
Not used to having no screen at all (could have bought a faired version). I've ordered a taller screen but haven't fitted it yet. It should help on the motorway.
Buying experience: I was disappointed with the trade-in price, but the new bike was discounted so I'm happy with the amount paid overall to get a new one.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Good little bike
Is a little spongy but stops very quickly even at high speeds.
Very good has some weird vibration in the mid range comes threw the handlebars and foot pegs occasionally.
No issues installed Scottoiler and needs led upgrade kit as standard bulbs are very poor
Cheap to service and most parts are cheap. Mines a 66 plate and works perfectly easy to do most yourself.
Comes with abs. Standard clocks and a gear indicator.
Buying experience: Orwell ipswich easy bought for £580₩ pre reg new