KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
Power: 68 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: Medium (412 lbs / 187 kg)


New N/A
Used £3,300 - £5,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

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.

This bike was replaced by the 2020 Kawasaki Z650

Ride quality & brakes

Next 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!


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Get Kawasaki Z650 owners' reviews here

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

At £6349 the Zed was excellent value for money and was priced similarly to Suzuki’s new SV650 and Yamaha’s award winning and hugely capable MT-07

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.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 size 649cc
Engine type 8v DOHC parallel-twin four-cylinder, 6 gears
Frame type Trellis
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 187kg
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 £117
Annual service cost £110
New price -
Used price £3,300 - £5,300
Insurance group 11 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

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

Model history

2017: Z650 replaces ER-6n

Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019)

6 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.

Review your KAWASAKI Z650 (2017 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
4 out of 5 My 5 years with the Kawasaki Z650, trusty mule
16 May 2023 by J.Yee

Year: 2018

The Kawasaki z650 is not the most thrilling or exciting bike compared to it's competitors such as the Yamaha MT-07 or Susuki sv650, but it sure is a trusty reliable commuter that gets the job done.Main annoying thing is the 180' P2 crank gives off a lot of vibrations at higher rpms, and it also doesn't sound that good and balance that well compared to a 270' crank (See mt-07 engine)Some bolts do vibrate lose overtime, but there's no major issues to report so far, the engine do consume some oil but that's because it has 61,000km and was never opened (top, bottom end service) except valve checks.It's a good bike, used it for 61,000km and still seems like it has plenty of life left. Bought it new with 2 digit on the odo in 2018.I'll use it to 100k km then maybe semi retire it (keeping it) and look into something else.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

It's a decent all rounder bike except for the luggage (can add GIVI or SHAD top box or panniers) & pillion carrying part (rear seat is like a afterthought to Kawasaki) Good road commuting, but not exciting compared to the MT-07 (lack of fun exhaust note & power revving it doesn't feel that fun)Ride quality is a bit mushy, suspension is a bit too soft, brakes are too soft from factory, changing this 2 will significantly improve ride quality.

Engine 3 out of 5

It's main achilles heel, the classic 180' P2 crank, not that torquey, doesn't feel that powerful, doesn't have a nice or interesting sound & makes loads of annoying vibrations at mid rpm revs.There's alot of cons for this crank, hence everybody using the 270' crank in P2 engines, it's just better in everyway.But, despite it's cons, it's a very reliable engine, and servicing it is easy as a lot of mechanic know about this platform. You can access the most of the engine without taking the fuel tank off except big servicing like plugs change etc.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It's a very well build bike, plastics pretty high quality, no corrosions on the frame and it seems to hold itself very well after 5 years of daily commute. It's build like a semi tank, you can depend on it to do hard work.It's a easy bike to work/service as everything is exposed except removing the plastics, they are a pain and pulling them wrong can break the tabs (the side plastic beside the fuel tank & the 2 rear panels). Regular basic servicing keeps it running problem free.Also mine is black in color so cleaning it weekly is needed, but if you put hydrophobic coating (meguier quik detail) on it, the plastics seem to look better and water just beads right off.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I recommend one do the following to make it more economical to run:- Change the stock gearing (15F 46R) to (16F 43R) to reduce rpm during highway commute (about 2k rpms drop), saves fuel and engine wear. - Change stock tires to touring ones (I use Bridgestone t32s) they last about 30-40k km for my last pair, long usage rate. (Tires are expensive lol)I also send my bike to Kawasaki dealer to do major servicing (valves etc), paying higher rate but i have a piece of mind (mechanic there has 20-30 years experience).

Equipment 3 out of 5

The bike comes absolutely bones dry standard, no additional equipment's or electronics to play around. Mods I added that made the bike better for my use:- GB Racing engine covers - Kawasaki radiator guard (I opt for that) - SHAD pannier rack system (SH 36) - X grip phone mount - A cheap front windscreen - Tail tidy from online (took me 4 hours to install properly) - Puig crash bars - 2 decent chinese Aux lights (yellow & white lens), very bright.

Buying experience: Was smooth and easy, bike was delivered with 30km or less brand new.

4 out of 5
15 July 2021 by Steve4president

Year: 2017

Definitely recommend it to a friend

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes feel to good for the power sometimes

Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

After a wash sometimes check engine light comes on for some sensor

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Good but flawed and needs modding to get it right
23 April 2021 by Johnny rogers

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £140

Excellent design ,poor quality components

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5

Poor handling have changed springs front and rear to hyperpro progressive springs ,a great help ,brakes are fine

Engine 4 out of 5

Good power but not smooth delivery added rapid fuel module akropovich from new ,sprint filter --- more power fantastic throttle control and more economical now

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

Water pump housing paint peeled off ,exhaust collar disintegrated ,chain rusted and links seizing ,footpeg rubber worn out.suspension poor handling ,dives on braking and changes direction when hitting a bump ,throttle snatch at low speeds.took extra years guarantee but nothing is covered so far ,waste of time

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Local garage used dealer too expensive

Equipment 3 out of 5

Good basic package but poor quality components.have added shorty levers for easier control ,rapid fuel module ,progressive springs and metal footpegs need new chain despite proper mtce now corroded and links stiff

Buying experience: Bought off dealer and had akropovic as extra ,however collar on exhaust corroded and broke up ,however collar beside it was fine (strange faulty component ?) Paid asking price deposit from 650 ktm and bank loan

5 out of 5 Well done to Kawasaki, great redesign
07 May 2019 by Grant John Neville

Year: 2019

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Was the fastest purchase ever. After handing over the cash was on the road in less than one hour.

5 out of 5 New Z650
12 May 2018 by Phil

Year: 2017

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.).

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

Small physically (as is the bike), smooth, torquey and economical. It beats cars from traffic lights.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

None yet as the bike is new, but my daughter's has had no problems in 2 years. Seems well built and painted nicely.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

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.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

4 out of 5 Perfect learner or weekend motorcycle
11 July 2017 by Gavin Murphy

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £150

Good little bike

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Is a little spongy but stops very quickly even at high speeds.

Engine 4 out of 5

Very good has some weird vibration in the mid range comes threw the handlebars and foot pegs occasionally.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

No issues installed Scottoiler and needs led upgrade kit as standard bulbs are very poor

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Cheap to service and most parts are cheap. Mines a 66 plate and works perfectly easy to do most yourself.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Comes with abs. Standard clocks and a gear indicator.

Buying experience: Orwell ipswich easy bought for £580₩ pre reg new

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