Targeted at younger riders and those in the early stages of their riding career, the Z650RS is predicted to also appeal to those who fondly recall the launch of the iconic “son of Z1” Z650-B1 in 1977.
Designed and engineered to offer a delicate balance between old design and new technology, the new machine is powered by an updated version of Kawasaki’s 649 cc water-cooled, parallel twin engine used in both the current Z650 and Ninja 650 models like the Versys.
Tuned for low and mid rev response, plus characteristic invigorating high rev performance, the engine is rated at 68 PS.
In terms of the chassis, the frame is a tubular trellis type construction providing both lightness and agile response to aid reassuring handling capabilities.
Its narrow aspect also allows riders to easily reach the ground at a standstill and manoeuvre the bike on the move with equal ease. The seat height for European models will be 820mm with a low seat accessory option at 800mm.
As for the suspension, the front duties are undertaken by 41mm conventional forks, with Kawasaki’s horizontal link rear suspension acting on a shock that is adjustable for pre-load.
Stopping power comes courtesy of dual twin piston front calipers acting on retro-style 300mm round disc rotors instead of Kawasaki’s customary petal style rotors.
Meanwhile at the rear, a single piston brake acts on a 200mm rotor all assisted by Bosch advanced ABS.
Evoking myriad memories of the Z650-B1, the paint and pinstripes are a faithful reproduction of the green version of the earlier machine.
And then we have the iconic “duck tail” cowling behind the seat and faithfully crafted side panels which also pay homage to the 1977 machine.
Even the seat and its stitching pattern reveal a familiar fastidious attention to detail attention by Kawasaki stylists.
A round, LED headlamp lights the way while the dual analogue style “artillery shell” shaped meters include a digital centre panel for rider information.
According to Kawasaki, the adoption of gold multi-spoke type wheels is truly the “icing on the cake” while further embellishment is possible via a range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories.