market dynamics
Locomotive evaluation: Kawasaki Z650RS, "color and fragrance"
Release date:2022.09.28

In 1972, four years after the rival CB750, Kawasaki introduced the Z1, a 900cc four-cylinder, four-stroke model that was the first Japanese production model to use a dual-overhead camshaft structure. With a maximum horsepower of 82 and a top speed of more than 200km/h, it was the top technology of its time.

It is the Z1's classic shape and good handling performance that started the 50 years of evolution of the Kawasaki Z series. We also talked about this when we talked about the Z900. The "RS" version starting from the Z900RS not only evolved in technology, but also paid tribute to the classic Z1 in styling. The Z650RS we are talking about today is just such a model that continues the story.

Appearance design

First of all, let's talk about the visual appearance of this model. The Z650RS and the streetcar Z650 are models of the same platform, with the same engine and frame, but the visual experience of the whole appearance is completely different.

The Z650RS is a retro model that we should look at in layers. The headlights, fuel tank, seat cushion and tail area in the upper part of the vehicle are designed to highlight the temperament of the vehicle as much as possible! In the lower half of the car, the exposed body of the blackened treatment, mainly highlights the original mechanical feeling of the vintage model.

This new Kawasaki model is equipped with a round headlamp that is standard for retro models. This classic headlamp has upper and lower areas inside. Although it is an LED light set, it also simulates the lighting temperament of halogen light source as much as possible, while making some modern modifications in the color and surrounding.

Instrument is still with the classic shape of the dual mechanical instrument, and is a rising shape, in the middle of the two instruments or cleverly set up a LCD screen, used to display gear, oil, fuel mileage and so on information, is also a kind of fusion of retro and modern.

Water drop tank, from the side or back to look is a very natural and smooth lines, paint texture is also very good; But in order to design this retro-looking tank, the capacity has been reduced from 15L to 12L in the streetcar version, and the visual experience is worth the sacrifice.

One-piece seat, narrow and wide design with the tank junction has a very smooth transition, frosty texture of the seat cushion appears the car temperament is mild, compared with the line highlights the streetcar, retro models will appear elegant or stable a lot.

The rear of the vehicle continues the classic design of Z1 type in that year, and makes some adjustments in proportion combined with the modern aesthetic. However, the texture of the plastic decorative coverings in the rear is relatively poor, and the whole shape is still quite retro.

Vehicle configuration

The Z650RS is powered by a 649cc in-line twin-cylinder water-cooled engine with a maximum power of 63 horsepower (46kW) at 7000 RPM and a maximum torque of 63N·m at 6500 RPM. Kawasaki this engine is also a popular engine, many manufacturers do reverse research and development, but still than the original factory products, Kawasaki also equipped with the new car with dual throttle technology.

Although the frame of the new car is still in use of the street car Z650, but some local places are still made to avoid and treatment, the structure of the upper panel has been changed, the subframe should be more flat, and the length of the backward extension should be longer.

Before the shock absorber 41mm vertical shock absorber, here many people will be more sensitive, so big brand still use vertical, do not consider the spring quality? Speaking of sprung quality we do have to talk about, if you put aside the specific use of the scene to talk about sprung quality is playing rogue.

Although many domestic manufacturers are paying attention to the inverted shock absorber, the sprung quality is reduced, and what brand is used at the same time; But is this really about the performance of the vehicle, or is it being coerced into doing it? After all, friends are used, you don't have to be scolded, at the same time the story is not easy to tell.

For most of the civilian models, it is difficult for someone to ride the riding texture is not the same because of the different quality of the spring; Kawasaki still has some brand confidence in this area.

Rear shock absorber is a middle shock absorber with multi-link structure, this part is still biased towards motion orientation. The FRONT BRAKES ARE UNIDIRECTIONAL double PISTON CALIPERS WITH DOUBLE FLOATING DISCS, WHILE THE REAR BRAKES ARE UNIDIRECTIONAL SINGLE PISTON WITH SINGLE DISC.

The combination has 17-inch wheels at the front and back, 120 front and 160 rear, and uses Dunlop's road-sport tyres. The wheelbase is 1405mm, the ground clearance is 125mm, the seat height is 800mm, and the assembly mass is 187kg.

Auxiliary configuration and ABS and sliding clutch, this kind of basic configuration, in fact, before the release of Kawasaki's retro Z650RS some electric control expectations, but there is no new electric control on the 2022 model.


Riding feeling

My height is 175cm, and the seat height of this car is 800mm. After sitting on it, the two front feet can land firmly. The riders who are over 170cm in height will have no pressure. There is a point to pay attention to, the car's foot support will be a little bit of top leg, need to adapt to it.

The first time riding this car will feel the body more upright, the center of gravity of the vehicle and the person on the car before and after the center of gravity, a little strange; That mainly comes from two aspects, one is the bubble-shaped tank is longer, and low, give a person visual sense there car distance, compared to the second point is the handlebar of a streetcar named upward and to the treads, whole ride triangle has a change, people will have a first contact with the car weight before and after the feeling of separation, to adapt to these will improve.

When the car started, what was impressive was the roar from the engine, not from the exhaust, but from the engine, as we had on the other two Kawasaki 650s we had ridden before.

After riding on the car, the flexible feeling of the car is very strong, after all, the frame, engine and suspension system and so on are the same as streetcars, its sports gene is there; When doing tilt bending and U-turn control, the control is relatively clean.


Up to 2000 RPM, power is linear and direct in the first three gears, and the engine's performance is focused on low-torque output, with higher fault tolerance in the first three gears.

The vibration of the engine above 5000 RPM will be relatively dense and a little uncomfortable; Fortunately, the vibration is suppressed at 6000 RPM, when the torque output of the engine has reached a maximum, pulling you forward from the body, the power extension can continue to 10,000 RPM, its power performance is also impressive.

Recently, I've ridden a lot of 650 and 700cc models, and even some of them have engines that are derived from the Kawasaki 650 platform in reverse. Once you've ridden both types of engines, you'll find that the experience is different.

Kawasaki 650 capability or deep in the practical experience, the join of two throttle technology, namely equivalent to half of the electronic throttle, half of the reason is that this part of the need to manually operation, the technology will also be able to give you some auxiliary operation, started out can make power is more direct. You don't get that kind of driving experience on a reverse-engineered model.

What we did in the closed road test was 80 in 1st gear, 105 in 2nd gear, 135 in 3rd gear, and 160 in 4th gear, which is not a very good number for this speed, which is above the medium.

But the output point of the whole engine adjustment is very obvious after 2000 turns, and has been continuous and direct, this should be to take care of the fun of the daily common speed range, although the loss of some top speed, but the fun has increased a lot.

Suspension before and after this part of the shock absorber is not adjustable, after the shock absorber's adjustment is hard, mainly to take care of the car's athletic performance, the rear wheel to have support. The front shock absorber is moderately soft, maybe a little soft, and the head bobs up and down a lot when the car is pumping oil and braking hard. As a retro model, the ride is still OK. When passing potholes, the filtering effect of the whole car is also relatively obvious.

The appearance of the brake caliper is not big, the front brake is equipped with one-way double piston caliper, but the use of the feeling is OK, especially in the case of low speed, the braking effect will be more direct, all the effect of the nod is more obvious.

At high speed, the braking performance is still relatively linear, and the braking effect can be predicted by your force, which gives people more confidence; It is also impressive that the ABS on the rear wheels are too sensitive, stepping in before the rear wheels have lost their grip when the rear brakes are pressed.

As mentioned above, the Z650RS's styling design sacrifices part of the fuel tank space. In the case of our violent test, the fuel consumption of the car is in the range of 5.5~6 fuel. If it is a normal daily ride, the fuel consumption is expected to be controlled around 5 fuel for 100km, and the car should provide a range of 250 km.

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