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Kawasaki Announces New Naked 650 and 900

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Kawasaki Z650

At Intermot earlier this week, Kawasaki announced two new naked bikes that will debut in the flesh next month at EICMA. For now, we only have a single photo of each model.

The first is the Z650, which is the naked version of the new Ninja 650 we reported on earlier this week. Like the Ninja 650, the Z650 also features a massive weight loss versus its predecessor, the european ER-6n.

That weight loss comes largely from the new frame and swingarm it will share with the new Ninja 650. Claimed curb weight is 411 pounds.

With Euro 4 compliance, peak power is down slightly to 68 horsepower. The bike will be available with ABS and a slipper clutch.

The other naked bike anounced by Kawasaki is the Z900, which will replace the european Z800 for 2017. Power comes from a sleeved-down version of the Z1000’s motor displacing 948 cc and making a claimed 125 horsepower. Claimed curb weight is 463 pounds.

The Z900 has suspension adjustable for both rebound and spring preload. A slipper clutch is featured, along with available ABS brakes.

Neither of these models appear to offer traction control or other sophisticated electronic aids found on more expensive models. As we said, formal introduction of each bike will be at EICMA next month, when we expect to have additional details and information regarding possible U.S. availability and pricing.

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Kawasaki Z900


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49 Comments

  1. Vrooom says:

    Living in the Northwet, it’s unfortunate but these bikes are useless due to the lack of weather protection. I ride year round, and maybe if you ride 3 months a year this works, but it’s mid-October and it was 42 this morning, too cold to ride a naked bike 25 miles to work. I do like the looks, and the weight is fantastic, but for me a fairing is necessary, which I suppose is where the Versys comes in, though it’s significantly heavier.

  2. Ken House says:

    I see a lot of potential in that 900. Nice power stock, with more available via the aftermarket. Decent stock suspension, looks like reasonable ergos, touring capable, ABS only if you want to pay for it, and hopefully not ride-by-wire. The Lizard King front end doesn’t do much for me, but I bet it provides a smooth flow of air. If the price is right, it should do just fine.

    • mickey says:

      I could live with the front end if they didn’t royally screw up the back end from mid drivers seat back, making it point up in the air, and making it difficult and uncomfortable on a passenger, or for luggage.

  3. John says:

    Good job. I don’t know if it would cause me to pick it over an FZ07, but then, I’m not directly interested in one. But if they were to make a 700 Tracer competitor, more upright, more touring, and kept the weight low, and the seat low and the price favorable that could be a winner for Kawasaki.

    • Scott says:

      Well… If the 650 Versys doesn’t do it for you, then you’re out of luck. Because that’s what they have.

      • John says:

        The Versys is both tall and heavy for a 650, with a very wide seat. My hips wanted to snap in two. It makes sense as a 1000cc bike, not not as a 650. It has all the disadvantages of a street and ADV bike, with none of the advantages.

  4. PN says:

    I always like what Kawasaki does. I loved my Versys and I love my 300 Ninja. I like both of these bikes, as well as the new 650 Ninja. I think I’m leaning toward the 650 Ninja but the Z900 looks intriguing along with the new Suzuki GSX-750.

  5. Tank says:

    I can already hear my wife- “Does this seat make my ass look fat?”

  6. Cyclemotorist says:

    Why can’t we just have round headlights? I don’t like that weird lump on the front end of the 900.

  7. TomT says:

    Im surprised Z900s capacity was increased all the way to 948ccs since its direct rival probably is FZ-09. Maybe Kawi figured if they couldnt match it weight wise beat it with cubes.
    Interestingly the new Z900 has now become really similar to the 1st gen Z1000 spec wise.
    1st gen Z1000, 953cc, 127hp, 490lbs wet weight.

    • Chris says:

      They sleeved down the Z1000 engine.

      At least Kawasaki knows how to round numbers up or down. .?? 😉

  8. bmbktmracer says:

    Does anyone know sales numbers on this type of bike? I live in California and I never see these things on the road. I see sportbikes, Harleys, BMWs, older-style standards, and a lot of adventure bikes. I know looks are a personal thing, but I could never buy a bike like this because they’re just too ugly. It’s like they hold contests to see who can come up with the greatest number of disparate lines, throw some matte paint on the result, and call it a day.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t know sales figures, but I see a lot of them. Not these Kawasaki bikes in particular, but a good many Japanese naked bikes.

  9. Tom R says:

    Kawasaki and Yamaha styling have become somewhat interchangeable.

  10. WSHart says:

    “Naked” is a juvenile word when used to describe what should be called a “Standard” motorcycle. One that sets the standards for others to follow, emulate or improve upon where possible.

    I would much prefer a homage to the KZ900, sans the tubed tires of course, as those have no place on a modern street motorcycle.

    But I can see either of these attracting an audience of those who know comfort makes it possible to enjoy your ride longer and not just in minutes but in years as they pass beneath us all far faster than we could ever realize.

  11. Bud says:

    That Z900 is a whole lot better looking than any Z1000,but I’d sure like to see them dial the styling back further. That front fender is a perfect example.

  12. Bluesman77 says:

    Kind of surprised the 650 model has a conventional fork when the Versys has an upside down design.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The Versys has always had better suspension than its siblings. It has always been a little pricier too, though barely.

  13. mechanicus says:

    that thing is proof that someone is slipping lsd in the kawi water coolers.

  14. Tom R says:

    “With Euro 4 compliance, peak power is down slightly to 68 horsepower.”

    So that’s what Kawasaki means when they say that power will be “roughly” the same as the previous year’s model.

  15. VEGA says:

    So… That’s Kawasaki’s answer to popular Yamaha FZ07 and FZ09, eh?

    I must say that its about time…!

    Thing is, I like those Yamahas I’ve mentioned above, I really do… But I only like the specs sheet, quite honestly… The looks are… Well, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but too me they’re UGLY… Simple as that! Secondly, FZ09 has a little ‘hiccup’ down-low, so… I’d LOVE to own The Z900 cause its looking SEXY and I love the howl of 4-Cylinders…!!!

    Oh well…

    G’Day!

  16. Jeff says:

    It’s just a de-sleeved version of the 1000cc motor, so it is a 4 cylinder. Depending on price/changes in ABS/CC, the FZ-09 will still likely be the budget bike to beat.

  17. MikeG says:

    Styling isn’t everything to me, but this Transformer Styling Era is hanging on longer than I predicted…..so I patiently await its passing whilst riding my 2001 SV650S, one of the last truly pretty motorcycles to spring from Japan, IMO.

  18. Bubba Bleu says:

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but is the 900 a triple or a four? I can’t tell how many pipes are coming down.

    Other than that, really nice!

    • Ed says:

      It says it’s a sleeved down version of the 1000 which is in fact a four. I like it too – that green frame is wild. I think I like the 650 more – I’ll trade light weight for horsepower any day (yes really).

  19. Spiderwatts says:

    Oooooooooooohhhhhhh…..the 900 might have my name on it!
    Can’t wait for more details :)))

  20. Jonny Blaze says:

    Perhaps ‘street fighther’ is the more appropriate term for this line of bikes.

  21. Dave Joy says:

    Why are all these “naked” bikes so bloody ugly?

  22. NRHRetro says:

    I read somewhere that Kawasaki is introducing 17 new models in the next 2 years. I’m sure some of them will be redesigned existing models, if this is true, there is plenty more to come.

    I did not see any mention in the article that this is the anticipated Retro bike. It’s just what they said, the replacement for the Z800 naked, the Retro’s are yet to come. I for one, am anxious to see what they come up with, (probably won’t happen this way, but hoping for a modern, air-cooled, Z-1 retro, with the same gorgeous lines as the original).

  23. Jonny Blaze says:

    If not mistaken, Kawasaki said the retro 900 will be introduced next month in the Milan show.

    This Z900 has the least plastic compared to previous Zs, which are supposedly naked bikes.

  24. atlantarandy says:

    Regarding the 500/650 class C-rockets. Boy teen wants hot bike. Boy convinces hot girl riding is fun. Inexperience results in near death experience. The passenger always gets the worst of it. IQ’s aren’t exactly going up nowadays, either. I say, if you are marketing to the younger set, don’t even put a passenger perch up there. The new center of gravity would cause Duhamel to crash. I love motorcycles of all sorts, but after 50 years, I’m for some restrictions, better sense in marketing and more instruction. Beginner bikes are making a comeback (Yay!!) Let’s make “beginner” C-rockets solo only. Beyond that, if young people want to buy Transformer motorcycles, go for it. I’ve owned many Kawasaki’s and I wish they would try some retro again. Not retro “old” like the W800, but Retro “new” like everybody from BMW to Yamaha is doing.

  25. VLJ says:

    What is the supposed benefit of all these new tailsections pointing up so high? We’re not talking about track bikes here. These are fairly tame street bikes.

  26. Jeremy in TX says:

    The Z650 is a good looking bike in my opinion. The Z900 just doesn’t come together for me stylistically despite the similarities, though I like the specs. Maybe it looks better in person.

    • KenHoward says:

      I like it, too. The inevitable, detailed comparisons with the FZ-07 should be interesting (especially if Yamaha continues to decline to offer ABS in the U.S.).

  27. kagato says:

    Not going to catch Yamaha with these recycled pop-tarts.

    • KenHoward says:

      Brand new frames and big weight loss (for the Z650) seems like more than just recycling old models. The inevitable comparison tests will show what advantages these “Zs” may have over the impressive FZs.

    • Mgood3 says:

      Recycled pop-tarts. Perfect ++

  28. Provologna says:

    You want low weight and good overall performance on a budget? Think about this: the new 650 makes about 65% more hp than a late 70s Yamaha RD400 2-stroke twin, and with the same fuel weighs only about 20 lbs heavier. With a second front brake rotor/caliper, virtually no emissions (by comparison), no oil to burn, no fouled plugs, likely infinitely better braking/cornering (well, not positive about apex speed differences…), longevity, the 650 has better than GP class wheels/tires for the 400s era, etc, etc.

    Would like to see price comparison adjusted for inflation, betting on the 650 but not sure.

    Looks wise is personal, not sure yet what to make of the 650.

  29. JR says:

    Real basic with forks could be better and are dated.68 hp vs Benellis 82 hp !

  30. Carl says:

    Well the Z900 looks nothing like the retro pics previously shown, what a shame!!

  31. Tank says:

    I would have liked a more standard type styling with round headlights.

  32. ABQ says:

    I really wish that they would cut off that passenger seat. Aside from that the 900 bike is an improvement. Not that I would buy a sport bike.