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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

New 2017 Z650 ABS Coming to America


Sharing a frame, and huge weight reduction, with the new Ninja 650 ABS also reported on today, the U.S.-bound Z650 ABS includes a light trellis frame and a punchy 650 cc parallel twin engine. Priced at $7,399, the new Z650 ABS will be available in U.S. dealers this model year (exact date to be announced).

Follow this link for further details and specifications, and here are all of the details from Kawasaki about this new model:

Rolling out from behind a cloud, the moon shines onto the concrete sidewalk and black asphalt road. A row of motorcycles masked by the darkness sit still, waiting, parked against the curb. All appear identical, except the bike at the end of the row, lit by the street lamp. The amber light reflects off the brightly colored trellis frame. The slim chassis and minimal bodywork showcase off of the powerful engine and performance-driven suspension. It’s a purpose-built machine, with little left to the imagination. Turn on the key switch, a reverse-lit instrumentation panel comes to life. A digital tachometer reflects on the rider’s helmet. The sound of the parallel-twin roars to life, echoing down the adjacent alleyway. A pull of the clutch, a snap of the gear shifter, the rider is off into the night. With generations of tradition and years of Z engineering comes a new streetfighter designed to amplify fun and performance: introducing the raw and refined 2017 Kawasaki Z650.

The Kawasaki Z650 motorcycle is designed to engage your senses: your sights with its raw and refined look; your touch with the chassis’ feedback to the rider; and your hearing with the specially engineered tune of the exhaust and intake. The open cockpit design allows you to experience your surroundings, hear the sounds of the city or country road and feel the wind.


The 2017 Kawasaki Z650 Highlights:

  • Trellis frame
  • Linkage-rear suspension
  • Minimal, slim bodywork
  • Entry-level pricing

The stripped down body work, slim lines and exposed engine and suspension components resonate the bike’s raw theme, where only the necessary parts remain. It’s a purpose-built motorcycle with tight body work and a light curb weight. There’s beauty in its simplicity.

The 2017 Kawasaki Z650 is the performance bike made for everyday riding. While influences from the generations of KZ and Z models have made this Z650 what it is today, it’s still very much its own model, a new-school performance motorcycle for the all-around rider. This motorcycle suits a range of motorcyclists, whether they’re  looking for a real performance motorcycle that’s comfortable and capable of lightweight handling, or  a smooth, lightweight streetfighter, that’s fun and easy to ride.




  • Proven performance of the 650cc platform
  • Slim exhaust design
  • A punch of low-to-mid range power that matches the Z fun factor
  • A progressive torque curve

Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel-twin engine design has been a proven performer on the track. The new 650cc found in the Z650 however, is purposely tuned for  street motorcycles to give the motorcycle a more even and steady torque curve.

The engine features a slim intake and throttle body ports, which allow for finer atomization of fuel and improved engine airflow. Camshafts have reduced overlap and less duration, allowing for better mid-range power. The engine ultimately has a smooth off-throttle power delivery, with a steady climb to max output.



  • Trellis Frame
  • Twin-spar rear subframe
  • Engine is structural member of frame
  • Horizontal back-linked rear suspension

The high-tensile steel trellis frame uses the engine as a stress member, bringing engineering development from performance bikes to a lightweight, entry-level platform. Minimized bends in the frame cut down on stress-points and result in a lighter chassis. The rear section of the frame is a twin-tube, carried from the backbone of the frame, for added rigidity and improved carrying capacity.

Kawasaki engineers developed a new gull-arm swingarm with a pivot width similar to the wheel axle, creating a straight line from pivot point to axle, increasing leverage and strength of the rear suspension. Utilizing a horizontal back-linked rear shock with linkage  makes for easy tuning, improved comfort and a progressive character.


  • Streetfighter ergonomics
  • Low-seat height and seat shape that narrows in the front for comfort and ease of reach to the ground
  • Handlebars placed forward for an aggressive riding position

The naked bike ergonomics feature the best of both worlds, in terms of a comfortable and an aggressive stance. The seating position and foot placement is low and forward, but with upright handlebars which allow for comfortable riding. The handlebars also increase leverage for adept, precise handling.

Much thought was placed into the positioning and angle of the handlebars and grips. The Z650 grips are placed for a natural position for the rider’s wrist, aiding in comfort and control. The narrow handlebars increase confidence and ease of use when making slow-speed corners.

The Z650 motorcycle features a comfortable passenger seat and comes standard  with passenger pegs, for easy two-up riding.



  • LCD display
  • Adjustable shift light
  • Digital tachometer

The instrumentation features an LCD display, a major plus for performance-conscious riders is the tachometer/shift light that flashes when reaching a user-selected rpm.

The instrumentation also includes a digital sweeping LCD tachometer, and gear position indicator. Riders can pick their favorite rpm display from a selection. A carbon-fiber appearance panel wraps the complete look of the instrumentation, for a clean and tight package.



The 5-spoke wheel design adds to the lightweight handling characteristics. The wheels are wrapped in Dunlop Sportmax D214 tires that are constructed with improved wet weather performance. ABS-equipped Z650 units are available, which utilize the Bosch 9.1M unit that has been calibrated to work on the lightweight chassis to assist braking.


Z650 ABS – Pearl Flat Stardust White / Metallic Spark Black

Z650 ABS – Metallic Flat Spark Black / Metallic Spark Black


2017 Kawasaki Z650 ABS $7,399


For a full spec sheet on the 2017 Z650 motorcycle, visit



A full range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available at authorized Kawasaki dealers. For the different models, these can include different seats, seat cowl, frame sliders, tank bag and tail bag. Please visit your local Kawasaki dealership for more information.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Fivespeed302 says:

    A bit overpriced for an “entry level” bike. Drop a grand off and then I’d agree. Looking forward to the FX-07/SV-650/Z650 shootout.

    • VEGA says:

      FiveSpeed302, I respectfully disagree…
      Lets go back to 1959 when The Triumph Bonneville T120 with an air-cooled OHV parallel-twin was the fastest thing on two wheels (at lest, when it comes to production motorcycles)…
      T120: 48HP @ 404Lbs
      Z650: 68HP @ 410Lbs
      All the power of The original CB750 (a.k.a THE BIG FOUR) while the weight of the ‘feathery’ T120…
      I know, bikes have come a long way, but have human skills flourished on the same scale…?
      No, we’re an ancient & antiquated specie which hasn’t seen a ‘reboot’ for a long time… Say, thousands of centuries…!

  2. Mugwump says:

    No attempt to link to Kawasaki’s flat track success? Guess the win on Saturday sell on Tuesday doesn’t work in flat track for Kawasaki.

  3. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    My only real complaint about this, any many other new bikes, is the pretty much non-existent provisioning for carrying anything on the back of the bike – no grab rails or bungee hooks (that I can see). Also not terribly passenger-friendly, in my opinion.

    I don’t really care for the look of that kind of tailpiece, either, but that’s more of a personal taste thing.

    • todd says:

      The older Ninja 650 has bungee loops on the under-tail. This may be similar. The passenger accommodations don’t seem as good though.

    • mgood3 says:

      Yes, I agree. Don’t understand the manufacturers gradual but relentless removal of passenger accommodations and comfort. The 900 cc “Z” is even more passenger un-friendly. Could it be that the bike just doesn’t look ‘cool’ when there is a real passenger seat? Baffling to me.

  4. KenHoward says:

    ‘Seems like this new Z650’s direct competitor will be the Yamaha FZ-07 w/ABS. I’ll be very interested in seeing how they compare.

    • cw says:

      Arguably more so a direct competitor of the SV650 ABS. Looks a bit like a combo of the SV & the FZ to me.

  5. mike white says:

    it’s a pretty elegant design without getting on the retro wagon. I like the direction: the fairly normal tank and front fender etc. I like not having fake scoops. I would like even less plastic. I don’t so much mind the snub butt because it creates a better taillight. With its improved brakes and lower weight, this will be a terrific street bike.

  6. Mgood3Mgood3 says:

    “Comfortable passenger seat “. Who do they think they’re kidding?

    Otherwise a very cool looking, practical and affordable bike. Glad to see this design (except for that seat).

  7. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think it is a great looking bike. I’m glad to see it come to the US and hope it is received well here.

    • Pacer says:

      I think it will be. For those who don’t need to power wheelie, but still want to out run traffic. This in my eyes is the new UJM. If someone wants a bit more the 900 is a looker as well. I think they look better than the FZ07/09, and I am a Yamaha guy. I think these types of motorcycles are good for the industry. Newbie friendly (with room to grow into), and entertaining for the laid-back veteran.

  8. Bill says:

    Nice bike but as an old fart I’m not happy with where the headlights are going.

    • billy says:

      I’m not old and I don’t like where they are!

      Might as well put ’em right on the fender. Geez.

      Great looking bike otherwise.

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