The new Z650 will replace the ER-6n as Kawasaki’s middle-weight naked. Here is all you need to know.
Kawasaki have shaken up their model line-up for 2017 with a slew of Euro 4-compliant offerings to replace their current motorcycles. The 2017 Z650 is similar to its predecessor, the ER-6n, with a 649-cc parallel twin and that naked streetfighter form; however there are quite a few changes that make this all-new motorcycle stand out.
The family resemblance with the ER-6n is clear, although the redesigned headlight and muscular fuel tank with new tank extensions do seem more in line with Kawasaki’s Z design philosophy. The redesigned tail section is broader and seems to meld well with the sporty look, and the prominent side-mounted rear monoshock has been replaced with a more conventional centrally-located unit. The exhaust is still underslung, but you now get an unobstructed view of the bend-pipes as the bellypan has been scrapped to be more in line with the naked look. The single-pod instrument cluster is similar to the one on the outgoing model, with large central tachometer, however it is an all-new unit, with the digital display extended to include more information, a digital tacho needle and an adjustable shift light.
The Z650 is powered by the same 649-cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder powerplant as the ER-6n, however, for 2017 this engine is now Euro 4-compliant and makes 68 PS at 8,000 RPM. Although this is less than the outgoing model, the new tubular trellis chassis and redesigned swingarm on the Z650 weigh in at about 20 kilograms lighter than before. This weight saving, along with the additional 1.7 Nm twist that comes in 500 RPM earlier (65.7 Nm at 6,500 RPM), should improve performance and make the new bike even more fun to ride, while the much-overdue addition of ABS earns points for safety.
The most affordable big bike from the Kawasaki stable just got a whole lot more desirable, with a new name and fresh guise. The motorcycle melds practicality with good looks and sporty manners, and at Rs 5.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) gives even more bikers access to Kawasaki’s aspirational ‘Z’ line of naked streetbikes. Expect to see a lot of these lime-green-accented motorcycles on our roads this year.