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i28

Kawasaki Z650 - upcoming competition

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i28

Kawasaki designed a pretty nice looking bike (especially that taillight!)
With all the added features like a slipper clutch and ABS, this should be some good competition for the FZ-07 . Let's just hope the engine is as fun as an FZ's.
 
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vroomvroom
Is practically an FZ. Will require a test ride...good news, thanks for posting.

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duenan
z1000 aside, I'm not much big of a fan of the naked Z designs. Z800, Z650, Z900- when I look at all of them, the first thing that comes to my mind is "BULKY" which is immediately followed by "that thing must be heavy". Eh truthfully the 650 doesn't look too bulky but maybe its just bias kicking in making me think its bulky like the other middle weight Zs. Also it reminds me too much of a CB(xxx)F (which all Suzuki nakeds also remind me of except the SV650).
 
I will give it up for that very unique Z light. They need to start doing this on all subsequent future models.

Engaging with people that have personality disorders on a message board is like arguing with a rock.

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jmacas87
Can't wait to see the price point on these.
 
Pretty sure it's the same 650 engine as the ninja, so maybe not as much "character" as our fzs.
 
Definitely the best looking kawi z series. Imo

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Guru
Nice find, thank you for sharing. I don't see anything that would make me want to 'upgrade'. But I do like it that the FZ gets some serious competition. I agree with @duenan. Kawa tend to look 'puffed'.

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Guest Ralph
I had a Versys 650, it felt more buzzy, vibrated more than the 07 with a lot less
low and mid range power but it had a real rush once passed about
7000 revs, about 10 mpg worse on fuel, the suspension was noticeably
better but I never really fell for it and wont be getting another.
Not a bad bike by any means but not for me,  the new one may
be better so a test ride is the way to go

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Beemer
Here's a little something from this web site: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/kawasaki/2017-kawasaki-z650-preview.html 
 
"There was one notable change from the Intermot announcement to the final EICMA presentation. The earlier press kit casually mentioned helmet lock would be offered for the Z650 as an accessory in the U.S. market, the only indication of whether the bike would be offered here. The new press kit makes no mention of the U.S. (or the optional helmet lock for that matter). Does this change suggest a change of heart for Kawasaki Motor Corp. U.S.A.? We’ll have to wait to find out."
 
I have to say it looks good and has some nice features but one quick look at the specs tells me 'my' FZ-07 should have no fear of having to eat it's dust. The Kow 650 is heavier and has less h.p. but we shall see. Regardless, I like Yams, not Kows.

Beemer

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pattonme
Looks far better than previous attempts but it's still 'busy'. I don't like this recent tendency to make the the instrument cluster an infor-tainment pod. You're not supposed to look at it when riding anyway and yet now we have sweeping led 'needles', and all kinds of gratuitous information. I get that if you have multiple engine maps and TC and AL settings being able to cycle thru them with a visual indicator as to what it is, but a gear indicator? My age is showing I guess. I like red needles on white background.
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pitapola
I think it would sell better if they went the transformers/Z1000 route design-wise. All in all, I think they did a nice job.
 
The way I see it, if you're young you're getting the FZ07(more aggressive look/hooligan machine). If you're a more "mature" rider you're probably getting the SV650(classic look/probably better bike as a whole).

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Guest jrkleinow
I actually prefer this to the FZ07 (am I banned yet?) just because I feel that Kawasaki's are more refined bikes, the dash looks way better, and they take more things into consideration from spots for rear spools to not putting the signal indicator on top of the horn.
 
Apparently this thing is going to weigh 412-lbs so the FZ07 still has a strong advantage there and most likely will be the more fun bike and this will be a solid commuter.

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yamahaha
That is a fine looking bike. Doubt it will pack the punch of the fz07 if its the same old 650. If it does have the ponies and suspension it could be a contender. I still don't see anything out there in the naked class that would sway me away from the 07 except, possibly, the new fz09.
I can see an updated 07 coming from in the next year or two.  

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pattonme
Kawasaki used to (still?) put actually useful engineering effort into their bikes - easy lube points, zerk fittings, no screwball things like running the swingarm axle thru the rearset, no linkage arrangement that you could barely get the bolt in/out of and had to do things in only 1 order or it wasn't possible, plenty of clearance around things so you didn't have to scream in anger at the stupid engineers that made things like putting preload into a shock an impossible task without taking the gas tank off (fz09) and so on.
 
I have to say Yamaha is the worst for stupid and unfriendly component positioning - at least as far as the Jap4 are concerned.
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AlbatrossCafe
I actually prefer this to the FZ07 (am I banned yet?) just because I feel that Kawasaki's are more refined bikes, the dash looks way better, and they take more things into consideration from spots for rear spools to not putting the signal indicator on top of the horn. 
Apparently this thing is going to weigh 412-lbs so the FZ07 still has a strong advantage there and most likely will be the more fun bike and this will be a solid commuter.
I agree with you 100%. 
I totally think this Kawi looks better. The FZ-07 is kind of stubby and awkward. This one looks beefy and strong. I wish the FZ had a colored speedo display. The black tach with the black speedo with the black everything is kind of boring. As for control placement, I have gotten over hitting the horn by accident on the FZ lol.
 
But yes, the FZ will still be more fun. 649cc is not enough for a two cylinder bike. At 230lbs, I need a bit more. The 689cc FZ engine is the sweet spot.
 
 
 

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axemanblue
I too owned an N650. While the stock suspension is better by a wide margin the soul of the bike--it's engine--has nothing on the FZ.
 
Still, I'm glad to see the sector heating up. Let's see if they actually sell it in CA.
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Beemer
I too owned an N650. While the stock suspension is better by a wide margin the soul of the bike--it's engine--has nothing on the FZ.  
Still, I'm glad to see the sector heating up. Let's see if they actually sell it in CA.
I agree 100%! I got the bike because it had a bad-ass engine and it looked pretty good. I didn't care what came with it. All the expert reviews I read did nothing but rave about the engine, the engine, the engine. Even with it's short comings it still managed to attain awards such as "Best Bang For The Buck" or "Bike Of The Year". I think more people are focused more on value and performance more than gadgets that look cool and please any desires for technology & convenience. Some day we will have it all at under 400 lbs. The govt. just has to release more alien technology to the military industry first. ;)  heh! 

Beemer

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pattonme
<400lbs is easy - $10 for a hacksaw. :)
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bornagainbiker
Nice looking, well appointed bike.  From the info I found on the web, Kawasaki claims that the engine has been re-worked to provide more low and midrange power--maybe we have a contender here.  ;)

Give Respect To Get Respect

https://jeff-galbraith.pixels.com/

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jerryv
I saw 68 HP .... is the Acropovic stock on this bike? It has to be more $$ than the FZ.

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i28
I saw 68 HP .... is the Acropovic stock on this bike? It has to be more $$ than the FZ.
 
It comes up after the words "accessory items" so I guess it comes with a stock exhaust that you can upgrade to the Akrapovic exhaust.

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bornagainbiker
Here is a first look at the 2017 Kawasaki z650--it even mentions price. :)  

 
http://ridermagazine.com/2016/11/13/2017-kawasaki-z650-abs-first-look-review/
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Give Respect To Get Respect

https://jeff-galbraith.pixels.com/

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avanti
:D:D:D   It certainly looks about as much like a 07 as they could have probably gotten by with.  Goes to show that design follows "winners," and also what IS the "sincerest form of flattery."
 
I looked at the Rider pix and I do like the "arced" tach better than ours.  Other than that, they can keep "mine."
 

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jmacas87
Damn $7,399 for ABS. That is 2017 FZ-07 territory. I think most people will find this more attractive than the FZ. If the engine puts out, I think it might be a winner.
Yeah no kidding, don't forget it's also got the slipper clutch. 
The forks are the same 650 flavor so the same upgrades availability will apply in the suspension area. 
 
This thing could be a serious contender. 
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Zephyr
Makes me *almost* reconsider my decision to pursue the FZ07 as my first ride. If it is a stripped down Ninja 650, then I don't think it will pass muster. However if they reworked the bike, then I could easily see this taking a decent slice out of the FZ07 market shares.

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