2017 Kawasaki Z900 & Z650
4th October 2016
Z650cc | Z900cc | Review | Specifications
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The "Z" nomenclature has served Kawasaki well since the Z1 of 1972. And "Z" is, after all, so very Zen. So it's no great shock than a new Z900 and Z650 is on the way. New Zeds, after all, will probably always be on the way and adding to the mystique of the motorcycles that have for generations served well the biking public.
So, at the 2016 Intermot show in Cologne, Messrs Kawasaki teased the world with a couple of images of the new Z900 (image immediately above) and Z650 (image immediately below) which should be with us in the UK very soon. The bikes themselves will be unveiled at the Milan EICMA Show which happens on 10th - 13th November 2016.
So what's the spec? Okay, a new 948cc inline, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engine, based upon the existing Z1000 is at the heart of the Z900. Around 126hp is being mooted, together with a slipper clutch.
Kawasaki has developed a new steel trellis frame (not aluminium, note) for the bike, and the firm reckons that the kerb weight is 460lbs (210kg).
The seat height is around 31-inches (794mm), which is good news for shorter riders and the girls (although we're seeing a lot of very tall females on the streets these days...).
The front fork is inverted with 41mm stanchions. It's adjustable for rebound and preload. At the rear is a horizontally-mounted shock absorber/damper, also with adjustable rebound and preload. The front discs are 300mm. Dual opposed four-piston calipers grip the rotors and are enhanced by Nissin ABS.
As for colours, we're looking at Pearl Mystic Gray with Metallic Flat Spark Black; Candy Lime Green with Metallic Spark Black; Metallic Flat Spark Black with Metallic Spark Black; and Candy Plasma Blue with Metallic Graphite Gray.
Meanwhile, the new Z650 (image immediately above) replaces the current ER-6n. The ER-6n's 649cc parallel-twin engine has been tweaked for improved throttle response, improved fuel economy (at a claimed 66mpg), and better low-to-mid-range torque. A slipper clutch has also been fitted. The ABS, we hear, has been upgraded/switched from the Nissin unit on the Z900 to a Bosch 9.1M system.
The weight is reckoned to be 411lbs (187kg). The seat height is around 31-inches (790mm). The styling is based upon the Sugomi concept (see Sump Motorcycle News December 2015).
The Er-6n replacement uses the Bosch 9.1M ABS unit as opposed to the Nissin unit on the 900. New styling brings the Z650 more in to line with the Sugomi styling of the naked Z class.
Colours for the Z650 are: Pearl Flat Stardust White with Metallic Spark Black; Candy Lime Green with Metallic Spark Black; Metallic Flat Spark Black with Metallic Spark Black; and Metallic Raw Titanium with Metallic Spark Black.
Both bikes actually look pretty workaday to us, which is not necessarily much of a criticism in view of how good even "workaday" motorcycles are these days. But when you consider how exciting the original Z1 was, these latter day Zeds have a lot to live up to.
No prices yet.
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