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Kawasaki updates Ninja 650 and Z650 with traction control

Team Green’s middleweight models now get traction control with two available modes.

2023 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Z650 traction control

Kawasaki has given two of its middleweight motorcycles a significant update. The Ninja 650 and Z650 have both received a traction control system as well as new color options for the 2023 model year. It’s currently not clear when these updated models will be launched in the Philippines, if at all.

Although this new feature is definitely a win for any Ninja 650 or Z650 fan, the unit these bikes come with is a fairly rudimentary Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) system. It uses wheel-speed sensors to gather data, with no IMU-enabled lean-sensitive functionality whatsoever. If we had to guess, this unit is likely similar or the same one fitted on the recently launched Versys 650.

Kawasaki Z650 traction control

The traction control system here features two modes, with Level 1 offering gentle rider intervention that allows for some slippage before activation, and Level 2 providing earlier intervention in low-grip conditions. There is technically a third mode, too, which turns the system off completely.

Traction control isn’t the only thing that’s new for 2023, as both the Ninja 650 and Z650 also get new color options. The former gets three new colorways while the latter gets two. Mechanically, however, things stay exactly the same for these bikes. Both pack a 649cc parallel-twin engine that punches out 68 hp at 8,000 RPM and 64 Nm of torque at 6,700 RPM. It also has the same suspension and braking systems, so the ride quality is expected to be the same as the previous model.

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 is still available in the Philippines for P433,500, with the Z650 also available for slightly lower at P415,000. As previously mentioned, we still don’t know if the new models are coming to our shores anytime soon. These existing models should sate most buyers’ need for a highly capable middleweight performer. 

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