The middleweight motorcycle segment is currently buzzing with activity. This range, spanning from 600cc to 800cc, has witnessed the introduction of numerous bikes tailored to a diverse range of riders. Kawasaki, a long-standing player in this category, initially entered with the Kawasaki Ninja 650 nearly two decades ago. Over time, this platform has given birth to a substantial number of motorcycles.
\Fast forward to 2024, and Kawasaki's 650 platform has expanded to include not only the Ninja but also the Versys, Vulcan S, Z650, and Z650RS. In the latest developments, the 2024 models of Z650 and Z650RS have undergone refreshing, featuring new color options and the notable addition of a traction control system to the Z650RS. It's worth mentioning that the Z650 received traction control in the 2023 model year, and now its retro-inspired counterpart is getting the same safety feature for 2024. Let's delve into the specifics.
Starting with the Z650RS, this neo-retro roadster retains its minimalist core and exudes a premium build quality, much like its upscale sibling, the Z900RS. In 2024, the Z650RS keeps its reliable 649cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine with a 180-degree crankshaft configuration, showing no signs of shifting to the popular 270-degree or crossplane configuration anytime soon.
The Z650RS relies on a lightweight steel trellis frame and a standard telescopic fork with no adjustability, while the rear shock offers preload adjustability. The rider's cockpit features a charmingly retro dual-dial instrument cluster with a straightforward multi-function LCD screen at its center. It sports a round LED headlight and cast aluminum wheels designed to mimic spoked wheels, akin to its larger Z900RS sibling. The electronic suite matches the modern-style Z650, including dual-channel ABS and KTRC with two riding modes for added safety.