2017 Kawasaki Z650 review, test ride

    Kawasaki’s new middleweight naked is versatile enough for daily commutes, midnight sprints and highway runs.

    Published on Jul 04, 2017 03:01:00 PM


    Commute and cruise
    After my midnight run, I held onto the Z650 for a few days to test it in traffic and out on the highway, and, I must say, it scored rather well. My short home-to-office commute takes me through narrow streets, a winding flyover appropriately called the ‘S-bridge’, potholes and pockets of dreary traffic, and the Z650 felt comfortable through it all. The low-end, while not punchy, is adequate to move about in traffic, and the bike’s compact dimensions make it easy to squeeze between traffic and sundry. The low seat height is of great help when you constantly have to put your feet on the ground, the suspension manages most ruts and potholes well and the engine, remarkably, does not heat up even in crawling traffic. I would have liked a slightly lighter steering and clutch action (constant feathering of the lever in traffic becomes cumbersome after a while), but those are small compromises to make. Fuel efficiency in the city was about 21kpl.

    On the highway, the Z650 is stable and planted with the engine roaring away happily as you push past speed limits. Being a naked, windblast is an expected annoyance and the cramped riding position did make my knees buckle after a few hours of riding, but that aside, the Z650 makes for an acceptable tourer. Fuel efficiency on the highway was a little more than 26kpl.

    Green Signal
    So, does the Kawasaki Z650 deserve a spot in your garage? Simply put, yes. It is not a perfect bike, but it is versatile, usable for daily commutes, coffee runs, midnight rides and the occasional mile-munching 

    or mountain twisties riding. And with a price tag of Rs 5.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it is very well priced too. The Z650’s build quality feels very good too. Sure, Kawasaki doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to aftersales service and spare parts pricing, but if you are prepared to cross that bridge if  and when it comes, then this is one motorcycle that merits a high spot in your list. 

    Kawasaki Z650
    Kawasaki Z650

    ₹ 7,04,040 * on road price (New Delhi)


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