Kawasaki Z 650

Kawasaki Z650 - Test of the A2 version with 48 hp (Baujahr 2021)

Are 48 hp enough? Differences between the 2020 model and its predecessor

Test Kawasaki Z650 A2Photos: motorradtest.de
The Kawasaki Z650 has been one of the best-selling motorcycles in Germany for years. For the 2020 model year, Kawasaki has given the mid-range Nakedbike a few updates. This test explains which ones are and how the current model differs from its predecessor. We also describe the difference it makes when you choose the A2 version, which is throttled to 48 hp.

This is how it stands

Kawasaki not only upgraded the Z650 technically, but also improved visually. The differences are not serious, but the new one seems fresher and sharper on us. The innovations of the Sugomi style are particularly visible on the tank and front section. The machine is available in three colours: white, black and black-green. With the exception of the black version, the frame is painted green, the Z650 is immediately recognizable as Kawasaki. If you put the Z900 next to it, you would have to look twice to see the differences. The same applies to the older Z650, which looks a bit more boring right from the start.
Farben Kawasaki z650Photo: Kawasaki
CockpitFrontmaske LEDSitzprobe

This is what she should be able to do

Little has changed in seat ergonomics. The seat height is 790 mm, so the machine is also suitable for smaller pilots. One sits very nicely deeply integrated in the machine and the tank is pleasantly narrow in the knee area. The weight of fully fuelled 188 kg is rather uncharacteristically very moderate for Kawasaki - this is very accommodating to A2 pilots.

The most technically important updates are the new 4.3 inch TFT color display and LED lighting. LED may also be standard in the mid-range, but with the TFT display, the Z650 has a unique selling point. The bike can also be paired via smartphone to record e.B. driving with the Rideology app.

Technical helpers such as driving modes and traction control are still searched in vain. However, this is perfectly normal in the middle class, with the exception of the slightly more expensive Trident 660 triumph.

Z650 A2 mit 48 PS

This is how she drives herself

Then let's start, we start the row twin with 48 hp. The machine sounds surprisingly bassy and a bit V2-like. Already at the first meters you notice: Here you drive a very light and extremely manoeuvrable machine. Low weight and short wheelbase have a positive effect: Magnificent how the Z650 can be placed in the curves and how easy it is to turn and rank. This should be a big plus for drivers who are not so strong. The chassis is balanced, so neither particularly sporty nor particularly comfortable - rather the golden middle. This does not matter that the fork is not adjustable and the strut is only in the preload. So that fits the way Kawasaki delivers the motorcycle.
Then let's gas and see how the revamped Euro 5 engine does its job. Kawasaki itself says that the engine should have more schmackes in the lower and middle speed range than its predecessor. Since we are testing the A2 variant here, we can only check this to a limited extent, but one thing is clear: the Z650 is moving forward quickly. Especially the low weight plays into the cards of the bike when accelerating and passing through. We only need 5.3 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and 4.2 sec from 60 to 100 km/h in 5th gear. By comparison, the open Z650 with 68 hp takes 4.1 seconds for the sprint to 100 and 3.7 seconds for the pass. So there is already a difference between the A2 and the open variant, but it is smaller than expected.
Now A2 machines are not rockets by nature and the Kawasaki Z650 is no exception. This can be felt especially when you switch from a Z900 to the Z650 .B - and A2 drivers usually don't do that. On the other hand, those who climb from a Z125 to the Z650 will feel like they are in the 7th heaven. The bike rides extremely sporty and is so handy that the fun factor soar. Gearboxes and brakes are standard in the class, with the anti-hopping clutch and the very low clutch force making shifting a pleasure. Who needs a QuickShifter? In any case, we do not.

Conclusion - what gets stuck

The Kawasaki Z650 vintage 2020 is a simple but well-made motorcycle. This can be seen .B the conventional telefork or the lack of technical features, which are now standard from the upper middle class (Z900). But it is also a lot cheaper.
The Z650 is a rather small machine. Pilots from 1.85m may feel out of place, which is an individual thing. We recommend a seat test for larger drivers. For smaller riders, however, the Z650 is a feast and highly recommended. But two of them get a bit tight, but that's similar with competitor bikes. The passenger has no handles, only a holding strap. Ergo: It's enough to get to the Baggersee, but from Hamburg to Munich it's exhausting for two.
Overall, the new Z650 is a successful machine. The updates have done the motorcycle well, it looks fresher and rides fast and agile and conveys enormous driving fun. The test machine was provided to us by Heller & Soltau in St. Michaelisdonn.

Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction

  • Price: 7,000€
  • Used (3 years old): 5,000€
  • Availability: since 2017
  • Colours: white, black, black-green

Zubehör für die
Z 650

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Passing capacity
  • Price
  • Socian comfort
  • Windbreak

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Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,055 mm
1,080 mm
187 kg
790 mm
1,410 mm

Driving Performance & Range

Tank contents
15 l
4.2 l
357 km
200 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Number of cylinders
649 cc
83 mm
60 mm
68 HP
65.7 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Lattice tube
Suspension front
41 mm telescopic fork
125 mm
Strut rear
130 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
Double disc
300 mm
Tyres at the front
120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Brakes rear
Rear tyres
160/60ZR17M/C (69W)