Kawasaki will be introducing yet another bike into its extremely popular retro sports line with the Z650RS, opening up the mid-capacity class to a wider range of riders.
Recognised as being at the forefront of the rapidly expanding retro-sport scene, Kawasaki has the unique advantage of close to fifty years of Z heritage and this has been brought to bear on the design of the new 2022 model.
Targeted to younger riders and those in the earlier stages of their riding careers, the delicate balance of old and new, retro and current has been expertly achieved by the Kawasaki design team with the clever Z references abounding.
At the heart of the Z650RS is an updated version of Kawasaki's venerable 649 cm3 water-cooled, parallel twin engine used in both the current Z650 and the Ninja 650 Models. With a justifiable reputation for durability and performance, the assist and slipper clutch equipped engine unit has also formed the basis of machines raced to success at the gruelling Isle of Man TT Races.
Tuned in the case of the Z650RS for low and mid rev response, plus characteristic invigorating high rev performance, the engine is rated at 68 PS (50.2 kW) and will also be available from Kawasaki dealers with 35kw power down kit fitted creating an A2 compliant bike.
In terms of the chassis, the frame is a tubular trellis type construction providing both lightness and agile response to aid reassuring handling capabilities. Its narrow aspect also allows riders to easily reach the ground at a standstill and manoeuvre the bike with ease. The seat height for European models will be 820mm with a low sear accessory option at 800mm.
Focusing on suspension, the front duties are undertaken by 41mm conventional forks with Kawasaki's highly rated horizontal link rear suspension acting on a shock that is adjustable for pre-load. Braking is care of dual twin piston front callipers acting on a retro-style 300mm round disc rotors instead of Kawasaki's customary pedal style rotors while at the rear a single piston brake acts on a 200mm rotor all assisted by Bosch advanced ABS.
The specification is one thing but the styling of the Z650RS is a whole new ball game. Evoking myriad memories of the Z650-B1, the paint and the pinstripes are a faithful reproduction of the green version of the earlier machine while the iconic 'Duck Tail' cowling behind the seat and faithfully crafted side panels also pay homage to the 1977 machines. Even the seat and its stitching pattern reveal familiar fastidious attention to detail by Kawasaki stylists.
A round, LED headlamp lights the way while the dual analogue style 'artillery shell' shaped meters include a digital centre panel for rider information. The adoption of gold multi-spoke type wheels is truly the 'icing on the cake'
The 2022 Z650RS will be available in three colours and three distinct styles:
Metallic Spark Black, Candy Emerald Green and Metallic Moondust Gray / Ebony.