The 650 class has long been considered as the happy medium when it comes to naked and sportbikes alike. You know, not too hot, and not too cold—just the right amount of power and tractability to make for a fun ride, but not quite enough to get you into serious trouble. Long before the new players in the form of the Aprilia Tuono and RS660, as well as the Triumph Trident popped into the scene, Kawasaki was one of the strongest players in the game.
Kawasaki’s success in the 650 game—thanks to the Ninja 650 and Z650—is simply due to the brand’s simple yet effective formula. When this bike first made its debut more than a decade ago, it was loved for its versatility and the fact that it was so approachable for riders from all sorts of backgrounds. These days, you could say that Kawasaki has been left behind by the likes of Triumph, Aprilia, Honda, and even Yamaha. However, that notion notwithstanding, the Z650 and Ninja 650 are still really good bikes.
I guess it boils down to the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” After all, Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel-twin motor has remained virtually unchanged since the early 2000’s. That said Kawasaki hasn’t shied away from fitting its 650 sportbikes with the latest and greatest in terms of tech. We’ve seen this in the form of Bluetooth-enabled gadgetry, LED lighting, and full-color instrumentation on the latest iteration of the Ninja and the Z. This time ’round, Kawasaki has given the Z650 yet another twist in the form of two striking new colorways.
The first of which is very much attune to Kawasaki’s character, and that’s the Metallic Spark Black. With the Z650 donning this colorway, it’s very much akin to that of the styling of the biggest bike in Kawasaki’s Z range, the Z H2. Featuring a sleek and elegant black and lime green motif, the Z650’s character takes on a more mature approach with this aesthetic. The second colorway, Pearl Robotic White, is a lot hipper and younger, and is a very Japanese colorway in the sense that it reminds me of the days of Gundam and Voltes V. The white base with the red trellis frame really gives off a sharp contrast—something that’s sure to catch the fancy of sporty riders.