It sure looks like the retro motorcycle trend will never go out of style! BMW has its R NineT range, Ducati boasts the Scrambler, Triumph still produces the Bonneville, and we all know what Royal Enfield is doing, sticking to the tradition. Another brand in this trend is Kawasaki which has unveiled the Z650RS. It packs the tried and tested 650cc engine and combines with some uber-cool looks, let’s dive in to know more about Kawasaki’s new 650cc offering.
The design of the Z650RS is similar to that of the Z900RS with smooth flowing curves instead of sharp creases seen on its other 650cc siblings. There is a single round headlamp and 17-inch cast aluminium wheels which are designed to resemble the classic wire-spoked wheels. For the brakes, Kawasaki has ditched the wavy discs instead of simple round ones, to keep the retro theme going. When looked at from the side, you can spot that the 12-litre petrol tank has minimalist pinstripes instead of shouty graphics and has a sculpted seat that flows toward the ducktail and the oval-shaped tail lamp.
Underneath the old school looks, the Z650RS is essentially the same as the standard Z650, with minor adjustments. The frame, for example, has been carried over from the Z650, but it has been altered to allow riders to easily plant their foot on the ground while astride the broader seat, which is 820mm high. On the suspension side of things, there are 41mm telescopic forks up front and a horizontal back-link suspension with pre-load adjustability for the rear. Braking duties are still handled by dual 300mm discs squeezed by dual-pot callipers and a single 220mm disc with a single-piston calliper. Using the same cycle parts as the Z650 underneath, it is no surprise that these two motorcycles almost have the same kerb mass, which is 187kg for the Z650RS and 188kg for the Z650.
The Kawasaki Z650RS will make use of the same 649cc parallel-twin engine from the Ninja 650 and the Z650. It produces 67bhp at 8000rpm and 64Nm at 6700rpm and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox with an assisted slipper clutch.
In terms of features, there is nothing here that you would call over the top, but it covers the bare essentials. The Z650RS has dual analogue dials with a multi-function LCD in the middle for more information. And for rider aids, it has ABS and an assisted slipper clutch. Apart from that, there are a handful of accessories for the Z650RS like a lower seat, radiator guard, frame sliders, grab rails and front axle sliders.
There is no word about the pricing yet but we can tell that it will cost more than the equivalent Z650 (Rs 6.24 ex-showroom). What we can confirm is that the Z650RS will come to Indian shores. And once launched, it will rival the Triumph Street Twin which starts at Rs 8.25 lakh and is bigger in size but the power figure is almost the same. The other rival in terms of the engine is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, though it makes 20bhp less, it has an accessible price tag.