Kawasaki’s Z650 now comes standard with traction control.

Kawasaki’s Z650 now comes standard with traction control. (Kawasaki/)

After celebrating the Z’s 50th anniversary in 2022, the latest Kawasaki Z650 is here to gain even more traction with riders. In other words, it now has traction control. The new TC, which can also be found on the 2023 Ninja 650, is controlled with a switch on the left grip which toggles the system between Mode 1, Mode 2, and off. Mode 1 is for mild conditions or twisty roads that require some wheelspin mitigation. Mode 2 causes TC to intercede earlier and is suitable for wet, gravel, or gnarled streets with widely varying surface conditions. Of course, “off” deactivates TC so controlling wheelspin is up to the rider, but TC is always on when the bike is started.

The twin-cylinder engine is rigidly mounted and serves as a stressed member on the steel trellis frame.

The twin-cylinder engine is rigidly mounted and serves as a stressed member on the steel trellis frame. (Kawasaki/)

Related: 2020 Kawasaki Z650 ABS MC Commute Review

As a stripped-down naked bike with a 649cc parallel-twin mill and approachable price point, the Z650 is a solid go-to for those expanding on their riding skills or riders simply looking for a compact bike with playful power. The engine puts out 48.5 lb.-ft. of torque for grunty performance off the line, and combined with its precise throttle response the middleweight Z is ready to dance.

The Z’s exhaust is mounted beneath the engine to help centralize weight.

The Z’s exhaust is mounted beneath the engine to help centralize weight. (Kawasaki/)

A 41mm telescopic fork and preload-adjustable Horizontal Back-Link shock are balanced for both sporty mountain road riding or comfortable city cruising. Two 27mm pistons push brake pads to two 300mm petal discs up front while a single caliper grips a 220mm disc out back. ABS is an option, adding $500 to the base price.

The Z650 continues on with its signature Sugomi styling, meaning angular lines and wide radiator shrouds. A pair of LED headlights provide visibility, and the Z-shaped LED taillight makes the bike recognizable from behind.

Sleek in sugomi styling.

Sleek in sugomi styling. (Kawasaki/)

The non-ABS model is available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black for an MSRP of $7,749 and the ABS model comes in Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony for $8,249.

2023 Kawasaki Z650 Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE: $7,749 / $8,249 (ABS)
ENGINE: 649cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE: 83.0 x 60.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.8:1
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel injection w/ two Keihin 36mm throttle bodies
CLUTCH: Wet, multiplate
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE: 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED TORQUE: 48.5 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm
FRAME: High-tensile steel trellis
FRONT SUSPENSION: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork; 4.9 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION: Horizontal back-link shock, preload adjustable; 5.1 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE: 2-piston calipers, dual 300mm petal discs / 2-piston calipers, dual 300mm petal discs w/ ABS (ABS)
REAR BRAKE: 220mm petal disc / 220mm petal disc w/ ABS (ABS)
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR: 17 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR: Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2; 120/70-17 / 160/60-17
RAKE/TRAIL: 24.0°/3.9 in.
WHEELBASE: 55.5 in.
SEAT HEIGHT: 31.1 in.
FUEL CAPACITY: 4.0 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT: 410 lb. / 412 lb. (ABS)
WARRANTY: 1 year, limited
AVAILABLE: Now
CONTACT: kawasaki.com

The 2023 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black.

The 2023 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black. (Kawasaki/)

Kawasaki decked the ABS version in the Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony color for 2023.

Kawasaki decked the ABS version in the Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony color for 2023. (Kawasaki/)
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