2020 Kawasaki Z650 and Z900 | First Look Review

2020 Kawasaki Z900 in Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver
2020 Kawasaki Z900 in Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver. Images courtesy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki is updating its Z650 and Z900 naked sport bikes for 2020, with the Z900 receiving the most significant changes that bring it up-to-date and closer to its competition technology-wise.

The Z900, which was first launched back in 2017, impressed us from the start with its smooth, tractable power and rider-friendly character, but we dinged it for its lack of electronic rider aids when compared with the competition. (Read our comparison shoot-out review of the 2017 Z900 and the Yamaha FZ-09 here.) Kawasaki has addressed that complaint for 2020, giving the Z900 updated electronics, plus some tweaks to the frame and suspension and a light facelift.

Z900 switchgear
Ride and power modes are new for the 2020 Z900.

Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC) includes three modes: Modes 1 and 2 control ignition timing to prevent wheel slippage in sport riding conditions, while Mode 3 has higher sensitivity and controls ignition timing, fuel and air for ultra-smooth operation. Two power modes operate independently, with full and low (approximately 55% of full with a milder throttle response) options.

Additionally, the Z900 also offers Integrated Riding Modes that link the KTRC and power modes for quick and easy adjustment to suit a giving riding situation. There are four modes, Sport, Road, Rain and Rider (manual).

2020 Z900 TFT display
The 2020 Z900 will be equipped with a 4.3-inch TFT display that incorporates Bluetooth smartphone connection via the Rideology app.

Other changes for 2020 include a new 4.3-inch TFT instrument that incorporates Bluetooth smartphone connection via Kawasaki’s Rideology app, a revised frame with added strength in the swingarm pivot area, updated suspension settings, slightly revised styling that includes an LED headlight and new Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires.

The 2020 Kawasaki Z900 will be available in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black and Candy Plasma Blue/Metallic Matte Fusion Silver for $8,999 ($9,299 for ABS version).

2020 Kawasaki Z900 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black
2020 Kawasaki Z900 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Z650 gets a light style refresh that includes an LED headlight, TFT display with Rideology app connectivity and new Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires. It will be available in Metallic Spark Black and Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black starting at $7,249 ($7,649 for ABS version).

2020 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black.
2020 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black.
2020 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black.
2020 Kawasaki Z650 in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black.
Z650 TFT display
The 2020 Z650 will be equipped with a TFT display that includes Bluetooth smartphone connectivity via the Rideology app.

5 COMMENTS

  1. A littel bump in cc.’s with a 270 degree crank would be better than a new head light. The HP. and sound in this class goes a long way on the sales floor. No one wants to buy the slow bike. Black has also been overdone so some color would be nice.
    I have had four Versys 650’s and would like to have a standard bike in this class. The SV Suzuki comes to mind.

  2. I liked the Z900 the way it was. Basic, and fast. Not a fan of the electronics. I’d like to see a base model and an SE for those who want the upgrades and are ok paying for them.

  3. A lot of the new bikes are getting to electronic for me. After 48 years of riding I’m quite sure I know how to ride a motorcycle. In today’s throw away technology less electronics and communication is a plus. For now I guess I will have to stick with my 1978 Honda CB400T Hawk.

    • John W Weber, Check out a Kawasaki Z400. It has a simple but effective display and no electronic aids except for ABS. It has plenty of power (45 hp), and handles better than any street bike I’ve ever ridden (I’m 61 and have been riding a long time). Cheers!

  4. Just bought a week ago a left over 19 z650. No aids of any kind, just like my 18 Vmax. It’s all in the wrist. The Vmax does have abs though, as my z650 doesn’t. Got it for riding the Twisties in the mountains of NC, GA…. When I don’t feel like wrestling the Vmax around lol.

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