2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS | First Look Review

2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS review

Joining the larger Z900RS is the 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS, a retro-styled middleweight with a liquid-cooled, 649cc parallel-Twin and chassis derived from the Z650 naked sportbike. Its MSRP is $8,999.

Kawasaki says the engine produces 48.5 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. It has a 180-degree crankshaft and a balancer shaft for smooth operation, and the 6-speed transmission has a slip/assist clutch. The engine also serves as stressed member of the tubular-steel trellis frame for added rigidity.

2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS review

Suspension is handled by a non-adjustable 41mm telescopic fork with 4.9 inches of travel and a preload-adjustable horizontal back-link shock with 5.1 inches of travel. A pair of 300mm front rotors are squeezed by 2-piston calipers, and a single 220mm rear rotor has a 1-piston caliper. Bosch 9.1M ABS is standard

The Z650RS rolls on 17-inch cast wheels shod with Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires (120/70-ZR17 front, 160/60-ZR17 rear).

2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS review

Comfortable, upright ergonomics include a wide, flat handlebar that’s positioned 2 inches higher and 1.2 inches closer to the rider than on the standard Z650. Seat height is a comfortable 31.5 inches, and it has a narrow design to make it easier to reach the ground. The brake and clutch levers are adjustable for reach.

Like the Z900RS, the Z650RS blends retro style with modern touches. The tank, seat, round headlight, and bullet-shaped analog gauges say old-school, but the LED lighting and central multifunction LCD info panel are contemporary.

The 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS is available in Candy Emerald Green with gold wheels (our favorite!) or Metallic Moondust Gray/Ebony with black wheels. MSRP is $8,999.

2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS review

2022 Kawasaki Z650RS ABS Specs

Base Price: $8,999
Website: kawasaki.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 649cc
Bore x Stroke: 83.0 x 60.0mm
Torque: 48.5 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 55.3 in.
Rake/Trail: 24 degrees/3.9 in.
Seat Height: 31.5 in.
Wet Weight: 412 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gals.


  1. Look at that seat. You can actually fit a passenger on there. Sharp bike, just wish Kawi could’ve done something a little more appealing with the radiator. A different shape??

  2. Well slap me silly, I didn’t see this one coming! I always liked the 900rs, but anymore less is more for me. Great looking machine it is, and with that proven twin should be a real sipper to boot. Congrats to Kawasaki.

  3. I’m old enough to think that this is how motorcycles are supposed to look. Not a fan of the transformer look. Bravo to Kawasaki, and all the other manufacturers that are offering retro bikes with modern features. I’d be interested in seeing how this one compares to the Triumph Street Twin, which has a significantly larger engine and a similar price.

    • Larger engine with less horsepower, but more torque. Weighs 50+ lbs more, and the “similar” price is $900 higher.
      Test ride them both and let us know which one you pick.

  4. From what I saw on another site, the fuel tank is actually closer to 3 gallons or 1/2 gallon smaller than the standard Z650. Other than that, I like it.

  5. I’m an older rider (60) and I’ve just bought one it’s brilliant. 67-ponies is enough for my abilities and the fact my guardian angel is getting older to so it’s easier for them too. Mix that it with speed cameras, average speed check cameras is it worth having all that power that’ll lose my license? Nope!


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