Naked bikes have been popular for at least a few years now, in part thanks to the fact that many make excellent platforms for custom cafe racers. And Kawasaki—always a brand with their fingers on the pulse of motorcycling trends—have created an excellent, approachable mid-size standard for riders who want to tinker, as well as those who just want a kickass factory naked to bomb around town on.
A lot of the major Japanese motorcycle marques haven’t made significant upgrades to their best-selling models this year—the updates have been largely cosmetic, and that’s the case with the 2022 Z650 as well. The 649cc parallel-twin engine is the same one from last year, producing 67 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 48.5 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm.
Color options are what really set this year’s offering apart from its predecessors. The 2022 Z650 comes in metallic spark black/metallic flat spark black, candy lime green/metallic spark black, and pearl robotic white/metallic matte graphene steel gray.
Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires also come stock on the Z650, and you get horizontal back-link rear suspension to carry you seamlessly over bumps in the road. Sitting solidly in the midst of the 2022 Kawasaki motorcycle lineup, this bike starts at $7,549 USD / $8,499 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2022 Kawasaki Z650 in one place.
Horizontal back-link with adjustable preload, swingarm/5.1 in
Dual 300mm petal-style discs with two-piston calipers, ABS
Single 220mm petal-style disc, ABS
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rideology the App Smartphone Connectivity, TFT Instrumentation
TCBI with electronic advance
Kawasaki Protection Plus
12, 24, or 36 months
2022 Kawasaki Z650 Features
Assist & Slipper Clutch
Based on feedback from racing activities, the Assist & Slipper Clutch uses two types of cams (an assist cam and a slipper cam) to either drive the clutch hub and operating plate together or apart.
Under normal operation, the assist cam functions as a self-servo mechanism, pulling the clutch hub and operating plate together to compress the clutch plates. This allows the total clutch spring load to be reduced, resulting in a lighter clutch lever feel when operating the clutch.
When excessive engine braking occurs – as a result of quick downshifts (or an accidental downshift) – the slipper cam comes into play, forcing the clutch hub and operating plate apart. This relieves pressure on the clutch plates to reduce back-torque and helps prevent the rear tire from hopping and skidding. This race-style function is particularly useful when sport or track riding.
Dual Throttle Valves
Late-model sport bikes often use large-bore throttle bodies to generate high levels of power. However, with large diameter throttles, when a rider suddenly opens the throttle, the unrestricted torque response can be strong. Dual throttle valve technology was designed to tame engine response while contributing to performance.
On models with dual throttle valves, there are two throttle valves per cylinder: in addition to the main valves, which are physically linked to the throttle grip and controlled by the rider, a second set of valves, opened and closed by the ECU, precisely regulates intake airflow to ensure a natural, linear response. With the air passing through the throttle bodies becoming smoother, combustion efficiency is improved and power is increased.
Economical Riding Indicator
Using high-precision electronic control for engine management, Kawasaki models can achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. However, fuel consumption is greatly affected by throttle use, gear selection, and other elements under the rider’s control. The Economical Riding Indicator is a function that indicates when current riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The system continuously monitors fuel consumption, regardless of vehicle speed, engine speed, throttle position and other riding conditions. When fuel consumption is low for a given speed (i.e. fuel efficiency is high), an “ECO” mark appears on the instrument panel’s LCD screen. By riding so that the “ECO” mark remains on, fuel consumption can be reduced.
While effective vehicle speed and engine speed may vary by model, paying attention to conditions that cause the “ECO” mark to appear can help riders improve their fuel efficiency – a handy way to increase cruising range. Further, keeping fuel consumption low also helps minimize negative impact on the environment.
Clever technology enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly. Using the smartphone application “RIDEOLOGY THE APP,” a number of instrument functions can be accessed, contributing to an enhanced motorcycling experience. Vehicle information (such as the odometer, fuel gauge, maintenance schedule, etc) can be viewed on the smartphone. Riding logs (varies by model, but may include GPS route, gear position, rpm, and other information) can be viewed on the smartphone. When connected, telephone (call, mail) notices are displayed on the instrument panel. Riders can also make changes to their motorcycle’s instrument display settings (preferred units, clock and date setting, etc) via the smartphone. And on certain models, it is even possible to check and adjust vehicle settings (such as Rider Mode, electronic rider support features, and payload settings) using the smartphone.
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
Kawasaki ABS systems use front and rear wheel sensors to constantly monitor wheel speed. Should information from either of the sensors indicate that wheel lock has occurred, the ABS ECU directs the pump in the ABS unit to modulate brake fluid pressure (releasing and reapplying pressure so that traction can be regained) until normal operation resumes. ABS offers rider reassurance that contributes to greater riding enjoyment.
Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension
Compared to the Kawasaki traditional Uni-Trak® rear suspension, which mounts the shock unit vertically, with Horizontal Back-link Rear Suspension, the shock unit is almost horizontal. The original Kawasaki suspension arrangement locates the shock unit very close to the bike’s center of gravity, greatly contributing to mass centralization. And because there is no linkage or shock unit protruding beneath the swingarm, this frees up space for a larger exhaust pre-chamber (an exhaust expansion chamber situated just upstream of the silencer). With a larger pre-chamber, silencer volume can be reduced, and heavy exhaust components can be concentrated closer to the center of the bike, further contributing to mass centralization. The result is greatly improved handling.