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Retro-styled Kawasaki Z650RS appears in type-approval documents

Kawasaki is on the verge of launching a Z650RS that borrows the looks of the Z900RS and adds them to the smaller Z650 twin.

The firm is already teasing the fact it has a new retro model in the works, with a ‘Retrovolution’ YouTube teaser video that shows riders in 1970s-style helmets, but nothing of the bikes they’re sitting on, but a European type-approval certification has given the game away by confirming that the Z650RS is part of the 2022 model range.

As well as revealing the bike’s name, the document tells us key details about its technical makeup. As you’d expect, it’s closely based on the Z650, and to keep costs down the retro Z650RS’s changes aren’t as comprehensive as the differences between the Z900 and the Z900RS. Check out our test of the Z650L here.


Power and torque are identical to the Z650, with 50.2kW at 8000rpm and 64Nm a 6700rpm, and the bike’s weight is a scant 1kg lighter than the Z650 at 187kg ready-to-ride. The document also confirms that the exhaust silencer is the same as the Z650’s – unlike the Z900RS, which has different exhausts compared to the Z900.


So, what does change? Of course, the main focus is styling, and the document reveals how the retro look impacts the bike’s dimensions. Overall length increases by 10mm to 2065mm, no doubt the result of a longer, lower tail unit. The bars are 35mm wider at 800mm and 50mm higher than the Z650’s, but the wheelbase is 5mm shorter, suggesting a change to the forks or the suspension setup.


Ben Purvis