Kawasaki's middleweight street bikes under its 650 series of motorcycles are often criticized for their lackluster character. This is mainly because of their rather muted power delivery and exhaust note thanks to their 180-degree parallel-twin engines. Having owned a Kawasaki Ninja 650 for quite some time, I can certainly attest that, while the bike produces adequate power, I'm often left wanting a bit more in terms of character.
When Kawasaki released the Z650RS retro-style roadster, I must admit that I was slightly disappointed with the bike's performance, given that the bikes it competes against, i.e., the Yamaha XSR700 and Suzuki SV650, had much peppier, wheelie-conducive engines. Nonetheless, the Z650RS is a good-looking machine, and a decent performer—if what you're after is a linear powerband and a compliant yet forgiving throttle response. Out of the box, its engine is so quiet that you'd sometimes wonder if you've accidentally stalled it. Surely, Akrapovič's new slip-on would do this bike some favors.
Luckily, the Slovenian exhaust extraordinaire has done just that: launched a brand new, slip-on exhaust system for Kawasaki's middleweight neo-retro roadster. It's constructed using no less than the finest materials known to the aftermarket exhaust world, with a lightweight titanium outer sleeve and a sleek, black-coated stainless-steel end cap. A stainless steel link pipe complete with an additional resonator makes it clear that Akrapovič had sensibility in mind when designing this slip-on system, as it conforms to Euro 5 noise and emission standards.
Those looking to eke out a tad more performance from their Z650RS would be glad to know that Akrapovič's slip-on system provides decent gains, especially considering that it requires no remapping or ECU modifications whatsoever. An increase of 1.5 horsepower at 5,300 rpm, and 1.4 ft-lbs of torque at 5,300 rpm are what Akrapovič claims after dyno testing. Probably more importantly is the fact that the slip-on system sheds 1.7 kilograms off the stock system. Check out Akrapovič's Instagram post for a sound clip of the exhaust system.