It’s July, 2022—and you know what that means? While some 2023 models have started trickling out, this is typically the time of year the news starts in earnest. For anyone who’s been watching it for more than a season or two, you’ve probably noticed that new model announcements tend to come in waves. 

First, there are the paint-and-tape specials to pave the way. Next come the new models that have more than just a new year and coat of paint applied. Typically, they roll out a bit like concert billings: smaller acts (minor changes, in this case) go first, leading up to whatever the year’s Big News may be from a given OEM.  

So, what’s Kawasaki cooking up? A careful reading of California Air Resources Board documents lends credence to the idea that an updated Ninja 650 and Z650 are on their way for 2023. The fine folks at dug deep, and discovered that the 2023 Ninja 650, Z650, and Versys 650 will now all share an engine. Although the trio shared a displacement before, the Versys 650 recently had an engine update on its own—and now, it looks as though the Ninja and Z are all about to sing in tune. 

What other changes can we expect? It seems likely that the Ninja 650 and Z650 will get the same traction control already found on the Versys 650. It’s not clear how much else (besides the obvious paint and graphics) will substantially change, though. This seems like a relatively minor package of changes, rather than an entirely new engine.  

Although the past few years forced OEMs to quickly adapt to different ways of unveiling new models to the world, shows like EICMA, Intermot, and the Tokyo Mobility Show are now very much back on the table. It’s not clear at this point exactly when and where Kawasaki plans to unveil these updates, only that they’re in the hopper and on their way sometime this fall. 
As more details emerge, both of these and all other upcoming 2023 Kawasaki models, you can be sure that we’ll keep you up to date.  

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