For fans of Team Green, the Kawasaki Z650RS was all that was missing in the brand’s middleweight lineup. Powered by the tried and true 649cc parallel-twin engine that has seen nearly 2 decades of service, the Z650RS is the perfect recipe for folks looking for a stylish, no-frills, neo-retro commuter. Indeed, in the one year it’s been available in the market, it’s proven itself as a strong contender in the neo-retro middleweight category.
With that, moving onto the 2023 model year, Kawasaki Japan is releasing a new colorway for the Z650RS, giving it a sleeker, stealthier look. As with most of Kawasaki’s color naming conventions, it’s quite a mouthful, Metallic Moondust Gray x Ebony. The new colorway gives the bike a much more understated look, as against the Candy Emerald Green, which is an homage to classic Kawasaki styling. The new Metallic Moondust Gray x Ebony features a dark gray metallic base with black accents on the tank, blacked-out side panels and tail, and black wheels with a blue pinstripe.
Apart from the color revisions, the 2023 Z650RS remains pretty much the same. In contrast to its bigger sibling the Z900RS, the Z650RS has a slightly different headline garnish, a slimmer profile, and an overall more approachable character. It does a rather good job of carrying over that distinctive Kawasaki heritage in a throwback package that’s completely adequate to today’s standards. The Japan-spec version is equipped standard with dual-channel ABS, and even comes with a practical helmet holder, making commutes and errands a breeze.
On the performance side of things, the Z650RS retains its tried and tested 649cc parallel-twin with a conventional 180-degree crank. Just like its competitors, it has four valves per cylinder, liquid-cooling, and fuel-injection. All these work together to churn out a decent 68 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 47 ft-lbs of torque. Power is then sent to the rear wheel with a six-speed manual transmission equipped with a slipper assist clutch.