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Kawasaki Z650 Gallery

Z200 | Z250 | Z400 | Z440 | Z500 | Z550 | Z750 | Z1 | Z1300

The Z650 was one or the bikes that helped build up the Kawasaki reputation for powerful, bullet-proof fours; a reputation on which they are still trading. When it came out in 1977 it was faster than most 750s and proved astonishingly strong and reliable.

It was the first of a new generation of engines. The DOHC unit used a one-piece forged crank and plain bearings rather than the built-up, ball and roller systems of the earlier Z900s and Z1000s. The gearbox was so tough that the McLaren Grand Prix team tested one and were impressed by its level of engineering, and it was quite capable of surviving a major blow-up upstairs. The bike didn't change much throughout its production run, so it stayed reasonably priced and useable, as well as offering a host of interchangeable parts.

It handled reasonably well, although the rear shocks were a weak spot and later models stopped well thanks to the first use of sintered pad material. Over a decade after its launch, we are still seeing the direct result of this bike, in the guise of the GPzs and Ninjas, all built on the bedrock of the Z650.

Four basic types of 650 were imported into the UK: B, C, D and F. The B1 arrived in 1977 while the other three types were available concurrently from 1980 to '82. Most of the changes were cosmetic rather than mechanical as the engine remained basically the same from the hi up to the last F4 of 1983.

The B1 came in Candy Super Red or Candy Emerald Green, with the B2 in Luminous Dark Blue or Luminous Burnt Red. The B2 had revised caliper position behind the fork leg modified carbs, different generator and brake master cylinder, diaphragm fuel tap, hazard lights and needle bearings in the swingarm. Models up to engine number KZ650BE 092001 used single-plate camchains but after that they went over to Hy-Vos.

The Z650C came in Moon Dust Silver or Metallic Regal Blue, and was smart and improved. Twin discs went on to alloy wheels on uprated front forks, while heavier flywheels went inside polished crankcases. Only the C2 and C3 came to England, with engine numbers between KZ650BE 043950 and 092001 (note camchain comments above). In 1980 came the unmistakable D, better known as the SR, with its custom styling, and crossover pipes, which Kawasaki claimed improved torque

Bike Image Description
1976 Kawasaki Z 650 1976 Kawasaki Z 650
  • Air cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder.
  • 64bhp @ 8500rpm
  • 211kg
  • 5 speed
1977 Kawasaki Z650 B1 Kawasaki Z650 B1 Kawasaki Z650 Road Test
1978 Kawasaki Z 650 1978 Kawasaki Z 650  
1978 Kawasaki Z650 B Z650  
1978 Kawasaki Z650 Kawasaki Z650 US import.
1978 Kawasaki Z650-C2 1978 Kawasaki Z650-C2
1978 Kawasaki Z650 B1 Z650 B1  
1978 Kawasaki Z650 C3 Z650 C3  
1979 Kawasaki Z 650LTD 1979 Kawasaki Z650 LTD  
1979 Kawasaki Z 650SR Kawasaki Z 650SR  
1979 Kawasaki Z650 1979 Kawasaki Z650 More Kawasaki Z650 info..
1979 Kawasaki Z 650C (KZ650C) 1979 Kawasaki Z 650C
1979 Kawasaki Z650C 1979 Kawasaki Z650C
1979 Kawasaki Z650B1 Kawasaki Z650B1
1980 Kawasaki Z650 1980 Kawasaki Z650
1980 Kawasaki Z 650F 1980 Kawasaki Z 650F
1981 Kawasaki Z650 CSR 1981 Kawasaki Z650 CSR
1981 Kawasaki Z650 CSR Kawasaki Z650 CSR
1982 Kawasaki Z650 1982 Kawasaki Z650
1984 Kawasaki Z650-F4 Kawasaki Z650

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