“Supernaked.” No, it’s not a state of undress or a new movie starring Ron Jeremy. It’s Kawasaki’s description of its newest mid-size streetfighter made to compete against rides such as the FZ-07 from Yamaha and Suzuki’s SV650 for a slice of the stripped-down pie.
Much of the Z650 is new, but there are also plenty of carryover details that show some continuity of evolution alongside the Ninja lineup, specifically the Ninja 650. To some, the differences may seem a bit subtle, but naked streetfighters draw a different type of buyer than do the fully faired, race-style superbikes , and said subtleties make all the difference in the world to those kinds of buyers. This is an area where Kawi has been conspicuously absent, and the release of this ride signals a move by the factory into previously uncharted waters against established makes and models, so let’s see what all makes the Z650 tick and how it stacks up against the current market.
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