Kawasaki has confirmed that its new Z650RS naked bike will hit Australian showrooms before year’s end, available exclusively with a restricted LAMS tune to combat the Yamaha XSR700 and Triumph Trident 660.

INFO MOTO anticipates that the new Kawasaki Z650RS will come with a small price increase compared to the model upon which it is based, the Z650L ($10,299 plus on-road costs), keeping it well in contention with its closest rival, the Yamaha XSR700 ($13,299 rideaway).

While the 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS is heavily based on the current Z650L naked bike, it is distinguished by a number of retro design elements like multi-spoked wheels, a round LED headlight, dual-dial instruments, as well as a classically styled tank and bodywork pieces.

A new slim fuel tank drops capacity down to 12-litres, compared to the Z650L’s 15L setup, while the seat height is raised slightly to 800mm (up 10mm). Likely due to the decreased fuel capacity, the Z650RS is one kilogram lighter than the Z650L, at 186kg (wet).

The bike’s design borrows much from its larger-capacity Z900RS sibling ($16,599 + ORC), which similarly builds upon the standard Z900 platform with retro styling features.

In keeping with the retro theme, the RS has an upright seating position with high-and-wide handlebars, as well as two ‘analogue-style’ gauges with a small LCD screen. For reference, the Z650L uses colour TFT instrumentation.

In Australia, the 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS will be sold exclusively in learner-approved guise, with its 649cc parallel-twin engine tuned to deliver a healthy 38kW and 59Nm.

A conventional suspension system also carries over, as do the dual 200mm front discs with two-piston callipers.

Yamaha’s XSR700 has been a leader in the modern retro LAMS segment, however, it has yet to take on a significant update despite the platform sharing MT-07 naked bike receiving an upgrade earlier this year.

Yamaha may reveal an update to both its XSR700 and larger-capacity XSR900 as part of its 2022 model range. If this is the case, INFO MOTO would expect the XSR700 to gain minor engine tweaks, a new LCD dash and upgraded brakes, while the XSR900 should take on a variety of performance enhancements that debuted with this year’s MT-09.

These enhancements include a new 889cc triple engine, a six-axis electronics suite and chassis adjustments to improve handling and stability.

Like the Kawasaki Z650 range, the current XSR700 is powered by a restricted parallel twin engine, producing 38kW and 57Nm.

While it takes a slightly different approach stylistically, the new Triumph Trident 660 is also a logical competitor, which is available now from $12,690 rideaway.

The Trident is also LAMS restricted, generating 39kW and 59Nm from its 660cc triple-cylinder engine, though it does stand out with Showa upside-down forks and Nissin brakes with 310mm front discs.

Kawasaki expects its new Z650RS to go on sale around November/December, available in two colour schemes, Candy Emerald Green and Metallic Moondust Gray.

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2 years ago

Nice one Spenc’! No “non lams” for Oz?
That black/silver colors gives me chills, but that green is straight from the old Z650 I lusted after as a teen…..
darky out…

2 years ago

I’d be interested in both these bikes, as a ‘mature’ rider I’m not so fussed about litre bikes anymore, been there done that, and am aware I lack the self control to maintain a viable licence in today’s world.
Versys and the Z650RS were both on my radar, but I can’t help not wanting a deliberately crippled version.
Ridden a friends LAMS Strom, against my Strom it run out of interest just as it should be getting interesting.
650/750 has always been one of the more interesting capacity classes, now their the ‘nobbled’ class.
Bloody learner laws are still affecting me 4 bloody decades on😡

Chucky Boy
Chucky Boy
2 years ago

Like Glenn I’m an older rider and owned both Honda 4’s and a Z900 back in the 70’s and loved them both to death.I like the styling of the new Z650RS but this crippling of its horsepower to sell to the learner market is a red flag to me and as such I’m out the market on this bike,which is a real pity.