By midday, the group’s pace picked up and I was giving the 650 a hard time out on the open roads. I figured the bike would begin to protest at that quicker pace based on how forgiving (plush) it felt on the tighter, bumpier roads we’d ridden earlier. Surely it would start to come unwound in the faster sweepers, right? Wrong. In fact, on most all surfaces and at most all speeds, the 650 remained composed, enabling you to ride with confidence and control. A big change for 2017 is Kawasaki's move to a horizontal back-link rear suspension (the previous model's shock was mounted to the frame, with no link), and this seemed to make a big difference in overall response and rider comfort.