2020 Kawasaki Z650 & Z650 ABS First Look

More menace, a color screen, and new hoops for the lightweight naked.

Z650
The zippy Z650 rolls into Kawasaki’s sportbike lineup with some minor revisions and updates for 2020.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

After a same-old, same-old appearance in last year's street lineup, Kawasaki's Z650 middleweight naked gets some minor updates for 2020, including styling nips and tucks, a new LED headlight, new Dunlop tires, and a full suite of advanced rider support features. A Z650 ABS model also returns for 2020.

LED headlamp
A new headlamp and sharper contours define the 2020 Z650’s new look. The flexible engine and lightweight narrow chassis remain unchanged.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z650 Overview

The Z650 may be coming back to Kawasaki's 2020 lineup wearing a few new bells and whistles, but it carries the same basic underpinnings. Kawasaki is calling it a "fresh iteration" of a popular model, which sounds about right, given the noticeably sharper styling which draws on "sugomi" philosophy—a tenet that proposes to match every engineering addition with a styling benefit—placing the Z650 firmly in the middle of a Z class that extends the same design language from 125cc all the way to 1,000cc.

LED headlamp
New LED headlamp is framed by a cowl with a new compact two-piece design to emphasize the more edgy styling. The rear also gets LEDs.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Z650 LED Headlight Overview

The chassis of the Z650 remains relatively unchanged but the LED headlight, headlight cowl, and new shrouds are edgier and sharper, upping the menace a couple of notches—in a good way. The compact LED headlight is complemented by a centrally located LED position light with angular edges and the headlight cowl also gets a new compact two-piece design, with new wide shrouds and radiator covers down below to carry through the theme of sugomi styling.

Despite the newly boosted attitude though, the middleweight naked remains extremely user friendly, with a narrow chassis profile and willing, predictable engine that makes for a great steppingstone toward a larger Z or, for many, just a solid commuter or urban bike. The plain-vanilla suspension still features the same right-side up nonadjustable fork but the dual 300mm brake discs are said to haul you down from speed with plenty of power. The confidence-inspiring and flexible twin-cylinder mill still makes for a solid commuter in town or a weekend getaway machine whether you're rolling solo or with a passenger.

4.3-inch TFT color screen
The Z650 gets a new color 4.3-inch TFT color screen like its Z900 brother, which includes a digital speedometer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, odometer, dual tripmeters, and more. There’s also (finally) Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z650 Dash

The bigger news for 2020 is the Z650’s new multifunction color TFT display which replaces the previous gauges with items like a gear position indicator, shift lamp, fuel gauge, and Economical Riding Indicator, plus other innovations that finally include a Bluetooth function for smartphone connectivity, like we’ve all become accustomed to at this point. A chip built into the instrument panel enables riders to connect to their motorcycle wirelessly, and if they use Rideology The App (yep, that’s the name), they can share info with others. They can also access vehicle info, log their routes, and record riding conditions. Telephone notifications can also be set to appear on the dash when a call or mail is received.

Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones
For 2020, the Z650 offers Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones as well as other connected functions via an app, allowing riders to share info and get updates.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

Wrapping up the updates for the 2020 Z650 is the addition of Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires, as well as a restyled and more comfortable saddle for both rider and passenger. Kawasaki is also bringing in an ABS version of the bike for 2020.

Z650 seat
The new Z650 also enhances passenger accommodations with a thicker and wider urethane passenger seat that also complements the styling.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

2020 Kawasaki Z650 Price And Colors

The 2020 Kawasaki Z650 will be available in Metallic Spark Black and Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Spark Black for an MSRP starting at $7,249.

2020 Kawasaki Z650
The 2020 Kawasaki Z650 comes in ABS and non-ABS versions.Courtesy Kawasaki Motors Corp.

The 2020 Kawasaki Z650 ABS offers the same color options and starts at $7,649.