Kawasaki Z650 RS will likely use the same 649 cc parallel twin-cylinder engine found in the 650 range; India launch could happen next year
Royal Enfield has the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 along with the Himalayan and Meteor 350 as its highly popular motorcycles in the global scene. The arrival of the 650 Twins in late 2018 has proven to be a game-changer for the homegrown manufacturer as it takes on premium rivals such as Harley-Davidson and Triumph.
On the other hand, Royal Enfield really got its footing right and made a strong point with the 650 cc duo as the export numbers have increased over time. The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 on their heyday managed to cross 2,000 unit sales in a month domestically – a feat never repeated before or since in the middleweight category.
In international markets like the United States and the United Kingdom, Royal Enfield has established itself with the 650 Twins and it looks like the same segment will see the arrival of a new competitor from Kawasaki. According to reports, the Japanese brand is currently developing what has been speculated as the Z650 RS.
The Kawasaki Z650 RS could be the motorcycle that was teased a few weeks ago in Australia and adding fuel to the fire, a leaked type approval document points the finger at the new RS. Essentially, it is expected to have several commonalities with the Z650 naked streetfighter and it will more likely be powered by a 649 cc parallel twin-cylinder engine.
The same powertrain can be found in motorcycles such as Z650, Versys 650 and Ninja 650. The liquid-cooled DOHC parallel-twin currently develops a maximum power output of 68 PS at 8,000 rpm and a peak torque of 64 Nm at 6,700 rpm. The leaked document shows that the Kawasaki Z650 RS makes slightly lesser power and it has a top speed of 191 kmph.
Compared to the Z650, it is 4 kilograms heavier and tips the weighing scale at 187 kg. The Royal Enfield Interceptor, on the other hand, is heavier as it weighs 202 kg and has around 170 kmph top speed. The Kawasaki Z650 RS will have a wheelbase length of 1,405 mm – 5 mm shorter than the Z650 naked.
Besides having similarities with the Z650 mechanically, it will likely draw design inspiration with a classic theme from the Z900 RS. Expect the global debut to happen towards the closure of this year and it could reach India sometime next year.