The Kawasaki Z650 was a motorcycle made by
Kawasaki from 1976 through 1983. It had an engine
displacement of 652cc featuring a double overhead
camshaft. The gear box was a five speed.
The Z650 was introduced to the trade in 1976
and was very popular. 64 bhp was claimed with
a dry weight of only 465 lbs, making a top speed
of nearly 120mph possible. But more importantly,
this new model handled like no other Kawasaki.
For once all the available power could be used
in relative safety. The Z650 was considered
the 'Son of Z1' having been designed by the
Grand Master himself, Ben 'Mr Z1' Inamura. The
Z650 had the agility of a 500 with the performance
of a 750, and was considered by many to be the
best Kawasaki so far.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650B-000001
This four-stroke four-cylinder motorcycle boasted
double overhead camshafts just like the bigger
Z1 and Kawasaki claimed 64 BHP from the 652cc
motor. Unlike the Z1, the 650 used a plain bearing
crankshaft and used a primary drive chain instead
of a gear driven unit. A single 245mm disk was
used up front with a 250mm drum on the rear,
more than enough to handle this relatively lightweight
bike. It was offered in two colours, candy super
red or candy emerald green, the green proved
very popular in the UK.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650B-027501
Two colours were offered for 1978, luminous
dark blue or luminous burnt red. These proved
to be unpopular and the B2 sold no where near
as well as the B1. Very few other differences
were made to the B2. The front brake caliper
was reversed to the back of the fork leg and
the front master cylinder was changed from a
round item to a triangular one. The charging
system was changed from a three-phase system
to a two phase and the regulator and rectifier
was now a combined unit. The cam chain tensioner
was changed to an automatic unit and a hazard
switch was added to the left-hand switchgear.
Needle roller bearings were now used in the
swingarm instead of the previous model bushes
and slight modifications were made to the carbs
to improve low speed operation. The fuel tap
was replaced with a diaphragm type unit. There
were also slight detail changes to the outer
engine cases to incorporate the new lower case
Kawasaki logo. The front footrests were now
rubber mounted to combat vibration and the front
forks were slightly modified.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650C-010001
This was better known as the Z650 Custom. It
was only offered in the UK in one colour metallic
stardust silver, the same colour as the recently
launched Z1-R. The motor was a standard B2 unit
but the custom was much modified elsewhere.
Kawasaki fitted seven spoke alloy wheels with
twin disks up front and a disk at the rear.
The bold new graphics made this model stand
out from the crowd and the C was a very good
seller. The first batch of bikes in the UK came
with a free colour matched helmet. This model
was only offered in certain markets so may not
have been available in your particular country.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650B-046201 (in Japan,
in America the Frames also had KZ650B-5*****)
The only difference over the B2 model was a
change of graphics and a return to the original
green and red colours. Sales once again picked
up. The new lower case tank badges were also
used. This time the red colour was described
as candy persimmon red.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650C-022801
The C3 was the first Kawasaki model to use the
new all weather sintered disk pads and braking
in the wet was much improved. The bike was once
again only offered in one colour, luminous dark
blue. The Speedo now incorporated km/h markings
as well as MPH and the rear caliper was changed
to accept the new square sintered pads. The
side panel badges were also slightly changed.
Many considered the C3 to be the best of the
range. This was the last of the C range in the
UK although there was a C4 elsewhere, available
in black or red.
1979 Z650-D2 (SR)
Starting Frame Number: KZ650D-010601
Rumour was that the SR stood for 'STATESIDE
REPLICA' and this was what Kawasaki thought
a replica should be!. It was basically a C3
with slightly 'chopper' styling. Chrome plating
was used on the headlamp shell, clock lowers
and chain guard. The rear tailpiece was dropped
in place of a painted rear fender. The front
exhaust downpipes were crossed over and the
mufflers were made a bit shorter. Only one colour
was offered in the UK, midnight blue which was
really a purple colour although other countries
got a red version as well. The rear wheel was
now a small but fat 16-inch item for that all-important
custom look. In America there was also a D1
in 1978 and an E model, which were very similar
but did not have as much equipment.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650D-026001
The only difference over the D2 was a change
in colour and graphics. It was now offered in
regal blue. France was still offered the midnight
blue as an option.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650F-000001
The F1 was basically a cross between a C and
a B model. It had the alloy wheels but kept
the drum brake at the rear instead of a disk.
It was offered in three colours, blue, red or
Starting Frame Number: KZ650F-007201
The F2 was much modified over the F1 model.
It incorporated many of the larger Z750E parts.
The motor was now finished in black and used
CDI ignition instead of points. The front end
from the 750E was grafted on meaning a change
to the brakes, front wheel and clocks. It was
offered in three colours, red, green or blue.
The kick-starter pedal and shaft was removed
from the engine just like the Z750E. A passenger
grab rail was also fitted.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650D-028101
This model was never sold in the UK. It came
in either blue or red and was basically an SR
version of the F2 model.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650F-012401
There was one major change for 1982, CV carbs
were fitted. The larger 32mm carbs also needed
the air box assembly from the Z750E/L models.
The F3 was offered in two colours, ebony or
passion red. The front fender was now also painted
to match the rest of the bodywork.
Starting Frame Number: KZ650F-014301
This was the last of the 650 models, Kawasaki
was now concentrating on the GPZ range and there
was no place for this previous best seller.
The F4 was offered in two colours, galaxy silver
or candy wine red. The outer engine cases were
similar to the Z750L model.
There was also a Z650H model, not available
in the UK. This was a 'CSR' model with chopper