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Kawasaki announced last week they were releasing a new lighter, revised Z-650 as well as a Z-900 to replace the Z-800.

The Z-650 received some welcome upgrades. The biggest being that it would be some 42 lbs lighter than the outgoing model. I really like the direction they took. I predict it will be a good seller among middleweight naked bikes.

However, I am totally missing the point of the Z-900. According to Kawasaki, it is going to replace the Z-800 and it is basically just a sleeved down Z-1000. What is the target demographic for a Z-900? I am sorry, but I don't get it. The Z-800 made perfect sense because it slotted in between the z-650 and z-1000 perfectly in both power and price. But a Z-900? It will surely cost almost as much as the Z-1000 and will be almost the exactly same machine. Why would people choose it over the Z-1000? (I suspect it may have lower insurance costs since it doesn't have the Z-1000's reputation. But that is the only plus I can think of.)

If Kawasaki really wanted a FZ-07 killer, what they SHOULD have done is START with their new lighter Z-650. They could have bored and stroked that beautiful (and bulletproof) 650cc twin engine out to 800ccs and raised the redline up to around 14K. Add a upside down front fork and bigger brakes and you end up with a motorcycle that would beat a FZ-07 at everything.

It will be interesting to see what the cycle magazines have to say about the Z-900 in the coming weeks. But it is my opinion is that a Z-650 on steroids would be a better motorcycle than a watered down version of a Z-1000.

Vorax
 

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Never heard of a z650. Europe only bike?

I chose the FZ-07 when looking for a sub 400 lb bike because it has style, power, and comfort. My limit for loading in my truck was 400 lbs. Nothing Kawasaki offered came close. If they had brought the naked 300 into the states, I might have chose that bike though.
 

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The z650 is not coming to the USA, its the naked version of the Ninja 650 - what was called the ER6N a few years ago.

I agree with Vorax - Kawasaki seems to be missing the mark on what customers want. I was very surprised this year when at MotoGP in Austin Texas, Kawasaki was the only MFG that was not participating in demo rides (which sell bikes - as I did a demo day ride in 2012 and bought a 2012 Ninja 650).

Basically Yamaha seems designing new products/models that are hard to beat in a lot of categories. Unfortunately they don't bring all the models to the states, like most other Japanese brands.
 
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