Not too long ago, Kawasaki took the incredibly smooth inline-four motor that powered the Z900 and put it in a retro-themed iteration called the Z900RS. This proved to be a rather fruitful decision, considering that the RS was well received and is still a popular model.
It’s not surprising that now, the Japanese manufacturer has decided to do the same thing with its 650cc platform. A type-approval document that has found its way online confirms that there will be a Z650RS coming in 2022.
The upcoming Z650RS will be powered by the 649cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine that’s currently at the heart of the Z650, Ninja 650, Vulcan S, and the Versys 650. Peak output figures appear to be the same at 67hp at 8,000rpm and 47lb-ft of torque at 6,700rpm. The document also reveals that the model will have a top speed of 191kmph (118.6mph).
Components like the tubular steel frame and 17-inch wheels will be shared with the standard Z650; however, the former does have a 5mm shorter wheelbase. We think this could be thanks to a different steering rake angle or tweaked suspension set-up, but it’s only speculation at the moment.
Another obvious difference is the aesthetics – the RS will get body panels and color schemes that stay true to its retro intentions. And, if the differences between the elder siblings are anything to go by, the Z650RS will also feature a slightly more relaxed rider triangle, owing to a taller and wider handlebar.