These three bikes from Kawasaki share the same engine platform and are priced less than Rs 1 lakh apart. But which one should you buy? Read on to find out
Kawasaki has been one of the leaders in the 650cc two-wheeler segment in India and has been competing in this space ever since the launch of the Ninja 650 in 2011. Since then, the segment has branched out into the streetfighter and adventure touring space which cater to different audiences. While the Z650 and Ninja 650 have received design and feature updates during the transition from BS4 to BS6 emission norms, the newly launched BS6 Versys remains largely unchanged. You essentially have three different bikes to choose from that share the same BS6-compliant engine, which could put you in a conundrum. So let us help you choose the correct one for your needs.
Kawasaki Z650: Rs.5,94,000
At Rs 5.94 lakh (ex-showroom), the Z650 is the entry point for Kawasaki’s 650 range. It’s also the lightest of the trio with a kerb weight of 191kg. The streetfighter packs a 649cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that puts out 68PS and 64Nm. It features an upright riding posture with just the right amount of lean towards the handlebars, making it quite comfortable for long hauls. The seat too is pretty accessible at 790mm. So who is it meant for? We believe the Z650 would be the perfect bike for anyone graduating from a 300-400cc motorcycle. Click here for more information on the streetfighter.
Kawasaki Ninja 650: Rs.6,24,000
Take a Z650, slap on a fairing and a lower-set handlebar and you’ve got yourself a Ninja 650. Of course, the weight of the fairing adds 5kg, which means the Ninja 650 tips the scale at 196kg kerb. However, you get better wind protection which translates to less drag and improved aerodynamic efficiency. The riding posture is a tad more aggressive, which means there’s a lot more fun to be had while tackling corners. Not to mention the split LED headlights that offer better illumination at night.
There’s literally nothing else that separates the Ninja 650 from the Z650 apart from the aforementioned changes. Even the hardware is identical. Simply put, if you love a slightly sporty ride that can be chucked into corners without really giving you a backache, the Ninja 650 makes perfect sense. Head here if you’d like to know more about the BS6 Ninja 650.
Kawasaki Versys 650: Rs.6,79,000
The biggest bike amongst the three in terms of dimensions is the Versys 650. It’s a road biased tourer, so don’t get your hopes up if you’re looking for some off-road action. It features a retuned engine that makes 66PS and 61Nm of peak torque higher up the rev range compared to its siblings.
While the bike remains largely unchanged, it gets a couple of extra goodies compared to the other two. For instance, the front end employs a USD fork as opposed to a telescopic fork and can be tuned for preload and rebound damping. Even the monoshock has a nifty preload adjuster. Both units have longer travel to soak up undulations. Even the handlebars are wider and taller for better leverage and an upright riding posture. The seats have better cushioning and the windscreen is taller for better wind protection. A pair of pannier mounts on either side of the Versys adds to its touring capabilities.
Unfortunately, it still uses a dated semi-digital instrument console compared to the full-colour TFT display on the Z650 and Ninja 650. We’d recommend the Versys 650 for those of you who love touring without compromising on comfort. More details here.