Update on the 650R test ride.

Yikes, I’m behind with updates. My bad. Hopefully I’ll catch up this week.

Anyway, about the 650R test ride…

Short story: I’m waiting to see the 08 colors and will most likely either be buying a new 08 or a black/red 06.

Since I don’t need two streetbikes, I went into the test ride specifically comparing the 650R with my Z750S. I decided I wouldn’t pursue the 650R unless it (a) had the same things that I do like about the Z and (b) fixed the things that I don’t like about the Z.

Things I like about the Z:

  • It’s an appliance. It turns right on. The motor hums instantly. Hey, I ride thumpers. My Beemer needs to be started while standing on my left foot while waving a black goat’s tail with my right hand under a full moon, otherwise it surges. I don’t want that in a streetbike. 650R verdict: Check.
  • Adjustable clutch and brake levers for shrimpy girl hands. 650R verdict: Check.
  • Smooth acceleration and a nice punch for horsepower (see above, re: thumpers). 650R verdict: Check, and in a more useful place for me, too, since it’s a twin and not a four (more on that later).

Things I don’t like about the Z:

  • The mirrors suck; I’ve gone through four aftermarket choices and still they’re buzzy above 5k RPM. 650R verdict: Check, the view in the mirrors is crystal clear through the rev range.
  • Vibration above 6k RPM means that, even though it redlines at 11,500, I’m always riding it below 6k. 650R verdict: Check, smooth and useful all the way to redline.
  • Always trying to upshift on the freeway because I can’t go above 80mph in top gear without hitting the vibrations mentioned above. 650R verdict: I got to where I was comfy and smiling on the freeway, and was still able to upshift. Twice.

So, yeah. C’mon with the new color announcements, Kawasaki! Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha all have their 08s on their websites! *taps foot impatiently*

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