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In the two days since I brought my new Z650 home I've made it halfway through the break-in period. There's still a lot to discover about this bike -- mainly what it'll feel like over 4000 rpm! -- but at this point I can tell you that this is a fine machine. I am finding there are reasons for the popularity of the mid-weight 650-to-800-class bikes. The power is accessible, controllable and more than adequate, handling at all speeds is precise.

The build quality is superb. No matter how you feel about the naked sport style -- and I love it -- you'll have to agree it's well-built. The overall finish is absolutely flawless, and everything works as it should. The ergonomics are spot-on for me. The riding position is relaxed, upright but with plenty of room to tuck down and still be comfortable, if the situation calls for it. The tank is actually shaped with a depression on the top/rear specifically designed to cradle the rider's chest! Except for the rear shock pre-load, there is nothing adjustable about the suspension. So far, I've left that on the factory middle setting. The suspension is pliant enough to soak up bumps and dips as-is, while stiff enough to remain stable in the curves at speed. Minding the rev limitations , that speed is only 60 mph for now, but holding it through some pretty tight twisties has produced no drama. It tracks thru the curves stable and true with no trace of a wallow. Speed checks with my GPS today showed very close agreement with the speedometer -- never more than 2 mph difference between the two at any speed, and that only for seconds at a time.

As you might imagine, gas mileage has been great. When I filled it up today for the first time since it was at the dealership, the calculated mileage was 63.48 mpg. I still had 1.4 gallons of the tank's 4 gal. capacity. Based on that, with conservative riding 180 to 200 miles between fuel stops should be achievable. What it will be when more aggressive riding commences remains to be seen.

This bike felt absolutely comfortable to me within the first 1/2 block ridden after I left the dealership. Maneuvering in the city traffic while keeping the revs down was a piece of cake, thanks to the nice low-to-midrange torque and well-spaced gearing the Z650 has. The slipper clutch is light and easy to manage, pure gold in parking-lot situations and nice on downshifts. The transmission as a whole is dead-on, crisp and precise in shifting -- no sweat finding neutral whenever you want it. The seat, for a small bike, is an absolute wonder. Narrow enough at the front to allow effortless flat-footing at stops, it widens to decent butt-size in the rear. Soft but not too soft, and I find I can go 2 hours before a break starts to seem attractive. Ten minutes of walking around and I'm ready to ride again. If I want, taking some pretty long trips is not going to be prohibited by fear of terminal numb-butt.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but right now I can't find a single thing to criticize on this one. It is meeting and exceeding my expectations.
 

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Sounds awesome but I'm going to criticize something... no pics! C'mon, man, you can't put up a description like that and then NOT show us how beautiful it is!!!

I love my bike but every time I have to pull my fairings off, I promise myself that my next bike will be a naked sporter!

Do new bikes have a smell like new cars? :smile_big:
 
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