AI News, Kawasaki Wants to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Motorcycles

Kawasaki Wants to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Motorcycles

If you only happen to be staying with your significant other because you want someone to chat with on motorcycle rides, your weirdly-specific worry may not be relevant much longer.

Though currently in early stages of development, Kawasaki's new technology is being created with the intent of understanding human speech, monitoring rider status, and generally being a genial companion for its rider.

Though the new Kawasaki project and Yamaha's robot-bike exist on two different sides of the robot/artificial intelligence spectrum, it's still interesting to see how these two motorcycle companies are focusing on integrating the autonomous driving technology and other driver assistance systems that have taken over the automotive world into the realm of two-wheeled riding machines.

2017 Kawasaki Z650 Review | Stripped Ninja

It is a place where riders can get their feet wet, riding a middleweight machine until their skills or desires grow beyond the motorcycle’s capabilities.

More importantly, the naked bike buyer and the sport buyer (Ninja 650) tend to avoid one another’s paths—these are two distinct demographics that need to have their individual interests catered to.

The iconic Z-styled headlight is there, along with a sporty stance, an eye-catching trellis frame, silver crankcase and head covers, and finished off with an attractive, svelte tail.

Though we don’t have access to horsepower numbers, the engine is said to produce a peak of nearly 50 ft/lbs of torque at 6500 rpm.

The main changes, according to Kawasaki, include a redesigned camshaft for increased midrange power, a 36mm Keihin throttle body (down 2mm from last year), and slimmed intake ports to improve, once again, low to mid-range throttle response.

Below 4500 rpm, the engine is relatively benign—great for dealing with urban sprawl, relatively quiet and unimposing, and wearing the commuter hat with glee.

Binding all of that together is the newly developed chassis, one that is shared between the 2017 Z650 and the new Ninja 650 and makes use of the motor as a stressed member for the steel trellis frame.

With a nimble 55.5-inch wheelbase, aggressive 24 degrees of rake, and 3.9 inches of trail, the Z650 is agile, without becoming nervous or finicky.

It’s an issue that we see across many bikes of its class, but if the experienced rider reigns it in a tad, or the novice gets a bit more control, these problems aren’t as pronounced.

Braking duties are taken care of by dual 300mm petal rotors up front, and a 220mm petal disc in the rear, working with three Nissan calipers.

If a rider wants a bit more attack, a quick fix is to upgrade from the rubber brake lines to steel-braided, and make use of a more performance oriented set of pads.

From a styling perspective, it has the some enthralling allure that premium bikes have always maintained, giving a bit of class to a machine at a much lower price point.

In terms of performance, nearly all of the systems found on the Z650 have massive amounts of potential to take a rider with little to no experience, and allow for a great deal of maturation to take place;

Photography by Kevin Wing RIDING STYLE Helmet: Shoei X-Fourteen Jacket: Roland Sands Design Sonoma Gloves: Racer High Speed Jeans: Saint Unbreakable Boots: TCX RS-2 EVO 2017 Kawasaki Z650 Specs ENGINE Type: DOHC parallel twin Displacement: 649cc Bore x stroke: 83 x 60mm Compression ratio: 10.8:1 Cooling: Liquid Fueling: EFI w/ 36mm Keihin throttle bodies Ignition: TCBI w/ electronic advance Transmission: 6-speed Final drive: Chain CHASSIS Frame: Tubular, diamond Front suspension: Non-adjustable forks/4.9 inches of travel Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable shock/5.1 inches of travel.

x W x H: 81.3 x 30.5 x 42.5 inches Wheelbase: 55.5 inches Rake: 24 degrees Trail: 3.9 inches Seat height: 30.9 inches Fuel capacity: 4 gallons Curb weight: 412.3 pounds 2017 Kawasaki Z650 Colors: Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Spark Black Pearl Flat Stardust White/Metallic Spark Black 2017 Kawasaki Z650 Price (MSRP): $6999 (standard) $7399 (ABS) 2017 Kawasaki Z650 Review |

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