The Kawasaki Ninja 650
Fun, lightweight, and with just the right amount of power – this is a great beginner bike for those with less experience. You’ll be able to boost your confidence and have a lot of fun with your friends. In this blog, we’re going to give you the lowdown on this awesome bike.
The Kawasaki Ninja 650 replaces the old version, which ran from 2017 to 2020. The current model is technically the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 – perhaps the branding department ran out of coffee that morning..
This, in turn, was an improvement on the ER-6f – a great and mechanically solid bike. The Kawasaki Ninja 650 (2017-2020) improved the quality of the ER-6f while keeping the fantastic engine.
Kawasaki Ninja 650 Specs
So, first of all, let’s look at the specs according to Kawasaki:
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel-twin, 649cc capacity
Fuel System: Fuel injection with dual throttle valves
Brakes: Front – dual semi-floating 300mm petal discs; Back – single 220 mm petal disc
Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork at front, horizontal back link at back
Ground clearance: 130 mm
Seat height: 790mm
Curb mass: 193 kg
Top speed: 135 mph
Average fuel consumption: 55 mpg
A Great Beginner’s Bike
The 650cc Parallel Twin engine has a good strong focus in the low- to mid-range. As with all conscious manufacturers these days, the engine has been refined to produce cleaner emissions – helping you do your bit but still have your fun, given that the revised exhaust has an angrier throatier sound.
The best way to ride this bike is up at its limit, but as it doesn’t have the unlimited power of sportier or larger bikes and the stopping power is excellent, less experienced riders won’t feel intimidated by this style of riding.
They’ve even included some new tyres that help with the handling – that combined with a light and slim chassis, handling is a breeze and is brilliantly balanced for those corners. However, the upright positioning of the rider could be a drawback for some as it means you don’t get that fully sporty feel compared to a tight rider’s triangle, but that’s great for a beginner, you feel more steady and secure in the seat and in control of the bike than you might do with some of the sportier, nippier bikes out there.
Some have complained about the suspension – it’s very unforgiving on torn-up roads. Though on standard tarmac with the odd divot, you’ll be fine. The rear suspension is also adjustable, so you might want to tighten it a little before going over large holes. However, given that it’s designed to be a fast and fun beginner’s bike, it’s unlikely that any of its riders will be experienced enough to notice, and if they do, they probably won’t care.
The electronics have not been overlooked either. There’s a new TFT colour screen for the display – which is clear and easy to read while riding.
Reviewers report that the gearbox has a satisfying clunk when it slips into place – very reassuring for those less experienced riders.
So the new Kawasaki Ninja has been fine-tuned again – with overall improvements but still with slightly underwhelming suspension. Over long distances, the seat position might get uncomfortable depending on your size – it’s not really one that you want to travel the length of the country on.
It’s a great bike for riding with friends, having fun at the weekend, or making the daily commute a bit more exciting.
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