Kawasaki ninja 650 review




Kawasaki ninja 650 review

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  • Feb 15, Contributing Editor Thomas Montano with a First Ride review of Kawasaki's Ninja sportbike.

    Jan 28, The Ninja is Team Green's latest iteration of a model that was introduced in with the company's first liquid-cooled, twin.

    Jul 18, Kawasaki's Ninja gets all the same engine and chassis updates as the new Z, resulting in a far better middleweight-twin Ninja.

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Once cruising, inputs made on this bike are super smooth — this is quite an attractive feature for new riders. A unique feature with the tach is that in addition to a shift-rpm indicator light, the tach needle can be set to glow pink at rpm before the designated rpm and then turn red once it reaches that rpm and beyond. The fundamental architecture is unchanged bore and stroke, valve sizes and included angle, and gear ratios, for example, are all nominally the same as the model. That claimed pound weight loss over the previous-generation Ninja , coupled with the subtle engine mods aimed at increased low-end and midrange steam, provides the same spunky performance we encountered with the new Z Riding the Kawasaki Ninja

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Kawasaki Ninja first ride review - RevZilla

    That kind of weight loss required a major redesign, which shows how important the model is to the company. Photo by Brian J. The original Ninja was introduced in , into a conspicuously different sport bike market. The cc Supersport-class bikes were still commercially viable, and although Kawasaki branded the twin a Ninja, it was positioned as a beginner-friendly commuter bike, not a middleweight contender.

    The first iteration of the attracted the attention of road racers. Remember when MotoST tried to build momentum for a national endurance championship based on twin-cylinder bikes? And the motor has really made an impression in professional flat track. Bryan Smith will carry the American Flat Track 1 plate this year on an Indian, but he won that plate with Kawasaki power. There's apparently more than one Ninja family now. Kawasaki execs assured me that despite the updated Ninja , there's still in the lineup, though they admitted that the only update is new graphics.

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Photo by Mark Gardiner. I was one of 10 motorcycle journalists that KMC-USA invited to Paso Robles for a first ride on the new twin although the similar, unfaired Z broke cover a few weeks ago.

    We had to shorten the test route and avoid Highway 1 altogether, due to rock and mud slides. Rain in the days leading up to our arrival left water and silt on area roads, and degree lows the morning of our ride meant that shaded areas were frosty for the first hour.

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    Not much changed in the engine bay. Accessory frame sliders provide additional protection. The fundamental architecture is unchanged bore and stroke, valve sizes and included angle, and gear ratios, for example, are all nominally the same as the model.

    However, valve timing is significantly more conservative, with less duration and overlap. The exhaust headers are shorter and lack the old cross-pipe. And, the throttle bodies are smaller. The motor itself is four pounds lighter, thanks to new castings that also enabled Kawasaki engineers to use it as a stressed member in the all-new trellis frame. The old Ninja motor was basically hanging off a beam backbone in rubber mounts.

    Most vertical twins have a degree crank—the pistons move up and down together. But seriously… the motor does buzz a little right in the meat of the powerband. I did not feel it in the bars or pegs, but was aware of it through the seat. It was not a problem, but it was there. Kawasaki engineers fought to take every possible ounce off the new Ninja , so you know they were loathe to add these small weights to the footpegs.

    Kawasaki ninja 650 review

    They're there to quell harmonic vibration. The handlebar also looked to be carrying some bar-end weights. I felt vibration in the seat only. Both the frame and swingarm which is also a steel component are much lighter, and the shock absorber now features a linkage for a progressive action. The steering geometry is also a little more aggressive.

    Kawasaki achieved a massive weight loss for the Ninja largely by making the frame and swingarm lighter. The 41 mm fork is not adjustable. The rear shock is adjustable for preload only. The work the suspension has to do is made easier, thanks to new and much lighter five-spoke wheels. The seat and footpegs are lower; the footpegs are a little further forward, for a reasonable leg bend. Meanwhile the handlebar is almost two inches lower and further forward.

    Kawasaki Ninja 650 Review First Ride



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