A wise man once said that intelligence consists in the ability to adapt to new situations each and every time these emerge and it looks that this is exactly what Kawasaki is doing with the Ninja 650R. This is the head of their sports bike lineup and it meets the latest requests in matter of performance, comfort, user-friendliness, reliability and style. It started as Kawi’s response to the need of such a bike on the market and it got much better with time.
Kawasaki engineers and designers worked closely together to refine the Ninja 650R into an even more user-friendly motorcycle with many design similarities to the ZX-6R.
Starting with the 650cc parallel-twin engine, continuing with the frame and finishing with the suspensions, the bike is a very tempting approach for novices. But what exactly is that due to? For starters, the engine’s fuel injection system has been revised for greater low rpm torque and more linear power delivery, making it perfect for those leaving their cars in the garage in favor of an economic and enjoyable motorcycle.
72-hp fuel injected parallel twin engine
Other modifications to the small and yet pushy engine (72 hp and 48.5 lb/ft) consist in moving the cooling fluid from the external hoses and inside the cases as well as adding a new catalyzer, which helps Kawasaki stay true to its now consecrated color (meets Euro-III regulations).
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Further easing a beginner’s choice is the low seat (now 31.1 inches), rubber-mounted handlebars as well as rubber threads fitted pegs. A rider would now feel more confident in maneuvering the bike as we all know that slow-speed is the one that gets headaches into the helmets.
Offering a bike with comfortable front and rear suspension as well as with an effective braking system, Kawasaki people are happy to price the new Ninja 650R at just over $7 grand. Note that this is still a relatively new introduction which gets a fair market share and which surely won’t get beaten when it comes to fuel consumption, comfort and appearance.
The good news about the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R is that it comes with an ABS system, but not over to the United States.
And these are also pretty much the chapters that Kawasaki wanted to master when first introducing the Ninja 650R as a 2008 model year. Inspiration came from the naked ER-6n, but the “R” started as more than just a faired model; it stood up as the choice of those who didn’t quite had the skills or need to go for the ZX-6R and yet searched for good aerodynamics.
2010 Yamaha FZ6R
Yamaha has spotted the same profitable market share and starting last year it gets benefits from it with the FZ6R. This is an aggressive piece of motorcycle from all points of view and yet manages to retain a comfortable riding position and good wind protection. The engine is the same previous generation R6 fuel-injected, 600cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC 16 valves unit, so there’s plenty to expect from that while the full fairing covering it is inspired from racing too. Yet, the tall windscreen and sport-touring like accommodations make a strong competitor for this class out of the now 2010 Yamaha FZ6R.
On one hand, the Yamaha – with those four cylinders – is definitely superior to the Kawasaki and the cheapest starts at $7,390 which is very good. But on the other hand we have the Suzuki SV650SF which is powered by a 90-degree V-twin engine, there is also a full fairing and the riding position is no killer either. But what’s with the $7,499 MSRP? An ABS-equipped model is also available and it starts at $7,999.
The only explication we could find for the apparently exaggerated starting prices is the fact that Suzuki has more than a decade building the SV while the Yamaha and Kawasaki are new additions to the class and need to make up for the lost ground.
As far as style is concerned, the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R manages to distinguish both from the crowd and from the previous model year with supersports inspired features such as the headlights and windscreen, while the fairing is mainly characterized by aggressive lines in an attempt to enhance 650R’s sporty appearance. In reluctance to that idea, the gas tank, seat, and the bike’s tail are all rounded up. Add on a tubular trellis frame and D-shaped cross-section swingarm and the bike ends up representing refined agressivity.
The six-spoke wheels measure 17 inches in diameter and we can spot a sharp little front fairing too. Those perfectly integrated transparent signal lights are a nice touch as well as the perfectly camouflaged exhaust silencer.
Color schemes available for 2010 are Candy Lime Green, Ebony, Metallic Island Blue. This last features a matte black lower half fairing as yet another distinctive final touch.
“More than capable for spirited, yet sensible, street riding, the Ninja 650R delivers power in a user-friendly manner - no herky-jerky throttle to contend with or irritating fueling blips.” – motorcycle-usa
"Middleweight riders adore bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 650R simply because it is so balanced: not too much engine, just enough suspension, and surprising economy to even it up. Quarter mile times in the mid-high 11 second range are the norm, and sub-four second 0-60 times are common." – articlebase
"The liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, eight-valve 649cc parallel twin engine is compact enough to allow for a slim footprint and a relatively lightweight frame that tips the scales at 204 kg, making it a popular choice for new riders." – moto123
Although not heavily refined for 2010, the Kawasaki Ninja 650R still manages to remain the most affordable bike in the middleweight sport class. The $7,099 MSRP also ensures it can be easily considered one hell of a bang for the buck.
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Very often, after a brand new introduction, motorcycles carry on being produced with little changes, but not this one. The 650R benefits of Kawasaki’s precious attention and lives up to the Ninja name, so we’re expecting ABS at least for the 2011 model years send to the States.