Reviews of Ninja 650
July 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm #8343acidpopeParticipant
“Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. ” – The character Sam from the movie Ronin.
As for the 500’s looks. People mostly make judgements on it due to pictures of it standing completely still with no rider on it, directly from it’s side. In which case, yea it does look a little dated. However when there is a rider on it, or you see someone riding it, the “aged” look pretty much totally disappears and it looks great. As for the sv650, you’ll be paying about $600 for the ABS. Unless you really want it, or are afraid of locking up your brakes, that’s a chunk of change you can save if you just get the sv w/o the ABS.July 4, 2008 at 9:45 pm #8351RupmiscParticipant
Acidpope: I am afraid of locking up my brakes. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn where the threshold is. I know that I’m not supposed to compare motorcycles with cars, but in this case it might make sense. A small percentage of drivers who have learned threshold breaking, and practice it, can stop faster than when they are using ABS. That is probably true of riders as well. But for the newbie, or rider who doesn’t practice, ABS sounds reasonable. But, dealer probably can’t find an SV with ABS, and I don’t trust dealer to “find me one”. Someone suggested that the Kawasaki 650R was available with ABS but I haven’t seen that anywhere.
I really don’t think that the 500R is better (or worse) looking that the 650R or the SV. I was trying to say that I am inclined to take the advice of some who have said that the 500R is a friendlier bike than the other two. If anyone believes that the 650R or the SV are as new rider friendly, I’d like to know before I get the 500 (which seems slightly less upright).July 5, 2008 at 6:37 pm #8393acidpopeParticipant
I haven’t seen Ninja 650’s with abs.
The 650 has a slightly more upright sitting position, but I’m sure with bar risers you can get the 500 to that same level.July 9, 2008 at 6:38 pm #8604TheAbomb12Participant
and I have to say I’m really glad I got the 650… I just got it today (I just got back home 5 minutes ago). Got it used with low miles.
It actually is REALLY easy to ride, the clutch is much easier to handle than the cruisers I rode (especially on first from a stop); Turning in low speeds is easier; its surprisingly comfortable. While Cruisers offer a really nice laid back ride, there is something about the ergonomics about the Ninja 650 that just *clicks* for me– the riding position is just right.
I really don’t feel like it has too much power at all; The throttle is really smooth and never did I feel like it could get over my head. although I have yet to crank the throttle all the way— so perhaps if you’re not careful or too liberal with the throttle, it could get over your head.February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm #16684AnonymousGuest
i just put a new scorpion exhaust on my ninja 650 and that thing is loud as hell. the 650 is a good starter bike. i bought it becasue its cheap and im practicing my stunting on it.February 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm #16751AnonymousGuest
Most of what I know about the 650r comes from reviews I’ve read. This is what I’ve learned about this bike:
-Almost as much power than the SV650.
-Parallel twin engines, like found on the 650r, are easy to work on.
-The ergos are very comfortable. It is a bike that feels good when you sit on it at the dealership.
-Uncomfortable seat to sit on for more than 15 minutes, just like the other bikes in its class.
-The main issue with this bike is the buzzing. There is fairing buzz (the dealership has Kawa provided kits to reduce this), and there is a decent amount of vibration in the bars and footpegs (according to MC News).
-Some say the brake lever doesn’t give you the same level of feedback as you get on other bikes.
Compared to the SV650:
-Ergos similar to the SV Naked, but this has a fairing.
-Slightly better suspension than the SV.
-The SV has the better engine.
My final thoughts.
-If Kawa would increase engine power slightly and smooth out the engine buzz, the 650r would be a gem. As it is, I prefer the SV650 Naked with a windscreen, but not by much.May 8, 2009 at 5:08 am #18249molintorchParticipant
Thought I would take a moment and share my experience too since the 650R seems to get overlooked at times. I started riding Aug 08, passed BRT from Team Oregon, and bought a Suzuki GZ250. I put 200 or so miles on it, most doing low speed practicing in parking lots, over and over and over and over. I tried riding the GZ out of town for a bit at highway speed but it was too buzzy for me and the ergos didn’t work at all. I found I couldn’t ride the bike more than 45 min without having issues. In Jan 09, I stumbled on a deal for a 08 650R. The bike was two weeks old from the dealer, used with 56 miles. The owner bought it at xmas, realized he couldn’t afford it, and gave it back to the dealer. Looking it over, the bike was definitely only 56 miles old, the tires weren’t even broken in. it had a few scratches on it, and had been dropped once at a standstill based on a scuff I saw. I bought it, delivered to my house, for $5200 including all the DMV fees (no tax in oregon). Felt like I got a great deal.
Since Jan I have already put 2500 miles on the bike. If its not raining (hard) I have been riding. My longest day was 289 miles of curves with very little freeway. I only stopped that day cause the sun was going down. I’ve made several mods to the bike, but really to make it fit me just right (corbin seat, 1×1 bar riser, heated grips, double bubble tall windscreen). The riding season is just beginning here, and I feel like I am ready to go!
Comparing a 250 single to the 650 twin is pretty easy… The 650 has ALOT more power, but its very linear, predictable, and manageable. Both the clutch and break levers are adjustable for 5 settings, both pull smoothly and easily. I definitely know at low speed there is 100 more lbs on the 650 vs the 250, but its balanced very well. With a little rear brake, I can almost stand it straight up without moving (was caught on the slab in stop and go traffic, so I got some good application of my practiced skills that day). The bike does require good throttle control, I could pretty easily raise the front wheel, but from what I can tell it would have to be intentional on my part.
The issues I have seen so far… The stock seat is bad… either find someone to rebuild it, or replace it with an aftermarket seat. Black is WAY easy to scratch (ok, not 650 specific, but its what I have learned from my 650). The 08 bikes do not have the buzzing issues that the eariler years did, UNLESS you start taking the pieces apart and putting them back together. The foam kawasaki put there to stop the vibrating will wear easily if you pull the parts off and on much. The fuel light will come on very early. I see it come on at 125-130 miles, but you can go to 200-210 easily if you are cruising… I have personally gone to 185 with 3/4 of a gallon left. As far as vibration while riding, I really dont notice any. I have progrips 713’s on the bars (stock grips were hard as a rock) and my boots seem to absorb any vibrations in the pegs there might be. The 250 with its single cylinder thumper, now that was buzzy, I felt like parts were going to fall off the bike all the time and my hands would be numb after 20 mins at highway speeds.
And lastly… you will spend a fair amount of time explaining the bike to non-riders… It looks sporty. People assume its a crotch rocket, but I would describe it much more like a standard, except the pegs are slightly behind your knees. In my case, the corbin seat actually moved me back a good inch, and my pegs are almost directly under my knees now, which I find very comfortable.
Overall the 650R feels like a “real” bike to me, while the 250 always felt like a scooter. For reference, I am 6 ft 245lbs. I never felt comfortable taking the 250 over 50-55 mph tops. The 650 easily rolls down the freeway at 70-75 in 4th without feeling it its over-reving. The 650 really requires discipline I believe. I went to pass someone on the freeway, and by the time I was passed their front bumper I was right at the edge of triple digits. it wasn’t my intention to accelerate that fast, its just that smooth and easy… Point is, its a great bike, but it will require some respect and discipline, else it will get you into trouble
Oh yeah, and I guess the bike will lean really well into corners, but to be honest, my chicken strips are a good inch in width. I am still riding my own pace even if the bike will allow me to do way more than I am ready to haha!!
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