With almost every month seeing a launch of a new bike, Indian riders have a wide range of bikes to choose from and in addition the heavy pay packets and easy finance access has opened new gates to the average consumer. Tapping this desire for bikes Bajaj and Kawasaki has rolled an array of bikes for the Indian market that has worked to their full advantage. Bajaj and Kawasaki came out with Ninja 250R in October 2009, which created quite a buzz in the market until recently. And now the Kawasaki Ninja 650R; it has to be seen if this larger capacity bike will rule the Indian roads and also see if the Kawasaki breed will be able to promote their sales figures with the growing demand for superbikes in India.
Looks and styling
The Bajaj and Kawasaki has realized that bigger is better and Ninja 650R is an extension of the same. Although big in size the designers of the bike have gone for smooth contouring that emanate exemplar styling. And the chassis of the new Ninja gets is undoubtedly sporty and the makers have not made unnecessary embellishments; to enhance the aggressive look of the bike the sharp lines swirl all over the bike. The compact dimension of the Ninja 650R gets highlighted with the fairing’s incorporated turn signals and a honed cowl tail.
Ninja 650R undoubtedly features a sporty and an exciting look with the digital instrumentation literally staring at the rider and the speedometer occupies the maximum area in the arch shaped console. The naked mono shock, which is almost horizontal and the under-slung exhaust box are simply unavoidable. The entire design of Ninja 650R is solid and at the same time exhibits sophistication.
Engine power and mileage
The new Ninja is fitted with 8 valve, 649 cc liquid cooled parallel twin engine that is basically designed to be compact and lightweight while easily belt maximum power of 72.1 bhp at 8500 rpm and torque of 6.73 kgm @ 7000 rpm. Ninja 650R is undoubtedly a fast bike and it hardly takes any time for the speedometer to hit the three digit mark quite effortlessly. It takes only 12.93 seconds for the Ninja to zoom a quarter mile and can touch 160 kmph in 12.03 seconds, which is mind blowing.
The engine also sounds great during your ride and just like other v-twins, the induction noise which is created by air being fed to parallel twin sound like music to ears. More so once you touch the meaty middle which is over 6,000 rpm, and you’d freak at the sound of the Ninja 650R.
The Ninja 650R gives power and performance that even a skilled rider will be satiated with. And with a top speed that can touch an average of 200 kmph it has no room for complaints.
The big Ninja 650R gives an average of over 21 kmpl on the urban roads and over 23 kmpl on the highway, which is pretty decent for a fast bike.
Performance, comfort and handling on Indian roads
Although a big bike, Ninja 650R is quite suitable for every day commuting especially if you are staying place with decent roads; the low seat offers an upright seat position to the rider making the ride comfortable as well as smooth. Furthermore the wide handlebar helps in the easy maneuverability of the beast especially in the chaotic traffic. Ninja 650R is not a racetrack-friendly bike however it zooms with ease and is quite a stable machine even at the corners. The decent braking system also offers enough safety, so you could rate the handling and braking as just above average if not super.
Colors and Price
The Ninja 650R is available in the following colors: metallic spark black, flat super black, candy burnt orange, flat super black. And you can own the Kawasaki Ninja 650R for Rs. 457,000 (ex-showroom price).
So what can you take from this review?
The reasonably priced Ninja 650R is not a bad bike for daily users, although it is not does not look drop dead gorgeous bike the fact that it owns a superb build quality takes all the credit. With power, performance and comfort it is a smart package to get home. A few cons of the Ninja 650R are stiff ride quality, tachometer is not clear to read while riding and inadequate brake system. A few imperfections are certainly pardonable.
Pros of the bike: Comfortable, smooth and upright ride with sports bike kinda looks, oodles of style, could be really long lasting bike if you should maintain it properly.
Cons: Upright seating itself presents as a con in case you look for an all sports bike crouch, the suspension isn’t one of the good ones around, there are some prettier machines in the market, and very difficult to get aftermarket parts.
As far as super bikes go the Kawasaki Ninja 650R maybe a bit too much for some folks, all I say is to spend some time test riding it but with caution and chances are you may find yourself piloting a good looking, fast and a capable machine that can enjoy for some years to come.