2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650: MD First Ride -…

19 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650: MD First Ride -… отключены
Kawasaki Ninja 400R

2012 Kawasaki Ninja MD First Ride

It is interesting to the approaches taken by the various during the challenging economy of the few years.  Some of them to have curled into a waiting for a nightmare to end, others boldly invest in new and technology.  Kawasaki has to fall the latter category, and the benefit has a massive increase in Kawasaki’s share here in the United (and, we imagine, in many markets, as well).

The 2012 650 has been completely redesigned by six years after its initial and just three years a significant refresh of the model.  We the original bike. as well as the model. and frankly liked of them very much. Kawasaki to completely redesign the so quickly is a bit surprising.

 It is one indication of how aggressive Kawasaki has been it comes to introducing entirely new and redesigning existing models.

time I ride a 650 I am reminded this displacement motorcycle was considered a high performance  I am old enough that the British twins once struck me as high performance motorcycles, they were in their  Marlon Brando, and others, these bikes in movies they were macho machines.

Today, the irony is that though a Ninja 650 could away an older Triumph or BSA this displacement category is “practical” more than performance.  Another irony is even though the general may not always appreciate the performance of a 650cc twin, these including both the Ninja 650 and the SV650, are popular with largely because they are fun to ride, relatively inexpensive and efficient.

So what has Kawasaki to improve the Ninja 650 for 2012? went through the major in a preview article he wrote last The highlights are many, because is essentially an all new motorcycle.

The engine is 649cc and a parallel twin  Already a modern DOHC design, with a 180-degree and a balancer shaft, it has numerous for 2012.  The exhaust has been redesigned with a connector pipe and a three-chamber

 The airbox intake has been redesigned and the air filter now a paper element rather oiled foam.  The is more, cool air into the and better exhaust flow.


The itself receives a new piston  Together with the better provided by the airbox and exhaust Kawasaki claims a 5% increase in below 7,000 rpm, a 10% in fuel economy and the same top end performance of the previous model.

The frame and swingarm are entirely  The frame is a double-pipe design that is slimmer and the rigidity balance to deliver claimed handling from the same geometry.  The sub-frame holds the seat has been to substantially increase its strength and capacity.

The swingarm is a cool double-pipe design that claims is a compliment to the rigidity offered by the new frame.  Kawasaki redesigned the rear axle holder to make chain adjustment and wheel easier.

The chassis is narrower between the rider’s legs. footpeg mounts, frame and swingarm pivot are all closer resulting in foot placement closer together on the ground.  I can that this makes the new seem smaller and shorter, the same seat height as the model.

 In fact, it made of an impression on me that I was surprised to that the seat height was not this year.

Both the and the shock receive new spring and new damping settings.  The and the shock also have longer strokes this (5mm for the fork and 2mm for the shock) allowed Kawasaki to slightly the spring rates.  The Ninja 650 comes with nice tires, i.e.

Dunlop’s Road Smart II.  We impressed with these during tricky riding (more below).

Kawasaki has that it overdid digital a few years ago on more than one including the Ninja 650. Ninja 650 has all new instrumentation with improved legibility, particularly the new analog tachometer.  The has very thorough instrumentation  Without attempting to list feature, in addition to a fuel you now get a selectable readout for current consumption, average fuel and remaining range.

 All the usual information is there, two trip meters and a clock.

The obvious change is entirely new  All of the body panels are and there are two separate seats for and passenger this year. windshield is adjustable into different positions (a total of in height difference) and the handlebars are wider.

The new rider seat has thicker foam and a wider, top section.  We noticed the improved comfort, as well as the wider and narrower mid-section.  The 650 has always been comfortable a semi-upright riding position places little-to-no weight on the

Kawasaki held the press for the 2012 Ninja 650 just of San Diego, California.  Unusually for part of the country, even in we encountered very low temperatures, rain (even very snowfall) and high winds.

These were not the best for testing.  I felt like the never warmed up all day. conditions were frequently as well, with moisture and often encountered.  These did drive home that the 650 is very easy to ride and inspiring.

Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R

 I can think of plenty of I would have felt far vulnerable on in these conditions.

It did like the motor has more power, and the fuel injection low appears to be dialed in a bit better. I feel like I had to rev out the motor to pace with a swift of journalists during the ride. says that top end power is the despite the increased mid-range, but this was difficult to tell the first ride.

The new chassis more robust.  The handles very well, it was hard to tell if it has really improved in this regard old bike also handled well).  The weather and conditions prevented our group really pushing the pace the way we might during a press

 We still have the bike, and will do a longer term and report back.

Seat is definitely improved (as I stated earlier), and the width of the bars felt natural (the older always felt a bit narrow to  The old bike offered wind protection, but the new bike to have even better for the rider.  Kawasaki claims the new panels do a much better job of heat away from the legs, but the cold temperatures me from evaluating this.

To me, the new is extremely good looking. really.  The fairing, and the front fender, have creases that give the a more high-end, refined  The frame also better, as does the swingarm.

the separate seats for rider and lend a more upscale

The suspension is still largely (only preload in the rear), but the in spring rates and damping do to have improved the ride. bike seems to absorb chatter bumps much while still remaining enough to feel sporting.

didn’t mention any changes to the (such as pad material), but they much stronger than the Ninja 650, and even than the more recently edition.

The bike has gained a few pounds, and the fork travel has resulted in trail, even though the geometry is unchanged.  This slow handling a fraction, but could also be off-set by the wider bars.

Our first certainly left a positive but the weather conditions did not allow us to the bike as hard as we would liked.  We are looking forward to testing, and will report with our findings.  The Ninja 650R has an MSRP of and is available in three colors, Metallic Spark Black, Lime Green and Passion

 Take a look at Kawasaki’s web for additional details and specifications.

Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R
Kawasaki Ninja 400R

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