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Kawasaki Ninja 650 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Technology, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Mar 11 2020 Share this blog

Kawasaki Motors is a Japanese motorcycle manufacturer known for making precision performance machines. Not only is the lime-green colour definitive of its breed, but also the performance on offer. Now Being the first mover, Kawasaki has put a step into the 650 cc bike segment with its Ninja 650. The bike has been selling in the international market since 2006 and has now come a long way since its inception.

With the launch of the Ninja 650, the segment has seen two more entrants by two other manufacturers: Honda and CF Moto. Hence, now Ninja certainly has rivals to practice its karate moves on. It is priced at Rs. 5,89,000 which sits right in the sweet spot between the two rivals in terms of pricing as well as performance. But even while sitting in the sweet spot, the Ninja 650 is not going to have it easy with such rivals in the market. Hence, now its time to see if you should be giving a green light to this green machine or not.


Pros

  • Sharp looks
  • Good ride and comfort
  • Robust build quality
  • Good urban driveability
  • Torquey engine

Cons

  • Exhaust heat past 100 kmph
  • Notchy gearbox at low RPMs 
  • Small fuel tank capacity

What’s New

  • New looks 
  • Some added features

What’s the power source in the 2020 Kawasaki 650?

The engine is powerhouse of any bike and the Ninja 650 gets the same engine at heart from the previous iteration. Hence, the new Ninja makes the same amount of power but the peak torque has gone down from 65.7Nm to 64Nm. The peak torque is also achieved at a later rpm compared to the previous model. But this is a minor difference that will not translate to any noticeable difference in real-world performance. The engine is quite refined as and vibrations are kept well under check even on high RPMs. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which feels a bit sticky at low RPMs. Working around the gears has a learning curve but it is not a deal-breaker.

The mid-range performance from the engine is quite a power-packed and it helps the bike make quick progress on open roads. Within the city, it provides ample low-end torque which is quite helpful in stop and go traffic conditions. Take the Ninja on a highway and you instantly know that the highway is where the engine belongs. Kawasaki has given it quite a lot of punch and hitting 100 kmph with the bike is quite an easy affair. The throttle response is quite sharp too and the bike lunges forward at a slight twist of the throttle. Overall, the Ninja 650 is a potent urban commuter as well as a highway cruiser. The addition of a slipper clutch makes it even more fun to ride and it makes the biker quite a beginner-friendly too.

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 5,89,000

Rs. 7,70,000

Rs.5,49,000

Engine 

649cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine

649.3cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine


649.3cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine


Power 

68PS at 8000rpm

88.3PS at 11500rpm

62.5PS at 9000rpm

Torque

64Nm at 6700rpm

60.1Nm at 8000rpm

58.5Nm at 7000rpm

Fueling

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

ARAI Mileage figure(kmpl)

21

20

20

Fuel tank capacity(Litres)

15

15.5

19

The CBR 650 R offers a proper inline-four-cylinder motor, and hence puts down more power on the tarmac, thanks to the two extra cylinders. But as the Ninja 650 is the lightest bike here, it offers better dynamics. On the other hand, the CF Moto’s 650 GT’s motor a bit more relaxed than its competitors which is no surprise as its a Gran Tourismo bike.


How linear and confidence-inspiring is the acceleration from 0-100?

If the Ninja fails to impress you with its looks you would certainly be impressed with its acceleration. Even though Kawasaki has not done many updates to the engine, the bike offers brisk performance. The bike is capable of converting your every day ride into a rollercoaster ride within seconds.

Shooting up to triple-digit speeds is a breeze and the bike remains quite stable while doing such speeds. The brisk performance is aided by the lightweight of the bike, which stands at 193 kgs. The new Ninja 650 is 19 kgs lighter than the outgoing model.

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

0-100 kmph

4 sec

3.4 sec

5.18 sec

Top Speed(kmph)

220 

240

170 

The fastest bike in this comparison is undoubtedly the CBR 650R and it is not difficult to see the reason why. It offers the most powerful engine in the segment which is coupled with two extra cylinders. On the other hand, the CF Moto 650 GT is slower than its rivals but is not a slouch. The slower performance can be credited to its Grand Tourismo profile as it’s not trying to be the fastest bike here.


How grippy are the brakes?

Ninja 650 finally gets something that it never had before in terms of braking performance i.e. ABS. Kawasaki has made ABS as standard with the bike. The brakes offer excellent bite and feel quite progressive. It also provides a good amount of feel and feedback and the new Nissin calipers and brake pads make a world of a difference.

Overall, the Ninja 650 can drop an anchor at any speed without much fuss.

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

300 

310

300

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

220

240

230

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

 

How impressive is the handling and how well does it complement rider comfort?

Kawasaki has worked a lot on the ride and handling of the new Ninja 650. It is the most nimble bike in this comparison and now gets the new trellis frame which is 8.5 kgs lighter than the previous one. In terms of the load shedding, it also gets lighter wheels which are 1.7  kgs lighter than the previous ones. Other miscellaneous. changes have made the bike lose another 5.8 kgs of weight. All this means that now there is no need to wrestle the bike in corners and you feel more confident while taking on corners.

The Dunlop tires also offer excellent grip and stay glued to the road. However, the suspension is tuned on the softer side which makes you realize that the bike comes with certain limitations. The ride quality is plush and footpegs set on the forward side. This makes spending long hours on the seat a breezy affair. The ride height is now lower and the bike provides a mix of comfort and performance in terms of its ride and handling.

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Chassis 

Twin-spar

Steel Downtube

Perimeter

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

120/70 ZR17

120/70 ZR17

120/70 ZR17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

160/60 ZR17


180/55 ZR17


160/60 ZR17


Front Suspension

41mm telescopic fork

41mm Showa separate function adjustable inverted fork

38mm KYB telescopic fork

Rear Suspension

Linked mono-shock with preload adjustability

Pro-link mono-shock

Monoshock

Seat height(mm)

790

810

795


Ground Clearance (mm)

130

132

150

Kerb Weight(kg)

193

210

226

Starting System

Self

Self

Self

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 is the lightest bike in its segment and it also feels so while taking on fast corners. The CBR 650R meanwhile offers a neutral riding stance which makes it a dedicated machine as well as a good daily driver. The CF Moto 650 offers the most comfortable ride and seating position in this comparison. 

How sharp-looking is the new Kawasaki Ninja 650 look?

In terms of looks, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 looks nothing like the outgoing model. The new bike gets sharper cuts and creases than the previous one. It now looks more aggressive as well as more imposing. Kawasaki has given it an all-new console that changes colour on the basis of how hard you are riding the bike. The wide handlebar has been replaced by sportier clip-ons which adds to the looks as well as handling of the bike. 

The overall design has been inspired by Kawasaki’s ZX 10 R which is a much more expensive bike. But the bike looks quite compact and there is a good chance you might mistake it for its younger sibling the, Ninja 350. Overall, the bike has lost a lot of bulk and now looks quite sporty.


Aesthetic Features

  • Full Sporty cowl
  • LED Headlamp
  • Racing Muffler
  • Windshield
  • Digital Instrument Cluster

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR 650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Length (mm)

2,055 

2135 

2100 

Width (mm)

740 

749 

930 

Height(mm)

1,145 

1149 

1340

Wheelbase(mm)

1,410

1,449

1415

The CBR 650R looks quite subtle while the CF Motto 650 looks overdone and cluttered in terms of its design. The Ninja 650 is the best looking bike of the lot overall. While the other two bikes are not at all bad with the looks, the Ninja 650 is quite a head-turner.

What are the various safety and class-leading features available?

This time around, Kawasaki has provided many features which makes the bike safer. For starters. It finally gets a dual-channel ABS. It also gets a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen. The windshield now has three positions covering a total range of 60 mm. Coming to the headlight and the taillight, both now run only on LEDs.

Overall, the addition of small features make the bike a lot safer to ride than the previous one.

Motorcycle

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Honda CBR650R

CFMoto 650 GT

Features

Dual Split LED headlight

Triple Split LED headlight

Twin-Projector Headlamps


Fully digital instrument cluster

Fully digital instrument cluster

Perimeter frame


Windshield

Windshield

Clear LED tail lamp


Dual-Channel ABS

Double barrel exhaust

Mid-mounted  exhaust

How does the competition stack up against this Kawasaki?

Kawasaki Ninja 650 vs Honda CBR 650R

Honda has gone all guns blazing in terms of performance in the 650 cc bike segment. The CBR 650R is hands down the fastest bike in the segment. It comes with a superb engine and Honda has given it 2 extra cylinders as well just to keep the rivals in check. In comparison, the Ninja 650 is a more nimble bike and get sharper looks. If price no constraint then the CBR 650R should be your choice but if you are on a budget, the Ninja 650 will make sure that you don’t miss the Honda.

Kawasaki Ninja 650 vs CFMoto 650 GT

As any bike enthusiast would know that CF Moto is a Chinese brand. But that should not restrain you from having a look at the bike as it offers a complete package. It is a sports-tourer which can really ferry around two people in the utmost comfort. Not only it offers a comfortable ride but also quick performance. In comparison to the Ninja 650, the CF Motto 650 is a better bike to undertake long-distance journeys. But in every other way, the Ninja 650 offers more for your money.

Does the 2020 Kawasaki Nina 650  live up to the Kawasaki legacy?

Kawasaki has updated the Ninja 650 in almost every way but has not done much in the engine department. Well, it is not a bad thing at all as what the Ninja 650 offers is value for money. It is a bike which can send some chills down your spine at a twist of a throttle and be your everyday ride companion at the same time. The bike is not what we would call the ultimate sport machine but it is a mixed bag of performance and comfort. This makes it quite versatile and considering the price it comes at, it should certainly be at the top of your buying list.