2012 Ninja 650

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by cabanza, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    Absolutely right. These two bikes are so close in specs yet so different in reality. Only really way to be sure which one fits the rider better is to ride them both!

    Can you describe the ninja's motor characteristics? I've ridden a first gen SV and a '12 Wee so I have a good idea of what to expect from an SFV but I've never had the chance to ride the Kaw 650.
  2. cls

    cls Long timer

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    If I can throw in my 2 cents' worth: the Ninja feels more torquey and workman-like, while the SV feels more revvy and sporty. It made the Ninja preferable for the public road bike I wanted, whereas the SV always felt like it was trying too hard and didn't quite have enough to pull it off. This is strictly my take on it and may not make sense to anyone else. The SV has a wickedly good motor. The delivery and the feel just didn't come across for what I wanted in this kind of bike. If I'm going sporty/performance, I want big-bore. If that helps, great; if not, pretend it never happened.
  3. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    According to wiki the ex650 starting in 12 is up by 5+ hp,and 2+ on torque ,lower rpms ,lower cr, so some work has been done on this bike all around.
  4. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    Thank you for your input. Much appreciated. Interesting that you saw the Kaw motor has the low end grunt, and the Zook motor likes to rev. Due to the engines layout (parallel vs V-twin) I'd think that the opposite would be the case, but what do I know right??

    These power gains are over the previous model Ninja correct? From my research the SFV power and '12 Ninja 650 power and torque figures are nearly identical. With the Kaw putting out 1-2 more ft/lbs while the SV has 1-2 more HP.


    And just because I like naked frames here is the Suzuki's.

    [​IMG]

    VERY Monster-like don't you think?? :wink:
  5. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    It's got a bit less grunt up to about 6000 revs, then has a nice 7000-9000
    kick like an inline 4. Doesn't feel as lumpy. Feels like it has less torque.
  6. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Damn.
    That's exactly the opposite of what I just wrote.

    The SV never felt that fast from 7 to 9k like a Ninja to me, it was more
    linear.
  7. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The Ninja has plenty of midrange, there's just a little hole around 6k (for emissions, perhaps?) that makes the rush to 10k feel like more than it is. My $0.02 after 25k miles.

    My test ride on an '12 was more linear in delivery but still really robust in the midrange. Great street motor, IMO, and would run away from my FZ6 in an urban or very twisty environment.
  8. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Never said/implied that the midrange isn't good, it's great, but it felt
    "fatter" on the SV. You're probably right about 5-6k hole. Just a bit flat there.

    I used to shift at 4k around town, keeping it around 3500 all the time.. the
    bike has A LOT of pull down low for normal riding.

    I couldn't keep up with a friend on a FZ6 if he kept it on the boil.
    Not a chance.
    Better suspension too.

    Interesting to hear about the engine tweaks tho, it's probably closer to
    a Versys now! Gotta try a new ER6n..
  9. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The front end on the FZ6 is massively undersprung for anyone nearing 200lbs. Its a damn pogo stick on corner entrance. I plan to address that this winter with new fork springs and oil.

    The Ninja was underdamped everywhere, and pretty harsh, but it always stayed neutral and I was more comfortable flogging it. Faster transitions, shorter wheelbase, narrower between the legs. Just a really fun bike.

    Get out where you can wind the FZ6 up in 2nd and 3rd gear, big open sweepers, and its another story. :ricky For most of my riding, the FZ6 is better. But there are times, lots of them, when I miss the 650R.
  10. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    I never ran it that hard to have issues with the front (the FZ6), but
    noticed it was softer then 650R and liked the comfort. I had no
    feedback but I thought that was because I was on a borrowed bike.
    :D

    650R has a pogo stick on the rear.

    That's true.
    I never had an issue with it riding it hard, and by hard I mean 5-6k revs
    made it go plenty fast riding the torque curve a gear too high. Always
    enjoyed that.

    However, the lack of smoothness, surging, vibrations and stuff like that
    got on my nerves fast when I just wanted to cruise at 40mph in 5th
    around town.

    +1

    I forgot the FZ6 needs to be over 60mph to really go, that was just
    the start of the power band in 2nd gear if I remember correctly.

    It went up to around 60-65 in first, and Ninja went up to about 40mph
    at over 10k?

    With the FZ6 at anything over 8k, it's faster then the 650R anywhere,
    and I prefer to ride smooth when going fast too, so I liked the FZ better
    for anything other then it's torque below 6k, but that's something I could
    live with.

    If I were buying new, I'd get the naked FZ6 S2 now.

    [​IMG]
  11. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    One other thing.
    It's clear that both of us would probably own both of those
    bikes if possible in our garages. Do you think anyone would
    think that's normal? :huh

    Most people would say it's the same freakin' bike class, why bother.

    The truth is, they couldn't be more different.

    Don't know if you tried the Hornet 600 (Honda 599), the old one (pre 2007,
    round headlight) - that thing has .. subjectively.. 30% more torque then FZ6
    at the midrange, and the same (if not better) kick at the top. It's amazing.

    ..and the numbers are the same.
  12. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The 599 was stupid expensive and never sold well here.

    I'd have a Kawi and the FZ6 in the garage. That's probably weird, but here we are. :lol3

    The version of the Kawi I'd buy is the ER-6N. That's where that motor belongs, in a light, lean, naked package. Perfect complement to the Fazer. :1drink
  13. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    The Honda 599 was only brought to the US for a limited time, and they are hard to find used. What about a Triumph STR (or Daytona, if you can handle the ergos)? My understanding is that the torque band is both wide and deep for a 675cc motor.
  14. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    The 599 was 8-10% more then a FZ6S (fairing) here, or about the same
    as the FZ6 S2 ABS, but there were also a lot more FZ6 here then 599s.

    And about 4 times more Kawi Z750.
    I live in a city with around 130k people.
    There were _TWO_ 650R's, and probably over 25 Z750's.

    True.
    But the N version was like 10lbs lighter, if even that much. :cry
    Small difference.

    Don't know if it's still the same as 1st gen, the naked version had
    shorter wheelbase too (fork angle).
  15. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    The Daytona here costs as much as two ER6n's.
    Literally.

    I don't do full-on sports bikes.
    Closest I got to something like that was a Ducati Supersport 1000DS. :huh

    I could live with a VFR800 or Futura tho! :deal
  16. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    +1 I'd much prefer the naked Ninja to the faired bike. Which is why I think I may be leaning in the SFV direction... Won't know for sure until I get up close with one. Shame I don't think the redesigned model ever came to America. Certainly no new ones, and the used ones are rarer than hen's teeth.

    Friend has the Street Triple R. GORGEOUS machine, however much more coin than I'd want to spend on a motorbike. That and the back seat is much like that on a monster, a joke meant to be covered with a paint matched cowl. I need a real backseat. That and I prefer Japanese bikes, because you know, I'm cheap and all. And I like bikes that never break down. (He had to have his STR in the shop for about a week to replace the leaking radiator) :freaky
  17. cls

    cls Long timer

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    Perception is king a lot of the time. Folks read things differently. It keeps things interesting.

    Love the Street Triple but it gets sucky gas mileage. For a smaller bore engine, that's a killer for me. It's always a compromise on anything.
  18. Ninja Dan

    Ninja Dan Adventurer

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    The latest version of the Ninja is very street oriented, good torque down low and strong mid-range, the top end has some power but feels soft, like you know you are running out of steam soon. I just like the characteristics of the SV motor more, how it makes power and how it feels when it's making power, it just makes me smile. That said, I chose the new Ninja for everything else it has, it is such a good overall bike.

    I think one of the biggest nitpicks for the Ninja 650 is the fueling, the throttle is very abrupt in every gear. I was coming from a carbed four cylinder and it took me a while to adapt to the Kawi.

    Unlike most that have posted I wanted a mid-size semi-faired or fully faired bike. I was looking for a mid-size sport tourer and thought I could mod the Ninja to that end. While it's still possible I'm not to thrilled with Kawasaki's US design not having the grab rails for hard luggage options. Of course there are workarounds.
  19. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    Thanks for your review. I am looking for a similar thing in a motorcycle, a midsize sport tourer that is just as happy blasting down a canyon road as covering 600+ miles in comfort. I have no issues riding a naked bike, a detachable windscreen is part of my touring rig so that would go on the SFV and should provide enough wind protection.

    Has anyone had experience using the ninja as a pillion bike? If my favorite passenger is gonna ride to Nova Scotia with me this summer, I want her to be comfortable, or else it'll be bad. I suppose a top box and sheep skin seat would have her falling asleep back there. She is tough though, never complained about 300 mile days before...

    Then again the SFV has grab rails :wink:
  20. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    My GF said the grab rails on my 650R (2007, EU spec) was the only
    good thing about the whole bike.

    She used to complain about the seat after about 50 miles, I could do
    100 at the front. Now, after riding at the back of the NC700X, she
    said the 650R was WAY better.

    Of course, the most comfortable seat is on my current scoot (sig line).

    Most bikes in this class have a horrible seat.
    I was surprised when I jumped on a Dorsoduro that I found the seat more
    comfortable then the Ninja 650R too.

    Again, I'm talking 2007 model so.. things have change, possibly for the
    worse.
    :lol3