2012 Ninja 650

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by DOUBLE-O G, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    Well I hope it's better than your description. Could ruin my whole trip :cry

    I know they redesigned the seats in the 2012 model, adding thickness, making them deeper, and rubber mounted so that might be a good thing. The riders seat felt both plush but firm, and was much better than the '07 model I sat on. So maybe there is hope.

    Anyone with a new Ninja have any pillion feedback??
  2. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I did a 900 mile day on the Ninja 650, ain't no thang once your butt gets acclimated.

    One bike you've not mentioned, tim_tom, is the FZ6R. It does have mounting points for cases, a smooooooth 4cyl motor, and a powerband that mimics the two twins you're looking at. reasonably priced, leftovers are ~6k.

    Cortez is a just a scooter rider who sometimes owns motorcycles. Pay him no mind. :D
  3. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    :dog

    I had a couple long trips on mine.

    1500 miles in 2007 spread over 3 days, and a few more similar after that,
    with about 400 mile maximum at once, since my target was that far.

    I fixed my seat with bicycle shorts, I have a lot of those, used to do 3-4k
    miles/year on a bicycle for years!
  4. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    To be honest I haven't given it much thought, I did sit on one at a dealer right next to the 650 as a comparison. After how light the ninja felt, I was surprised by the heavier feeling of the FZ6. Looking at the spec sheets there is little difference in actual weight, but the bike felt heavier to heave around. The Ninja felt a bit like a toy in comparison.

    I have no issues with a heavy bike, my current ride is 600lbs with a half tank of gas. :lol3 Yet once you get moving most of that weight disappears, or at least diminishes a bit. I'm sure the FZ6's inline 4 would be a rocket in comparison and feel a bit more like a bigger motorcycle than the Kaw and Zook. Shame I dislike that half fairing so much, but it can't be that hard to convert it with a euro spec light right?? My current ride is an I4 and I do like that configuration very much...

    One more bike to do research on I guess. Thanks :deal
  5. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The '04-'09 FZ6 and the '09+ FZ6R are very different machines, the R model is heavier, has less peak power but more midrange, and the full fairing.

    Apparently the seat has a reversible bracket so you can run two different seat heights, it seems like a pretty reasonable bike. Long valve adj interval, and built by Yamaha rather than Kawi, which is worth a couple hundred bucks IMO.

    [​IMG]
  6. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    And worse brakes, worse suspension, frame, everything.

    It's the perfect BLAH bike for someone who wants a quality machine,
    and no vibrations.

    I don't like it.

    I'd take the Bandit 650 (GSX650F) or CBF600S over it any day.
  7. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    Interesting. Doing some research I found a comparison from 2009 with the ER6n, FZ6R, and Gladius. They praised the frame and suspension of the Yammie being the best for road holding, especially on bumpy roads. They also liked the engine for it's improved drive ability, but it is down on power from both other options. They thought the SFV looked the best, had the best motor, but needed suspension tweaks and a new seat to be comfortable (or maybe they are just wimps?). The nude ninja did well, placed second because it was more comfortable than the Suzuki.

    I NEED it to be Bike Show time so I can get up close to these bikes myself. If only they allowed test rides there. The Suzuki is still elusive...


    As far as I know, neither of those bikes ever made it to the US. Only midsize Bandit would be a used 600.
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    We did get the GSX650SF for a couple of years. She's heavy, though.
  9. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    That's right I do recall seeing one. Looked pretty portly. I'd still rather have an old air / oil cooled bandit 600 than the GSX650F. Simpler and reliable as a brick.
  10. Ninja Dan

    Ninja Dan Adventurer

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    I did take a passenger on a short ride at a rally. We probably went all of forty miles. She told me it was her favorite bike to ride that day and that she was comfy. She was a small gal though, well smaller than average so take that into consideration.

    As far as rider accommodations go I love the current Ninja seat. It is all day comfortable with no stress points for me. My last bike had a Corbin seat and after about 100 miles I needed to stretch, pushing 200 and it was painful. Of course we are all built differently so your mileage may vary. For context I weigh about 165 lbs. and am 5'11" tall.

    Someone mentioned the FZ6R, I tested them both back to back and thought the Yamaha was the better bike over the Kawasaki. I couldn't bring myself to buy one, the fairing design, especially the front is so damn ugly. The instrument cluster was cheap too in a budget bike kinda way. If you can get past those two points take a look.

    I also like the FZ6 and if the motor had been tuned more for street riding it would have been my choice hands down. Just too darn peaky for me. Great bike though and much better quality than the Ninja or FZ6R.

    I like the GSX650F too. Truthfully any of these bikes would make a good sport tourer, you just need to find the one that meets your criteria. The Ninja 650 did it for me. Just pick one and ride.
  11. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    Dan thanks again for your first hand experience. That makes for more valuable feedback than the MC testers who ride too many bikes for not long enough and yet can sway many people towards or away from a bike.

    A seat with no stress points is the key to butt comfort. Certainly the drivers seat felt good in the showroom. Glad to hear your pillion liked riding back there. My pillion is very petite so that is probably a valid comparison.

    Appreciate your input.
  12. Ninja Dan

    Ninja Dan Adventurer

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    No problem Tim_Tom. As I mentioned earlier, the Ninja 650 has a very abrupt throttle, it makes in town riding a rather interesting experience when you are two up.
  13. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    One of the reasons I bought a scooter to go with my 650R.
    When I upgraded the scoot from 50cc to 125cc, I stopped riding the 650R
    almost completely.

    Unusable around town for 2up especially.
    I would actually return my 650R to the garage a mile away and pick up the
    scoot when I knew that I had some two-up riding to do (usually a 5
    minute ride).
  14. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    When I get on the bike it isn't to run to the grocery store down the street. I pick up the quickest way OUT of town and go have fun in the countryside. An abrupt throttle is far from a deal breaker for me.
  15. Ninja Dan

    Ninja Dan Adventurer

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    It wasn't for me either Tim_Tom. I should warn you, the engine braking is also fairly severe. Between that and the throttle it can make for a jarring ride. Of course once you've had the bike for some time you adapt to the throttle and understand how to use it better and the strong engine braking has it's benefits as well.

    I know I sound a bit negative in those comments but believe me, the good far out weighs the bad for the current Ninja 650.

    Cortez, I see you have the Downtown 300i maxi scoot. That is a very nice bike, KYMCO makes some of the best machines around.
  16. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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    Cool I can save money on brake pads then! :evil

    Speaking of brakes, anyone have any feedback / ideas about how the ABS functions on the new 2013's? It could mean a $1500-2000 difference between a softly used 2012 and a new 2013 ABS. I know the Euro models have had ABS for some time so it would be cool if someone over there had some feedback on the system.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Will ABS be worth the extra coin or better to spend that extra money on some farkles (that I'd want anyway) like frame sliders and soft bags?

    I can't find too much about them, and have never ridden an ABS bike before, and there are plenty of opinions about ABS...
  17. neo1piv014

    neo1piv014 ADV in training

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    ABS is nice when you have it, but I'd rather spend that money on the frame sliders and luggage if I were in the same position. You can get a lot of stuff for $2000. That's easily a Corbin seat + ST windshield + bar risers if you wanted to go the touring route. It's also a lot of performance mods if you wanted to make it a track friendly machine. ABS is awesome, but I don't know if it's worth $2000.
  18. antwon412

    antwon412 Been here awhile

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    I just ordered a set of bar riser. I'll give a report once I have installed them.

    1" up and back.

    Next paycheck will be the peg lowering blocks. Down 1.3".
  19. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    I'll chime in on the comfort of the 12 Ninja 650's stock seat as well. Put a couple hundred miles on one and it is by far the most comfortable sporty bike seat I have ever sat on. Felt even better than my K1200LT if you can believe that.

    I'm 6' 180 and it fit me perfect.
  20. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Amen to that. :freaky

    The engine braking is also a good point, I've locked up the rear wheel on
    my first ride at least 3 times, just letting go of the throttle in 2nd gear.
    I was NOT expecting that.

    But I've had more issues with the surging and the reaction to throttle when
    opening it up, even when clutching it a bit.

    I used my bike as an all-rounder, commute, shopping, joy rides, 2 up, it
    needed to do it all, and for that, it wasn't a good choice IMHO.

    The Downtown, however, is.. and I can still do 80mph corners at 80mph
    just like I did on the Kawi, the suspension and brakes can take it, I just
    miss that 72hp engine.