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Old 12-21-2005, 06:12 AM   #41
BrowningBAR
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

I am really interested in this bike. I like the standard ergos and more wind protection (it seems) than the others in this category.



I'm looking for something fun around town but could also do some light touring with. I'm not looking for a big@ass engine or a ton of horsepower. I just want something fun on back roads and can handle highway speeds all day if needed. Something along the lines of Philly to Pittsburg.



You mentioned you had no buffering, but would have like to have the wind screen raised to take the windblast off of your upper body. How bad was this? Or was it simply noticeable and not problematic. How would the bike feel at highway speeds?



I don't recall seeing anything in terms of gas mileage. Any info on this?



Thanks for the review!

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Old 12-21-2005, 06:13 AM   #42
BrowningBAR
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Odd, my post ended under someone elses as a reply. Here it is again:



I am really interested in this bike. I like the standard ergos and more wind protection (it seems) than the others in this category.



I'm looking for something fun around town but could also do some light touring with. I'm not looking for a big@ass engine or a ton of horsepower. I just want something fun on back roads and can handle highway speeds all day if needed. Something along the lines of Philly to Pittsburg.



You mentioned you had no buffering, but would have like to have the wind screen raised to take the windblast off of your upper body. How bad was this? Or was it simply noticeable and not problematic. How would the bike feel at highway speeds?



I don't recall seeing anything in terms of gas mileage. Any info on this?



Thanks for the review!
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:28 AM   #43
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

LOVE the bike. I've got an NT650 Hawk and a Z1000, so this is right up my alley, especially with the Hawk being for sale.



I have two questions for MO:



1) A guess as to performance vs the SV650? Qualitative assessment is fine (e.g. "about as fast, handles a little slower" or whatever). I know you have to put them back to back, but take a stab at it.



2) Like the SV and Hawk, this thing wasn't designed to race, but is destined to find itself there. Does it seem to you to have the stuff for the job?
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:46 AM   #44
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Plastic - The New Chrome.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:06 AM   #45
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Actually, we have one in our garage that my wife bought for herself and initially Kawi had reported that it had "an ultra low seat height of 28in" and it is really 30.9in so with you guys calling it 30 inches that is even wrong. It is closer to 31 than to 30 and is the same height as the Katana 600. No big difference there Kawi so so much for their "designing a bike for every rider" They can go back to the drawing board for that one.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:16 AM   #46
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

"You mentioned you had no buffering, but would have like to have the wind screen raised to take the windblast off of your upper body. How bad was this? Or was it simply noticeable and not problematic. How would the bike feel at highway speeds?"

To answer both parts of that question: Simply noticeable and not problematic.

"I don't recall seeing anything in terms of gas mileage. Any info on this?"

This and similar questions, i.e. "What was the wet weight?" Horsepower? Torque?, etc., have cropped up. To clarify again, this was a press introduction, one day ride. The answer to those questions, especially on a bike like this are almost never mentioned by the OEM, nor would we have any way to determine such in so little time. Rest assured we will be acquiring one as soon as possible to answer those questions. Additionally, trust that we want to compare it to an SV650 as badly as anyone.

To answer your larger question, I'd say this bike would be ideal for the kind of riding you describe that you want to do.--Pete


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Old 12-21-2005, 08:32 AM   #47
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Since no journalist in attendance was carrying a tape measure, we could only take what Kawasaki told us at face value. Additionally, a .9" variance against Kawasaki's claim could be perceived as negligible. Certainly there will always be debate on the actual measuring points. When I worked in the bicycle industry, this occurred routinely. Using the same method on different brands, all claiming the same frame size, actual measurements would vary widely.

I'm sorry to hear it doesn't seem to fit your wife. How tall is she? Or more correctly what is her inseam? Two of the journalists on hand (one was a woman) were well under 5'6", with one of them having a particularly short inseam. Both were happy with the fit. Perhaps you and your wife can find some adjustment. Ultimately I think she'll love the bike.--Pete
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:37 AM   #48
BrowningBAR
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Thanks for the feedback.



Sorry, didn't mean to bet the mileage thing to death, but I guess what I was referring to wasn't actual miles per gallon, but more in terms of whether you suspected the 4.1 gallon gas tank to be sufficient for touring. But considering you answered my larger question, I guess it will be fine.



Again, thanks for the feedback! Not many sites or pubs out there gives you an opportunity to get your questions answered by the writer.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:39 AM   #49
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Ah hah! Finally a "beginner" bike from Kawasaki that I might actually be interested in. Don't get me wrong you EX250/500 lovers, they're fine I'm sure but this one is real competition for the SV650, 599 and FZ6. Of course there is that nice Z750S...



Jon
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:44 AM   #50
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Default Re: First Ride: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja® 650R

Taking a stab (blindfolded and in the dark), the 650R will give the SV a competitive run in the handling dept. It is our intention, as soon as possible, to pit them against one another. So hold tight.

As for it's competitiveness, it has all the basics in place. I'm not certain that it will out pace the SV but with braking and suspension upgrades (usually the first stuff to go once it's headed to the track, no?) the 650R should stick like glue in every turn.--Pete
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