2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (ABS) | Preview

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2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Since its debut in 2006, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 has provided a practical sportbike platform, offering comfort, aggressive styling, a responsive perimeter-style frame and a bulletproof parallel twin.

An immediate favorite of newbies to the sportbike scene, the mid-weight ninja was lacking some newbie-friendly tech features, though, such as ABS. But Kawasaki has changed this for the 2013 Ninja 650, offering the bike with optional ABS for $8,099 for a mere $500 over the MSRP of the standard Ninja 650.

The character of the 2013 Ninja 650 begins with the compact, liquid-cooled 649cc parallel twin with Digital Fuel Injection, which features 38mm throttle bodies with sub-throttles for “precise fueling and optimum response.”

The twin features much technology, arriving with dual-overhead cams that act on eight lightweight valves, lightweight pistons, and a 180-degree crank assembly. The engine, which is hooked to six-speed transmission, produces optimal low- and mid-range torque, all while getting a distance-friendly 50 mpg.

The narrow engine is contained within a twin-pipe perimeter frame that offers “balanced rigidity, and a narrow-waisted design for a comfortable reach to the ground,” the Ninja 650 offering a friendly 31.7-inch seat height. The slim frame utilizes a swingarm with forged axle holders, allowing the rear wheel to arc through its suspension travel, providing further aesthetics.

Up front, the Ninja 650 features a 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork that offers 4.9 inches of suspension travel, with a single offset laydown shock with adjustable spring preload offering 5.1 inches of travel out back. The bike rolls on six-spoke, lightweight aluminum wheels wrapped in Dunlop’s Roadsmart II tires, helping to achieve the “sporty-yet-comfortable” ethos that please the Ninja 650 fan.

And all points where the rider meets the motorcycle – the handlebar, saddle and footpets – are rubber mounted for vibration control, adding additional comfort. The Ninja 650 also features upright ergonomics, and an instrument panel that features an analog tachometer situated above an LCD info-center that displays speed, fuel consumption, remaining range, trip meters, etc., plus a swath of info-lights to the right.

And along with the performance and comfort of the Ninja 650 arrives sportbike styling. Kawasaki borrowed many styling techniques from the Ninja’s siblings, such as the sharp and defined lines of the ZX-10R. Kawasaki says the body parts add to its aerodynamic tendencies, while an adjustable, 3-position windscreen allows riders to tailor the cockpit’s still-air cocoon for maximum riding comfort. Engine heat is routed rearward, further adding to the comfort level.

Performance, comfort, and aggressive bodywork all define the Ninja 650. But for 2013, additional safety is added to this mix with the optional ABS.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (ABS).

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (ABS) Features:

New for 2013: Optional ABS Disc Brakes

  • ABS brakes offer excellent performance and enhanced confidence in adverse conditions
  • Compact, lightweight ABS unit is highly effective without weighing the bike down
  • Dual 300mm front petal-shaped disc brakes with twin-piston calipers and a single 220mm rear petal-shaped disc deliver plenty of braking power
  • Front brake master cylinder features a 14mm piston for smooth actuation

Smooth, Torquey, Quick-Revving, 649cc Parallel-Twin Engine

  • Liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve fuel-injected twin cylinder engine delivers smooth, responsive performance, especially in the low- to medium-rpm range
  • Strong mid-range power produces exceptional roll-on response and impressive passing performance, to help make even commuter traffic more enjoyable
  • A 180-degree crankshaft-driven balancer shaft minimizes vibration and pulls double-duty as the water pump drive
  • Oil jets on the connecting rod big ends spray oil on the underside of the pistons to aid cooling
  • Lightweight plug-mounted ignition coils deliver a hot spark and save space
  • High-capacity radiator for optimum cooling efficiency
  • Engine coolant travels directly to the engine cases, then follows internal passages to the cylinder and head for minimum external plumbing and a simplified cooling system

Digital Fuel Injection

  • Digital Fuel Injection (DFI) settings boost the engine’s bottom-end power while still letting it rev freely
  • Sub-throttle valve equipped 38mm Keihin throttle bodies offer optimum performance and rideability
  • Located behind the main throttle valves, the sub-throttles are controlled by the DFI system’s ECU for precise response
  • Auto fast-idle system simplifies starting and helps ensure that the catalyzer reaches optimum temperature quickly
  • Lightweight fuel pump is mounted inside the fuel tank

Compact Engine Design

  • Powerful twin-cylinder engine is the most compact in its category, which helps reduce the dimensions of the entire motorcycle and allows use of a slim twin-pipe perimeter frame
  • Triangular setup of the crankshaft and transmission shafts makes the engine dimensionally short front-to-back
  • Transmission input shaft, output shaft and gear-change drum are contained in a cassette-style package that allows a compact layout and eases transmission maintenance
  • Semi-dry sump design reduces engine height
  • Plated, linerless aluminum cylinders with a narrow cylinder pitch keep the engine light and slim
  • Low Emissions
  • Efficient fuel injection and a three-way catalyzer inside the exhaust produce very low emissions, able to pass stringent Euro III emissions regulations
  • 300-cell catalyzer is compact and light

Vibration Control

  • Rubber-mounted seat, handlebar and footpegs (rider’s and passenger’s) keep vibration low and comfort as high as possible
  • A 180-degree crankshaft-driven balancer shaft minimizes vibration and pulls double-duty as the water pump drive

Rigid Twin-pipe Perimeter Frame

  • Slim, low, lightweight, rigid and compact frame design is narrow at the knees and footpegs for optimum rider comfort and control
  • The strong steel perimeter frame wraps around the engine for optimum rigidity, rivaling that of all-aluminum designs
  • Optimal frame rigidity is achieved through extensive computer analysis, which translates to superb handling
  • The frame and swingarm designs flow together aesthetically, and work with the suspension components to offer maximum wheel control
  • Short front-to-back engine dimensions allow for a longer swingarm and a shorter wheelbase, which contributes to the Ninja 650’s light and nimble handling
  • Under-engine muffler placement aids mass centralization and yields a low center of gravity
  • Clean frame joint welds highlight the bike’s overall quality and attention to detail

Stylish Twin-pipe Swingarm

  • Swingarm is tuned to complement the frame’s flex and rigidity characteristics
  • Swingarm’s upper right tube has a D-shaped cross section for strength and light weight
  • Swingarm shape and design contributes to the Ninja 650’s high-quality appearance

Suspension

  • Settings on the 41mm conventional fork and preload-adjustable laydown shock offer optimum ride comfort without sacrificing wheel control during sport riding
  • Fork lowers wrap-around the axle shaft adding to the bike’s high-quality image

Comfortable, Confidence-inspiring Ergonomics

  • A wide handlebar, two-piece seat and optimal footpeg placement result in a comfortable and natural seating position which suits a wide range of riders
  • Backbone-type subframe offers a low seat height and a narrow footpeg placement for precise feel and excellent comfort, the narrowness also makes it easier for riders to reach to the ground
  • The offset single-shock rear suspension layout along with a smaller battery also contribute to the low seat height
  • This low seat height and slim overall design make it easy to plant both feet firmly on the ground when stopped – a bonus for newer riders

Sleek, Supersport-inspired Bodywork

  • A dual headlight design within the fairing’s angular upper section features multi-reflector bulb hoods and twin position lights – like its Ninja supersport brethren
  • A 3-way adjustable windscreen deflects air away from the rider, creating a still-air envelope and reducing wind buffeting at higher speeds
  • Large capacity fuel tank meshes perfectly with the radically shaped fairing
  • Distinctive Ninja supersport design elements enhance the Ninja 650’s sporty image and compact appearance
  • Integrated front turn signals feature clear lenses and amber bulbs
  • A sleek tail cowl featuring a thin LED taillight accentuates the bodywork’s radical appearance
  • Inner rear fender helps keep the underside of the tail cowl clean
  • Turn signals also function as flashing hazard lights
  • A front fender minimizes water splash, while its shape matches the Ninja 650’s bodywork styling
  • Supersport-type mirrors – like those on Kawasaki’s ZX-10R and 6R – accentuate the bike’s aggressive styling

6-Spoke Aluminum Wheels

  • Attractive six-spoke supersport-style wheels augment the bike’s lightweight look and reduce unsprung weight for superb suspension action

Instruments/Controls

  • Multi-function instrumentation includes a fuel gauge, digital speedometer, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, economical riding (ECO) indicator, and an analog tachometer above the LCD info-pod
  • Clock and trip meter can be viewed simultaneously
  • Easy-to-read LCD screen offers riders quick, at-a-glance information on a variety of systems
  • Ignition switch is located at the top of the tank assembly, which gives a clearer view to the Ninja 650’s instruments

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve, parallel twin
  • Displacement: 649cc
  • Bore x stroke: 83.0 x 60.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.8:1
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Fuel injection: Digital fuel injection with two 38mm Keihin throttle bodies
  • Ignition: TCBI with electronic advance
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • Final drive: O-ring chain
  • Frame: Twin-pipe perimeter design, high-tensile steel
  • Rake / trail: 25 degrees / 4.3 in.
  • Wheelbase: 55.5 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork / 4.9 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Single offset laydown shock with adjustable spring preload / 5.1 in.
  • Front tire: Dunlop Roadsmart II 120/70×17
  • Rear tire: Dunlop Roadsmart II 160/60×17
  • Front brake: ABS with dual 300mm petal discs and two-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: ABS with single 220mm petal disc and single piston caliper
  • Overall length: 83.1 in.
  • Overall width: 30.3 in.
  • Overall height: 46.5 in.
  • Seat height: 31.7 in.
  • Curb weight: 465.3 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 4.2 gal.

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Color Options/MSRP:

  • Pearl Stardust White / $7,599 ($8,099 ABS)
  • Candy Thunder Blue / $7,599 ($8,099 ABS)
  • Metallic Flat Spark Black / $7,599 ($8,099 ABS)