2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 First Look: New Electronics and More
The Kawasaki Ninja 650 gets some upgrades this year. Although it is far from a complete redo, there’s enough freshening up of the venerable sport motorcycle to make it worth taking a closer look at the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650.1. The tires are upgraded to Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 Previously, the Ninja 650 got by with Dunlop Sportmax D214 tires. They gave us nothing to complain about, but it’s always good to have the latest tire technology under you. The new tires are the same size as before, so they have no impact on the rake and trail. The rake stays at 24 degrees with the trail measuring 3.9 inches.
2. The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 benefits from a plastics and headlight update. The upper fairing and windshield get their styling cues from the supercharged Ninja H2, and now houses LED headlights. The new windshield sits lower, angled higher, and is flush-mounted. The fairing mounting system is now smoother, and no longer uses bolts.3. Passengers get a new thicker, wider seat. For those who take the Ninja 650 on extended ride with a significant other, this is a big positive.4. When riding, you consult with a new full-color 4.3-inch TFT dash. In addition to being easier to read than the old LCD, the TFT gets enhanced features. The background can be black or white, and the screen brightness automatically adjusts to the ambient light.5. Rideology The App is standard on the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650. We tried the app with the Versys 1000, and it has a wide variety of features. If you get a phone call or email, the app will let you know. To keep your Ninja 650 in tip-top shape, the app keeps you apprised of the status of your vehicle. The riding log feature keeps track of your route, including your speed and how far you are riding. You can also record the riding conditions. If you don’t like pushing buttons to modify the display settings, Rideology The App facilitates you doing it from your smartphone.6. All these improvements come without a price increase. The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 starts at $7399, without ABS. If you want ABS, and we recommend it, add $400 to the price. The KRT Edition has striking graphics for another $200.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Specs
Type: Parallel twin
Displacement: 649 cc
Bore x stroke: 83.0 x 60.0mm
Maximum torque: 48.5 ft/lbs @ 6,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
Fueling: EFI w/ two Keihin 36mm throttle bodies
Transmission: 6-speed w/ Positive Neutral Finder
Final drive: Sealed chain
Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 4.9 inches
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!