My 2012 650 review after 7000 miles on it.
Hi everyone and happy Monday.
Well I finally rolled over 7000 miles and I would like to give some insight on the bike to anyone considering buying one or just for the curious.
Coming from a 250 is really hard to compare it to a SS except for the one time I rode a R6 on and off the the highway .
The 650 is a jack of all trades master of none kinda bike , A swiss Army knife kinda bike , that can be made into a touring bike or into a sport bike with some investment and mods , or it can be left as is and be a nice sport/standard commuter bike .
The bike has enough stability to take corners like a champ ,I have hanged on the side of the bike like a pro on a on ramp and the bike felt steady even when my shoulder was 2 feet off the ground .
Acceleration up to 110 mph is strong , once past that it hits a wall and it slowly moves to 125 mph ind if you push it hard enough , some mods like a power commander , exhaust could probably make this bike brake 130 mph .
MPG is superv ,amongst the best in it's class with 50 mpg in a package that can't be beat, with great looks , for such a budget bike this thing catches a lot of looks , I often catch people taking pictures next to it and rubber necking to catch a look .
The sound is a hit and miss I guess , but my biggest complain about my bike has always been the tractor sound in idle , at higher rpms it has a nice grunt and if you fully open it , it can fool people into thinking that this bike is really fast!
The bike is not slow by bike standards , but it is not fast , it is fast enough to get you in a lot of trouble , it can jump from 70 to 100 mph some times without you even noticing you are going that fast .
The bike looks like quality almost everywhere you look , with a lot of attention to detail almost everware , with it's double tube frame , integrated turn signals and double head light .
The instruments are meh , honestly they could had done away with the ECO Display and instead had water temperature , the MPG average is nice , the range.. well after you ride for a few time you know more or less how much you have less so a range meter is merely there for beginner riders I assume , the white light and sort of bland looking numbers screams "standard" the KOSO 2 on my 250 and even some of the stock SS bikes are way ahead in looks and excitement , it is just not exciting to look at them, but they do their job well by displaying the information to the raider clearly.
The bike is quite heavy (450 pounds or so) but maneuverable and well balanced , for such a heavy bike it really feels nimble , an obvious result of good design.
The passenger sit and pegs are very good , most of my passengers have not complained and in fact tell me that it is quite comfortable for a sport bike (because it is not but they don't know that) .
My only complaint about the bike is how upright it was when I bought it, coming from a 250 it felt like I was riding a cruiser , the problem was easily solved by buying some sport bars for it which I installed with the help of a friend.
The adjustable windscreen may or may not be appealing to you , I tried it on it's highest point and it does not make a noticable effect on comfort at high speeds , I ended up ordering and installing a Ermax screen that actually looks good and protects better protection than stock.
I just had to replace the rear tire to a Micheline pilot 180 at 7000 miles , the stock tire did not last at all , it was already flat on the middle from just commuting ,the bike comes with a 160 rear but the 180 was actually cheaper because it is a higher production one and since it looked better why not .
The chair is a bit harsh on your ass , it will hurt after an hour of riding , but for short trips it does the job well I guess .
The bike seems to run just as good as the day I bought it , it does not consume any oil and starts right up every morning , it has never over heated on me even on the hot summer days of Miami and traffic .
The brakes are pretty bad , I don't know why they bother selling an ABS version of this bike when brakes of this quality are probably un-lockable , this is definitely something that Kawi should look into , a 650 sport edition with better brakes, suspension , and more HP , I have to squeeze the brakes hard to make it do any significant stopping , the 250 had better brakes with only 1 caliper.
When fully open the bike pulls hard , but it is mid range power that is appealing to commuters , you can easily open a bit more power when riding on low RPM (3 to 4k RPM) and you can effortlessly pass cars without having to ring it's neck to hard , but pass 7k and the bike will reward you with a nice pull all the way up to it's modest 11k rpm red line .
Overall a nice buy , not much needs to be done in terms of upgrades to make this bike a long term bike if what you are looking for is commute with nice looks and awesome reliability and MPG .
Strong points :
-Looks like a sport bike.
-Awesome MPG (50 , 48 as tested)
-comfortable for rider and passengers on shorter trips (<1 hour)
-plenty of torque
-plenty of after market parts.
-mild mannered yet powerful.
-adaptivity to sport or tour .
-Handles amazing for a standard.
-plenty of space on the swing arm allows you to upgrade tires easily .
weak points :
-chair can be uncomfortable on long trips over an hour.
-not a sport bike , will make you wish you had more depending on the use you give it .
-weak tires worn out after 6600 miles .
"And the world will be better for this;That one man scorned and covered with scars;Still strove with his last ounce of courage;To reach the unreachable star."
Last edited by venom400; 10-01-2012 at 06:10 PM.