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Old 10-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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.

-travel computer

-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 :

-engine sound

-brakes

-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 .
Attached Thumbnails
My 2012 650 review after 7000 miles on it.-potato1.jpg   My 2012 650 review after 7000 miles on it.-potato-2.jpg  
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Last edited by venom400; 10-01-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Couldn't have said it better myself, mine just hit 7k also, my rear tire had cords showing right at 6500 miles on it. I find the seat to be pretty decent for stock, have ridden for almost 3 hours and wasn't sore. But I'm loving it so far! Has been a great bike, great mpg and fun to ride.
Ohh, how does it feel with a 180 on it?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just over 14,000 miles on my 2012 now and i would agree wityh what you said. i did a little review (i think 7000mile review) about 6 months back

Can i just ask one question..... You have a 180 section rear tyre??? I hope you have a wider wheel (ZX6 / ZX10R) also?
No gain to be had from a wider tyre at all, slows down turn in and that tyre might not be the correct rating for your 72bhp Ninja, meaning it will take a lot longer to warm up... But it does look good
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice review. I've got about 2500 km's on my 2013 650 and I really love it. You are completely right in saying it's a well-balanced, jack-of-all-trades kind of bike. Does the job well and has lots of power for fun. Also great around the curves.

It's funny, I went to breakfast with my roommate on our bikes a few weekends ago, and two guys were leaving, one had an older kawasaki supersport and the other guy an r6 supersport, both nice bikes. They actually went over and checked out my bike for a good minute, looked over at me and gave the thumps up :P Now I don't feel as bad not having a supersport, as this bike is perfect for the street. Now I need an exhaust to get rid of the boring stock idle sound!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamhamz View Post
Couldn't have said it better myself, mine just hit 7k also, my rear tire had cords showing right at 6500 miles on it. I find the seat to be pretty decent for stock, have ridden for almost 3 hours and wasn't sore. But I'm loving it so far! Has been a great bike, great mpg and fun to ride.
Ohh, how does it feel with a 180 on it?
Sent from my HTC Shitbox
The sit is awesome for a sport bike , meh for a standard , it is right in the middle .

The 180 .. well .. it is hard to explain how it feels like , it feels almost the same ,it kinda felt more stable with the 160 I am not going to lie , but the tire is brand new so that may be a factor , but the difference is so minor it really does not bother me , after 5 hours on it I am actually used to it now so it feels the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 636karl View Post
Just over 14,000 miles on my 2012 now and i would agree wityh what you said. i did a little review (i think 7000mile review) about 6 months back

Can i just ask one question..... You have a 180 section rear tyre??? I hope you have a wider wheel (ZX6 / ZX10R) also?
No gain to be had from a wider tyre at all, slows down turn in and that tyre might not be the correct rating for your 72bhp Ninja, meaning it will take a lot longer to warm up... But it does look good
It is on the same wheel , the Zx-6 has a 220 I think , the dealer installed the tire and they were the ones to recommend it to me actually , there is plenty of clearence around the swing arm , and the tire does not look bubbled at all , I could probably put a 220 if I switch the wheel but you do have a point , that would be way too much tire for 72 hp lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bboytaktix View Post
Very nice review. I've got about 2500 km's on my 2013 650 and I really love it. You are completely right in saying it's a well-balanced, jack-of-all-trades kind of bike. Does the job well and has lots of power for fun. Also great around the curves.

It's funny, I went to breakfast with my roommate on our bikes a few weekends ago, and two guys were leaving, one had an older kawasaki supersport and the other guy an r6 supersport, both nice bikes. They actually went over and checked out my bike for a good minute, looked over at me and gave the thumps up :P Now I don't feel as bad not having a supersport, as this bike is perfect for the street. Now I need an exhaust to get rid of the boring stock idle sound!
I often catch people taking pictures of it , with me on it and with them next to it , last time I went to bike night a few SS riders with much nicer bikes came over and gave me thumbs up , the 650 is defenitely a looker.

And yes I agree , people with better bikes giving you thumbs up is definitely and insensitive to keep the bike, no one has given me a hard time for riding the 650 like they used to with the 250 lol..

does anyone know some good upgrade brakes ? I honestly feel the brakes are horrible and not proper for any kind of aggressive riding.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by venom400 View Post


I often catch people taking pictures of it , with me on it and with them next to it , last time I went to bike night a few SS riders with much nicer bikes came over and gave me thumbs up , the 650 is defenitely a looker.

And yes I agree , people with better bikes giving you thumbs up is definitely and insensitive to keep the bike, no one has given me a hard time for riding the 650 like they used to with the 250 lol..

does anyone know some good upgrade brakes ? I honestly feel the brakes are horrible and not proper for any kind of aggressive riding.

I honestly like the brakes okay. Sure they could have a BIT more bite, although with my limited experience, I have been locking the rear brake when stopping hard. Fixed that problem now that I've been riding a couple thousand km's, the front brake is pretty decent when you progressively squeeze it harder. Enough for those "OH SHIT!" stops, granted they could have a tad more stopping power.
I can't wait to order sport bars though, really sets off the look of the new 650's and I want the stance as well because the stock bars are too high for me!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It is on the same wheel , the Zx-6 has a 220 I think , the dealer installed the tire and they were the ones to recommend it to me actually , there is plenty of clearence around the swing arm , and the tire does not look bubbled at all , I could probably put a 220 if I switch the wheel but you do have a point , that would be way too much tire for 72 hp lol.
huh? no, most all 600's use a 180 rear.
220? wtf are you talking about. where are you getting your information?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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huh? no, most all 600's use a 180 rear.
220? wtf are you talking about. where are you getting your information?
Ah sorry , I must had miss read when I looked at my friends tire or it was changed to something else.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Liter bikes only use a 190(200 in the case of the Aprilia RSV4 Factory and Ducati 1199).

You would know something was wrong if a 600 had a 220 on it. It would have to have a wider wheel and swingarm.


As for it being too much tire for the bike, you have already got that. A 180 is too much for your bike for what you do especially considering the wheel width you have. If it feels the same that's only because you don't have the skill or feel to notice the big difference between how the bike handles now vs how it used to handle
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nothing wrong with a 160. Most 650 twin race bikes run 160's, even with built superbike motors making 25 hp more than stock.

It handles differently with the 180 on there because you have it pinched on a rim that is too small for it. It squeezes the tire and makes it taller, which raises the back of the bike and makes the geometry sharper.
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