2006-2008 First Generation Ninja 650R: Motor Longevity & Reliability - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3
2006-2008 First Generation Ninja 650R: Motor Longevity & Reliability

Forum Members,

Hello and happy new year!

I am interested in receiving feedback regarding the longevity and reliability of the first generation Ninja 650R. I believe the first generation include the years 2006-2008. After browsing classified ads on motorcycle forums, Craigslist and performing general Google searches, I have learned of many first generation models with mileage between 20,000 - 40,000 miles (32k-64k km). I am sure there are many higher mileage Ninja 650R's on the road.

For those of you who are daily riders and have accumulated significant mileage on your first generation Ninja, please respond with any major engine work that was required during your ownership and at what mileage the failure occurred. I am hoping to learn the motors are relatively solid and only general maintenance was required if:

(1.) the owner did not abuse the Ninja and
(2.) the owner followed Kawasaki's recommended maintenance schedule.

Please include any electrical gremlins or failures experienced with regulators/rectifiers, CDI, stators, starters, oil/water pumps, timing chain/belts, cams/valve issues or items known to fail prematurely and any recommended proactive or preventative maintenance.

Also, what OEM spares would you include in a spares kit for a long journey in a remote area with minimal or no dealer network support?

Finally, what is the highest mileage first generation Ninja 650R you may have encountered on the road, while browsing classified ads or online?

Thanks in advance!

Ride safely.


Last edited by Kunzie; 01-08-2017 at 09:42 PM.
Kunzie is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 03:47 AM
Intermediate Member
GR rider's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Posts: 1,618
Hello and happy New Year

I own a first gen 2006 Er6-n bought brand new ten years ago. I can walk to my job so I don't use it every day as a commuter yet it has never stayed idle for more than a few days as it's ok to ride during the winter here. So I mostly do sporty riding, at least a couple of track days per year, one week long European trip per year and a lot of 90 mile commuting to my summer house almost all year round.

I've done pretty much everything with it except motocross, a few months ago I crossed 9 countries in a week with it with no problems at all, I've crossed the Transylvanian Alps, once I did 1146km in one day form Croatia to Albania, back to back weekend trackdays and the next day this amazing bike was 100% ready for more I love it and totally recommend it!

First gen models are slightly lighter and more powerful, better set up and nimbler but they are also more vibey and the they feel coarser in general when compared to newer models.

Common problems include fuel pump trouble and stator coil - alternator failure. I've ridden mine through appalling conditions without even a hint of electrical problem, in fact I've only changed two bulbs in ten years. There is also a slight oil leak problem from the water pump assembly but most cases were resolved by replacing the pump, the shaft and the gaskets. All these problems mainly, if ever, occur usually after 36.000kms. I've seen bikes with 90k+kms with no major issues though.

So if you buy a used one I would suggest a full service, a fuel pump fuel rate test and probably a stator coil replacement before setting off since these are the main problems that can render you immobile and are hard to fix on the road.

Also, the first gen models have an extremely soft front end and the brakes are more than adequate but without much feel on the lever and you could change the suspension and braking software once you get used to the bike.

PS: Click on my username and go to statics, there you will find a few threads and posts I made through the years with interesting stuff about first gen models
GR rider is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:47 AM
Intermediate Member
BlackDog's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Houston, Texas, United States.
Posts: 3,247
I purchased a new 07 650r when they first came out.
Loved that bike too.
Put over 25k miles on it in the one year I had it. (Before I got in trouble for wheeling it every where, I
traded it for an 08 zx14) On the 650, I ran a 400 mile trip in 5hrs including gas stops. pushing it pretty hard.

But basically it was my daily get around town bike.

it had a factory defect (scaring on the balancer shaft) that caused the oil seal behind the water pump to fail several times and leak oil out of the water pump weep hole, the warranty covered the repair of splitting the cases and replacing the shaft. I was pretty bummed to have my new bike split open, but the dealer did a great job with the fix.

There was also a factory fix with the fairings that buzzed terribly bad around 4k RPM. The fix consisted of some foam tape placed in certain spots to pad the plastic joints.

The suspension was from 1975, but is adequate for the street.

The seat was a little hard.

The handle bars could hit the tank if not adjusted correctly.

Top speed maybe 135-140mph.

Fantastic bike, I really think it is one of the best "getting around the city" bikes Kawi makes.

BlackDog is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
Jr. Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3
GR Rider & Black Dog: Hello. Thank you for your very detailed replies. That is great information and it is appreciated! Take care and ride safely. Kunie
Kunzie is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 09:00 PM
William's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 214
Originally Posted by Kunzie View Post
GR Rider & Black Dog: Hello. Thank you for your very detailed replies. That is great information and it is appreciated! Take care and ride safely. Kunie
I bought a brand new 2007 Kawasaki 650R. I had it for almost 10 years. I only put 16,000 miles on it though. I had zero problems except for fairing buzz. I was gentle on the bike though. I traded it in for
another 2007 Kawasaki 650R but blue with only 2,100 miles.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_0893 (640x480).jpg
Views:	116
Size:	69.3 KB
ID:	126369  
Attached Images
William is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome