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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching what bike to buy for the last three months. At one point, I was seriously thinking about getting the Honda CBR500R, but then I found comments about the tight gear ratio and high engine rev even at speed limit (in US - 60-70mph / 100-115kmh). CBR500R riders were reaching for the non-existent 7th gear while cruising on freeway, which is IMO very annoying.

I mentally switched my research to Ninja 650. So far I haven't seen any complaints like that.

Can 650 owners help me out here? What do you think and feel about its gear ratio and engine rev at 70-80 mph? (10mph above speed limit is usually ok lol). Do you have to change gears often when riding around town?

With 71-hp, I would think the bike should hardly be working when running below 100mph...

Thanks much!!
 

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I own a 2013 ninja 650r. 1st gear I usually shift at about 30-35mph which is like 7-9k rpms. 2nd like 50mph and again not positive but I'd say right around that 7-9k rpms. If I'm cruising back roads by myself I will be in 4th at like 65-70mph and 6500rpms give or take. Highway I usually run 6th gear at like 85mph and ill be at 6500-7000 rpms. I've hit about 10k rpms at like 125mph and that's fastest I've went. All those numbers are just rough estimates and that's when I'm being just a relaxed rider and cruising around the 6k rpms which is my preferred relax riding. If I'm getting on it though and riding hard with my buddies or whatever I usually ride a lot higher rpms so I can get more speed, tourque and power out of it. It's a fun bike and you can do a lot with it but it's beginner friendly too. You will like It for sure.
 

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that looking for a 7th gear will happen to you on almost any bike , probably not on a 1000 but I don't know because I have never been on one.

There is a useful mod you can buy for it, it is a gear indicator that plugs into your cpu , easy to install and it tells you which gear you are on, I actually took it out of my 650 when I sold it and I would sell it to you if you want.
 

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I get about 5000 rpm at 70 mph in 6th. I shift a lot around town, but that's because I shift at 4500-5000 when doing easy in town riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input, guys! These help a lot.

@Hutch "1st gear I usually shift at about 30-35mph which is like 7-9k rpms. 2nd like 50mph and again not positive but I'd say right around that 7-9k rpms. If I'm cruising back roads by myself I will be in 4th at like 65-70mph and 6500rpms give or take. Highway I usually run 6th gear at like 85mph and ill be at 6500-7000 rpms. I've hit about 10k rpms at like 125mph and that's fastest I've went." <--- Thanks for the thorough breakdown. This is great. I think the gear ratio has enough stretch that I won't feel the "strain or grunt".

@Navybob "5000 rpm at 70 mph in 6th" <--- I like this! only at halfway before redlining .. Thanks!

@Venom "There is a useful mod you can buy for it, it is a gear indicator that plugs into your cpu , easy to install and it tells you which gear you are on, I actually took it out of my 650 when I sold it and I would sell it to you if you want" <--- thanks for the offer, but I think I'll get used to the bike and be able to tell by feeling / hearing the engine or glance at the tach.

@Stu "I don't change too much in town. I'm happy to idle along at 3k rpm in top gear." <--- chilling at 3k .. save gas!

I am more convinced now. I will test ride the bike next week, IF i pass my endorsement class & test this coming Sunday ... :eek: .. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Test rode 650 earlier today... Unfortunately it was very brief on local roads with 30-40 speed limits. I was tight on time so I couldn't do it further. I felt it packed lots of power but I also felt like I needed to switch gear very often on local roads. It's probably because I am not used to the bike yet. Will do another longer test ride...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
you will have to shift a lot. its a 650 twin with a 6 speed gearbox.
its meant to be shifted alot.

that said, you can ALSO leave it in a gear and use the engine. they are meant to rev, so dont be afraid to run it higher.
Thanks... next test i will go higher rpm on a freeway

by the way ... i feel the engine is a bit rough and the whole bike has high vibration. is that normal?
 

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Thanks... next test i will go higher rpm on a freeway

by the way ... i feel the engine is a bit rough and the whole bike has high vibration. is that normal?
It is a bike not a mercedes , it will vibrate no matter what,but the twins will vibrate more than a inline 4 and the single cylinder will vibrate even more so than a twin


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Test rode 650 earlier today... Unfortunately it was very brief on local roads with 30-40 speed limits. I was tight on time so I couldn't do it further. I felt it packed lots of power but I also felt like I needed to switch gear very often on local roads. It's probably because I am not used to the bike yet. Will do another longer test ride...
I just rode my new 2012 650 home from the dealership today about 16 miles. Before today, I practiced on my friend's 250.

My take on the 650 is the first two gears are either very short or it accelerates much quicker than I was used to on the 250. But the timing to shift feels the same.

I cheated half way home and would just go off the line from third gear. Found it to be very pleasant and acceleration felt the same. Was easy for me not to stall starting from third and gave me enough time before I had to hit forth.

I don't plan on keeping doing this. I'm just telling you what I noticed coming from a complete newbie. So take what I said with a grain of salt.
 

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I just rode my new 2012 650 home from the dealership today about 16 miles. Before today, I practiced on my friend's 250.

My take on the 650 is the first two gears are either very short or it accelerates much quicker than I was used to on the 250. But the timing to shift feels the same.

I cheated half way home and would just go off the line from third gear. Found it to be very pleasant and acceleration felt the same. Was easy for me not to stall starting from third and gave me enough time before I had to hit forth.

I don't plan on keeping doing this. I'm just telling you what I noticed coming from a complete newbie. So take what I said with a grain of salt.
I too went from a 250 to a 650. It just accelerates quicker. For optimum acceleration, the 1-2 and 2-3 shift points come at about 46 and 66 mph. During normal in town riding I usually do the 1-2 at about 20 and the 2-3 at about 30.
 

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that looking for a 7th gear will happen to you on almost any bike , probably not on a 1000 but I don't know because I have never been on one.

There is a useful mod you can buy for it, it is a gear indicator that plugs into your cpu , easy to install and it tells you which gear you are on, I actually took it out of my 650 when I sold it and I would sell it to you if you want.
I'd consider buying this if it works on my 2012 650. Could you post the mfgr and p/n and price?

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It is a bike not a mercedes , it will vibrate no matter what,but the twins will vibrate more than a inline 4 and the single cylinder will vibrate even more so than a twin
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I ended up with well... Not a Mercedes.. But IMHO even better.. A triumph street triple R... So very smooth and fast.. the triple is a great midpoint compared to the dual or 4.. Plus gear indicator is standard on the instrument display.. And ABS is also standard on 2013+
 

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That Street Triple sounds nice, and you're not the first person I've heard from to say so. It will be one of the bikes I look at when I'm ready to replace my 650.

My other ride actually is a Mercedes. One of the old five cylinder diesels. Aside from a little vibration at idle, it is very smooth. Fast, not so much. Different rides for different purposes. Canyon carving? Ninja. Hauling a hundred bucks worth of groceries, taking four people somewhere, or going 2500 miles to the other side of the country to visit family: Benz.
 

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I still find myself looking for that 7th gear lol
But then I look down and i'm still only around 8.5krpm...

1st gear is very short on this bike...When riding in town I use it just to get rolling.
 
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