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Old 10th September 2012, 01:22   #1
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Default The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Rewind to sometime in July 2012. I was in Indonesia and on impulse walked into a Kawasaki showroom. Standing there in all her green glory was the 2012 Ninja 650. Don't believe in love at first sight/ride? Well, I dint either. That was until that fateful day when I parked my backside on her saddle.

Came back to India in August and started bombarding the Dehradun Probiking showroom manager with repeated reminders about letting me know about the booking date. The official launch came and went and my patience grew into obsession and beyond. Finally told the manager that I am coming to Dehradun and if he dosent take my booking in the three days that I am home then it wont happen until my next visit in September. As luck would have it, on 16th of August I went to the showroom and got the news that I can book the bike. Put down 50,000 hard earned Gandhijis there and then and went home a happy man. I was given a written commitment of 10 days delivery period by the manager.

Come August 29th and the bike was at the showroom. On 31st, I cleared the payment (Rs 5.15 lakhs OTR) and got her unpacked and ready for registration. The RTO process got botched up and delayed due to the strike by the employees over a reservation issue. Bah! Better I dont get into those details.

Anyways. Today I went and finally got my Goblin home. Rode her for some 50 odd kms thanks to my mother's insistence that the pooja be done at a mandir which is on the city's outskirts (she forgot to mention the maniac rush at the place). Well, my first impressions are as follows:

LOOKS: Ok. She is BIG. And i mean big and bulky. Pics do not do any justice to her street presence and trust me when I say that to me she seems bulkier than a GSX600R in visual mass. Good thing in my books. Infact my P220 looks downright puny in her presence (the 220 looked decent when seen along with the 250s). The green looks beautiful on her. I wouldnt want her in any other colour. The fit and finish is top notch with everything perfectly and solidly put together. Pure Japanese precision. The front twin lamps, the rear LEDs, the beefy rubber and the huge bulk of the machine is pure crowed magnet. Everyone just wanted to come close to her and inspect her. And ofcourse the 'kitna deti hai' was omnipresent. People were shocked out of their bodies when they heard the price. The supposed mileage of 20+ helped calm their souls down a bit though. A lot of random unclejis and aunties also gave me gyaan on how I should have bought a car instead in this much money.


RIDE AND HANDLING: Did not get much chance to push her on the ghats thanks to the running in needs but she is sure as a locomotive when leaned in. Mid corner corrections are spot on and easy though her bulk prevents her from being as agile as a supersport in the corners. But I am not Rossi and I am not complaining. For my limited skill set she is MORE than enough. And those who said that you cannot put your knee down on her, well, eat your hearts out. I touched my knee guard twice today and that too when I wasnt trying to do so. She is very very comfortable for the pillion and my mother found is much more comfy than my 220. As for handling, she is quite nimble in the city traffic and the ergonomics are from another level altogether. She is just pure comfort for the rider. I have never been more comfortable on a bike before. Not even on a T-Bird or a Bullet. Easily the most comfortable bike to do a saddle-sore on ! (Yes, yes its on the cards)

PERFORMANCE: With 72 PS and 650 cc twin dare I expect anything less. I never crossed the 5k rpm limit and was sedate mostly throughout. But at times when I did open her up very slightly to overtake traffic, she scared the socks off me. I kid you not, she is incredibly powerful for her sports tourer credentials. Infact, after reading the automag reviews, I expected her to be a docile big cat. But boy, can this one growl. Cant wait to finish the run-in and open her up nicely. And the exhaust sounds very very mild but throaty at low revs but the growl intensifies beautifully when u give her the stick. Not mozart of the inline 4 kinds but more like Guetta for those who care for that genre. Roll-ons are fantastic and the gearing is just spot on. You can putter around in the city all day in 3rd without a bother. Braking though assuring is not in the same league as the N250. The front has very sad feedback though the braking power is quite capable. The rear is fussfree but low feedback again. Maybe a change to EBC pads will help.

MISC: The white backlit meters are quite cool and im still figuring my way around the options.
You will get lots of 'Light chalu hai' signs from people on the road.
You will get lots of wannabe racers on the road who will want you to rev the bike or race with them. For their sake, please ignore.
The saree guard makes good bar-be-que grill. Do not waste it.
The engine got quite hot during my city traffic battles. Quite normal and nothing to panic about. Avoid rush hours on her if you dont want tandoori legs. Fan is extremely quiet and one has to strain to hear it. Good !
The gear shift lever is positioned a bit far from the footpeg even for my size 44 shoe. Needs a bit of movement of the foot to shift. Not cool!
She cannot be left alone in any public place without adult supervision. Pesky people want to touch her and fiddle around. Gggrrr !!
Headlight beam is average in intensity and better bulbs are on my list.
DO NOT underestimate her. I whacked the throttle open in 2nd gear and off she went pointing to the stars with the front wheel.
Have already bought frame sliders, tank pad and disc brake alarm lock for her. Should be on her pretty soon.

Finally a BIG BIG thank you to Mayank Sharma, Probiking manager for Dehradun who went out of his way to make my buying experience completely blissful and tension-free. Honestly, I have never seen or heard of customer service of this level. This guy was god sent for every issue I had. Hats off mate! You are a boon to your company. When I buy a bike again, I might just buy from him for his sheer customer service commitment. It was THAT good.

Will update this thread along the way. Hope to see a lot more N650 ownership threads popping up soon. Cheers !
Attached Thumbnails
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The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650-20120909-15.40.25.jpg  

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The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650-20120909-15.41.15.jpg  

The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650-20120909-15.42.21.jpg  


Last edited by narula123 : 10th September 2012 at 01:39.
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Old 10th September 2012, 02:53   #2
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

A hearty congratulations to you. I am proxy living my dream through you and others who buy such beauties. How i wish ER6N gets launched in India and such bikes start costing less than 4 lakhs OTR. Were your parents/wife cool with buying a SBK ? Anyway, Happy Riding, post a roll on video once you are past the first service.
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:24   #3
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Quote:
Originally Posted by narula123 View Post
.
Today I went and finally got my Goblin home.

. Braking though assuring is not in the same league as the N250. The front has very sad feedback though the braking power is quite capable. The rear is fussfree but low feedback again. Maybe a change to EBC pads will help.


Will update this thread along the way. Hope to see a lot more N650 ownership threads popping up soon. Cheers !
Congratulation Narula123 for the Ninja. Getting mine in 2days and reading your first impressions am I glad am getting it!
I would tend to think the bite for the brakes should improve with a little bit of bedding in. You could look at premium braided hoses for a better feel.
Did you get the frame sliders yourself or did you shop online? Unfortunately I don't travel much to the far east Asia now so was looking at ordering from ninja650 online store.

Look forward to reading more from you

Safe rides.
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:53   #4
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Many congratulations narula. Good to read that you got your bike delivered. It looks really beautiful. Please post some more pics and some more impressions.
I have my finances ready but no bike to buy. Till then will read your reviews and feel happy.
Can you tell us some thing more about exhaust note? How does it sound at 2K, 4k and 5K rpm?
I read on some blog that it sounds good over 6K RPM. Did you try revving it hard?
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Old 10th September 2012, 11:25   #5
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

MAN MAN!!! That bike looks stunning. A very congratulations to you narula for the purchase. The ninjas indeed look the best in their trademark green shade.
Good to know you got such a good customer service when the market is full of poor experiences.
BTW, I saw a N650 yesterday. The driver though was riding it like a maniac on the Jaipur-Kota highway. But the bike surely had a road presence which the pics can not do justice to. The exhaust note was so prominent that I turned back to see which machine is producing such a grunt.
Anyways, as it is said, with great power comes great responsibility. So Take Care and Drive Safe!!
Keep the thread updated. Many (like me) are living their dreams through you.
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Old 10th September 2012, 11:59   #6
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Quote:
Originally Posted by shubhamAT View Post
A hearty congratulations to you. I am proxy living my dream through you and others who buy such beauties. How i wish ER6N gets launched in India and such bikes start costing less than 4 lakhs OTR.
Thank You. The power biking scene is only hotting up. More bikes should hit our shores soon. I saw the ER6N in Indonesia and Thailand. Its a beautiful naked but did not string my heart the way the 6F did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Zappa View Post
Congratulation Narula123 for the Ninja. Getting mine in 2days
I would tend to think the bite for the brakes should improve with a little bit of bedding in.
Did you get the frame sliders yourself or did you shop online? Unfortunately I don't travel much to the far east Asia now so was looking at ordering from ninja650 online store.
Congrats in advance and thanks. I am waiting for the brakes to bed in and then will take a call whether to go in for EBC pads or Galfer lines.
You can get the frame sliders from Performance Racing Store in Mumbai. They have R&G in stock which are supposed to be the best and they ship across the country. the R&G cost 9500 bucks. My tank pad is also from them but I got my Xena Disc Brake Alarm lock off ebay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djay99 View Post
Many congratulations narula.
Can you tell us some thing more about exhaust note? How does it sound at 2K, 4k and 5K rpm?
I read on some blog that it sounds good over 6K RPM. Did you try revving it hard?
Thanks DJ. The exhaust sounds very docile but deep until 2-3k rpm. Once you whip it till about 5k, it starts to growl. Nice and meaty. I did not rev it beyond 5k due to run in constraints. But from the looks of it, I can bet it will sound quite sweet higher up the rev range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
The ninjas indeed look the best in their trademark green shade.
Good to know you got such a good customer service when the market is full of poor experiences..
Thanks for the wishes. Green was always my preferred choice of colour for a Kwacker. The customer service from the Dehradun PBK has been amazing and was a surprise to me too having seen their service in Pune, mangalore and Manipal. Maybe its because of buying the flagship product and that too the first and only one sold in this city or maybe they are genuinely that nice to everyone.
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Old 10th September 2012, 15:04   #7
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Congratulations.The new 650 definitely looks the part. Though i am not a fan of the parallel twin , this is one of the best touring commuters in the country that can also be used as a daily ride. Be Safe.
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Old 10th September 2012, 18:20   #8
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Default re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Thats a Mean Green Machine. Congrats on your new ride. Wishing you a million happy miles with it.
Green looks best on this monster, donno why it was not launched in other colors (would look absolutely fantastic in Black)
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Old 11th September 2012, 00:44   #9
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Congrats mate, it looks excellent. Checked it out when went to got my duke for service. Keep us updated on the ownership review. You are damn right about the service, bajaj has got everything covered. I said exactly same thing that my next bike is going to be from bajaj just because of the service :-)
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Old 11th September 2012, 01:05   #10
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

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Originally Posted by bigron View Post
Congratulations.The new 650 definitely looks the part. Though i am not a fan of the parallel twin , this is one of the best touring commuters in the country
Thanks. My budget did not allow an i4 sadly (plus they are much more expensive to maintain) and I wanted a bike which will not give me broken wrists or slip discs in a few hours of riding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga View Post
Thats a Mean Green Machine. Congrats on your new ride. Wishing you a million happy miles with it.
Green looks best on this monster, donno why it was not launched in other colors (would look absolutely fantastic in Black)
Thank you. Black definitely looks sexy and mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
Congrats. You are damn right about the service, bajaj has got everything covered.
Thanks. The Bajaj service backup was one of the big reasons why I chose the Ninja over the much cheaper Hyosung GTN. Its not the best but then its better than the rest.
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Old 11th September 2012, 02:26   #11
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Absolutely stunning piece of machinery you got there buddy!! congrats on the purchase!

From the pictures, one can tell about the excellent build quality from Kawasaki. I saw last years model on road recently and boy-o-boy the road presence it has is equivalent to watching a quickly approaching Audi in the rear view mirrors.

The fact you can modify/customize/upgrade it as per your liking ,due to the international presence of the bike, is like cherry on the cake. Happy and safe riding!
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Old 11th September 2012, 07:10   #12
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

@ Narula123 - The modern I4 is not really that expensive to maintain. Regular service will get you through years of seat time. Though i do agree the litre class can be a tight place to be in.
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Old 11th September 2012, 08:21   #13
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Lovely bike. I wish they offered the Versys variant (same bike, no fairing, different headlight, more upright riding posture). It is both more comfortable and easier to throw around corners (due to better leverage at the handle bars). That one I would certainly have bought.

Congratulations.
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Old 11th September 2012, 09:02   #14
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Congratulations on acquiring "the most sensible big bike to buy today in India". Do give us some more better quality photos.

Was it financed or an outright purchase? Do share the contact details of the Probiking Manager here (or PM) for the benefit of any other Tbhpian interested in this bike in this region. I contacted Probiking showroom at Meerut and seems that they have yet not been allotted for sale of the 650. Also inform us about any accessories planned and the riding gear that you are using.

Enjoy and keep updating...
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Old 11th September 2012, 09:13   #15
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Default Re: The Green Assassin - My 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

(sorry for the consecutive post, my editing time expired)

On the question of the engines, frankly, its a big dilemma. On a motorcycle, the character/personality of the engine is a huge contributor to the experience you have of the machine. But having owned and ridden virtually every variation of motorcycle, I can't decide which is the optimal configuration for motorcycles. The parallel twin is technically the best because it provides the most optimal balance of compact dimensions, low weight, and more than adequate performance. But they have a scooter like personality. Polite and characterless. The single is wonderful for its compactness and simplicity and for the loping, thumping characteristic, but it can't rev. V-twins are the best amongst the single and twins, but are not as compact and inexpensive but they have great charisma. My second greatest motorcycling memory is of being tucked down behind the fairing of my Ducati 900SS, leaned over around a curve on US460, 5 feet behind a Ducati 748, its under seat exhausts bellowing the engine's full throttle exertion right in my face! But V-twins are not as smooth and revvy as triples and fours, and they have a narrow operating range (I am not talking about uber exotic twins such as those in the Panigale). Below that range, they shudder from imbalance, and above that range they run out of breath.

The inline triple is probably the perfect engine for large motorcycles. It makes a howl like nothing else, a banshee wail that will raise the dead, it revs well, it has a well balance torque curve. its not as revvy as a four cyl or as smooth, but for motorcycles its not enough to matter.

4 cylinders, well, what can you say? they are smooth, powerful revvy, but they are quite bland (apart from their ability to raise hell with the riotous performance) and in most cases, too wide and too heavy. The most agile motorcycles I have ridden have all had 1 or 2 cylinders, not 3 or 4. While the magazines have made everybody crazy about inline 4s that rev to 15,000rpm, the fact is these engines are mostly for boasting rights, unless you ride well enough to use them in the top of their rev range for a very significant portion of the time. Much better are inline 4s that don't rev that high but have absolute massive slugs of torque at the bottom and mid. They don't work so good for the top level riders who ride like their hair in on fire, but motorcycle enthusiasts need to get real with themselves and their personal riding abilities. Lets get real: hyperbikes are awesome but not usable in the real world, not even in countries like the US, never mind India. That leaves inline 4s as splendid all rounders, capable of more performance than anyone can use, the most refined (save for the six cyls), but typically overkill.

There is no right answer here as to which is the best configuration. Pick what works for you.

I will state that in Indian conditions, twins are the best. You can't use more performance than they offer (75-90hp is about the max that can fully exploited in India) and they allow bikes compact enough for Indian conditions. The two bikes I consider the best for India are the Kawasaki KLR650 (a single) and the BMW F800GS (a parallel twin), because they both have more than adequate performance for Indian highways, and they have the light manageability in rough conditions that riders to ladakh, lahaul, spiti would need when crossing streams and mud, etc. along with the ability to cruise long distances. It is too bad that neither Kawasaki nor BMW is offering their respective model in India.

Last edited by manson : 16th October 2012 at 15:50.
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