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Old 9th November 2014, 19:49   #1
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Talking The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Ever since I was a college student in Pune circa 1976, I was facinated by bikes, not the ubiquitous Jawa and Royal Enfield, but 400 cc and bigger twins. The sound the smooth revving engine and the increase in power that came with it, all contributed to my fascination. However, after college I settled down with a Yezdi (had a Lambretta in college) and I was very happy with the machine. Used it for a lot of long rides with my fiance who later became my wife. Then came the kids, out went the Yezdi, in came a car and life went on. Full circle.
Then suddenly my children were married, I retired from the Navy, and had nothing to stop me from satisfying my old requirement of a powerful sports tourer. For the last 2 years I had been riding friends Ninja 250, ZX10 R, Duke 190/390 and Ducati Monster 796. However the Monster had it all - the riding position, power, acceleration and the grunt of the V twin which is something I loved but with the lack of service and its price put it beyond me.

The Ninja 650. I had read a lot about the N650 and it suited me admirably. So I decided to go for it. The biggest problem now was to convince the wife. So I began to work on it subtly at first and then after a few weeks a bit more overtly. Eventually she capitulated and in fact after coming with me and seeing some pre owned 650s she became eager for me to land a good clean well loked after vehicle.

Enter team bhp. I was going through all the ownership threads on this forum and came across this http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/superb...nja-650-a.html (Upgraded from 12 BHP to 72 BHP, please welcome the Kawasaki Ninja 650)
I PMed rbp and told him how i liked his thread and the mods he had done to his bike. Also mentioned I have been looking for a used 650. He put me in touch with one of his friends who was proceeding to US on work and wanted to dispose of his 650. I jumped hearing the news and got in touch with the seller. He was a 42 years old IT professional and had his ninja since July 13 and had done 3500 km on it. We landed up at his office at Cunningham road on 4/11 and after talking with the gentleman I felt this instant bonding with him as a person who cares for his vehicle (like I do). The bike was very well kept but had a small scratch on the Left fairing. And I loved it. Took it for a perfunctory 50 meter (not a typo) spin and settled the deal.

After the paperwork the 650's keys were in my hand. Time and odometer on taking over the motorcycle.The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R-img_20141105_1412261.jpg

Last edited by goandude : 13th November 2014 at 18:08.
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Old 10th November 2014, 10:21   #2
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

I collected the bike at a place near Jayadeva hospital and rode it home through Bangalore's roads. It was a hoot to drive, much easier than the Ducati in city conditions and it runs cooler too.

My Green Hornet is totally stock. Except of course the front number plate and saree guard is off. She had been serviced at Auto Service at 800 kms on 16/9/13 and 2000 km at 22/3/14. Now according to the manual she needs oil change and service as 6 months have passed but run only 1500 kms. Took her out on Friday for a solo ride down Old Madras road at 6 am. She was wonderful on the highway. I was delighted.

On Saturday after kitting out was partially done took wife to Woodys for breakfast, 140 kms up and down. She enjoyed the ride and was delighted with the seat and ride quality and the absence of huge acceleration (her previous ride was on an i4 bike). The bike feels planted riding 2 up and the bumps on the expansion joints on the flyovers which used to be felt clearly is much smoother. FYI I'm 65 kg and wife is 50 to give you some idea. The brakes especially with a pillion are pathetic. I had to use the rear brake to come off speed, more on this later. The Hornet scrapes her silencer on some speedbreakers with a pillion. Now for some pics.The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R-p1040038.jpgThe Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R-p1040039.jpgThe Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R-img20141108wa0002.jpg
In the last pic notice the scratch on the fairing.
What is that plastic/rubber pipe visible just below the gearshift?

Last edited by goandude : 13th November 2014 at 17:31.
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Old 13th November 2014, 17:27   #3
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Riding and handling. The motorcycle weighs 200 + Kgs and handling it without being astride is herculean. When sitting astride the weight is on the wheels and thus much easier. One has to learn how to park so that it is easy to ride off next time with minimal handling. The turning radius at low maneuvering speeds is large and one has to take that into account while parking. However, once started and moving the weight is hardly noticeable. Even in slow moving B to B traffic the bike handles well. And it doesn't heat up much. The clutch action is light so there in no fatigue on the left hand.

But the bike comes into its mouthwatering best on open roads. She picks up speed so quickly that you are into triple digits before you realize it. The gears shift smoothly, are well spaced out, and the engine is comfortable from as low as 2000 rpm which relates to 50 kmph in 6th gear. There after it is 20 kmph for every 1000 increment in rpm. On the open road I generally change to a higher gear at about 8000 rpm and she accelerates beautifully. The engine torque curves and the gear box ratios are well matched giving one a seamless acceleration shifting through the gears. The gear changes are smooth and precise and I have never missed a gear or got a false neutral when shifting up or down. The clunk when slotting into 1st is a regular feature and one cannot go past neutral into 2nd while stationary. There are no discernible vibrations transmitted to the rider in the speeds I have done.

Leaning into corners comes naturally for this motorcycle and she feels so steady one tends to lean her further. The Dunlop Roadsmart II tyres add to the confidence of the rider on turns.

The seats are wide and firm and comfortable. However I will reserve my comments till I do a long ride.

On full tank to full tank over 170 kms of highway driving 90 to 120 kmph, I got a FE of 25 kmpl giving it a range of 300 kms before the reserve light starts blinking.

The ergonomics of the switches, visibility of instruments and reach of all controls are fantastic. Haven't done a night ride so no comments on the lights.

The Negatives. The exhaust note sucks big time. I know it is a tourer but a little more grunt from the exhaust would have been great. Moreover with a silent exhaust and no gear indicator a novice would not know what gear he is on. I have now learnt to match speed with rpm to know this on 5th and 6th but on the lower gears one really has to get the feel of it.

The mirrors are inadequate in field of view and placement. My Jupiter's mirrors are better placed. However I did not find any vibrations setting in, but I have only taken her to 140 or so so can't comment vibrations at higher speeds.

The brakes are inadequate. In fact they are actually unsafe and this prevents one from truly enjoying the bike. I am comparing this with the brakes of a N250 and Monster 796 both of which are far better in feel and bite. I know the latter is a much more expensive vehicle, but to compare I have mentioned it.

I feel that the windshield in middle position directs the wind into my helmet (I'm 5' 7") when sitting in a normal upright position. I suppose it would be useful only when crouched.

In Summary
The +ves.
- Great all round motorcycle.
- Great looks (subjective but I like)
- Smooth engine and gearbox with great low and mid range power delivery.
- Good FE
- Ergonomic controls, comfortable seats and riding position

The -ves
- Inadequate brakes
- Exhaust sound
- Mirrors
- Would be wonderful if it were 30 -30 kgs lighter

Upgrades: Brakes are the major weak spot in this great all round motorcycle. Need to get lines and/or pads like other 650 owners. Where do I source them from in Bangalore? Saw EBC sintered pads at X Torque, but they didn't have them for the 650. Saddle bags are needed to tour and I plan on getting a pair.

Service: Anyone has had experience with the Khivraj Bajaj KTM Kawasaki service center in Indiranagar ? Auto service is a bit too far for me (CV Raman Nagar).

Last edited by goandude : 13th November 2014 at 18:16.
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Old 13th November 2014, 18:27   #4
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Note from Mod : Thread moved from Assembly Line to Superbike & Imports section. Thanks for sharing it with us
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Old 13th November 2014, 18:39   #5
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

All the very best for your Green Monster. Definitely a comforatable bike to own and ride every day.

I have ridden mine for about 4500 kms mostly in the city.

This bike definitely needs a brake upgrade along with Free Flow Exhaust.

Do join yourself to the Kawasaki Ninja India Owners Page on Facebook, all your sourcing queries will be answered.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/india650R/

BR

Last edited by xtremeshock : 13th November 2014 at 18:42.
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Old 13th November 2014, 19:01   #6
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Congrats goandude for N650. She is an allrounder and looks well maintained. Some folks told me upgrading to steel braided brake hose/lines makes a lot of difference and coupled with EBC brake pads, you should get good amount of stopping power.

I guess you may feel weight of bike to be heavy when riding slow in city traffic and during slow cornering. I ride a Z800 (231 KG) and find it agile while on the move.

Ride safe. Cheers!
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Old 13th November 2014, 19:49   #7
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Congratulations on the acquisition. Truly looks pre-worshipped. The brakes on the 650 are it's Achilles heel. It's strange that Kawasaki gave the 250 such lovely brakes and failed to do so on the 650.

Anyway, wish you a long ownership experience on the green hornet. The 3 of you look good together.
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Old 13th November 2014, 19:59   #8
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

@goandude :- The ownership thread came up very quickly. I am sure you will enjoy the bike for years to come. I would still advice you to take it to AutoService, the bike will be serviced right in front of your eyes. Venkat [Owner of AS] is a gem of a person.
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:32   #9
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Congrats goandude. Wonderful choice for a relaxed sport tourer.

Wish you many many miles of biking bliss on your sweet Green Hornet.

Ride safe
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:43   #10
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Default re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremeshock View Post

This bike definitely needs a brake upgrade along with Free Flow Exhaust.

Do join yourself to the Kawasaki Ninja India Owners Page on Facebook,
BR
Joined the group and hopefully get questions addressed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamseller View Post
Congratulations on the acquisition. Truly looks pre-worshipped. The brakes on the 650 are it's Achilles heel. It's strange that Kawasaki gave the 250 such lovely brakes and failed to do so on the 650.
Anyway, wish you a long ownership experience on the green hornet. The 3 of you look good together.
Thanks DS. Yes the brakes of the 250 are so much better so it's a mystery as to why Kawasaki cut corners on the 650 brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
@goandude :- The ownership thread came up very quickly. I am sure you will enjoy the bike for years to come. I would still advice you to take it to AutoService, the bike will be serviced right in front of your eyes. Venkat [Owner of AS] is a gem of a person.
OK I will give it some thought. Venkat has a good reputation and I would like my Hornet to be in the best hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
Congrats goandude. Wonderful choice for a relaxed sport tourer.

Wish you many many miles of biking bliss on your sweet Green Hornet.

Ride safe
Thanks Haroon
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Old 16th November 2014, 13:39   #11
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Default Re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Congratulations and its definately a good buy. I rode mine for around 4k kms before I sold it in June this year. The brakes need a big time update and used to be one of the reason why I would scrape my silencers while ridding pillion over speed breakers , as the bike just wouldn't stop in the distance and time u expect it too.

Anyways Happy Riding!!!
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Old 16th November 2014, 18:18   #12
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Default Re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnS_12 View Post
I would scrape my silencers while ridding pillion over speed breakers , as the bike just wouldn't stop in the distance and time u expect it too. Anyways Happy Riding!!!
Thanks SnS.

Another must have are frame sliders and spool sliders (ones at the rear).

Took her to Nandi hills this weekend with pillion. She handles the sharp turns well but not as crisply as the N 250. There was never any shortage of power in all the gradients I encountered on the climb. Took an hour to the peak and in that time pillion was asking for a rest. Thus even though I was very comfortable and could go on for much longer, pillion seat is perhaps a bit compromised.

Regularly touching the silencer on speed breakers. One reason as SnS mentioned. Another is the clearance of 130 mm. Should I adjust the rear suspension to 4 or 5? Presently it is in 3.
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Old 16th November 2014, 18:26   #13
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Default Re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Congrats on the Ninja. Just one question, How much did you pay for your pre-worshipped Hornet?
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Old 16th November 2014, 20:00   #14
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Default Re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Speed breaker issue would stay while riding pillion. The only suggestion I can give you is to slow down completely and then gently move over the breaker, so the suspension travel is not much. Changing the spring load at the back would just make the rear suspension soft or hard as per the setting you choose.

I am afraid this is a issue you have to live with and the silencer also seems to be built to handle the speed breaker abuse.
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Old 17th November 2014, 09:41   #15
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Default Re: The Green Hornet: My pre-worshipped Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
Congrats on the Ninja. Just one question, How much did you pay for your pre-worshipped Hornet?
Thanks. I paid 4.5 L including 1 year comprehensive insurance.

Last edited by goandude : 17th November 2014 at 09:43.
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