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Old 25th March 2015, 17:27   #1
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Default The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Disclaimer: This is not a technical review of the Ninja 650, just my take and experience of this fabulous bike. You can refer to the review done by bblost on the 2011 Ninja 650: (Kawasaki Ninja 650R : Test Ride & Review). The engine is the same - 649cc twin, but over the years cosmetic changes have been made, which I will try to explain.


The History
When I was a kid, my Dad had bought couple of nice posters to be put up on the wall in our room and one of them that stood out was this:

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The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-photo-130715-22-39-31.jpg

This is the bike that started it all - the Honda CBX 1000! It is still there at home, at my parents place.

My first encounter with a Ninja was when I was very small, but then the Ninja was of a different kind - the kind that threw stuff at people and killed them - and it was on TV

Fast forward to 1992, while going back home from school (think I was in 11th) I saw this seconds book fair. Went in thinking of just window shopping, but something caught eye - it was the April 1990 edition of Cycle World which had the review of the Kawasaki ZX-11, BMW K1 and the Honda CBR1000. Still have the magazine with me I think.

The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-cycle_world.jpg

The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-cycle_world2.jpg

I still remember reading every word printed on that magazine (there was this ad of Vance & Hines aftermarket exhaust system and IIRC an Apache attack chopper). I used to wonder how and where do they ride these big bikes (yeah, I had a feather-weight chassis back then). The fuel consumption was mpg and I wasn't even used to kmpl (just had a Hero Ranger back then). I was so smitten that when I came to Bangalore in 1998 and had access to the Internet, the first email account I created was zx11d (variant D, hence the D at the end).

In 1997, my dad bought me my first bike - Kawasaki Bajaj KB125. Man, that was a mean machine - 2-stroke engine and the longest wheelbase (at the time). The ad for it said it all - Don't Mess with Me!

Technically, this was my first Kawasaki. You could really lean into corners until the foot pegs touched the asphalt. I had removed the saree guard and the grab rail for the pillion and turned it into a bachelor's bike. *evil laugh*

1999 saw the launch of Hero Honda CBZ - the first sports bike of it's kind in India. I happened to see it at Galaxy movie hall in Bangalore. I still remember, it was black with a gold trim. It had disc brakes, something that wasn't there in the other bikes in the market at that time. I was in love. I wowed to myself that I'll own that beautiful bike one day. Come October 6th, 2000 I became the proud owner of Trinity (remember Trinity from Matrix?) - a black CBZ (disc) Y2K model!

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There were a couple of modifications (Modified Indian bikes - Post your pics here and ONLY here) done on this one. Almost 15yrs and 78k kilometers on the odometer later, she still going strong.

From the time I laid my eyes on the ZX-11 I always dreamt of owning a superbike. I didn't know how and I certainly didn't know when, but I knew I wanted one before the grim reaper came to collect. It wasn't going to be easy, I mean - these things cost you your life's savings! So for a long while I suppressed the thought of owning one and carried on with life.

2008 saw the launch of the Ninja 250 in India and that didn't help at all, just added fuel to fire. To make matters worse, the Honda CBR250R was launched in India 3yrs later. However, the pricing of these machines kept my spirits down. 3.4L for the Ninja 250R and 2.2L OTR for the Honda CBR250R was ridiculous! Who pays so much!!

About middle of last year, the thought of owning an SBK came back to haunt me and this time I let it posses me. I started working out the details of owning a SBK and how I would go about buying one. I checked the prices and boy was I surprised!

The Short-list:
Didn't have too many to choose from; here's the list of bikes I had in mind.

Kawasaki Ninja 250/300: Well, this was my first choice, having had dreams of owning a Ninja and all. However, the price was the factor that went against it and the fact the this is a sports bike, rider stance being forward - as in a racing style. I have a Hero Honda CBZ Y2K and I love the seating posture on that, very comfortable.

Honda CBR250R: This one I liked and wanted to go for this (had sat on rk_sans's CBR initially after he had bought the bike). While everyone said that the Ninja 250 was the best in class 250 out there (and I agree), I was considering the CBR250R - just for it's price point; just above 2L for the ABS version (I think). However, I didn't feel the pull strong enough to invest in this bike. I kept waiting, I don't know for what and meanwhile many versions of the CBR250R were launched.

KTM Duke 390: Not really, but this would be the last choice. Honestly, I hate that puttering sound that it makes, really drives me up the wall (no offence to any Duke owners). This seemed to be a value for money or rather bang for the buck investment. Use for some time and then move on to another bike. However, I wanted buy something bigger.

Kawasaki Ninja ER-6N: I came to know of it when I was inquiring about the Ninja 650. when the sales representative told me that the Ninja 650 comes only on lime green and he saw me frown, he said there is a naked version of the same bike and yes, it comes in BLACK! I couldn't believe it, I finally get a Ninja.. in black! I was really excited, forgot all about the Ninja 650. That is, until I spoke to Aditya (n_aditya). He drilled some sense into me about bikes with faring and his experiences of owning a Ninja (he himself has a Ninja 250). Looks were fine, but if one thinks about practicality - the ER-6F is much better suited for touring. It's an all rounder. Also, at speeds above 80kmph there would be a lot of wind blast; this would not be good for long rides as it will tire you out. Having a windshield really helps.

Kawasaki Ninja 650 (ER-6F): This looked like a big bike to me. Also, with a price tag of 6.5L on the road, this was kinda really stretching it. I was two minds about it, but then I saw the brochure. By this time I had already spoken to Aditya, but I wanted to see for myself and feel it. How a bike feels when you straddle it is important as a rider; it gives you the confidence that you can handle the bike and how far you can push it. The first time I sat on the ER-6F, I knew this was the bike for me! Of course, there was the matter of convincing the home department.

Kawasaki Versys 650: I had seen this bike in one of the articles on the internet which talked about the new launches in 2015. This would have been the perfect fit - a go anywhere bike. Unfortunately, the dealership had not clue if and when it would be launched in India. This would be in the same price range as the Ninja 650 (ER-6F), if not a bit more. Disappointment there.


The Verdict:
Considering the pros and cons of all the bikes under consideration - I wanted a go-anywhere bike - my heart finally settled for the all rounder - the Kawasaki ER-6F a.k.a Ninja 650!! *slow clap*


The Buying Experience:
Early in February I went to KTM Indiranagar outlet (Bangalore) to check on the bike. They don't have it on display, so I ask for the pricing details for ER-6F (with fairing) and the ER-6N. The pricing information for the ER-6F is not available and the person tells me that he can email it to me and takes down my email address and promises to send it immediately. A week goes by and I've not received anything. So, I walk into the store again on Feb 21st and this time around, there was another fella, Tejas, who helped me with my queries. Before leaving, we agreed on a date for the test ride.


The Test Ride:
During one of the weekdays (I think it was a holiday), I reach KTM Indiranagar showroom and as promised. Deposit my driver's license and gear up (yeah, didn't want to lose any paintwork doing a test ride). In couple of minutes the test ride bike had been brought up from the basement and was ready for me to take for a spin, which basically means from the KFC junction till Domlur junction (where the overheard walkway is) and back.

As soon as I sat on the bike, I felt it's weight - the Ninja 650 has a kerb weight of 204kgs! add full tank of fuel and other fluids and it comes to around 210 - 215kgs. Also, I wasn't used to riding bikes with front fairing, so I knew taking turns will be a pain and the pain did come when taking the first U-turn at the KFC (Indiranagar) junction; I thought I might lose balance, but pulled out clean. I wanted to check the wind blast, but that's a busy road, so i could only get about 200mts of free space to open the throttle. Felt pretty planted and stable. On my return leg a cyclist crossed the road without checking for traffic and I had to brake hard - absolutely no issues. the Ninja 650 stopped on a dime.

Happy with the test ride, I returned home planning the next move - convince the home department! While I was checking out the Ninja, wifey was on the other side of the globe in California, so had to wait for her to get back to take matters further, although I had already canvassed the matter subtly. Once she was back at the end of February, I took her along for the second test ride. After taking the bike out of the showroom I did the same circuit as before, this time around I took the bike through narrow lanes on the return leg. This was for two reasons:
1. Get an idea of the handling of the bike in closed spaces, viz a viz manoeuvrability.
2. My ability to balance the bike (the Ninja is almost twice the size of my CBZ).

Back at the showroom, I asked my wife how the ride was. She said it was comfortable, but long durations on that rear seat might get painful. Another thing she mentioned was that about the seat height - she doesn't like tall seats (prefers the cruiser kinda seating) though the Ninja 650's seating is nowhere near the first floor floor seating of the R15 v2!


The Test Bike:
The test bike they had given was a 2013 model, which had been used extensively on the track (you could make out from the scratches and the missing windshield).
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Before leaving the showroom I checked again regarding the documents required and make payment for the booking (35k IIRC). Farooq, the showroom manager, checked in the system on the availability of the bike and told me that they don't have stock at their warehouse nor at Pune and that order would have to be placed and the bike imported. I'm told that it will take at least six weeks. This was March 4th.


The Delivery:
I was excited and within a couple of days started asking Farooq - are we there yet? March 10th around afternoon-ish I get a call that the bike has arrived. At first I was shocked, then elated! I couldn't believe my luck, my bike had arrived - it was like delivering a baby in the second month instead of waiting for the ninth! I told Farooq to make sure ample amount of pictures are taken of the unboxing (since i wouldn't be able to go the warehouse). He agreed and said he'll send the pictures shortly.

When the pictures came later that afternoon, I was confused, then shocked and then angry!

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This was the 2014 model!! *grrr* To say I was peeved would be an understatement! I immediately called up Farooq and asked for an explanation! He kept insisting that its a 2015 model!

Well, here's the Ninja 650 2014 model:
The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-ninja_650_2014.jpg

and this is the Ninja 650 2015 model: notice the striking features - faring is green, tank is green and the mono-shock is green!
The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-ninja_650_2015.jpg

I ask Farooq to send me the VIN number; he was not sure what it was, so I asked him to provide me the chassis and engine number. After couple of emails back and forth he finally provided it. When I checked the VIN, the year of manufacture showed up as 2013! I couldn't believe it, so I checked again on different sites, but every time the year of manufacture came up as 2013. I had had enough; I called up Farooq and read him a sermon! Later one day when I visited the showroom asked him how could this goof-up could happen and he showed me the invoice that was raised by Bajaj Pro-Biking, Pune - the year of manufacture mentioned on the invoice was March 2015!!! this is when things started falling in place - I was told it would take six weeks to get the bike, but they got it in six days! There was no way in hell they could have imported a new 2015 bike within 6 days! They were trying to clear old stock - pushing 2013/2014 manufactured bikes as 2015 models!

I was so peeved that I called Farooq and told him that I was promised a 2015 model and I bloody well want a 2015 model, else the deal's off! He said he needs couple of days to check back with the company and get back to me. a day went by, and another and then i get a call from Mr. Prakar, head of KTM in Karnataka (I was told). He tried explaining to me how one cannot go by the VIN number because the chassis is from somewhere and the engine is from somewhere else and it is put together and blah blah black sheep. I really didn't understand what he was trying to explain, but as long as he was going to get me the 2015 model, I was fine.

So after much talk he said that they can provide the 2015 model (the one described above), green mono-shock and all, within two months, give or take. I thought about it a bit and then finally agreed. If i could wait all these years to own one, what's couple of months more.


The Wait:
The next day I called up Farooq and inquired about what Mr. Prakar had mentioned. He confirmed that the bike will be made available to me within two months. I was elated, but didn't show it. Days went by and I was getting impatient, the wait was killing me. I had to travel to my home town in April (17th and back on 20th). The day I was supposed to travel I get a call from KTM - Sir, your bike has arrived! I was shocked; I had to take deep breaths to regain my composure. But before I got too excited, I asked them to send me the VIN number and pictures of the bike, to confirm the model.

This is what they sent:
The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-photo-160415-14-26-28.jpg

The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-photo-160415-14-26-31.jpg

The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!-photo-160415-14-26-25.jpg

My baby had finally arrived! I called them right back and told them that I'll come to their showroom for the remaining paperwork. They promised that if all goes well at the RTO, I should have the bike on April 22nd! That weekend was torturous!

I landed back in Bangalore on 20th and as soon as they opened the showroom I was there. When I asked for Farooq I was told that he had been transferred to another outlet and someone else had taken his place. It was Suresh Joshi, himself an avid biker. I met up with him and he took me to the basement to show me the bike.


She was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
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The first time I heard her roar to life, by Zeus it was awesome!!
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Last edited by IronH4WK : 1st October 2015 at 17:13.
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Old 16th September 2015, 19:06   #2
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Default re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

The (actual) Delivery:

After all the formalities were to be completed with the RTO, I was told I could pick up the bike on April 22nd; it was a Wednesday. I had gotten all the paperwork done in the days before and had to just pick up the bike on the D-Day. I couldn't sleep a wink the night before, kept thinking about the things I'd do once I had the bike. Ride to the sandy beaches of Goa to the mountainous terrain of Ladakh. Anyways, the bottom-line is that I was restless, like a kid about to be handed over his Christmas gift.

Booked a OLA cab and reached the showroom; they had just opened up. Spoke to Mr. Joshi and he asked me to take a seat and he'll have the bike brought up. I couldn't just sit there; I started pacing around the showroom. When I had paid the booking amount, I had told them that I want that dreadful saree guard removed from the bike before taking delivery and once they bike was in the showroom post the RTO formalities, they got it removed and replaced it with the grab rail for the left hand side. I didn't discard the saree guard - it's more than 3kgs in weight - planning on using it for BBQ!

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(remember, nothing comes free)

I got my bike's ticket to freedom from the front desk.
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When I heard the bike's humble growl coming up the basement, I rushed outside and there she was. They had brought her up and parked it on the ramp and she was just sitting there looking all beautiful! *lovey-dovey smileys*
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The first accessory to be adorned on her - the Team-BHP keychain. I gave one of the Team-BHP keychains to Mr. Joshi as a token of appreciation.
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Well, I didn't get time to go to the parlour and beautify myself, but yeah - this is me posing with the Ninja and Mr. Joshi.
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(See the Z1000 in the background?)

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(Picture courtesy Mr. Joshi)

When I took the bike out, the last fuel bar was already blinking, but I was told the she would make it to the Shell outlet on Old Madras Road. Since I was fueling her for the first time, I didn't want anything by the best for her - V-Power! Here she is all pretty at the Shell Old Madras Road.
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Once fueled up, it was off to KTM outlet in Marathahalli. I was told that they had the R&G frame sliders in stock.
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This is where I met Sughosh. He got me the frame slider and I was like "whaaaaaaaaaattt.., 11K for a frame slider? what's it made of? Gold?"
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(within a few days I got a demo of why they're so expensive!)

We took the bike down to the service area, but couldn't get to work on it since it as a hectic day and the senior SE's (Michael) hands were full.
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I left promising to return another day.


With nothing else to do, I headed home. My neighbour had moved to the US with his wife and they had sold their car too; this left their parking spot empty. Before I was to pick up the Ninja, I had checked with them if it was alright if I park the Ninja in their parking (right next to mine) until they get tenants or themselves return. They were kind enough to oblige and had no problems with me parking my Ninja in their spot and also congratulated me on my new acquisition.
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That's the Hawkmobile in the background.
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My wife had not been able to accompany me to the showroom since she had meetings in the morning, but when I reached home she came down to see the new member of the familia. She looked at the Ninja all around (hmm.. so this is what 6.34L gets you..), when she was done I asked her to sit the bike and fire up the engine. When she roared to life (that too in a closed basement) my wife got a bit scared, but that was just momentary. Now she was satisfied - money well spent *green grinning fella*
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That evening I took the bike out again for a spin and crossed the first 100km mark.
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After the short spin on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) I returned home, parked the Ninja in her spot, kissed her goodnight and tucked her in for her first night at her new home. *warm fuzzy feelings*

Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th September 2015 at 19:51.
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Old 4th October 2015, 20:13   #3
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Default re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

The Experience

Engine:
The engine has not changed over the years, it is the same 649cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve, parallel twin. Yep, that was a mouthful! Simply put this is not a vroom vroom bike like the R1s and Duccatis. This is a (comparatively) quiet engine and you'd missed it unless the rider really revs the engine. Couple of my friends and relatives commented that you spent so much money on such a big bike and it doesn't make any sound! That said, there is no dearth of power. The bike is capable of 0-100 in 4.6s and a top speed of 219km/h - that's something, eh? One doesn't even know when the bike crosses 100km/h, it's that quick. One can easily cruise on highway at 100-120km/h without feeling any strain, on the engine or the rider.


Gearbox:
It has a six speed transmission - one down, five up. When shifting to the 1st gear there is a distinct clunk. At first I was worried if it was the way I was shifting or was it was supposed to be like that (this was on the test bike). When the Ninja 650 came home, I figured it was there in all 650s. Also, one has to be careful about the throttle when on 1st gear - you let go and it will easily do a wheelie! Once I was getting out of my basement and used a bit extra throttle and the rear started sliding! The rev range is good, one can easily reach a 100km/h on 2nd gear although I wouldn't recommend it. One can shift through the gears pretty quick or push them through their rev ranges - either ways, the bike does it all.


Ergonomics and Comfort:
This is a Sports Tourer and unlike the the Ninja 250/300, this has a relaxed seating position - not like a sports bike nor like a cruiser; the "just right" position. The windshield in the front (has three positions it can be adjusted to) really helps with the wind blast. The handlebar has dampers at each end and there's no vibration transferred to the rider's hands, really nice when you're cruising the highways at higher speeds. The foot pegs have rubber on them (unlike the Kawasaki Z800 and higher) and provides good comfort for long rides. The seats are just awesome; if you compare the seat of a 250/300 or Z series, you could say that the Ninja 650 has a sofa for a seat. It's plush and comfortable, even the pillion's seat - apt for those long rides with your.. um.. you know who.


Handling:
Initially I was very cautious since I was on probation and wasn't sure if she likes me or not - careful around corners and while taking U-turns. I used to ride the bike like a car, enough space on the sides and never squeezing in through gaps between vehicles. However, as days passed and we got to know each other better, I grew more confident in handling her. She's heavy, no doubt about that - 215kg loaded, but once she's on the move, she's very nimble. Simply said, I ride it like a bike and not a car right now!


Suspension:
41mm telescopic front and single offset lay-down shock absorbers with adjustable pre-load at the rear. I've not changed the stock setting and it has worked out pretty well so far; not too soft, not too hard. Some folks adjust this depending on whether they've a pillion or not. One thing I've noticed is that if one travels fast over a (himalayan) speed breaker, when the shock absorbers travel down you tend to scrape the bottom. This is the exhaust can that you're scraping, so need to be careful. I usually slow down to a crawl when I see speed breaker. Sometimes if the speed breaker is tall and wide (like the many we have here in speed breaker city), I go sideways to avoid scraping the exhaust. Have flown through some unsuspecting speed breakers and rumble strips, but the Ninja has always landed on it's two's and balanced. Maybe that's why it's called a Ninja


Brakes:
The Ninja 650 comes with dual 300mm petal discs at the front and single 220mm petal disc at the rear. Upgrading from the Hero Honda CBZ which had a single 240mm disc at the front and drums at the back, this was some serious braking power. However, I've heard from lot of people that the stock brakes are not good enough and they recommend changing the stock brake pads. However, I've not felt the need for that, so far. I ride the bike to office (in traffic) and take it out on the weekends (long straight and some not so straight roads); I've had close encounters of the third kind and even on hard braking the brakes bring the bike to a halt safely (unless you're doing something really stupid on the bike). Here's a itsy-bitsy video about the braking. I did not make the video for this reason, but had happened to me on a recent breakfast ride with friends and fellow BHPians.



Miscellaneous:
Couple of nifty features I found on the bike:
* After you lock the handle and turn the key one more position to the left it enables the indicators to function. This would be helpful in case of an emergency. However, be careful to not leave it in this position because if people fiddle with the indicators or the hazard lights and you've been gone for a long time, it could kill the battery.
* After you've started the engine and you try to move, but if the stand is extended, it will automatically kill the engine. Neat safety feature.
* The MID has the usual odometer, two trip meters, fuel average indicator, real time fuel usage indicator and a distance to empty (DTE) indicator.
* If you happen to drop the bike, it kills the engine. Once you straighten the bike, you'll see the "Check Engine" indicator on. Switch off the bike and switch it on again, the bike will start.
* If you come to a standstill (say at a signal), it will not allow you to shift to 2nd gear. Always have to move from the first.

I'll let you know if I find more stuff.

Last edited by IronH4WK : 4th October 2015 at 20:54.
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Old 5th October 2015, 18:26   #4
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th October 2015, 20:20   #5
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Congrats on the bike but you are one of the first Ninja guys to be happy about the braking. Most of the Ninja owners have either upgraded the brake pads or the lines or both. I would suggest that you ride another Ninja with the above and I am sure that you will want the added braking that this mod provides.
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Old 5th October 2015, 20:21   #6
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Congratulations Ironh4wk for a stunning acqusition! She looks beautiful. And a great write up. Glad to know you put the 2013 model fiasco behind you and went ahead with the purchase. Your wife looks quite happy with the acquisition, makes life that little bit more simple! how does the bike fair on the pillion seat comfort?

Wish you many more miles of happy and safe riding!

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 5th October 2015, 20:25   #7
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Hey IronHawk,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on the N650.This is one bike which I did consider while buying the Z. For the simple 3 reasons that it was practical, comfortable and a couple of lakhs cheaper. Compared to the Z, the rear seat feels like a sofa

Good you stuck to your grounds and insisted on a 2015 bike. And it's really surprising the KTM head would make such a statement of the VIN never really matching with the bike details. Even though the bikes are assembled in India, all the components of the bike - chasis, engine, etc have to 100% match.

I really liked the last feature that you mentioned about the gears. At a standstill, it will allow the gear to move only into the neutral and 1st position.
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Last edited by v12 : 5th October 2015 at 20:31.
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Old 5th October 2015, 21:19   #8
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Congratulations, mate! One of the most practical bikes available, this. As always KTM/Kawasaki messes up another delivery experience. When will these guys ever learn?

Anyway, here's wishing you plenty of joyful and grin-filled kilometres. Keep them pistons running! Ride safe.

P.S - I happened to see two KTM RC8s parked just behind your brand new beauty in one of your photos. Any info on them?
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Old 5th October 2015, 22:10   #9
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Congratulations on the acquisition Anil Good to see you are riding this beauty everyday and enjoying it to the fullest.

By the way, What is the service interval for this bike? And how good is the service for superbikes here in Bangalore? Hope you are not facing any issues with them, as they did it during delivery if it's the same guys who is servicing your bike.
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Old 5th October 2015, 23:19   #10
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Heartiest Congratulations on your prized possession!

1. Can you please throw some light on engine heat as you mentioned that you use this for commute-
1.a How many kms do you commute? More specifically- from which area to which area or which road you take so that I get an idea of the traffic condition.
1.b. Is it bearable/okay with regular Trouser (Not Jeans) ?
2. What is your height - as even with your shoes firmly planted on the floor - I see your knees are still slightly bent - which gives a feeling seats can be comfortable for a person of 5'8"
3. How is the light throw. Are you happy with it or planning any upgrade?
4. Also- do you feel that you can drive the bike with a 3.5 yr old kid in your laps - which I do often with my son on my Pulsar 150 (2003 model). Will the kid be uncomfortable due to heat or it will be too less to feel?
5. Hypothetically- if you had to purchasing a bike again and this time Benelli 650i or 650GT are around would that change your decision?

Ninja 650 is right up there on my wishlist and I plan to get one next year (if Gods smile) - and if Versys 650 is launched - then it will add to my confusion.

Drive Safe and wish you lots of happiness with this bike.

Rating this thread a well deserved 5-Stars!
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Old 5th October 2015, 23:22   #11
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Quote:
Originally Posted by killjoy View Post
Congrats on the bike but you are one of the first Ninja guys to be happy about the braking. Most of the Ninja owners have either upgraded the brake pads or the lines or both. I would suggest that you ride another Ninja with the above and I am sure that you will want the added braking that this mod provides.
maybe because i'm upgrading from the CBZ i don't feel the lack of braking power. i did however feel a bit jittery after i took the bike after the second service - maybe while doing the final cleaning they wiped the discs with a diesel mix? couple of days later it was back to normal though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
Congratulations Ironh4wk for a stunning acqusition! She looks beautiful. And a great write up. Glad to know you put the 2013 model fiasco behind you and went ahead with the purchase. Your wife looks quite happy with the acquisition, makes life that little bit more simple! how does the bike fair on the pillion seat comfort?

Wish you many more miles of happy and safe riding!
thanks mate. the rear seat is really comfortable. on the Yercaud trip i let Aditya (n_aditya) ride the bike and i was sitting at the back shooting video. not sure how it will be on long rides.


Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Good you stuck to your grounds and insisted on a 2015 bike. And it's really surprising the KTM head would make such a statement of the VIN never really matching with the bike details. Even though the bikes are assembled in India, all the components of the bike - chasis, engine, etc have to 100% match.
thanks Allen!

the whole VIN number issue left me confused. i almost got convinced with their explanation, but then i searched on the internet and confirmed that what they were trying to push was indeed an older model. i was ready to take the 2013/14 bike if they were willing to provide discount, but when they stuck to the this is a 2015 model chant and that they cannot give discount, i just lost it.

i didn't want to put that VIN number on the forum for privacy reasons, in case that bike was sold to someone (i hear they did).

by the way, i got the ResQtech 25L washer and it's made life much easier - now i can wash the bike under 20mins!


Quote:
Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
Anyway, here's wishing you plenty of joyful and grin-filled kilometres. Keep them pistons running! Ride safe.

P.S - I happened to see two KTM RC8s parked just behind your brand new beauty in one of your photos. Any info on them?
thanks mate.

i heard that those two RC8's were brought for display at an event and were later sold off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fusionbang View Post
By the way, What is the service interval for this bike? And how good is the service for superbikes here in Bangalore? Hope you are not facing any issues with them, as they did it during delivery if it's the same guys who is servicing your bike.
the first service is at 1200km and then every 5000km; already done two services i did check with fellow Ninja owners and finally took the bike to Kasturba Road service centre. the branch in-charge, Ravi, is a nice person and makes sure the bike is taken care of.

had a problem during the second service though, but Ravi wasn't available that day. sojogator and i spent the whole day at the service centre; he had brought his Z800 since it too had crossed 6k on the odo. got the bike serviced and got home. next day early morning i had planned for a solo ride, but when i got to the basement i saw a puddle of oil under the bike. after checking i found that the drain nut had not been tightened and the oil was dripping from there.

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called Ravi and he apologised for the oversight and got someone sent to my home to fix the problem and top up the engine oil - even though they don't work on a Sunday. that's TCE right there

Last edited by IronH4WK : 5th October 2015 at 23:39.
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Old 5th October 2015, 23:40   #12
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Congratulations on your purchase ! Even though the delivery process was not smooth it was pleasant to see that you identified the discrepancies before taking delivery. It also serves as a reminder of the adage "If it's too good to be true it always is, especially in India" Though I was surprised to learn that the bike does not come equipped with ABS at this price it sure seems like a hoot and a half to ride ! Here's wishing you many kilometers of safe riding.
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Old 6th October 2015, 00:04   #13
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

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Originally Posted by IronH4WK View Post
thanks mate.

i heard that those two RC8's were brought for display at an event and were later sold off.
You're welcome.

Sold off?

Incredible. Surprised it all happened so discreetly.
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Old 6th October 2015, 08:46   #14
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
1. Can you please throw some light on engine heat as you mentioned that you use this for commute-
1.a How many kms do you commute? More specifically- from which area to which area or which road you take so that I get an idea of the traffic condition.
1.b. Is it bearable/okay with regular Trouser (Not Jeans) ?
the Ninja doesn't heat up, at least that you can feel on your legs, in normal commute. if you run the engine in a stop and go kind of traffic for long, that's when it starts heating up. however, the moment you start moving, the heat is gone.

1.a. i alternate between my car and the Ninja for office commute. when i take the Ninja, i leave early to beat the traffic. reach office in 45mins (or less) where it would have taken me more than an hour in the car. and no, i don't weave through traffic.

1.b. i travel roughly 60km a day, from Banaswadi to Electronic City and back; from one end of Bangalore to the other. you could wear your normal trousers, but i'd recommend proper riding gear - jacket, gloves, jeans (so much more comfortable), shoes - it's better to sweat than to bleed. this is me going to office

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Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
2. What is your height - as even with your shoes firmly planted on the floor - I see your knees are still slightly bent - which gives a feeling seats can be comfortable for a person of 5'8"
i'm 5'9" and when i'm seated on the bike, my feat comfortably reach the ground. this is important because when you slow down, that's when you get to feel the weight of the bike and you need your feet on the ground to manoeuvre it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
3. How is the light throw. Are you happy with it or planning any upgrade?
i've been on some really dark highways (and alleyways) and the twin headlamps pretty much light up the road for you. of course you can't expect the kind of throw you get from a car, but it's good enough for me, for now. later maybe i might think of upgrading.

by the way, the stock high beam on the 650 is powerful enough to get an instant dipper from even the cab drivers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
4. Also- do you feel that you can drive the bike with a 3.5 yr old kid in your laps - which I do often with my son on my Pulsar 150 (2003 model). Will the kid be uncomfortable due to heat or it will be too less to feel?
i would not recommend this for two reason:
1. the tank is big and you kind of lean forward on this bike, which leaves less space as compared to a Pulsar.
2. if you could manage to seat your son between the tank and you, your son's feet will be in an area where the hot air from the engine exits (just behind the faring) in peak traffic (stop and go). it becomes hot for me when i'm wearing my jeans, pretty sure it will be unbearable for your son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
5. Hypothetically- if you had to purchasing a bike again and this time Benelli 650i or 650GT are around would that change your decision?
i think i'll still stick to the Ninja 650; or if the Versys 650 were out, i'd go for that. it's not just about buying a bike, you have to think about after sales service. Benelli 650i or the Hyosung 650GT - how good is their A.S.S? can i get them fixed anywhere in the country? (this is just my take)

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
Ninja 650 is right up there on my wishlist and I plan to get one next year (if Gods smile) - and if Versys 650 is launched - then it will add to my confusion.
between the Ninja 650 and the Versys 650, i'd choose the latter. the Versys 650 opens a whole new world i can explore, where the Ninja 650 might not be able to. it's pretty much the same engine, but the bike is adapted to a different environment. depends on what you want to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daretodream View Post
Drive Safe and wish you lots of happiness with this bike.

Rating this thread a well deserved 5-Stars!
thanks mate!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketRaccoon View Post
Though I was surprised to learn that the bike does not come equipped with ABS at this price it sure seems like a hoot and a half to ride ! Here's wishing you many kilometers of safe riding.
thanks mate.

the ABS not being available at this price range is sure sad, but look at the bright side - it increases rider skill also, in India you just get one colour - the green/black. in other countries i see that one has lot of options and they come with optional ABS too!

Last edited by IronH4WK : 6th October 2015 at 08:49.
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Old 6th October 2015, 09:38   #15
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Default Re: The Ninja & me - 2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650!

Great write up Anil, I can see you are in love with your machine. You mentioned "(within a few days I got a demo of why they're so expensive!)" when talking of the frame sliders. Care to explain?
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