Kawasaki and Bajaj are in the process of bringing to India their significantly revised 2012 model Ninja 650R.
The inbound 650R gets revised styling; all its body panels have been redesigned with styling cues from the larger Ninja while using sharper angles for a meaner, more aggressive demeanour and wider panel gaps for better engine heat dissipation. There’s a three step adjustable visor now that requires tools to shift between a 60mm range and suit every individual rider’s height or riding style.
The instruments offer LED-powered white backlighting, an analogue tachometer, plus indications for fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, remaining range left to ride as well as the addition of an economy riding mode indicator. The 650R’s ignition key slots in over its fuel tank, allowing a clearer view of the instrument cluster. Sleek LED powered tail lamps are standard.
The engine stays Kawasaki’s potent and proven 649cc, parallel-twin, liquid cooled and four-stroke unit, with improved low- and mid-range torque delivery thanks to a revised exhaust system. The frame and swingarm are new and fabricated from twin pipes. The suspension is modified, providing 5mm more stroke in front and 2mm extra at the rear, which is still a visible, near-horizontal single strut. Lower spring damping rates have improved ride quality and sportier handling is being claimed.
The 2012 Ninja 650R’s fuel tank size has increased slightly, while the new model uses a more compact battery. Kerb weight is up a few kilos, at close to 208kg.
The latest 650R comes with rubber-mounted split seats with improved padding, and rubber mounting is also provided for the rider footrests and 20mm wider handlebar. And while petal type disc brake sizes remain a constant front and rear, new pad material is in place for enhanced braking.
Expect to shell out a premium over what Kawasaki and Bajaj today ask for their outgoing Ninja 650R, but receive a whole lot more value to make up for this in return.