A note from the department of It Didn’t Have ABS Already? For 2013, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 gains optional anti-lock brakes. That’s particularly good news, because this thing is a great (and great-looking) option for less experienced riders moving up to their first big bike or for people looking for a practical, economical all-rounder.
In a rare occurrence of a Japanese OEM actually fitting the tires that belong on the bike, to the bike from new, the Ninja 650 also comes with Dunlop RoadSmart IIs, which are among the grippiest, fastest to warm, most reassuring in the wet road tires we’ve ever used.
Another impressive feat? The Ninja 650 comes in genuinely appealing colors — white, blue, black — and there’s not a tribal flame, ghost skull or any other graphic retardation to be seen anywhere. Yes, you can actually buy a bike from Kawasaki that you won’t be ashamed to be seen on without first spending an entire day with a can of Goo-B-Gone and a hairdryer.
Sadly, ABS does come at a premium. The regular bike is $7,599, the ABS model is $8,099. Trust us, being able to whack on your brakes without worrying about locking them is worth $500, no matter how much experience you have.