2009_ER-6F.jpgAlready an appealingly practical, basic motorcycle, the 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650R adapts a ZX-6R-style fairing for better looks and chassis, suspension and engine refinements to make it a better all-rounder. The key to the little Ninja’s appeal is its 650cc parallel-twin engine — essentially one half of a ZX-12R’s — with 72bhp and 48.5lb/ft; it’s both punchy and characterful. For 2009 its fuel-injection system has been revised for more low-down torque and greater smoothness, which is really what it needed most as the previous generation’s snatchy throttle made it intimidating to novices; the market to which it’s targeted.
>The engine also gets most of its cooling moved inside the cases (rather
than through external hoses) and a new catalyzer capable of removing
more harmful emissions. All this brings it in line with Euro-III
emissions regulations.

2009_Ninja_650R.jpgTo reduce vibrations, the chassis’ rigidity balance has been revised
and new rubber mounts attach the frame to the rear of the engine. The
handlebars are now rubber-mounted too, while the foot pegs get rubber
treads. The seat has also been made slimmer and lower to make the bike less intimidating to new riders.

2009_ER-6F-2.jpgKawasaki also claim other changes have been made to the suspension and swingarm to make the 650R lighter handling, but at this point don’t offer specifics. It’s priced at $6,799 in the US.

2009_Ninja_650R-4.jpgThe company isn't quoting a revised weight, but we don't see any reason why it should climb above the previous model's novice-friendly 178kg / 392lb dry weight.


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