The bored replacement ER-6f finally came through, the parallel-twin ER-6f with a mass of updates and improvements, all dressed up to look like a closer relative of the Ninja family. We we thinking that Kawasaki has forgotten this model. The updates are impressive for the nifty middleweight, 649cc parallel-twin and reported come with assist clutch which reduces lever pressure for more effortless action in stop/start town traffic, while also adding a slipper facility for less hopping on the rear tyres when shifting down gears.
The new Ninja 650 also reportedly shed a huge 19kg compared to its predecessor, at least for experienced rider will be able to feel as they lift it off the sidestand. With new trellis frame is a big contributor to the weight loss, as well as the new asymmetrical aluminium swing-arm.
The suspension hardware is still remain the same with rear 41mm suspension that can be adjusted, and a preload adjustable rear shock which has been re-positioned to sit in a more conventional position above the swing-arm (rather than off to the side on the ER).
The braking hardware gains new Nissin calipers for superb braking control. The rider’s view is improved by a new screen, which is adjustable to three set positions offering a total range of 60mm between lowest and highest settings.
Nestled in behind the screen is new instrumentation, which is a welcome improvement over the current bike’s quirky offering – comprising a large analogue tacho and classy black LCD screen
Most notable though is the styling makeover. There’s no mistaking the inspiration, with everything fore of the swingarm pivot looking decidedly ZX-6R. The tail unit is far more redolent of the ER-6f’s item, but Kawasaki have shortened it, and given it a slightly odd upswept line.