The Kawasaki Ninja 650R is the North-American-market, faired version of the motorcycle ER-6n, known as the ER-6f elsewhere in the world, introduced in 2006. The 650R is a middleweight twin motorcycle, designed for normal use on paved roads. It has modern styling and features, with low-seating ergonomics, a low center of gravity, and respectable, manageable power output. Its design was intended to appeal to a wide-ranging audience from newcomers to seasoned riders. The design was meant to maximize rider comfort and integration, and be aesthetically equivalent to larger, more powerful superbikes.
The 650R/faired ER-6, known as the ER-6f overseas, was introduced to the market in 2006 by Kawasaki Motorcycles. The unfaired ER-6n was not sold in North America until the 2009 model year. The 2008 650R has an MSRP of $6,499 USD, $200 more than the 2006 model. The motorcycle fits above the Ninja 250R & Ninja 500R models which already existed in Kawasaki's sportbike lineup, which includes the famous Ninja ZX models. For 2009, Kawasaki released an updated Ninja 650R which includes new bodywork, mirrors, gauges, lighting, and a new tune on the same 649cc engine. The curb weight is reported as 440.9 lbs instead of the previous dry weight of 393. The MSRP of the 2009 model is $6,799, making it the most expensive Ninja 650 to date.
2006-2009 Model Specifications
Displacement: 649 cc
Horsepower Peak (est.): 72 bhp (54 kW) @8,500 rpm
2006: Galaxy Silver/Metallic Graystone/Flame Persimmon Red, Ebony/Galaxy Silver/Flame Persimmon Red
The 650R or ER-6F was released shortly after the original "naked version" and the full fairing was added on directly to this original design. Unfortunately, vibrations from the running engine causes a problem commonly referred to as "fairing buzz". A buzzing noise from the front fairing is most notable in the low- to mid-range of the engine when vibrations are strongest. Reports of this problem have identified the upper left fairing and windshield as potential sources of the noise, but this problem is not limited to only those locations. Improvised custom solutions for this problem include rubber washers, electrical tape, and weather stripping; however, a fix covered under warranty was later provided by Kawasaki first in the USA, then later in other countries such as Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Many early 2006 owners did not receive "helmet tethers" (used to secure helmets to the bike when not riding). In most cases Kawasaki shipped the cables to owners free of charge, because installation is easy enough for individuals to do themselves.
For some owners the mirror stalks are not long enough and, as a result, do not allow for a full view to objects (including cars) directly behind the rider.
The handlebars remained unchanged from the original ER-6N design, which are more suited to more traditional "roadster" style motorcycles and offer a fairly unagressive, almost upright riding position. With the Ninja 650r aimed at being more of a sports bike rather than a middleweight tourer, the riding position feels inappropriate to some, although the handlebars and their mounting are a standard type and can easily be replaced with after-market parts.
ER-6n, now available in the US for 2009
In Europe the Ninja 650R is sold as the ER-6f ("f" denoting faired version) of the ER-6, the "naked" roadster version is sold as the ER-6n. In 2009, Kawasaki introduced the ER-6n in the USA. The ER-6f differed slightly from the Ninja 650R as it featured the passenger handlebars as standard and a full single colored fairing. In addition the option of ABS brakes were made available for both the ER-6n and ER-6f. There is also a derivative of the ER-6 called the Versys which utilises many of the component parts. In many European countries the ER-6n naked version has proven considerably more popular than the 6f.