Kawasaki’s middleweight Ninja 650 ABS gets a refresh for 2017 with improvements to the chassis, outward design, engine and transmission.
We’ve since test ridden the Ninja 650 – read about it in the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS First Test Review.
The announcement comes as part of Kawasaki Motor Corps. 2017 US model reveal, which also includes an update to the 650’s larger sibling, the Ninja 1000 ABS. The major focus on the 1000 was a broad assortment of new electronics, but for the 650 Kawasaki’s focus turned to mechanical and structural enhancements.
This includes a new high-tensile steel trellis frame which uses the engine as a stressed member and a new gull-arm swingarm. These refinements have contributed to the Ninja 650 losing almost 40 pounds, according to Kawasaki.
The rear suspension unit is a centralized, horizontal back-link design aimed at improving feel and action at the back of the bike.
Seat height has been lowered more than half an inch and the top-mount, clip-on style handlebars are a bit taller than before creating a more upright and relaxed ride position. The windscreen is now adjustable and a gear position indicator has been added to the digital display.
There’s new Nissin brake calipers and lighter five-spoke wheels too, both helping to shave nearly four pounds from the total weight of the machine.
The 649cc Parallel Twin has revised intake and throttle body components, to improve atomization and air flow. The camshafts are updated to reduce overlap and the exhaust pipe is shortened. Kawasaki had low- and mid-range gains in mind with the engine refinements, as well as to create a more consistent torque line.
The motorcycle also has a new assist and slipper clutch.
In terms of appearance, the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 comes with a new front cowling to give it a sportier look and an x-pattern LED taillight.
Kawasaki offers the Ninja 650 in a few different configurations, a non-ABS edition, the ABS version and a KRT Edition. The 650 and 650 ABS comes in Metallic Spark Black, Pearl Blizzard White or Candy Burnt Orange while the KRT Edition is in a Lime Green/Ebony colorway. The standard Ninja 650 prices at $7399, the Ninja 650 ABS is $7799 and the KRT Edition is $7999.