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Much Lighter 2017 Ninja 650 ABS Coming to U.S.


The thoroughly revised 2017 Ninja 650 ABS will be available in the U.S. this market year (exact date unknown at this point).  Very significant changes include, but are not limited to, an entirely new frame and swingarm (contributing to a near 40 pound weight loss), redesigned fairing, headlight, and other design elements, and the “Assist and Slipper Clutch” Kawasaki is introducing on several new models.

The U.S. model 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS will be priced at $7,799. A non-ABS model is priced at $7,399, and a special “KRT Edition” will be priced at $7,999.

Follow this link for more details and specifications, and here is the full press release from Kawasaki:

A lone sportbike is heard gliding through the turns of a two-lane mountain road. A casual Sunday, with the sun falling behind the peaks, and the light fading. Through one corner and onto the next, each mile bringing a new adventure. Carving out your own line, you daydream of the racetrack. The race may be on TV, but at home your couch is empty. Instead, you replay the race in your head as you roll into the next corner and out to a long straight. You blast past the local biker-hangout café. The parking lot is full, riders stand and talk in their full-race leathers. But you have no time for standing.

Your bike isn’t meant for a parking lot.

Riding through the canyons on the weekend or to work on Monday, introducing the new, easy-going sportbike, the Ninja® 650 motorcycle.

The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650:

  • NEW Stronger, lighter frame
  • NEW Rear suspension and redesigned gull-arm swingarm
  • UPDATED Parallel twin 650cc engine
  • NEW Sportbike cowling, headlight and design elements.

With improved styling resembling that of its bigger siblings, the stylish 2017 Ninja 650 features new components. Built for the street rider who wants the performance of the Ninja family, but with more street-focused ergonomics and control, the Ninja 650 is new with a twin-spar frame and the redesigned, race-proven 650cc parallel twin.

The mid-sized member in the Ninja lineup, the Ninja 650 is built to satisfy the needs of riders who want to step up from a Ninja® 300, but don’t want the high technology, cost and high performance of the Ninja® ZX™-6R.

The Ninja 650 is truly a member of the Ninja family, with a new front cowling that takes styling cues from the Ninja ZX™-10R motorcycle, but with comfortable ergonomics so riders can enjoy this ride for more miles. The Ninja 650 will also be available without ABS.



  • Racing inspired fairing and bodywork style
  • NEW Sporty front cowling
  • NEW X-pattern LED taillight
  • NEW Trellis frame and centrally positioned rear shock

The Ninja 650’s new upper cowling fits with the Ninja family identity. The chin spoiler below the headlight emulates the design theme from the Ninja® ZX™-10R. Accompanying the new front cowling is a sharply redesigned headlight.

New mirrors contribute to the stylish look and enhance visibility. Further adding to the sporty look is a X-shaped LED taillight. 


  • Modern, parallel-twin cylinder 649cc engine
  • Smooth and responsive performance with improved low-to-mid range for easy starts and stronger acceleration on the street
  • NEW Assist and slipper clutch for lighter clutch pull and reduced wheel hop during downshifts
  • NEW Short under-engine exhaust contributes to mass centralization and light handling

Kawasaki’s 650cc parallel twin has been a winner on the race track in the AMA PRO Flat Track series, and is also a proven street engine. Designed with a steady and smooth torque curve and progressive clutch, the power plant for the Ninja 650 is great for riders of all experience levels, making for a fun and easy ride for riders gaining experience and for those with thousands of miles under their belts.

The engine of the 2017 Ninja 650 features a new, slimmer intake and throttle body ports which allow for finer atomization of fuel and improved engine air-flow. These changes result in improved, smoother power down-low. Camshafts also now feature reduced overlap and less duration. The exhaust pipe length has also been shortened.

These changes result in an engine that’s smooth and progressive with better low-to-mid range power. The engine retains its smooth off-throttle power delivery, with a steady climb to max output. The torque curve is now smoother and more consistent to redline. Along with more performance and better emissions the 650cc engine also has improved fuel consumption.

A new assist and slipper clutch allows for a lighter clutch pull and reduces rear-wheel hop during downshifting. This is ideal for new riders learning and for those wanting a carefree ride.



  • NEW lighter weight
  • NEW slimmer and lighter frame
  • NEW lighter and more stylish gull-arm design swingarm
  • NEW Horizontal back-link rear suspension for improved traction, response and ride comfort

An new high-tensile steel, trellis frame uses the engine as a stress-member, bringing engineering development from performance bikes like the Ninja H2™ to a lightweight, entry-level platform. Minimized bends cut down on stress-points in the frame and result in a lighter overall weight by nearly 40 pounds. The rear section of the frame is twin-tube, for added rigidity and improved carrying capacity. 

The new gull-arm swingarm provides space for the central mounted exhaust, while creating a strong mount from the frame pivot point to axle. The new horizontal back-link suspension design features a linkage with progressive ratio, creating better suspension action and improves the rider’s feel of the road.


  • NEW Upright riding position has been adjusted to be more relaxed yet sporty
  • NEW Slightly reduced seat height for lower center of gravity and stable foot placement
  • NEW Adjustable windscreen provides improved wind protection and facilitates highway riding/touring
  • NEW Digital display meter adds a gear position indicator and improved visibility

The Ninja 650 tows the line between racy sportbike and comfortable commuter. New top-mount clip-on handlebars further showcase its sportbike heritage, but the slightly higher positioning, combined with the new, lower seat height, allows the rider to sit upright with relaxed hand positioning. The grips are mounted slightly forward, to aid in the slightly aggressive stance, making the Ninja 650 a great motorcycle on the weekend canyon ride or on the Monday commute.

This year the Ninja 650 seat height has been lowered 15mm, for a more stable foot placement when stopped and lower center of gravity. This year features a newly designed adjustable windscreen for added wind protection.



  • NEW Nissin brake calipers for improved braking feel
  • NEW Brakes and 5-spoke wheels are lighter (3.96 pounds) contributing to light handling


Ninja 650 – Metallic Spark Black

Ninja 650 – Pearl Blizzard White

Ninja 650 – Candy Burnt Orange

Ninja 650 – Lime Green/Ebony (KRT Edition)


2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 – $7,399

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS – $7,799

2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 KRT Edition – $7,999

Availability: AVA

For a full spec sheet on the 2017 Ninja 650 motorcycle, visit



Kawasaki Genuine Accessories offers a wide variety of great add-ons to help customize your Ninja 650 into a unique machine built for your needs. Accessories include, but are not limited to a color-matched 30 Liter top case with back rest pad, tank bag, spoiler screen or sport screen, as well as power outlets and deluxe side covers. New for the 2017 Ninja 650 are accessories that include: frame slider set, helmet lock, knee pad set, radiator trim, color-matched seat cowl, tank pad, U-lock and U-lock bracket, etc.

A full range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available at authorized Kawasaki dealers. Please visit your local Kawasaki dealership for more information.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Don says:

    What’s up with the front fairing being nowhere near the handlebars? It looks like it’s falling off. Really weird looking.

    • Dave says:

      I’m sure the designers wanted the bike to look more klike a sport bike. Too muck body volume, too high = touring bike.

  2. moving forward says:

    progressive linkage for better suspension action….hmmm? less duration and overlap….who wanted more hp anyway?

    • Selecter says:

      Matter of necessity for Euro 4, most likely. That’s what this whole thing meant – either you’re going to lose HP/torque by making an existing engine compliant, or you’re going to have to bump displacement to stay in basically the same place. We’re seeing it everywhere, unfortunately.

  3. Dave says:

    The 650 twin has always been a great bike. The weight reduction will really make a significant difference. That rear end is just ugly though.

  4. Dino says:

    So… with all the new Kawasaki models released, it seems the “drooping” headlights is a design theme to unify all their models. But my cup of tea, but this model especially looks out of proportion.

    It looks like the front fairing is 75% scale.. it doesn’t reach the top of the tank or bars like you would expect, and just looks wrong.. Like the young kids with their pants half way down their ass (maybe that is their target demographic?).

    I want to like most of these models, but whatever I look at, I want to rip the headlights of and make something normal for it… uggh.

  5. bmbktmracer says:

    Wow! 4 color choices, 2 of which are actually real colors! It’s a nice looking bike and it’s great to see Kawasaki ladling some love onto this little gem.

  6. billy says:

    So what is the claimed hp and weight?

    I guess this is one I’ll have to see up close. It nearly has a beak and along with the stubby tail it looks really out of proportion. Do you agree?