The engine is mostly smooth but gets a little tingly after 8000 rpm.
The ninja 650 is powered by a 649 cc parallel twin engine which produces 68 bhp at 8500 rpm and 65.7 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm. Now this amount of power is a lot more than a beginner sports bike which cranks out about 20 bhp. But the engine on the ninja 650 feels tame under 5000 rpm. Don't get me wrong, the engine screams after it hits the 5000 mark but it can be an everyday bike if you know what you're doing. Top speed is 212 kmph.
Riding posture and handling
The riding posture on the ninja 650 is more comfortable than a beginner sports bike too (Yamaha R15 is much more committed and uncomfortable). The reach to the handlebar is not too leaned in and the rider seat is very approachable with a low 790 mm seat height. This means anyone over 5 feet 6 inches can firmly plant both feet on the ground and people over 5 feet 3 inches can still feel comfortable riding it. The above average comfort of the pillion seat is a bonus.
I've ridden the ninja 650 several times and have always been impressed with the ride and handling balance that the suspension provide. It's a tad firm but far from uncomfortable and remains planted on the twisty bits.
Braking in the front is undertaken by twin 300 mm petal discs clamped hard by dual piston Nissin calipers. These do a stupendous job in bringing the bike to a halt from any speed. The bite is strong and the feel is progressive. The feeling of disconnect that we get from bikes like the KTM RC 390 is absent here and there is a strong co-relation between the brake lever and the brake pads. The rear is a single 220 mm disc which does a decent job but it doesn't really matter as most of your braking is going to happen in the front. ABS comes as standard and is not too intrusive in regular application.
Overall look and feel
It's a Kawasaki! The build quality and materials used are top notch and the way the whole bike is put together, puts it in the premium category. The 2020 ninja 650 gets an all digital instrument console but this 2019 part-analogue console is the pick! Every motorcycle should have an analogue tachometer. The visibility is clear overall and the information on display is everything you'd expect.
The fairing is rigid and doesn't flex or rattle at any engine speed. The KRT (Kawasaki racing team) paint scheme suits this bike the best and nobody can confuse this for any other brand.
The Ninja 650 is a well built motorcycle with strong performance. It can keep up with other bikes on the race track and still deals with the daily grind just fine. Fuel economy is decent too (18-20kmpl in the city and 25kmpl on the highway).
At 5.89 lakh ex-showroom, this may just be the best motorcycle overall for the money and punches well above its weight.