One of the bikes that’s often recommended for novice riders in the Kawasaki Ninja 250R or 650R. The Ninja 650R frame houses a parallel-twin engine that spits out a respectable 62 hp and can propel the bike down the 1/4 mile dragstrip in 12 seconds flat. However, that same twin, being parallel, is shorter than a v-twin, and the bike is narrower than a big inline four such as the ZX-6. This makes the bike easier to handle for smaller riders, and the comfortable, more upright riding position is better for everyday commuting and touring stints.
Many riders opt to purchase a Ninja 650R used. The prices are great:
- 2006 model: $3645
- 2008 model: $4420
But there are few things to keep a look out for when inspecting used specimens. Some 2006 models have misaligned engine models that are prone to cracking, so check for this. Also check for coolant leaks around the lower fairing, or evidence of previous ones. A weak seal often allows oil to collect at the junction of the crankcase and airbox.
Here’s a video of a guy who has now ridden his 650R over 40,000 miles!
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