1st time 650 future owner since major injury

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1st time 650 future owner since major injury

This is a discussion on 1st time 650 future owner since major injury within the General Ninja 650R forums, part of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R category; Hey all. Hope I found the right forum and right bike. I haven't had my knees in the wind in a good 5 years. I ...

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Thread: 1st time 650 future owner since major injury

  1. #1
    Newbie Swaglife81's Avatar
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    1st time 650 future owner since major injury

    Hey all. Hope I found the right forum and right bike. I haven't had my knees in the wind in a good 5 years. I was babysitting one day in 2011 and started messing around on a BMX like my teenage days. Started a slow speed peddling type wheelie and came down hard and landed on my tail bone. Turns out I had a burst fracture on my L2 vertabrae and it was crushed in pieces. Rods, screws, a long healing process. Now that I'm older 35. I'm ready to have fun again. This will be my first owned bike. The last two bikes I rode were a 08 Honda CBR1000 and 05 Busa . My roommate and best friends bike. Obviously not the best beginner bikes at all but I respect HP and Torque. Other bikes risen were 03 V-Rod and 250 Ninja (not sure on year) Im not an experienced rider at all but I have miles under my belt on 10 second bikes and 15 second bikes.

    I've been dreaming of the time I was ready after my injury to finally get a fun bike that will last me for a few years at least. I'm a guy who spent 6 months deciding on a car to keep for a long time and I usually buy new.

    I first targeted the Bahamas FZ6R but after enough research and forum reading it looks like the 2017 Ninja with ABS is that bike. The CBR500r seemed to be a little low on power for my liking. I'm probably gonna hold out and wait for a used 2017 if I can find one at the right price.

    Bike needs - More than 50HP but less than 100HP and full fairing. Not the most aggressive seating position (still have rods in my back) Also need to have some aftermarket available. I've been a car tweaker for 20 years so I gotta get my hands dirty for fun. Cross between a touring, corner Carver, drag, commute bike.

    The only thing I'm really waiting on to pull the trigger outside of buying the bike now is I want and need to buy all my gear before hand. Helmet to boots and everything in between.

    Glad to be apart of the forum, sorry for any typos as I'm on a mobile device right now.
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  2. #2
    Rising Star chdrummerdude's Avatar
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    Welcome! The ninja is by no means a drag bike but you could run it down the strip if you wanted to. It is a very reliable, economical, and fun bike if you aren't power hungry. The bike has enough power to keep it fun and easily more than enough to get you into trouble really quick. It's just a great all around bike.

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  3. #3
    Supreme Being Vic.Thing's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the numbers yet but '17 650 should be a solid 12.0 second bike, I think it lost about 40 lbs, has a new aluminum swingarm, and of course new looks. Seems like something that fits pretty well with what you're looking for.

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    Supreme Being twowheeladdict's Avatar
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    Not sure what your repaired back can handle regarding jolts, nor do I know if they improved the ride on the new Ninja 650s, but my '07 was a jarring ride on anything but a smooth road. Definitely get a good test ride before you decide anything. I am going through back issues (herniated disk S1) and riding is not fun right now. I might have to move to a plush suspension adventure bike.
    Vic.Thing likes this.
    Skill is what keeps you on two wheels.

    Situational awareness combined with skill is what keeps you out of harm's way.

    ATGATT combined with Situational Awareness and Skill means you might live to ride another day when that deer runs into your bike or that drunk blows through that stop sign.

  6. #5
    Newbie slid3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
    Not sure what your repaired back can handle regarding jolts, nor do I know if they improved the ride on the new Ninja 650s, but my '07 was a jarring ride on anything but a smooth road. Definitely get a good test ride before you decide anything. I am going through back issues (herniated disk S1) and riding is not fun right now. I might have to move to a plush suspension adventure bike.
    Currently riding an 07 with slightly softer front forks and an aftermarket rear spring, man... It definitely is a bumpy ride when you get off of anything that's not smooth road. I am surprised at the control you still have, but definitely look into a newer bike, and get a good test ride in for sure.

  7. #6
    Newbie Swaglife81's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the replies. In reference to a bike I can take to the strip doesn't mean I'm wanting a drag bike. Our track here is only a 1/8 mile but I'm blessed with a lot of freeway commutes and open mountain roads. My area is truly that open area perfect for a bike.

    Once I digged in on what the 2017 had to offer I was sold. Factory clip ons, better looking tail, redesigned/lighter everything. The tensile steel frame I like. Adjustable windscreen, gauge cluster, etc etc. The Ninja was due a good upgrade and I wanted a abs bike too.

    Since I've had that major life threatening injury already, my mind is gonna concentrate alot more on safety. I won't push things to the edge like I would have 10-15 years ago. I really hope the suspension is upgraded enough to make me happy in stock form.

  8. #7
    Supreme Being rcannon409's Avatar
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    I hate to go to this level, and most of us here are all about performance...but that new 650 is good looking.

    Its funny, but I have a bunch of vintage magazines. The new 650 very much matches the performance of the original kz900. Very similar hp output, but the new 650 is about 100lbs lighter.

    I knwo, in modern times its not a performance machine, but still, plenty.
    2012 Ninja 1000 all green - Brembo 330mm rotors - AK20 fork cartridges -Penske shock-slipper -Ivans reflash...Leo Vince slip on and Arrow header

  9. #8
    Supreme Being Green Rocket's Avatar
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    It's a great bike for most of your needs. The new 2017 does not have traditional clip-ons. It's really a bar that's styled to look like it has 2 separate clip-ons. And the aftermarket (as well as Kawasaki accessory department) is pretty slim right now.
    Because of your back issue you should try to do a test ride. The riding position and non-plush handling might work or it might not. I would be surprised if the 2017 has an "upgraded suspension" compared to earlier models. I'm assuming it's just different, as the price of the bike has not gone up.
    You might feel better with an adventure bike's more upright position, but some folks with back issues can feel fine on this bike.
    2009 650R

  10. #9
    Newbie 12kawinc's Avatar
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    One of the reasons why i bought my 2012 Ninja is the riding position.I can ride it all day and have had back issues for 30+ years.I put a little larger Puig windscreen on to deflect wind from puling at my helmet(neck).Coming from someone who has owned lots of bikes its a good dependable bike.

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    Up-And Comer ninja650gal's Avatar
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    I can attest that the factory stock suspension will most likely never be called plush. I'm riding a 2015, which is the older version. I suspect that the upgrades didn't go into the suspension, as the frame, swing arm, wheels, etc, etc, etc had to be paid for somehow. However, I have put in a couple of 350+ mile days on mine, and wasn't very sore the next day. And I'm ancient, getting really close to the big 60.
    The riding position itself is much to my liking. Nowhere near as radical as a "true" sports bike, yet not the "sit up and beg" of some of the cruisers out there. While the 2017 gives up a few minor things, such as 3HP and a little capacity in the gas tank, they do certainly look enticing to me. IMHO, and as you might expect, I feel the Ninja 650 is just about perfect for me. YMMV, by the way... ;-)

  12. #11
    Newbie kalifornia's Avatar
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    keep in mind the versys 650, basically a taller, softer ninja kick *** do everything bike as well
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  13. #12
    Up-And Comer mark_tampa's Avatar
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    I bought my '14 Ninja 650 2 years ago new for $5500 (last year model blowout). I had not ridden in 20 years since a teen and got the bug. Did the MSF thing and went shopping for a bike. Wanted something for sporty weekend riding that I wouldn't kill myself on. 180 mile rides through Florida's country roads, not the interstate. Don't have tat's or a ponytail so I can't ride a Harley. Wanted more upright seating position and the 650 fit the bill. In two years I've put 24,000 on it. Have a few liter bike guys at work ask when I'm upgrading to a liter bike. I tell them I'm not (at least for awhile) - I can't think of ANYTHING I dislike about the bike. I know it's not the fastest - but fast enough for me, doesn't corner like a RR - but better than a cruiser, etc.

  14. #13
    Newbie Swaglife81's Avatar
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    I mentioned I had a lower back injury but I have no issues. The doctor did an amazing job repairing me. Not even any pain management after 6 months from healing. Now that I'm years out of surgery it feels great. Not perfect.

    I imagine the front suspension is setup for a potential 300 lb man. I'm currently 160 and 6 foot tall with around a 33 inch inseam. So I hope they made the front better. I don't need a super sport. I like how they smoothed out the dip in the powerband. I did find out they aren't clip ons but look like clip ons like the above already said. It does look alot better. I look at the bike like it's a Mustang GT. It's not a Cobra or Saleem/Roush and never will be. Similar in style except cosmetics and the suspension, tires, etc are daily driverish

    On a side note, now that I'm getting ready as the season is here. Everyone should read "Total Control" 2nd Edition it's like a Twist the wrist kinda book but IMO better to the normal guys. So much info dealing with psychology and riding. Fear vs Confidence. It's a book that has life saving information

  15. #14
    Up-And Comer mark_tampa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swaglife81 View Post
    I mentioned I had a lower back injury but I have no issues. The doctor did an amazing job repairing me. Not even any pain management after 6 months from healing. Now that I'm years out of surgery it feels great. Not perfect.

    I imagine the front suspension is setup for a potential 300 lb man. I'm currently 160 and 6 foot tall with around a 33 inch inseam. So I hope they made the front better. I don't need a super sport. I like how they smoothed out the dip in the powerband. I did find out they aren't clip ons but look like clip ons like the above already said. It does look alot better. I look at the bike like it's a Mustang GT. It's not a Cobra or Saleem/Roush and never will be. Similar in style except cosmetics and the suspension, tires, etc are daily driverish

    On a side note, now that I'm getting ready as the season is here. Everyone should read "Total Control" 2nd Edition it's like a Twist the wrist kinda book but IMO better to the normal guys. So much info dealing with psychology and riding. Fear vs Confidence. It's a book that has life saving information
    Pretty good way to look at it. Always look at Ninja 250 and 300's as a Miata equivalent in a car and the 650's as Mustang, 636's as Subaru WRZ's and the liter+ sport bikes as 'Vettes or better. I'm sure after not riding for 20+ years that jumping on a 1000rr would be suicide (also not my kinda bike anyway) and a 250-300cc not having the power to ride the way I like. The 650 fit the bill just fine. Wanted something like my room-mates CB750 I used to ride to remind me of my youth, but more modern sport bike looking. My butt gets a bit sore after 150 miles or so non stop but never a sore back. I'm 6'0 210#'s or so.

    I do ride a bit offroad (unimproved "fire roads" for lack of a better term), but once I get to the really soft stuff I have to turn back. Kinda want a Versys 650 or 1000 for that type of riding but don't like the physical size of them - kind of intimidating compared to the Ninja 650. Also limited space in the garage as well - I can squeeze 2 cars and the bike in my 2 car garage - but if the bike was 4 or 5 inches longer, I couldn't fit it in.

    Kinda daydreaming about a Versys 1k, but goes back to why I like the 650 - does everything I like good enough for my skill set without getting in over my head, so why upgrade. 24,000 miles on the 650 and I can still hurt myself fine - went racing after a few sport bikes on a back road, hit a turn to hot - stood the bike upright and tried to stop but got speed wobbles. Put my feet down and somehow twisted my knee pretty good. Didn't drop the bike but a really painful ride home. Lesson learned.

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