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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

First post on the forum!
I bought a 2003 ninja 250 last year back in October as a beginner bike (After taking a motorcycle safety course, of course!) and have since put about 1,500 miles on it; after about a year on the 250, I'm ready to upgrade to a bigger bike. I've had the ninja 650 in my head ever since I bought the 250, and now that I'm only a few paychecks away from having the money to buy one, I'm getting serious about learning everything I can about it.

Originally I was looking at getting the 2012 model to keep costs down a bit and still have the latest gen bike, but after researching a bit more, I was quoted $7,199 on a 2014 ABS model at my local dealer- I didn't negotiate at all for that price, so I'm hoping to get it down to 6750 or 7000. At this point I'll be going with that bike at the end of July.

As for what I'm already going to do, I'll be taking it to a good, empty road the Sunday after I buy it so I can break it in, and I'm planning on spending about $1000 on suspension asap (Traxxon Dynamics SV650 front fork drop-ins, and a rear shock, Penske at this point). Engine performance, cosmetics, etc will all come after that (And after some pitbull stands, too).

So, what advice do you guys have for me? Anything I really need to know about buying a new bike? Tips for starting off on the Ninja 650? Anything is welcome!
Also, I did some searching on the forum for previous threads and couldn't find any, but if there's a really good thread out there already, feel free to just link it.

Thank you!
 

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Be careful what you wish for when you say, "any advice welcome." lol

Welcome to the forum, after riding the 250 I'm sure you won't be at all disappointed with the 650. Unless you are a bandit, the 650 shouldn't be at all unfamiliar except for weight and of course the extra power on tap that you are looking for anyway!
You ought to think about getting frame sliders just incase you drop her. Since you already know about the suspension I think you will be pretty well set unless you want some cosmetic mods, which I highly recommend. Personally my rear seat cowl is my favorite cosmetic mod, with the fender eliminator second, and a dark windscreen. Plus you can go faster with a seat cowl on (adds like 20 Hp. JK:))- so why wouldn't you love it. Hahaha
 

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I'll be taking it to a good, empty road the Sunday after I buy it so I can break it in, and I'm planning on spending about $1000 on suspension asap (Traxxon Dynamics SV650 front fork drop-ins, and a rear shock, Penske at this point).
not much for advice
but i am really curious as your thoughts / reasoning for both asap ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Be careful what you wish for when you say, "any advice welcome." lol

Welcome to the forum, after riding the 250 I'm sure you won't be at all disappointed with the 650. Unless you are a bandit, the 650 shouldn't be at all unfamiliar except for weight and of course the extra power on tap that you are looking for anyway!
You ought to think about getting frame sliders just incase you drop her. Since you already know about the suspension I think you will be pretty well set unless you want some cosmetic mods, which I highly recommend. Personally my rear seat cowl is my favorite cosmetic mod, with the fender eliminator second, and a dark windscreen. Plus you can go faster with a seat cowl on (adds like 20 Hp. JK:))- so why wouldn't you love it. Hahaha
Haha I'm prepared for the full wrath of the riderforums. XD

I was originally looking at a Ninja 1000, but I don't trust myself with that much power! I feel like the 650 will be a good middle ground. Frame sliders are definitely on my list, but I've also heard some people saying they actually do more harm than good... Not sure who to believe! Past the suspension, Akrapovic exhaust and PCV/Autotune, I'll pick up a fender eliminator, windscreen and a freaking gear indicator! Of course the seat cowl, along with gold rearsets, chain, sprockets and fluid caps to reduce 50 pounds. XD


not much for advice
but i am really curious as your thoughts / reasoning for both?
It's all good!
As for those, I'm taking the bike out to a deserted road to break it in. I've read countless articles on why the hard break-in method is infinitely superior to the manual's recommended method, and I need a bunch of space for it.
Also, the bike's suspension is sprung horribly, and I don't think there's anything better you can do to a bike than give it great, properly-sprung suspension. It's already going to be a ton faster than my 250, so I can wait on engine performance.
 

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Get good frame sliders and yes, they are much better than not having them. If you already plan to spend that much money on performance/looks, consider a ZX6R as older models can be had for the price range plus upgrades you mention. The ZX6R is only faster at higher RPMs if you go there. If you want more friendly ergonomics with some fun, then yes, the 650 is for you.

I broke my bike in per the manual and have seen no engine issues yet and I redline it all the time at the track. I like to think Kawasaki knows what they are talking about but I will let you make up your own mind.
 

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Which Penske shock were you looking at? Call then and talk to them about their offerings. The tech at Penske said their 8900 was basically a stock replacement for the 650 and strongly encouraged the double clicker. I was highly surprised when he basically told me not to purchase the 8900 unless my stock shock was worn out...
 

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Only put 1500 on your 250 and ready for a upgrade? 650 will be a big step up from a 250, power and weight. Mistakes you make on a 250 are easily corrected, not so much on the 650 1 till your skills increase.

Prices sound reasonable. My 2 cents on upgrades...ride the bike for a couple thousand miles and then see if you really need them. The suspension is good in stock form, inline with the rest of the bikes performance. However, I am not one to stop the economy from growing, so if you feel the need to spend $$$$ and it makes you happy - pull the trigger...
 

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Only put 1500 on your 250 and ready for a upgrade? 650 will be a big step up from a 250, power and weight. Mistakes you make on a 250 are easily corrected, not so much on the 650 till your skills increase.

Prices sound reasonable. My 2 cents on upgrades...ride the bike for a couple thousand miles and then see if you really need them. The suspension is good in stock form, inline with the rest of the bikes performance. However, I am not one to stop the economy from growing, so if you feel the need to spend $$$$ and it makes you happy - pull the trigger...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Get good frame sliders and yes, they are much better than not having them. If you already plan to spend that much money on performance/looks, consider a ZX6R as older models can be had for the price range plus upgrades you mention. The ZX6R is only faster at higher RPMs if you go there. If you want more friendly ergonomics with some fun, then yes, the 650 is for you.

I broke my bike in per the manual and have seen no engine issues yet and I redline it all the time at the track. I like to think Kawasaki knows what they are talking about but I will let you make up your own mind.
Probably about 75% of my time on this bike will be used for commuting, the rest twisties and such. I'd love to get a supersport, but the torque of the 650 for twisties and ergonomics for commuting and such far beats out any pros for a SS. Thanks for the suggestion though, I'll take the frame sliders into more consideration!

Which Penske shock were you looking at? Call then and talk to them about their offerings. The tech at Penske said their 8900 was basically a stock replacement for the 650 and strongly encouraged the double clicker. I was highly surprised when he basically told me not to purchase the 8900 unless my stock shock was worn out...
I was looking at the double clicker. It's a good chunk of change, but the stock shock really sucks, at least that's what I've been reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Only put 1500 on your 250 and ready for a upgrade? 650 will be a big step up from a 250, power and weight. Mistakes you make on a 250 are easily corrected, not so much on the 650 till your skills increase.
I'm sure, I want to take it out on a test ride before I buy it just to confirm I'm not in over my head. The biggest reason for me is versatility... The 250 is good for backroads and short commutes and such, but I feel like the 650 will make everything so much easier, from highway trips, to riding 2up(The 250 shock practically bottoms-out just from my girlfriend sitting on the back, and she's only 110. :Wow1:) to general riding.
 

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I was looking at the double clicker. It's a good chunk of change, but the stock shock really sucks, at least that's what I've been reading.
The 2012+ ninja 650 got a lot of upgrades and revisions, the stock suspension being one of them. Im 170lbs and per the manual with weight I'd actually favor going 1 click under to soak up the bumpy PA roads. Its a pretty good system in the rear, I'd say a little more than satisfactory. The fronts are nothing to write home about, but they are a fantastic balance between communiting and sport. Possibly more leaning to the commuting side. It's going to feel like a tighter bike in all regards compared to the 250 you have. They really modernized the latest ninja and did a good job with it. If you only have those bit of miles you should just buy it and ride it. You don't have the experience, nor will you for some time to tap into the potential of any of the gadgets you're mentioning.

Where in PA are you? I got my 2013 from ridersville cycle in WV for 5971 after everything was done, taxes/tags/titled in PA.
 

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I wasn't too much over break in on my 250 before moving to a 650. As long as you have learned good throttle control, there is really nothing to worry about.

Most of us just switched to a standard single adjustment rear shock and that makes a world of difference. There is no reason to get anything more unless you are trying to tweak every last millisecond on a track. As always, I say ride it for awhile and you will figure out what upgrades mean the most to you for your riding style. You may find the stock shock works just fine.
 

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If everything you've shared is an accurate description of your past and present, then listen to XP: pull trigger on the 650, put on frame sliders, and ride it. If all the experience you have is MSF and 1500 miles in a year on a 250, then you're not going to benefit from the upgrades you have in mind. The bike in its stock form can "twisty" better than your capabilities. 75% commute would be better served by comfort, convenience, and personalization upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Don't worry, I'm not planning on upgrading its suspension the day I buy it, that stuff can get expensive! I'll ride it for a while, and if I feel like the bike could really benefit from suspension work, then I'll go for it.
Also, I guess I'll be going for the frame sliders asap. Everyone seems to be on board on that aspect!

Where in PA are you? I got my 2013 from ridersville cycle in WV for 5971 after everything was done, taxes/tags/titled in PA.
I'm right outside of Harrisburg. I saw a good deal on a 2012 model in New York City (6000, listed on cycletrader) but the problem is I'm only 17, so my dad insists on being there during negotiations, and he doesn't want to drive 150 miles... Darn, oh well! I'll be pushing really hard for 6750 on the 2014 I'm looking at.
 

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Don't worry, I'm not planning on upgrading its suspension the day I buy it, that stuff can get expensive! I'll ride it for a while, and if I feel like the bike could really benefit from suspension work, then I'll go for it.
Also, I guess I'll be going for the frame sliders asap. Everyone seems to be on board on that aspect!



I'm right outside of Harrisburg. I saw a good deal on a 2012 model in New York City (6000, listed on cycletrader) but the problem is I'm only 17, so my dad insists on being there during negotiations, and he doesn't want to drive 150 miles... Darn, oh well! I'll be pushing really hard for 6750 on the 2014 I'm looking at.
Well, if you end up needing help im a little less than an hour away.
 

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