I'm no fan of "First Ride Reports". So skip the criticisms and go on to the next post if you are.
1) HP and Torque measurements? I don't care what the maximum is. I never ride at those rpms. I want to know what the bike can do in and out of the vibration range. Are freeway speeds right where you get maximum buzz? Is it torquey on acceleration and up to cruising speed or do I need to gas it to get it through a flat spot?
2) RPM at 65. Tells me how the bike is geared.
3) What does the thing weigh? MO is the only magazine (e-zine) I read that doesn't report wet weights. Is it that hard to get that number?? You can get pretty close by using a good bathroom scale and weighing each wheel separately. You have to get the other wheel perfectly horizontal, but you should be able to get within about 2%.
These are the things the advertising copy doesn't tell you or lies about. Ride reports just fill time and space - like me at work.
This is a great idea for a motorcycle. It looks to be fun, reasonably quick, decent ergos, good fuel economy(?) and its nivce looking. I imagine this Kawasaki will sell quite well and if it is as good as it seems to be, it deserves to to do so. I'm sure the litre class sport bike crowd will look down on it but it sure seems like a real world bike for folks who don't need or want to go 160mph on the way to work.
Maybe it didn't appear as obvious as I thought in the story. Nevertheless, I'll restate that the engine is turning roughly 5,000rpm at around 70mph.
As to your questions about vibration and "maximum buzz", again I refer to the story but will repeat that the 650R is very smooth, especially considering it's configuration. Have you ever ridden a parallel twin?
Since this was a press intro, things like weights, HP, torque and the like are frequently absent at the time. Not in every case but it's not unusual. Of course if you'd like to send us your bathroom scale--sans body hair, toe nail clippings and "stains", we'll consider adding wet weights to future stories--Pete
nice write up Pete! That is a good looking bike, and I think that is what is going to sell them to there intended market. I rode an ex 500 once and had a blast, and it sounds like the diff in price will be worth it. My hats off to Kawi for creating an interesting bike. I'd ride it with pride like I do my low budget 1200 Bandit.
I could have summed it up - first ride reports deliver less than what I'm hoping to learn from them. In this case I'm particularly interested in the Kawi 650. OK, It's almost Christmas fer crissakes - thanks for the report.
"Have you ever ridden a parallel twin?"
Yes, old 360 and 180 degree versions. They vibrate like hell. I've only ridden the Triumph Bonne in this century. Great bike!!
I can't, in good conscience, send you my bathroom scale, because it has been reading erroneously high the last few years.
Sorry, no talk of either. I couldn't even get a clear answer on why a cassette tranny. And more importantly, where this bike will leave the Ninja500. In my opinion, this new Ninja makes the 500 moot. But they claim, at least before the 650R, that the 500 is still a top seller.--Pete