By Dennis Chung
Kawasaki announced some changes to the 2020 Ninja 650, including new LED headlights and a TFT color display plus new bodywork that brings its styling more in line with the company’s Ninja sportbike lineup.
The upper fairing is wider and sports the same front profile with the jutting chin, a look introduced on the Ninja H2 and later filtered through the Ninja lineup to models like the ZX-6R and Ninja 400. The new twin headlights are now LEDs, with both left and right providing low and high beam lighting. Above the new lights, the redesigned windscreen is set lower and flush against the cowl, with a new angle Kawasaki claims will provide increased wind protection.
The side openings on the fairing are much smaller than on the previous version, though Kawasaki didn’t say anything about how this affects either aerodynamics or heat dissipation. The fairing bolts have also been replaced by hooks for a cleaner, more premium look.
Mechanically, the Ninja 650 is unchanged, with the same Parallel-Twin 649cc engine, six-speed transmission and assist and slipper clutch. The 2020 model also uses the same high-tensile steel trellis frame introduced in 2017, as well as the same 41mm fork and horizontal back-link rear suspension. Nissin supplies the dual front brakes and single rear rotor; The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 is available with a Bosch 9.1M ABS.
A new 4.3 inch color TFT display replaces the previous model’s combination analog tach and LCD instrumentation. The screen can be set to either a black or a white background and adjusts automatically to ambient light conditions. The 2020 Ninja 650 s compatible with Kawasaki’s Rideology phone app, which syncs bike data with smartphones.
Other updates include a thicker pillion seat, and Dunlop’s new Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires.
The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 …read more