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Basem Wasef

2013 Kawasaki Street Bikes: Ninja 650 Gets Available ABS, Ninja ZX-10R Boasts Trick Öhlins Steering Damper

By July 9, 2012

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Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS

You may recall my 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Review in which I took a low-speed spill when I locked up the front caliper of the ABS-less bike, and concluded that "with [ABS] becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the industry, it seems it would only be a matter of time before Kawasaki follows suit."

Turns out advanced level newbies and more leisurely sport riders now have an anti-lock option with the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS. Priced at $8,099-- a $500 premium over the '13 Ninja 650-- this ABS-equipped option should make this sporty all-rounder intriguing to more riders. New colors also enter the Ninja 650 lineup for '13.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

In other Kawasaki streetbike news, the Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10R ABS also gets new colors, but more notably, an advanced steering damper by Öhlins with a dedicated ECU that adjusts steering effort by taking the rate of acceleration and deceleration into account, in addition to bike speed. The ZX-10R runs $14,299, and the ABS-equipped version adds $1,000 to that price.


Photo © Kinney Jones; click for review

July 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm
(1) Pete says:

Tom Sykes and Kawasaki have a WSBK title in the future as soon as they figure out how to keep tires on the bike.
Very simply..the bike is a winner and it works real well.

July 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(2) Dabber says:

Pete, I agree! Tom is giving it his best shot!!
I hope Kawasaki brings the Versys 1000 to the states. I will knock on the dealers door when they do.
Having never had ABS on a bike, I still think it’s the way to go. Putting ABS on the Ninja 650 for only 500 more is smart!!

July 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm
(3) Pete says:

Dabber…I think the Versys is a styling disaster, easily on par with the ‘Busa, and the Diavel – world class butt ugly – but I bet it’s a nice bike to ride.
And you’re bang on…ABS for a mere $500 is a no brainer.

July 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm
(4) Dabber says:

I guess beauty is in the eye… I like it! The ergonomics have got to be awesome compared my Z1000. They smoothed out the motor from what I read.

July 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(5) Jovial Henry says:

Technology is fantastic when it works. My abs equipped BMW totally lost all brakes and scared the crap out of me. I survived but the abs is no longer. Bike works much better with out it.

July 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm
(6) NinjafyThis says:

@Pete, I agree with you that Tom Sykes is an awesome rider but the tire problems that the Kawasaki factory racing team is having are also due to the riding style of Tom Sykes. The next time you watch SBK, note how he has a lower corner entry angle and lower mid corner speed (compared to other factory teams). In order to nullify these ‘short comings’ he has to get on the gas early and hard, causing excessive tire wear.

July 13, 2012 at 7:27 am
(7) Harry 'O says:

I have a Suzuki Bandit 1250S. Great bike without a doubt; however I was able to ride an SV650S for 3 days and the ABS feature made me much more comfortable feeling with regard to safety. The engine size made for great fuel mileage and it’s fun to wring out an engine without 100+ mph speeds. The light weight of these mid sized bikes makes for great curve transitions. Since Suzuki no longer makes the SV (and because I like a more upright seating position) I think I just found my new bike. Thank you for making me aware of this updated model.

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