Kawasaki Ninja 650 EXCBF  (2011)

Mohawk River Lock 8 - March 24, 2016

How I got this bike:

  In the spring of 2016, was looking for a bike for Christine to ride.  I'd seen a 2012 red Ninja 650 in the fall of 2015 for $4500, but passed up on the deal and it was sold early in the spring when I checked again.  I saw this one listed  on CL in Chester VT and negotiated the price on the phone.   A 2 hr. road trip to get it.  It had just 2,870 mi.  Completely stock bike. 

  The battery was weak even after being charged (probably the original one, 5 years old), so I replaced it with a matching battery I had from another bike and ordered a new one ($58 from Battery Mart.com).  Starting problems solved.

  Registered it right away ($350 for tax, title and reg.) using a plate I had from a bike registered the year before (either the Bandit 1200 or the BMWR1100R).

Indian Meadows Park - Droms Road Glenville March 31, 2016

Potter Road - Glenville March 31, 2016

   The suspension seems quite firm so it was adjusted to the lightest setting which improved the ride for me.  It is difficult to see the tach (LEDs) but the performance is sharp once the revs are over 4k.  The gear box seems extremely tight.  Good feedback through the levers.

Thacher Park - April 24, 2017



  Oil changed at 4,233 miles (Aug. 19, 2018). Filter K&N 303 or CH6017A. The same as the Honda Blackbird.  I've run the front tire at 38 psi and the rear at 40 to improve the handling (slows the turn-in and holds the lean angle better at slow speeds).

Southwest Albany County - June 2018

Oct. 16, 2018


  This season I ride the bike a few times as a light-weight alternative to the bigger bikes I own.  Battery out on Nov. 1 at 4,346 miles.

  Battery in on May 16th.  A first ride with Tim Cooper and his 2018 SV 650 (ABS).  I ran the front at 38 and rear at 42 but found the ride too harsh so I lowered the rear to 36 which was a significant improvement. (Forums list 32/36 as recommended as that's what's on the frame label).


  First ride is April 14th.  I bring the bike back from the Lenox Road garage and set the tire pressure to 32/36.  4,667 miles and ready for the season.

  New front tire June 25th at 4,966 mi. (120/70 17 Michelin Pilot Power $120).   Leans in much better, holds the line and softens the ride.  Improves the ride experience significantly.

  A replacement battery seems to have improved the engine smoothness and responsiveness so the old battery (from 2016) was apparently weak.

  Oil changed Sept. 14 at 5,400 miles.  10-40 full synthetic.

Thacher Park

Thacher Park - Aug. 31, 2020

  Battery out on Oct. 26th. 5,490 miles.

   Battery in and first ride on April 8.  Tires set to 32/36. 
Yankee Hill Lock

Yankee Hill Lock - Schoharie Crossing

Non-Sport Bike Track Day

   I trailered this bike to the Thompson Speedway for a track day on Aug. 24th.  It my first track experience since the Keith Code class at Watkins Glen back in 2003.  I thought the Ninja 650 would be a better bike for the track than the bigger bikes I have.  Front tire pressure was lowered to 28 and chain lube were the only changes for track use.

   Here is the bike in action:

Thompson Ct. Aug. 24, 2021

Thompson CT, Aug. 24, 2021


  Battery out on Oct. 27 at 5,960 miles.

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Edited Nov. 3, 2021