Unveiling of Ninja 650R – A Quick Look

Here is the brief of yesterday’s event and more information about the Ninja 650R

  • The ceremony started sharp at 11:15 am.
  • Eric Vas (President – New Projects, Bajaj Auto), Rajiv Bajaj (Managing Director, Bajaj Auto) & Yoshiro Segawa (Managing Director, India Kawasaki Motors) were the premier personalities present at the ceremony along with other Bajaj & Kawasaki’s staff apart from the press.
  • Eric Vas presided over the ceremony.
  • The bike was covered in trademark Kawasaki green satin.
  • After talking about Kawasaki and Pro-Biking, Eric calls Rajiv Bajaj to officially unveil the bike who in turn calls Yoshiro Segawa to do the honours. Finally, it was done by both the dignitaries.
  • And then it was the photographs session!

A few facts about Kawasaki & Ninja

  • Kawasaki was founded in 1896.
  • It started as a ship building company
  • The Kawasaki World comprises of : Kawasaki efSET which is an environment friendly Super Express Train; Kawasaki PX Aircraft, Kawasaki Ship Building Facility; Kawasaki BK-117 Helicopter etc
  • Kawasaki around the world manufactures motorcycles, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Watercraft, Utility vehicles, Recreation Utility Vehicles (RUVs).
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has revenues amounting to 14.2 billion dollars.
  • Ninja brand was born in 1984, which also happens to be the year in which Bajaj and Kawasaki partnered in India. This point was emphasized by both Rajiv Bajaj and Eric Vas.
  • Bajaj & Kawasaki’s joint venture in 1984 was the latest indo-jap venture and surprisingly the only surviving JV in this sector.
  • Kawasaki currently has 7 bikes in the Ninja family ranging from 250cc to the heavenly insane 1400cc
  • Ninja 250R in the 250cc, 400R in the 400cc, 650R & sports ZX-6R in 650cc, 1000 & zx-10R in liter class and the humongous ZX-14R in 1400cc.

About Pro-Biking

Probiking has 30 centers currently and Bajaj feels it is more than enough to cater to current demand. Ruled out any increase at least in 3 months to come.

Why 650cc and why 650R?

  • This was well-explained by Bajaj. According to them, they categorized the market in 3 price spectrums while considering ‘which’ bike next – upto 3 lakh, 3 lakh to 8 lakh and above 8 lakh.
  • Upto 3 lakh they already have the Ninja 250R. Above 8 lakhs, we have a market of approximately 35 bikes per month (acc to Bajajs study). And for those we have all the companies vying for a pie – Ducati with 9 models, Aprilia with 1 model, Harley Davidson with 5 models, Honda with 3 models, Suzuki with 4 models and Yamaha with 4 models.
  • This leaves us with the relatively nascent, untapped and in fact the most practical market – 3 lakh to 8 lakh which only has Harley Davidson with 4 models and the very recent entrant Hyosung with 2 models.
  • After this explanation, Bajajs decision seemed absolutely spot on.

About Ninja 650R

  • 649cc Parallel Twin Cylinder
  • Liquid Cooled
  • DOHC
  • 8 Valves
  • Fuel Injected
  • 72 PS @ 8500 rpm power
  • 66Nm @ 7000 rpm torque
  • Moto GP inspired console
  • Sleek, Supersport styling
  • Windscreen with Air Duct
  • Compact, Quick Revving Engine

Super Ergonomics

  • Sports Adaptive Riding posture
  • Ideal relationship between Handle Bar, seat and Footpegs
  • Low saddle height

Under Slung Exhaust

  • First in India
  • Enhances sporty look
  • Keeps pillion away from exhaust
  • Aids mass centralization thus low center of gravity

Signature Off-set Mono Suspension

  • Easy 7 step adjustable
  • Joins frame with swing arm in straight line
  • Battery placed besides the suspension
  • Easy to change the suspension settings under all kind of ridings

Moto GP Inspired Multi-function Instrumentation Includes

  • Fuel Gauge
  • Digital Speedometer
  • Clock
  • Odometer
  • Dual Trip Meters
  • Bar style Digital Tachometer
  • Red Backlighting
  • Aggressive Dual Headlamp
  • Sharp-edged lines
  • Integrated turn indicators
  • Sharp angled & Lip to deflect air away from the rider Big Windscreen
  • Air Duct: Works as “Air Curtail” to reduce wind buffering at high speeds
  • 200 kmph+ Top Speed
  • Torque available at all rpms
  • Liner power curve
  • Braking
  • Triple Petal Disc Brakes
  • Front: Dual 300mm petal discs; twin 27mm piston calipers
  • Rear: Single 220mm petal disc
  • Fat Tubeless tires: Front 160mm and 120mm wide

Bike for India

  • Sports Adapatability
  • Power & Serious Torque
  • Aggressive Supersports Styling

Miscellaneous Points

  • Bajaj might….(just might) reduce Ninja 250R’s price. But not in the very near future as was cleared by Eric
  • Yoshiro Sigawa also signaled at ‘another’ launch ‘soon’. But declined to comment further on ‘another’ or how ‘soon’
  • Similar to Ninja 250R, the elder brother 650R would be brought to India via the CKD (Complete Knocked Down) route and assembled by Bajaj.
  • Only Lime Green in offering. No other color as an option
  • Undercuts the nearest rival, Hyosung GT650R by 20-30k.
  • Kawasaki specifically recommends 91 Octane petrol for Ninja 650R
  • Bookings have started. Eric mentioned that they would be promising a time frame of 90 days for delivery; Not that it would take 90 days in general cases but he pinched at Honda (regarding CBRs) citing that they do not want to set false expectations.
  • Due to Tsunami & earthquake in Japan, conditions and production has still not returned to normal. It would take 2 more months for the Kawasaki plants to return to complete normalcy.
  • No buy-back or lucrative scheme for Ninja 250R owners
  • Kawasaki will taste waters first; afterwards, an estimate of around 30-40 Ninja 650R per month is targeted

The Ninja Maxim

“There are those who ride bikes and then, there are those who live to ride bikes. The ninja shall surrender only to the latter”

Finally, all this comes at an astonishing and real lusting 4.57 lakh ex showroom Indian rupees – Rs.4,57,102 for Delhi and Rs 4,57,915 for Pune. This means that at most of the places this would be less than 5 lakh rupees on road or just at its boundary.

– Saad Khan

So how do you feel now?