The new Ninja now has traction control to help the rider and bike maintain control on a variety of surfaces.

The new Ninja now has traction control to help the rider and bike maintain control on a variety of surfaces. (Kawasaki/)

Among Kawasaki’s 2023 range of Ninja sportbikes, the Ninja 650 makes the biggest news with its traction control update. This middleweight provides great value with its comfortable riding position, well-mannered parallel twin, and sporty chassis, and now Kawasaki sweetens the pot with the addition of TC.

Related: 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Look Preview

After its significant 2017 redesign and several appearance/comfort updates in 2020, the addition of traction control is one of the more notable changes seen in the last couple of years. Now riders looking to manage sporty cornering or sketchy, low-traction scenarios can choose between the system’s less intrusive Mode 1, more intrusive Mode 2, or turn it off altogether.

Its lightweight frame and smooth twin-cylinder engine pair well on winding roads.

Its lightweight frame and smooth twin-cylinder engine pair well on winding roads. (Kawasaki/)

The Ninja 650′s high-tensile steel frame, 41mm telescopic fork, and horizontal back-link shock are an excellent balance between comfort and sport, and its 24-degree rake and light 419-pound wet weight contribute to its quick steering and sportbike maneuverability.

It welcomes the daily commute.

It welcomes the daily commute. (Kawasaki/)

Set as it is between the beginner-friendly Ninja 400 and ZX-6R supersport, the Ninja 650′s engine delivers responsive spunky power that is suitable for a broad range of skill levels, from new-but-advancing riders to those more seasoned. Kawasaki claims 49 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm from the liquid-cooled 649cc parallel twin. An assist and slipper clutch means light feel at the clutch lever.

A 4.3-inch color TFT that can connect to your smartphone and twin LED headlights are nice modern touches.

A 4.3-inch color TFT that can connect to your smartphone and twin LED headlights are nice modern touches. (Kawasaki/)

The middleweight Ninja has the expected 21st century componentry, such as LED lighting and a 4.3-inch TFT full-color display. This instrumentation can be paired with a smartphone with the Rideology app.

Color options for the Ninja 650 are Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony for $7,999 or Pearl Robotic White/Metallic Matte Flat Ray Graystone/Ebony for $8,199. The KRT Edition has its own Lime Green/Ebony color and graphics package for $8,199 (no ABS) or $8,599 (with ABS).

The KRT edition wears its Kawasaki Racing Team influence on its sleeve with the KRT-specific color and graphics.

The KRT edition wears its Kawasaki Racing Team influence on its sleeve with the KRT-specific color and graphics. (Kawasaki/)

Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony is for those who prefer a stealthy look.

Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray/Ebony is for those who prefer a stealthy look. (Kawasaki/)

The white color is considered premium and rings in at an $8,199 price tag.

The white color is considered premium and rings in at an $8,199 price tag. (Kawasaki/)

2023 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Technical Specifications And Price

PRICE: $7,999–$8,199 (base) / $8,199 (KRT) / $8,599 (KRT ABS)
ENGINE: 649cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE: 83.0 x 60.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.8:1
FUEL DELIVERY: Fuel injection w/ two Keihin 36mm throttle bodies
CLUTCH: Wet, multiplate
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE: 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED TORQUE: 48.5 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm
FRAME: High-tensile steel
FRONT SUSPENSION: 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork; 4.9 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION: Horizontal back-link shock, preload adjustable; 5.1 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE: 2-piston calipers, dual 300mm petal discs / 2-piston calipers, dual 300mm petal discs w/ ABS (KRT ABS)
REAR BRAKE: 1-piston caliper, 220mm petal disc / 1-piston caliper, 220mm petal disc w/ ABS (KRT ABS)
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR: 17 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR: Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2; 120/70-17 / 160/60-17
RAKE/TRAIL: 24.0°/3.9 in.
WHEELBASE: 55.5 in.
SEAT HEIGHT: 31.1 in.
FUEL CAPACITY: 4.0 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT: 419 lb. / 423 lb. (KRT ABS)
WARRANTY: 1 year, limited
AVAILABLE: Now
CONTACT: kawasaki.com
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