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2013 Ninja650l vs 2015 CB500FA

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Olski1, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I have a bit of a conundrum. I really can't decide between these two bikes. The Ninja is used with low kms and the Honda is ex-demo but really low kms. Both pretty much the same price.

    My main concern is that I will mostly be using it for highway riding. I am 6ft 2 inches as well.

    From what I can gather they both have the same amount of power and torque. Ergonomics on both seemed pretty decent when I sat on them, but the honda felt a little better. Ninja wise I think the fairings and windshield will help on freeways, but fuel economy is worse. I have heard that maybe the honda won't have enough pull at freeway speeds and will have to sit at pretty high revs, but the build quality seems better.

    Someone decide for me please!

  2. The one makes you smile more when you ride it
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  3. Ninja
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  4. It sounds from your post a if you haven't ridden either yet, is that correct? I think taking each for a decent test ride should give you your answer, one of them will speak to you more than the other.
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  5. Thanks guys. They won't let me ride them due to lack of on road experience. I have ridden a cbr500 and thought it was decent. But unfortunately won't have an opportunity to ride either. Especially not on freeways.
  6. Why do you say this?
  7. See if you can find another one in another shop. You really should try before you buy. If you have your license I don't know what their issue is, you'll sign beforehand to pay for the excess if damaged, and they're insured. I'd just tell them you won't be buying either unless you ride them.
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  8. Of the two the Ninja is the far better choice, the 650 series from Kawasaki (ER6N, Versys and Ninja 650) have been around for a while and are super reliable, at highway speeds in restricted version they do tend to rev a bit high but if you drop three teeth on the rear sprocket then highway speeds are far more manageable and there is an improvement in fuel economy as well without any really noticeable decrease in performance, also has the advantage of being able to be derestricted at a later date with consequential power gains. Weather protection on the Ninja is also very good though for any long distance work I'd recommend a taller screen.

    The Honda does not have the build quality of the Kawasaki and will struggle a bit at highway speeds, weather protection no where near as good and at your height I would strongly recommend against the Honda, my lad is your height and against my wishes had to have a CBR500R as his first bike (all his idiot mates had 500's), ergonomics were no good at all, we had to actually drop the footpegs an inch for him to have any sort of comfort on longer runs, it didn't last long replaced by a Versys 650L which was just right, he's now unrestricted and on a ZX6R.

    I'm actually quite disgusted by the build quality of the Honda 500 series bikes, Honda should hang their heads in shame, the build quality compared to the other models in their range is bloody pathetic!

    The Honda CB400 and CB650s are also well worth checking out, the CB400 will struggle at highway speeds and being a naked doesn't have any weather protection, the faired version of the CB650 if you can find one is well worth a look, similar advice there as the Kwaka for highway use.
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  9. Cb400 is fine at highway speed, but does rev a little high. Some of the owners here have changed sprockets to improve that. Certainly doesn't struggle though.
  10. Sorry forgot your highway speeds are a lot slower than ours ;), I was referring of course to our 130kmh open highway limit. :)
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  11. Thanks guys some good food for thought. How much would changing a sprocket be?
  12. Because he always does :rolleyes:

    Ninja = check
    Kwaka = check

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. Of the two, I agree.

    Sprocket change is not exorbitant - keep in mind, depending on kms you might be up for front and back + chain which will drive up price.
    A worn chain will kill a new sprocket much faster than a worn sprocket which has been 'mated' to the worn chain.

    Also, changing gear ratio can affect speed readout and distance depending on how your bike calculates this.
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  13. Ok thanks guys. On the balance of things I think Kwaka it is. It's only for another two years and then I can get my dream bike (hopefully ;) )
  14. Ride my CB500fa on motorway most days. 110kmh revs at just over 5k so def not too high. Seating position is excellent but you may benefit from fitting an aftermarket Puig screen.
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  15. Thanks mate. Have you ridden a Kawaka six-fitty? What made you go with the Honda?