2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650, 2012 Kawasaki Ninja® 650 They’re known as “sweet spot” motorcycles: streetbikes so balanced, user-friendly and all-around capable that they stand well above their two-wheeled counterparts, forging lasting reputations as exciting, practical and stylish machines.This practical sportbike features a raft of new technology and design elements, including a totally new perimeter-style frame, revised suspension, more angular bodywork, new instrumentation, improved engine performance, a more comfortable saddle, lower seat height and much more. The new-and-massively-improved version promises even more of the all-around capability that suits beginners and veterans alike.It all starts in the engine bay, where an advanced, highly compact, liquid-cooled 649cc vertical twin works its magic with help from a digital fuel injection system featuring 38mm throttle bodies and sub-throttle assemblies for optimum response and precise fueling. The ultra-narrow engine produces substantial power with plenty of character especially down low and in the mid-range from an impressive array of technology, including double overhead camshafts acting on eight lightweight valves. Lightweight pistons run in plated, linerless cylinders, while a 180-degree crank assembly coupled with a balancer shaft maintains a surprising level of engine smoothness.This has always been a brilliant streetbike engine torquey, smooth, and blessed with impressive top end performance, yet enough satisfying low- and mid-range oomph to please novices and experts alike. But this year it’s even better thanks to key exhaust system changes, including a header-section connector pipe and a three-chamber muffler design. The high-rpm rush remains, but Kawasaki engineers have pushed additional power down into the mid-range zone, which results in even more all-around usability and in-town responsiveness. Figure in the Ninja 650 engine’s estimated 50-mpg* fuel economy, precise fuel injection and its pleasing twin-cylinder throb, and you’re looking at what just might be the most flexible and satisfying streetbike engine on the planet.Folks watching you ride by will see a sleeker and more aggressively styled motorcycle, as well. The all-new bodywork is more sharply defined and more like our race-winning supersport machines, with flowing lines and a tapered brow that blends nicely with the rest of the bike. The new body parts make the 2012 Ninja 650 more slippery from an aerodynamic standpoint, while an adjustable, 3-position windscreen allows riders to tailor the cockpit’s still-air cocoon for maximum riding comfort. Engine heat is routed rearward more effectively than before, as well, further adding to the comfort level.