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Thread: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

  1. #1
    Rookie Urbane.surfer's Avatar
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    Default 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Help!

    The Plot.

    I have been residing in Mumbai for the past 10 Years. Never rode a bike in Mumbai so far. I used to own a bike from 2002 to 2005 a Honda CD 100 in my college days in a relatively quitter town. I loved biking since then but couldn’t afford one to my liking then. Post that once I shifted to Mumbai for work, I never got the heart to ride in a city that was congested with traffic, with a lot of other priorities in work I settled for a car and have drove a couple of them since. Now I am at a position that I can afford a bike for 7.5 Lacs TOPS. I figured that if I don’t give biking a shot at my age (I’m 36). I will find it increasingly difficult to get accustomed to biking as the years passes me by. So i doubled my life insurance cover took a hefty health insurance too and then went on to convince my better half. (That apparently took about 3 months before she said Ok)

    The Dilemma.

    Trouble is I am going to be riding a bike after about 13 long years (Exclusions are the one’s that I rode in Goa, Avenger, Eliminator etc.).

    The bike that I so keenly wanted to ride was Kawasaki 300, However, it was a short love affair until I set my eyes to Ninja 650 and the fact that it offers a better riding position. Now I wanted to go for one, after reading and going through countless reviews I was in Love with what the bike has to offer, what also helped me was the fact that it had been reviewed as a beginner’s bike, the plus was ABS. The trouble is that the showroom guys are just letting me ride it within the building premises. It’s a daunting task for a newbie to zero in on the bike when you can’t ride it above 2nd gear on a test ride! Anyway I had worked up my finances to finally go for it.

    It was at that time that I thought of exploring HD and visited the showroom and loved the HD Street Rod, what a road presence, the dealer offered me a test ride of about 5 Kms in traffic and I thoroughly enjoyed that ride but the only thing that nagged me was that my palms were hurting for about 10 minutes after the test ride. Furthermore, the engine was radiating too much of heat. Despite of all that the road presence was awesome and I felt much more in control riding it. The 205mm ground clearance was an added advantage for if I want to take it for a ride outside city (Within city also one finds speed breakers of all shapes and sizes as they are private property of people residing in that location.) The problem is that I don’t know if I can go for about 100 Kms non-stop on this bike for the riding stance is far more aggressive, but I suppose one can build muscle memory if one starts riding it often. 100-150 Kms ride every month out of Mumbai is a prerequisite.

    The pros and Cons are listed here for both the bikes that I can gather from short rides.

    2017 Ninja 650
    Pros: Reliable, Trusted, Comfortable, can be used for Touring, Excellent Rideability in traffic (I have learned it from reviews only), Doesn’t heat up in Traffic, Cheaper by a lac then HD Street Rod.
    Cons: Low Ground Clearance (130mm), Not as good road presence as HD St.Rod, Service issues as quoted by many, Not much customizable options( They lack basic accessories also that is provided by Kawasaki, other brand options however are aplenty)

    Harley Davidson Street Rod
    Pros: Great Rideability in traffic, Superb road presence, Harley Davidson’s reliability (Hopefully), numerous customizable options. Excellent ground clearance.
    Cons: Heat, Aggressive riding stance, not suitable for touring (or does it?), Deadpan console.

    About The Rider
    I’m 5feet 10, lean and I would label myself as a cautious rider. What I want is that I should be able to commute to office twice or thrice in a week, 16 Kms one way in Insane Traffic. Go for a touring of about 100-150 Kms one way once a month. 500 to 1000 Kms twice in a year.
    Potholes and speed breakers should not pose a problem for the bike. (BTW is 130mm Ground Clearance that bad that it will scrape every speed breaker?)

    *Also which one offers a better resale value A Ninja 650 or Harley Street Rod assuming both are in good condition 2 years down the line?

    Now I am confused and hell I need to book a bike within a week or two.
    I have ruled out every other bike. (Versys is good but I do not want to stretch my budget beyond 7.5 Lacs anyhow)
    If my questions sound a bit nonsensical, kindly pardon me. I would also appreciate if any fellow rider who owns a HD Street Rod can throw a light on commuting within the city or going distances with it.

    Need your help!

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Query Approved

    I hope you know that irrespective of which you buy, service and maintenance will cost a bit! Factor that into your costs.

    Both bikes would be good for someone who is looking forward to getting back to motorcycling.

    The Ninja is a more versatile machine.

    Read through the ownership reports for both motorcycles to get a decent idea of how the bikes fare in the long run.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  3. #3
    Rusted whymail's Avatar
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    Red face Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    1. with all due respect to all HD owners, IMO there is no compare between a n650 & a street rod - this might be a matter of debate, however my vote goes to kawasaki [and not specifically to the er6f / er6n]

    2. regardless of where u wish to ride, u can / will be able to ride a n650 perpetually everywhere!

    3. the 3 weakness of n650 are:
    a. weak brakes [change brake lines & this will be sorted - change brake pads to sort this even further]
    b. candle-lit stock headlights [change the bulbs to nightbreakers / racers / xtremevisions & fit aux LED's - if u have deep pockets, morimoto bi-xenons is the way to go - they literally cut thru the night like the sun]
    c. low ground clearance [honestly, this is not much of a hassle over 'most' terrains - having a pillion 'will' result in underbelly scraping on some humps - again, fit intiminators for better control over those nose-dives]

    that being said... if i were you, i wud certainly rule-out buying a HD.

    ...and i wud seriously consider shifting focus from a n650 [er6f] to a more practical er6n instead or a hundred-times-better versys 650 - the additional buck u spend as difference of cost between the ninja & the versys is more than adequately compensated-off by the features & overall package the versys actually is - she is gobsmackawesome!

    and if i were you & i didnt like the versys, then i would very very strongly consider the honda cb650r - yes she is pricier than the n650 but good-lord-have-mercy-what-a-hoot-of-a-ride she is... with all the +'s of the n650 & a lot lot more; not to mention the dependable post-sales service of the honda.

    just my 2 paise! ;-)
    ravihpa likes this.
    ◦ ● 4-wheels move the body... 2-wheels move the soul ● ◦

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    Rusted zestbiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    N650 IS A BETTER bet for you-The Street Rod suspension and riding posture give it a punishing ride over anything longer than 20-25kms
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  5. #5
    Rookie Urbane.surfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Query Approved

    I hope you know that irrespective of which you buy, service and maintenance will cost a bit! Factor that into your costs.

    Both bikes would be good for someone who is looking forward to getting back to motorcycling.

    The Ninja is a more versatile machine.

    Read through the ownership reports for both motorcycles to get a decent idea of how the bikes fare in the long run.
    Thanks for approving this post.
    I've already considered the cost involved in maintaining the bike.
    I'm not finding any ownership report of HD Street Rod in xbhp so far neither am I getting any ownership report of New 2017 Ninja 650. Pls let me know of any link for xbhpians who are using these bikes.

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Quote Originally Posted by whymail View Post
    1. with all due respect to all HD owners, IMO there is no compare between a n650 & a street rod - this might be a matter of debate, however my vote goes to kawasaki [and not specifically to the er6f / er6n]

    2. regardless of where u wish to ride, u can / will be able to ride a n650 perpetually everywhere!

    3. the 3 weakness of n650 are:
    a. weak brakes [change brake lines & this will be sorted - change brake pads to sort this even further]
    b. candle-lit stock headlights [change the bulbs to nightbreakers / racers / xtremevisions & fit aux LED's - if u have deep pockets, morimoto bi-xenons is the way to go - they literally cut thru the night like the sun]
    c. low ground clearance [honestly, this is not much of a hassle over 'most' terrains - having a pillion 'will' result in underbelly scraping on some humps - again, fit intiminators for better control over those nose-dives]

    that being said... if i were you, i wud certainly rule-out buying a HD.

    ...and i wud seriously consider shifting focus from a n650 [er6f] to a more practical er6n instead or a hundred-times-better versys 650 - the additional buck u spend as difference of cost between the ninja & the versys is more than adequately compensated-off by the features & overall package the versys actually is - she is gobsmackawesome!

    and if i were you & i didnt like the versys, then i would very very strongly consider the honda cb650r - yes she is pricier than the n650 but good-lord-have-mercy-what-a-hoot-of-a-ride she is... with all the +'s of the n650 & a lot lot more; not to mention the dependable post-sales service of the honda.

    just my 2 paise! ;-)
    Your 2 paise is going to eventually help me take a decision worth lakhs.

    The difference between last year's model and this year's model (2016er6f and 2017 Ninja 650) is the ground clearance that's been reduced a bit due to the exhaust pipes placement.
    Also the brakes have been improved upon and it now comes with Abs.

    Versys is a beauty by the way, just that I'm not sure if I can ride it in heavy traffic wherein I'll be required to stop-start very often. Secondly my feet just about touches the ground while sitting.

  6. #6
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbane.surfer View Post
    Thanks for approving this post.
    I've already considered the cost involved in maintaining the bike.
    I'm not finding any ownership report of HD Street Rod in xbhp so far neither am I getting any ownership report of New 2017 Ninja 650. Pls let me know of any link for xbhpians who are using these bikes.
    Doesn't matter. Read the ownership experiences of the Street 750 and the older Ninja 650. It will give you a good idea of what all the owners have to do. Information about how the manufacturers deal with problems etc.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    While riding the Street Rod if you have pain in your palms then you can install bar risers which you can get from AliExpress and for the heat you can install heat deflectors! I have ridden my friend's Street Rod for approx 150+ kms, he has installed bar risers and has increased the seat height by an inch or two, this makes a hell lot of difference! And yaa i am 6'2! I have not ridden a Ninja 650 so i cannot comment on that! Choose the bike which makes you smile everytime you sit on it!


    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using xBhp.com mobile app

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    Rookie Urbane.surfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abhishekilke View Post
    While riding the Street Rod if you have pain in your palms then you can install bar risers which you can get from AliExpress and for the heat you can install heat deflectors! I have ridden my friend's Street Rod for approx 150+ kms, he has installed bar risers and has increased the seat height by an inch or two, this makes a hell lot of difference! And yaa i am 6'2! I have not ridden a Ninja 650 so i cannot comment on that! Choose the bike which makes you smile everytime you sit on it!


    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using xBhp.com mobile app
    Thank you Abhishek, that's something positive coming for the bike, I have 2 questions though,

    1) To what extent does the heat deflectors help in reducing the heat?
    2) Bar Risers are not available in the HD showroom in Mumbai, I will check aliexpress though, again the placement of wires I have been told is the main problem because of which we can't get a proper handle, if that's the case how does a bar riser help?

    Pls consider me a novice, these questions may appear as obvious to some.

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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbane.surfer View Post
    Thank you Abhishek, that's something positive coming for the bike, I have 2 questions though,

    1) To what extent does the heat deflectors help in reducing the heat?
    2) Bar Risers are not available in the HD showroom in Mumbai, I will check aliexpress though, again the placement of wires I have been told is the main problem because of which we can't get a proper handle, if that's the case how does a bar riser help?

    Pls consider me a novice, these questions may appear as obvious to some.
    1)Their are two types of heat deflectors, one is the leather one and the other is a polycarbonate one, both do the job of deflecting the heat from the engine.
    2)No need to change your cables if you are going to install bar risers! Buy Universal Bar Risers from AliExpress instead of the HD branded ones, HD branded stuff is damn expensive.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using xBhp.com mobile app

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    Default Re: 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 or Harley Davidson Street Rod - A beginner's dilemma.

    I would suggest the Kuryakn Heat Shields which is good at avoiding your thighs getting roasted! 😀

    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using xBhp.com mobile app

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