Each superbike has something of it’s own and this bike is no different: Kawasaki Ninja 500R is a very versatile bike, easy to ride for the beginners and at the same time a great choice for the experimented rider. Isn’t this a bike of contrasts or what?
Depending on the market it was sold on, Kawasaki Ninja 500R is also known as EX500 or GPZ500S. Just to clarify things here, we’re speaking about the absolute same bike. Period. Just the names are different, nothing else.
Ninja 500R was produced from 1997 to 2009 (so it’s not in production anymore at this moment) and it became the best selling sport bike of the brand for a large period of time. There were actually 2 different periods, 2 different generations, from 1997 to 2003 (Generation 1) and from 2004 to 2009 (Generation 2). The models from the two generations are slightly different from the point of view of design and also technical specifications here and there (I don’t want to go deep into details) so I want to stress that the owners must pay attention when purchasing spare parts, to get the right parts or they may not fit.
Why is Kawasaki Ninja 500R different? What makes it stand out?
500R is not like all the other sport bikes out there, it offers an upright riding position that gives the rider a greater comfort than other “regular” sport bikes (if there’s anything regular in this world of fast bikes, if you know what I mean). This upright position makes it even more popular among beginners. And if we also add the fact that Ninja 500R provides great performance for small operating costs and a great price, then we really have a winner here.
It also offers stable handling, good, uniform power delivery at any speed and at the same time incredible performance, which is actually one of the great qualities of Ninja line which also makes it popular among experienced riders (how about that?!).
With a snappy 498cc, inline twin-cylinder four-stroke engine, with four valves per cylinder (engine that is cooled with liquid and offers a great combination of high-performance and good fuel economy at the same time, not something that you see everyday in the world of sport bikes), with a beautiful design and good aerodynamic, lightweight (388 lbs) and compact Kawasaki Ninja 500R really stands out of the crowd. The proprietary UNI-TRAK® rear suspension system gives smooth control and makes this bike so easy to handle while the digital ignition and 6-speed transmission (it’s so easy to find neutral while on stop with a simple lift of the shift pedal from first gear) provide fantastic acceleration when needed and relaxed cruising while on highway. See why I say it’s full of contrasts?
OK and how much for this beautiful crotch rocket? Well, the price is only $5,049 for a brand new one. That’s a bargain, if you think that other “competitors“ are in the range of $10k and above.
And something else, just to be technically correct: if you are looking for the first sport bike, take a look also at Suzuki GS500, sit on both of them, ride them both and only after that decide. Personally I would go with the Kawi.