The Kawasaki Ninja 650 is quite possibly the motorcycle that has defined today's generation of affordable, tractable, and practical middleweight sportbikes. However, it seems that ever since the Ninja 650's refresh in 2017, very little has changed with the bike. Suffice it to say that nearly all other bikes in the segment have overtaken the good old Ninja in terms of tech and performance.
Sure, in 2019, Kawasaki gave the Ninja 650 a fancy new facelift to make it look more like its sportier sibling, the ZX-6R. It even got new LED lights and a Bluetooth enabled full-color TFT screen. However, the bike remained basically identical to the way it was ever since the 2017 refresh. With new players like the Yamaha YZF-R7 and the Aprilia RS 660 ravaging the middleweight sportbike game, it's more than likely that I'm not the only one who thinks that the Ninja 650 is getting a bit long in the tooth.
I guess, it's worth mentioning that the Ninja 650 has become the embodiment of the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Alas, we take what we are given. So, for 2022, the Ninja 650 remains virtually the same as the 2021 model, albeit for the introduction of two new color schemes. It seems the Japanese manufacturer has dialed down its palette, too. Gone are the loud and funky color schemes that very much reminded me of Gundam and Power Rangers. Instead, we get more muted colors which are more attune to what we've come to associate with Kawasaki.
Those of you looking for a sporty, race-inspired aesthetic will be best served by the Pearl Robotic White/ Metallic Carbon Gray color scheme which employs a white and gray motif drizzled with some green accents. Meanwhile, a stealthier, more street-focused look is offered by the all-gray Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray colorway. As far as pricing goes, the Ninja retains its very attractive sticker price starting at $7,699 for the non-ABS variant, and $8,099 for the ABS version.