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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R vs 2010 Hyosung GT650R

Bajaj has now officially announced that a bigger Ninja is coming to Indian shores and in all probability it would be the 2010 Ninja 650R. Hyosung has already released it's potent warrior, the GT650R. The obvious question that comes to mind as to how do they fair with each other. But as the saying goes, "There's always more than it meets the eyes", so as a motorcycle enthusiasts, we need to look beyond the obvious to appreciate the real difference or similarities between the two. Before we go any further, let's have a look at the kind of motorcycles both are.

Hyosung GT650R
Well, the 2010-11 Hyosung GT650R, is your daily use pocket Super Sports bike (and mind you, it's NOT a Super Sports or a Super Bike, so please don't get the pain of jumping around thinking it to be one). The fully faired motorcycle is very aggressively styled and looks big and mean at the same time. The Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V twin, DOHC, 4 valve, has enough punch and torque high up in the rev range to keep your adrenaline pumping both in the city on the highway.

The GT650R might not be a throttle monster, but it aint naive either. The brisk engine revs up pretty quick, but gives you enough time to adjust at the same time. It's not gonna through you off the saddle until and unless you are actually the weakest link connecting the saddle and the handle bars.

The ergos of the GT650R is aggressive and would need getting used to for a person trying to graduate from his regular Pulsars or R15s. For 5'8" guy like me, the forward lean angle comes out to be at 41°, which by any standards is aggressive.

So, if you want to go for the GT650R, be sure that you want to go for a sports bike, which is fast and aggressive. Please don't back complaining that your back and wrist ache after a ride on the highway

Kawasaki Ninja 650R
In one sentence, the Kawasaki Ninja 650R, is your own friendly Karizma which more punch and mile munching capabilities. Expect a Japanese quality and Inline twin cylinder experience, which would make you long hauls on the highways just that more fun. The fully faired Ninja 650R (or the ER 6f as it's called in Europe) looks more on the lines of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, and gives you the feels of a full blown Super Sports, but in reality, it's far from it.

The Liquid cooled, four stroke, parallel twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, produces it's max punch and torque bit high on the rev range which goes to suggest that you would need to twist your right wrist to keep you interested on a motorcycles, which is more of a Sports Tourer and one would expect it make it's max power and torque outputs at lower rev range than what it's currently making.

The ergos of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R is more relaxed and with forward lean angle of 21° for a guy of my size, it's definitely quite back and wrist friendly. So, on the Ninja 650R you are getting a somewhat sporty stance, but very merciful on you back and wrist.

Anybody going for the Kawasaki Ninja 650R should be absolutely clear about the fact that it's not a sport machine, but more of Sports Tourer and it would be criminal to expect blasting performance from the machine.

So, now that we have seen what the two motorcycles are in themselves, the next step forward is the specs, because at the end of it, that's what makes the picture clear.

Technical Comparison
Make Model
Kawasaki ER-6fHyosung GT650R
Liquid cooled, four stroke, parallel twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.
Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V twin, DOHC, 4 valve
Bore x Stroke 83 X 60mm81.5 x 62 mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:111.6:1
2x 38mm Electronic Fuel Injection KeihinFuel Injection (include immobilizer)
Ignition  /  Starting
Digital TCBI  /  electric-  /  electric
Max Power
72.1 PS 53 kW  @ 8500 rpm72.68 Bhp  58.9 KW @ 9000 rpm
Max Torque
66 Nm @ 7000 rpm68 Nm @ 7500 rpm
6 Speed  /  chain6 Speed  /  chain
Frame Diamond, high-tensile steel Steel, double pipe
Front Suspension
41 mm telescopic fork, 120mm wheel travel.
41mm Oil upside down forks, 120mm wheel travel
Rear Suspension
Offset laydown single-shock with adjustable preload, 130mm wheel travel.Swinging arm, 100mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes
2x 300mm discs 2 piston calipers2x 300mm discs 4 piston caliper
Rear Brakes
Single 220mm disc 1 piston caliperSingle 230mm disc
Front Tyre
120/70ZR17120/60 -17
Rear Tyre
160/60ZR17160/60 -17
Seat Height
790 mm / 31 in780 mm  /  30.7 in
178 kg215 kg
Fuel Capacity 
15.5 Litres
17 Litres

So, as can be seen, both the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and the Hyosung GT650R, are very much evenly speced, but the Hyosung GT650R is just a feather high at some places. So, one would definitely not loose or gain any performance by choosing either two.

The whole point now boils down to the price bracket and the personal taste of the end user as to what the user expects from a motorcycle which has an engine of 650cc and produces 72-73 odd Bhps. Both the motorcycles, though belong to the same engine segment, but belong to completely different genres, and both are good in their own respect as you don't have much options in this engine capacity range. Both can be termed as budget bikes to graduate to, before you make that big jump to the liter class, and both can keep your performance craving satiated for quite some time.

At the end of it, it's clear that that it's end user's choice and they have two amazing motorcycles to choose from and the sales figures of both would be governed by the price bracket. Knowing the Hyosung GT650R is available just at a little more than Rs. 5 lacs on-road Delhi, the ball is Bajaj/Kawasaki's court to make the next move. What ever be the outcome, the Indian streets is soon going to be delighted with some great beauties dance and making their way through.
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  1. Wow bro!!

    You did the ergonomics diagram by yourself?? Cool!!

    At the outset the styling and the riding position seems to be the main differentiators.. lets wait and see how the two stack up in terms of ride feel.

  2. Well, there were some vibration complains on the previous versions of the Ninja 650R (the 2006-07 models)post 6k rpms, but the current models have that sorted out.

    Being at L-Twin, the GT650R does have that signature vibey feel post 7k rpms, but that's again a matter of getting used to.

    For me the main difference would be what the rider actually want's and at what budget, but keeping my fingers crossed :)

  3. By the way, I feel that you might be seriously planning to get one for yourself


  4. Actually you know what bro... I'm seriously confused. Logistically, I can plan for either of the two and I know any one of these two can keep me satiated for quite long.

    But then somewhere I feel that having tasted the true blood of the liter class, should I got for the big daddy (even though that might well mean going for a second hand legal deal)

    So, currently I'm pretty confused and that confusion has actually gone worse with the advent of the 650s

  5. If you can get a clean, 2nd hand litre class at decent money, then it makes sense.

    But then also take into consideration how good or bad the after sales service is for those bikes.

  6. Absolutely man. I was planning for a 2nd hand bike, which has been directly bought from the showroom in India. With so many new options pouring into the country, all you need to find a dude who's always unsatisfied with what's in hand and wants more bang for the buck ;)

  7. but can hyosung give the quality equal to kawasakis,hondas and yams..?

  8. @Akhil,

    You know what bro, the Hoyosung is a very potent package all together. Definitely the built quality of the ST7 is better than the GT650R, but given the price band in which it falls, it's good if not one of the best.

    The Japs are definitely quality buffs, and that makes it difficult for them to bring the price down.

    Well there has to be a trade off somewhere, and as long as the trade off is not something that's very stark to face, I guess, we can live with an other very good bike.

  9. wich bike shud i buy?
    ninja650r or hyosung gt650r?

  10. @Anonymous
    That totally depends on what type of a ride you want. If you want something sporty, mostly belonging to the super sports class, the look no further, the GT650R should be your choice. People say about it's quality, but believe me, I've ridden it and I can vouch for it, you would love it every bit.

    But if you are a tourer and love munching miles effortlessly and enjoy the bliss and not bent over being sporty, then the Ninja 650R should be your steed.

    As I've said, both the bikes, even though of the same capacity, belong to two different genres of bikes, the GT650R is a full blown middle weight sports with aggressive ergos, and the Ninja 650R is your Sport Touring delicacy served in green with relaxed ergos :)

    So, just think about your need and go according to it, as both are winners in their own realms.

  11. Well i'm pretty confused b\w N650r n GT650r..!!
    well GT650r look wise its the beast n Awesome..!!
    n when its comes to Ninja 650r am thinking abt the Kawasaki Brand..!!
    the only one question is Hyosung will it be reliable ??
    i can feel that i like the hyosung very much..!! i am keeping ninja in mind becoz of its brand value and quality!!!! its like heart vs mind i guess...:(((
    can anyone helpme out please ????

  12. @Chitturi

    When it comes to bikes... always follow your heart and you would be happy. Use your mind for the logistics around using the bike and deciding what you actually want. Hyosungs are appreciated world wide and when you compare them with stalwarts like Kawasaki, Hyosung is still in it's nascent stage.

    It's a war of pride for both Hyosung and Garware motors which they would want to win at any cost, and therefore even though there would some expected issues with the SSS (Sales, Service and Spares), Garware motors would try their best to give the best to the people. Ninja, no doubt is very potent as a brand and as a bike, but if you want a super sports genre motorcycle, then don't think twice, just go with the GT650R. The only criteria for you should be the type of motorcycle and not the brand.

    As I said at the beginning, when it comes to motorcycles, just follow your heart and you would be happy. TRUST ME!! :)

  13. I own a Ninja 650r, bought it brand new in Jan 2010 and it is not a superbike but it is no slouch either, it can do 1/4 mile in 12secs at about 174km/h, tops out at 209km/h and that is at an altitude of over 1600m above sea level.The bike is easy to ride and has enough torque to ride in 6th at 60km/h and accallerate.
    I did alot of research before buying it and most reviews were good on it while the GT650r was not as good in handling and overall ride impression. The other bikes to consider if they become available in India would be the new Honda and the Yamaha FZ6R.

  14. @Anonymous
    Thanks for sharing your inputs bro!!

    If you are into long tours, then I would suggest you the Ninja 650R. That's sporty enough and is very comfortable for long tours.

    But at the same time, with a little modification to the Clip-ons of the GT650R, long tours would be fun on that too. Check out the link below -


    Hope that helps

  15. @Sajal
    Thanx a lot. This was a very good explanation as i was also heavily confused between both the bikes. I drove the GTR, its fun but the vibration gave me tough time to decide.I didnt liked d stance of ninja being a great bike though. Ninja also has big waiting period and there is no testride for the bike. Hence, the above article has helped me greatly.

  16. @Punit,

    Thanks man for liking the article. The GTR does lack a bit on refinements but they are not something which we cannot handle with after markets.

    Your observations about the Ninja hold true but then, the Ninja hold a niche on it's own.

    Hope that we zero down and own your dream steed soon. :)

  17. Guys I need your help..... My budget is 6-7 lakhs on the max... i have ridden the GTR650... its Kinda Good... well Kawasaki Looks sick... but its smooth... is it good to Buy a Hyosung New for 6 lakh... or is it good to buy a second Hand R1 for 7 lakh.... which is a completely legal Bike...

    1. Joey,

      I would say, you need to first decide, if you need a Super Sports or a Sports Tourer. If you need a Super Sports, then the GT650R is not a bad deal on a budget. But if you can wait a bit and extend your budget a bit, then I think the Triumph Daytona 675 would the best deal here for a Super Sports. But if are a Sports Tourer kinda guy, then the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 is the machine for you. The revamped 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R is a great package.

  18. Hey.. im lil confused here...

    My budget is 7 lakh... is it good to buy a new GTR650 or is it good to buy a Second Hand R1... my friend own Both a R1 and A GTR650.... The Koreans are not upto the Japs... but i eel the 650 is good nof for that price...

    1. Joey,

      I would say, instead of a used R1 (and at 7 lacs I'm guessing you would be getting a sourced one and not the one that has been bought from an Indian showroom), I would say always go for somthing new, as it's a lot of money that's involved.

      Please refer to my comment in your last query, and do let me know if you need any more information... I would be more than happy help.

  19. hey guys,

    I do not live in India. I am stateside. I own and rid a hysosung GT650R also know as hyosung comet. The bike, in my opinion, is a great bike. Sure, its not a quality bike such as the Yamaha, Honda, & kawasaki bikes but, its just about the same. The riding posture of the bike does take time to get used to but honestly, you will find that on every bike you ride whether its a touring, sport, or cruiser bike. The performance is just about the same as a Suzuki GSXR650. I frequently go on long rides and the bike is a champ. It's korean made so you cant expect too much of it stock. With the right modifications to the bike, you'll begin to realize that regardless of it being korean made, its like any other bike on the streets. My bike is lowered about an inch in the front and im currently running a Leovince exhaust and ive got many compliments. They know its a korean made bike but but they respect its performance.

    Anyway, i just wanted to give my opinion of the bike being that i actually own and ride one almost everyday. Hope i helped a little bit :).

    1. @Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing your views... very much in line with what I felt when I took the test ride. One question though... while taking the test ride... apart from the quality, I felt that the fueling was not upto the mark.. it felt that the Fi system was a couple of generation back than the contemporary... what's your view??

  20. Is the 2012 Ninja 650R available yet? If not, do you know the launch date and waiting periods?


    1. Well Mudit, here at Gurgaon.... I was told that the 2012 version would be available by end of May. The waiting period is of about a month.

  21. Which one is better GT650 or NINJA 650

    1. Inspite of all the negetive comments the GT650R has garnered, I personally liked the bike. As I said, it's a poor man's Super Sports machine. The Ninja 650R is a blind pick in every sense, nothing to worry about it.

      Based on the current mess the Hyosung Dealership is in India, I would suggest you go for the 2012 Ninja 650R. A value for money motorcycle any day.

  22. hi..i have personally saw both the bike,both look beautiful in person..but i personally like the gtr650,i would personally prefer it because it has all the sportiness..dont call it a poor man's sportsbike sounds like you are giving it a status of tata nano in the biking world..its a world wide seller..i dont hate ninja but the upright position.naaaaahhh!!! i already have a ktm duke 200..!!! back and wrist pain would not effect me..its all about getting used to it..:)

    1. @Anonymous
      Rightly said that it's about getting used to. The new GT650R look really good with it's aesthetic changes, but then so does the new Ninja 650R. I've ridden the new Ninja 650R and the riding position is not that upright, it's the sweet spot between upright and sporty, gives you a lot of comfort, confidence and does not compromise on the handling either. Well, not to compare it with Nano, but then think of it, at what price you would get a first hand, duty paid super sport 600cc in India, may be in the range of 7+. Nano is, you want a car, just for paltry use, tight on a budget, then get the Nano... it's not the case with the GT650. It's a monster in every right, it's just that it's still affordable to many. But yes, you are right, it shouldn't be called a poor man's super sport.. because many cannot afford it still (and that includes me)

  23. There was a slight confusion regarding the weight of the ninja,i went to the probiking showroom to buy my duke's tankpad where i saw the ninja 650.sat on the bike though it felt heavy but being 5'7 my feet were firmly on the ground without tiptoing..i asked the guy who was attending me..how much does it weigh??? he said 214 kgs...i said its same as the gt650r, he said no the gt650 weighs 225..i felt like laughing on his face but i was in no mood to argue..they feel customers are fools ..both bikes being on the heavier side feel normal to me but they might show their true colours when you would have to move them with your feet..but i have ridden iron 883..it actually feels heavy..came home checked the specifications..it weighed 250 kg..damn..!!!!

  24. Hi....
    Thanks guys for this great article..
    I have booked GT650R titanium red and chose it over Ninja.
    Reasons -
    1. I needed a sports bike
    2. Hyosung looks are awesome
    3. 2013 hyosung is improved a lot.

    But I would like to ask you all about the bike sound.
    Does hyosung sound like sports bike ??? I feel it doesn't give the "zroom" sound effect like Honda or Yamaha.. is it true.
    I did take the test ride but didn't allow to riv it..

    Does it sound close to *R6


    1. Sandy,
      First of all.. congrats on your acquisition!! The GT650R is no doubt is an awesome machine and does the job it's built for.

      For the sound.. we pal, the sound you are looking for, comes from an inline four. The GT650R is a V-Twin, it's grunty, it would rumble, and sounds sweet. It's definitely not like the R6, but in it's own right.. the GT650R is a sweet sounding machine.

    2. Thanks Sajal,
      Another question is about the power.
      Hyosung has 73 bhp with 650cc while R6 has 112 bhp. Why such difference... Hyosung was manufacturing Suzuki bikes in past still the power outcome is low.

      What I think its because of mileage factor...
      Hyosung might have compromised the power for mileage.

      About sound, do u think it sounds like sports bike ??? I need your opinion. :)..

      And what modifications I can do on bike to increase power and sound.

      Sorry I keep on asking about sound :):):).


    3. Btw, getting the delivery today :)...

    4. Sandy,
      The R6 and the GT650 are two very different machines built for very different purpose. The R6 is the Super Sports series and has rivals in the likes of Ducati 848, Kawasaki Ninja 636, Honda CBR 600R, Triumph Daytona 675. Track tools with mirrors so to speak. All these need a lot of respect, control, skill and technicality from the rider. Very high spinning motor, killer compression ratio, the entire engine is built for race track

      On the other hand the Ninja 650 and the Hyosung GT650R are build more for the day to day rides around the city and on tours. The engine is way more softer on power delivery and meant for relaxed riding. The GT650R does a great job in giving the rider that Super Sports feel, but in a very eased out fashion.

      For the sound, you can go for after market exhaust slip-ons or a full system. So, you would be getting a louder and more bassier grunt, but sorry, you won't get that sonic boom kinda sound of an in-line four of the Jap Super Sports. To give you an idea, the sound that your GT650R would make is more close to what the Ducati 848 Evo would make (if that makes you happy :) )

      Ride Safe and do let us know if you have any other queires.

      Also, do let us know about your Ride impressions and we would be more than happy to publish it on ThrottlQuest :)

  25. Thanks Sajal...
    First ride was from showroom to home 35 kms.
    Here is my experience.
    Got the bike from the showroom at 4.30 pm and first thing I needed to do was to take a U turn in heavy traffice...:) somehow managed it.

    I touched the highway in 5 mins of city ride and immediately felt the power under me. It was amazing.. bike got amzing pickup well suited for city and highway. The mono shocker at rear side was soo smooth, I didn't feel any Jerks....

    Ride was smooth till home.. but few hiccups.
    1. Stopping at signal and bringing the gear to neutral was very diff. It was not coming easily.
    2. Bike was getting hot.

    At night around 8.30 I decided to go for dinner in heavy traffic, it was so crowded that I was not able to change the gear from 1 and 2. Rode the bike for 15 kms. On the way bike was super hot. The temp indicators was full high and blinking. I got panic. It was so hot I just can't explain it to you. Same time I was not able to change the gear from 1 to neutral. It was annoying. I stopped at the road side and called hyosung. He told me that its normal that bike heats up so much in high gear and city ride.
    But it was terribly hot.
    And 10 mins of wait, I moved ahead nd reached my resto.

    I am really worried about the heat factor.

    Overall its a very powerful machine, and not meant for city ride.
    Imp remark. - I need to start gymin to build my calf muscles to handle the bike well and avoid failing when weight shifts :):):)

    And ya, muffler sound is awesome.. I loved it...

    1. Sandy,

      Aaaahhhh that's Super man.

      Well for the initial issues that you are experiencing are pretty normal. The bike is in it's run in phase and these things are bound to happen. Give the bike at least 1000 km to settle in. The bike is absolutely rideable in city conditions and I would suggest you to ride the bike as much as possible in city conditions. This is good time uncover all the niggles the bike might have and get them sorted out in warranty.

      Don't worry.... these niggles are there in the best of the class machines :)

  26. Get the Ninja, Kawasaki is 1st place in world superbike Europe; Hyosung doesn't even race in it or MOTOGP 3, 2 or 1 or superbike. Sure, they are both 650cc's with the same basic setup but the companies are totally different. Where Kawasaki is always the fastest with most titles, Hyosung doesn't match the big 4. The Ninja is a work of art & the most modern compared to everyone - where Hyosung is like Suzuki & below...although they look the same, & have the same power, they are for totally different riders, rider knowledge, & experience. Don't worry about any vibrations, they are smoother than every Harley, U.S made MOTO, & European MOTO - it is merely the engine running. It will be smoother any CARB bike of any capacity & once you ride an N650 you won't even be able to tell the engine is running.

  27. your eyes are visible and of course hide the tag! You are almost there now, just one more very important step to do before you can become a ninja. Kinetic Ninja Warrior


Item Reviewed: 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R vs 2010 Hyosung GT650R Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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