Yamaha R6 Vs Ninja 650

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Yamaha and Kawasaki are leading motorcycle manufacturers known for their reliability and commitment to quality. Let's look at the R6 and the 650 in more detail.

The R6 and Ninja 650 are two of the most popular rides offered by the two brands. Both motorcycles have high revving power and torque. Moreover, while the R6 is a beast when it comes to the sports motorcycle category, the Ninja 650 is a relatively smaller and more agile ride.

If you are thinking about choosing a ride between the R6 and Ninja 650, you might find it hard to decide which model is right for you. This comparison of the two rides will help you out.

As experienced riders and motorcycle enthusiasts, we have tested the two rides in terms of engine, performance, and ride quality to provide our verdict. This Yamaha R6 vs. Ninja 650 review will thus make it easier for you to make the final purchase decision.

In this article...


Yamaha R6

Only a few rides can compete with the Yamaha R6 in terms of performance. The latest version of the YZF-R6 is propelled by a high-revving inline-four engine that screams at nearly 16,000 rpm.

Even though the engine is eleven years old, the R6's engine feels and performs exceptionally well thanks to its adjustable intake system and configurable D-Mode throttle mapping. It also has Yamaha's traction control technology from the 2012-gen YZF-R1, which is a huge plus for those who ride on the streets, especially in bad weather.

The R6 has a strong set of front brakes that are responsive and easy to master, thanks to the responsive ABS. The motorcycle has full LED lighting. The headlights not only have a more pleasing design, but they also perform better than halogen bulbs.

Despite the lack of a flashy color TFT display, the R6 dashboard is easily readable and contains all the necessary information for a rider. This motorcycle's common components include a wide swept face tachometer and a big shift light as well.

The YZF-R6 also comes with the sophisticated KYB 43mm fork which has been adjusted specifically for the R6 to provide high-end front-end sensation and comfort. Thanks to superb damping and exceptional feedback from the front tire, the fork offers significant adaptability.

The ride excels because of its sleek 420-pound curb weight and capability to scoop up bends. Thanks to the current generation YZF-R1 chassis and more durable braking hardware, it can easily handle corners. When you add in the MotoGP-inspired body panels and complete LED lighting, you get a ride that looks as good as it operates.

By rapidly regulating throttle aperture, ignition timing, and fuel quantity, a Traction Control System supports the rider in controlling traction on varying road conditions.

Yamaha's D-Mode system is also included on the R6, which allows the user to select the best engine character for their racing environment and tastes. At the touch of a button, the user can select one of three throttle valve control mappings for distinct throttle performance parameters.

All in all, the Yamaha YZF-R6 sport motorcycle blends superb mass centralization with enhanced ergonomics to be one of the most sophisticated motorcycles in its category. As a result, you'll have better road feedback, traction sensation, and cornering stability.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Kawasaki's Ninja has become quite popular during the previous three decades. From the entry-level 250 and 400 versions to the turbocharged H2 R, Kawasaki provides motorcyclists with a comfortable learning base and motorcycles to develop into as their skills improve.

The Ninja 650 is a delightful entry-level motorcycle with sporty yet sophisticated ergonomics, an adaptable 649cc parallel-twin engine, and an appealing price tag. Beginners may expect to grow into, or maybe never outgrow, the Ninja 650, and appreciate it for many decades to come.

The 2017 upgrade brought a new frame and engine that were sophisticated enough to take the 650cc sport motorcycle beyond 2020 without seeming antiquated, but now some of the higher-end versions' innovation is finding their way down the range.

The completely new 4.3-inch TFT screen is the most visible technological change, providing the ride with a current, high-end feeling. The new display features two modes, allowing riders to select how much information they want to see, as well as two backdrop options to adjust the lighting conditions.

The Ninja's 2017 training plan included modifications to its engine, braking, and ergonomics, leading to a substantial weight decrease. The 649cc parallel-twin was retuned with new injectors for further precise feeding, a mechanical gear shift indicator, a revamped airbox, a modified exhaust, and shorter throttle bodies for higher success in the low-to-midrange, where most street motorcyclists spend a good deal of time.

The Kawasaki Rideology software is accessible for the Ninja 650, enabling riders to connect the motorcycle to their smartphones and track things like time spent riding, mileage traveled, fuel level, and much more. The windshield has been significantly lowered and is now more level with the remainder of the cowl to increase wind deflection.

Twin LED headlights are standard equipment on the Ninja 650, and they work well in enhancing this ride's look even further. The bodywork appears to be sleek and smooth from the exterior, with only a few fairing bolts.

Furthermore, the steering architecture of the Ninja 650has been refined, with the rake straightened by a degree and the trail decreased by 0.4 inches, and aerodynamics with a seat height of 31.1 inches are small-frame compatible. The clip-ons sit high just above the triple clamp, and the 4.0-gallon gas tank is small between the knees, making riding simpler for short riders.

Differences between the Yamaha R6 and the Kawasaki Ninja 650

Although both motorcycles have shown considerable performances over the years and have created many fans for themselves, there are still certain variations among the two. These variations include the engine size, torque, and ergonomic display characteristics which we will discuss in further detail.


There is little difference in the engine of the two rides. The Yamaha R6 offers a displacement of 599cc thanks to its inline four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine liquid-cooled engine and a DOHC system. This enables the motorcycle to reach a top speed of nearly 160 mph while producing 45.5 lb-ft of torque.  

On the other hand, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 has an adaptable 649 cc parallel-twin engine. It produces 48.5 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm, and the entire drive proportion turns in a top speed of 131 mph at the redline in top gear.

Both the motorcycles are almost the same in these statistical ranges and give excellent performance backed up by their equally outstanding brand names and reputation. Be it the Ninja 650 or the YZF R6, you can be assured that the motorcycle is worth the time and cost!

Display Features

A new feature on the Kawasaki Ninja 650 makes this model truly stand out. That is the revolutionary TFT Display system and the integration of Kawasaki Rideology Software for riders to connect their smartphones and enjoy a truly outclass riding experience. It also has twin LED highlights which are equally powerful and well worthy.

The Yamaha R6, although significant, does not have the TFT display system. However, it does have LED lighting all over, enabling users to easily view the terrain in front of them. Yamaha has a D mode system that allows users to manage throttle responses. This criterion is one aspect where the Ninja 650 excels. Kawasaki has truly created a masterpiece.

Seat Height

The seat position and its dimensions are other important factors for motorcyclists to keep in mind when picking any two-wheeler. The seat height on the Kawasaki Ninja 650 has been maintained at 31.1 inches which is quite suitable for short riders. On the other hand, the Yamaha R6 sports a seat height of 33.4646 inches. The basic and short seat makes it easier to reach the bottom and allows drivers more freedom to maneuver while traveling at high speeds on the racetrack.

Overall, both the R6 and Ninja 650 are exceptional rides that will appeal to motorcycle enthusiasts who crave power and style. However, if you're looking for a ride that offers exceptional performance and will allow you to cross the 150 mph mark on the highway, then the R6 is the most reasonable choice. Its powerful engine delivers a higher top speed than what the Ninja 650 offers.

The R6 can easily beat the Ninja 650 in a competition, so it is the rational choice for speed enthusiasts. However, this ride can take some time to get used to and is not recommended for beginners. New riders are better off with the Ninja 650 because it is easier to handle. It's also light in weight compared to the R6, so you will be able to make quick turns and handle the ride more comfortably in stop-and-go traffic.