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Motorcycle Buyer's Guide: Standard bikes (up to 800cc)


by Pascal Bastien ,

Kawasaki Ninja 400R, Ninja 650 and ER-6n
Kawasaki Ninja 650 front 3/4 view
2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (Photo: Kawasaki)

Kawasaki upgraded its Ninja 650 (standard sport bike) and ER-6n (naked bike) with a more effective powerplant at medium revs, racier styling, improved ergonomics, and enhanced comfort. Considering that the outgoing models delivered genuine fun and competitive value, the sexy new Kawas look poised to enjoy even more success.

The Ninja 400R is essentially an older version of the 650R with a smaller-displacement engine. Similarly lightweight and agile yet not as convincing on the road, it still finds takers due to its cheap price.

Suzuki GSX-650F ABS and SFV650 Gladius
2011 Suzuki SFV 650 Gladius left side view
2011 Suzuki SFV 650 Gladius (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour)

The GSX-650F ABS is more about flexibility and smoothness than all-out performance. This gorgeous blue, white and red package proves quite easy to ride and offers plenty of value on top of that.

Meanwhile, the SFV650 Gladius is a playful machine with sharp lines, a well-balanced chassis, and a competent engine that's always easy to exploit. This Italian-style naked bike from Japan prefers to hit small winding roads and busy city streets where it can showcase its surprising manoeuvrability. An excellent way to ride in style without breaking the bank.
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