2021 Yamaha YZF-R7 VS Kawasaki Ninja 650: Image Comparison
Can Yamaha’s newest mid-displacement sports tourer steal the limelight from Kawasaki’s Ninja 650?
Yamaha recently filled the void left by the Yamaha R6 with the more easy-going yet sporty YZF-R7. It’s pegged to be the perfect stepping stone for riders graduating from the Yamaha R3. The affordable R7 will also take on other Japanese rivals, but predominantly try to dethrone the Kawasaki Ninja 650. Check out our detailed image comparison to find out how these bikes compare against each other.
Both bikes are pegged as sport-tourers rather than out and out sportbikes. They are comfortable enough for daily commutes and powerful and agile enough to keep you on your toes on your weekend canyon runs.
Design-wise, the R7 follows Yamaha’s R-family styling that originated with the YZF-R1 in 2015 and filtered down to the smaller bikes. The same goes for the Kwacker. The generational update has resulted in the 2020 Ninja 650 looking more like the new Ninja 400 and Ninja ZX-6R.
The Yammie features the same sharp fairing, twin LED DRLs and twin rear air-scoops. However, it’s slimmer than the R6 thanks to its CP2 parallel-twin motor. The Ninja takes on an aggressive design approach as well with a sharper fairing sporting split LED headlights, and a redesigned visor which now sits lower but at a more upright angle to offer better wind protection.
The pair use a full-digital instrument console, however, the one on the Ninja is a 4.3-inch colour TFT unit compared to the R7 which is an LCD display. The Ninja 650 also benefits from Kawasaki’s Rideology smartphone app which can be synced to its console. Both bikes are devoid of any electronic nannies.
With the 689cc CP2 motor from the MT-07, the R7 intends to be a better all-rounder. It peaks out at 73.4PS but delivers a meatier mid-range with 64Nm of torque at 6,500rpm. In comparison, the Ninja feels a bit more docile with 68PS of peak power coming in at 8000rpm. Its torque output though is the same as the R7. Besides, the R7 comes equipped with a 6-speed transmission that can be fitted with an optional upshift-only quickshifter.
Then comes the hardware -- an area where the R7 excels yet again. It comes equipped with 41mm fully adjustable USD forks (compression and rebound adjustable) from KYB and a linked monoshock (preload and rebound adjustable). Kawasaki’s 650 makes do with a simpler setup -- a telescopic fork and a preload-adjustable monoshock
The R7’s braking setup comprises twin 298mm discs at the front and a 245mm disc at the rear. The Ninja features dual 300mm petal discs upfront and a single 220mm rear disc. Dual-channel ABS is offered as standard on both bikes.
The R7 being the sportier of the two uses grippier Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tyres (120/180), while the Ninja 650 comes fitted with Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres (120/160).
Both the R7 and the Ninja 650 take a middle-ground approach between a conventional supersport and a comfy sports tourer. Simply put, they aren’t as committed as the original breed of 600cc supersports meant for the track.
The R7 may be lighter (188kg) than the Kwacker (196kg), but it gets a smaller 12.8-litre fuel tank as opposed to the Ninja’s 15-litre tank. Another plus for the Ninja is its accessible seat height of 790mm, in contrast to the Yammie’s 835mm saddle.
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Coming to the price, the Yamaha R7 retails at $9,000 (approximately Rs 6.55 lakh) which brings it squarely against the Ninja 650 priced at Rs 6.54 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom). Unfortunately, Yamaha won’t introduce the R7 to the Indian market. We can only pray and hope that it proves us wrong.
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