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Old 08-09-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
lucydad
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Thumbs up final Kawasaki EX 500 Ninja review

MH,

I have owned my 2007 EX 500 just at 18 months and put a hair less than 3000 miles on the bike. I bought it used with about 5000 miles on it for $3000. A buddy turned me on to this bike as my first bike after the Basic Riders course and a 35 year riding gap. Since tomorrow I ride it one way as a trade, it is time for an owners review.

Pros:
-superb beginners bike, truly the very best
-very reliable, the only problem: a detached speedometer cable head, repaired myself (common with this bike)
-linear throttle response, but lots of punch above 7000 rpm
-decent brakes with single disks front and rear, reasonable and predictable braking including emergency stops
-lots of manuals, parts, online guides, videos available since Kawa made this bike for years, lots of after market parts
-30.1' seat height makes it great for shorter riders, and the geometry is moderately forward so it is easy on the wrists and hands
-adjustable clutch and brake handles and dual odometers
-crisp and very short throw transmission with easy to find neutral
-400# or so wet, 50 mpg average, range 150 miles on main tank
-great clearance, this bike can take very tight curves with steep lean angles
-both center stand and side stands
-comfortable padded seat, ability to take passenger
-easy to read speedo and tach and other lights
-decent but basic shocks
-excellent finish and paint

Cons
-old technology with carbs and chain drive
-any maintenance requires fairing removal
-dated appearance with funky square headlight and low illumination for night riding
-mediocre stock tires and brake pads and windscreen
-buzzy ride at high rpm, tingle hands common
-in high winds this bike likes to handle like a sailboat
-blinker lights like to short, had to replace the rears on mine
-no shock adjustment
-no ABS

Overall I give this bike 3.5 to 4 stars. As a beginner's bike it is truly outstanding and they are values in the market place if not abused. I would recommend the EX 500 over the Ninja 250 or Honda CBR 250R for new riders due to the extra HP allowing much easier high speed travel and the low cost.
Above all, this bike is fun with just enough punch to put a grin on many rider's faces.

Lucydad
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
mx6er
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What are you getting next?
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
lucydad
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Moto Guzzi VR7, brand new from Luigi's factory in Como, Italy

A very fine example of the EX 500 will be available at MPH tomorrow, starting at noonish.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
Rael
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I loved the 80s style of the old 250 and 500. The first time I threw a leg over my 250 I felt like a straight version of Tom Cruise getting on that badass GPZ900.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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500's are great bikes. Light and responsive handling, comfortable riding position, and quick acceleration. It's forgiving for new riders and doesn't pressure you to go faster than you're ready for.
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