We first saw the new Kawasaki Ninja 500 at EICMA and now Team Green has pulled the wraps off its newest Ninja. This time around, they have upped the Ninja 400’s ante with a larger displacement sibling. Looking like its predecessor, the new Ninja 500 has more of pretty much everything when compared to the Ninja 400.
The new Ninja 500 carries a 4-Stroke, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4-valve cylinder head, parallel twin engine displacing 451 cc. The increased displacement comes courtesy of its 6.8 mm longer stroke. It also has a new crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, and an optimized compression ratio.
According to Team Green, the new engine offers increased power and quicker acceleration. Kawasaki did not release a horsepower rating for the engine but do say that it makes 31.7 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm. But with its larger displacement and fresh engine internals, it likely makes somewhat more horsepower than the Ninja 400 which makes a claimed 48.9 hp.
Kawasaki says the Ninja 500’s trellis frame is similar to the one found in the Ninja H2. They claim it was created using an advanced dynamic rigidity analysis and placed the engine in the frame as a stressed member. This ensures optimum rigidity with minimal weight. Connecting to the frame is a square tube swingarm that does not require any gusseting.
Up front, you will find a non-adjustable 41 mm telescopic fork. At the back of the machine, is a bottom link Uni-Trac® rear suspension with 5 way pre-load adjustability. Pre-load changes can be made using the tools found in the bike’s on-board tool kit.
You put the whoa on the mid-sized Ninja using the front wheel’s 310 mm semi-floating disc gripped by a dual-piston caliper at the front. Adding to the front’s stopping ability is a 220 mm disc grabbed by a dual-piston caliper with 27 mm pistons. You can get the Ninja 500 with or without ABS.
You’ll find a pair of 17-inch, star pattern, 5-spoke wheels reminiscent of those found on the Ninja 650 on the Ninja 500. These wheels are shod with radial tires sized at 110/70-17 on the front and a 150/60-17 on the rear.
Kawasaki says the Ninja 500 prioritizes rider comfort and control in its design. The bike’s clip-on handlebars are higher and the footpegs placed slightly forward to provide a rider triangle suitable for different riders and riding scenarios. In addition, they say the machine’s bodywork offers excellent wind protection and promotes efficient airflow around the rider, enhancing comfort. Seat height is set at 30.9 inches, which should make the bike more friendly to new riders.
The new Ninja 500 features an all-new high-contrast LCD instrument panel. It features a bar-style tachometer over the speedometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, dual trip meters, odometer, remaining range, current and average fuel consumption, coolant temperature, clock, connected device notifications (Bluetooth®, mail, telephone), service indicator, and the economical riding indicator.
As an added plus, the Ninja 500 offers riders “seamless connectivity to their motorcycle using Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOTY THE APP feature. The app can provide several functions including:
- Vehicle info: displays battery voltage on the rider’s smartphone
- Riding log: rider can log GPS Route information and vehicle running info from a smartphone
- Telephone notices: the bike display indicates receipt of a call or email
- Communication sharing: riders can share their profile, location, and riding logs using Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY THE APP.
- Maintenance log: Manage maintenance history, refueling, lubrication, oil changes, consumable parts replacement, and periodic inspections
Ninja 500 SE
Kawasaki is also offering a special edition Ninja 500 with distinctive colors, graphics, and other exclusive features. The SE model also gets a full-color TFT display, KIPASS, Kawasaki’s Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System, which allows the rider to release the bike’s steering lock and main switch remotely. You’ll also find a covered USB-C outlet on the left side of the instrument panel.
The Ninja 500 SE also boasts other ergonomic and protective features. For rider comfort, a larger windshield helps keep the wind blast off the rider. For bike protection, the SE has a radiator screen and frame sliders. On the aesthetic side of things, the Ninja 500 SE includes a cover for the passenger seat, a tank pad and knee grips for improved rider comfort and grip, and LED rear turn signals.
Ninja 500 KRT Edition
There’s also a KRT Edition with the features of the Ninja 500 but adds Lime Green/Ebony paint.
Pricing And Availability
The Kawasaki Ninja 500 has an MSRP of $5,299, while the KRT Edition carries an MSRP of $5,499. If you want ABS, the price rises to $5,699. If you want to move up to the Ninja 500 SE ABS, the MSRP jumps to $6,399. The Ninja 500 is available now.