My 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Mods List

Last updated on August 30th, 2018

Here’s my 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list. It’s a list of all modifications and upgrades I’ve done to my Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS. As of now, at least.

Some are easy bolt-on parts, and others are full-blown custom installations. And keep in mind that most will also fit the 2017 Kawasaki Z650, too. If you’re interested in seeing what I chose to install, take a look at my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list below. It wouldn’t be practical to show pictures of all of them here, so to seem them you might want to check out my DIYs.

Also, if you are looking for parts for this exact model, you might want to take a look at the 2017+ Kawasaki Ninja 650 parts compatibility list. Sometimes you’ll find that the same exact part advertised for a different model is cheaper, so it’s worth checking.


As you can imagine by the length of my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list, my bike has spent a lot of time in pieces...
As you can imagine by the length of my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list, my bike has spent a lot of time in pieces…

My 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Mods List

Here’s a list of the upgrades I’ve installed on my bike and liked enough to keep. Where possible, I’ve linked to the exact item I installed. As ridiculous as it seems, this list isn’t even exhaustive.

Bodywork & Exterior Upgrades

  • Fender Eliminator Kit – It may not be the cheapest option, but they are certainly among the best made. I installed the MotoDynamics one, but it’s very similar to the Vagabond MotorSports kit which tends to have better availability. It’s also plug and play, and works with the OEM turn signals. Finally, it installs quickly, too.
  • Aftermarket Radiator Guard – Even though it might protect the radiator from small impacts, I’ll confess I installed it mainly for looks. The Z650 version is the same as that of the 2017+ Kawasaki Ninja 650.
  • Aftermarket Rear Single-Seat Cowl – I went with the aftermarket version (instead of OEM) since it was about 60% cheaper. I didn’t regret it. The color match was spot on and the quality was perfectly acceptable. To boot, it’s a direct fit with no modification needed. Just take off the seat and put this one on.
  • CNC Aluminum Extra-Wide Kickstand Plate – Totally worth it for how it helps avoid the motorcycle falling over when parked on grass or dirt. It also makes the kickstand easier to put down.
  • Real Carbon Fiber License Plate Frame – Nothing like ditching the dealer’s branded license plate frame and installing a nicer genuine carbon fiber one.
  • Genuine Carbon Fiber Tank Pad – This is the nicest real carbon fiber tank pad I could find. For the price, at least. Quality is great, and you can install the pieces however you like best. And as with all tank pads, remember to use an adhesion promoter when installing.

Aesthetic & Miscellaneous Accessories

By far the upgrade with the highest giggle-factor yet is the upgraded air horn. There's a DIY for it, too. Plus you can see my OES frame sliders. There a must-have for new riders given the costly damage they'll avoid in a tip-over.
By far the upgrade with the highest giggle-factor yet is the upgraded air horn. There’s a DIY for it, too. Plus you can see my OES frame sliders. There a must-have for new riders given the costly damage they’ll avoid in a tip-over.

Frame Upgrades

Ergonomic Upgrades

Electronic & Electrical Upgrades

There are plenty of interesting and easy electronic upgrades worth doing to the Ninja 650. Here are the one's I've done to my bike.
There are plenty of interesting and easy electronic upgrades worth doing to the Ninja 650. Here are the one’s I’ve done to my bike.

Lighting Upgrades

Engine Upgrades

  • Yoshimura Alpha Carbon Fiber Full System Exhaust – To be honest, I installed this more as an aesthetic and acoustic upgrade rather than a performance upgrade. If you want more power, the gains are mediocre. Nonetheless it’s a hard upgrade to resist and it does work okay without a Power Commander. Plus it definitely has the best looking muffler out there.

Upgrades pending installation

These are things I’ve bought but still haven’t had a chance to install. Nonetheless, I have previous experience with them on other bikes so it makes my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list.

Upgrades not worth the hassle

There are items that shouldn’t have made it to this Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list. They aren’t worth your money.

  • Ninja 650 Dash Display Protector Film 6H TPU Sticker – I initially thought this was a great idea to protect the screen from UV or scratch damage. I was wrong. While the protector is nice, the display is not perfectly flat so it will invariably lift up on the edges. Sadly it isn’t worth it.
  • Red Light Changer Magnets – I mean those magnets you stick under your bike to make intersections detect it. No one should spend their money on this. They’re junk. It was worth trying to clear any doubts, but I was more than happy when I returned it.

To see what I've installed on this bike, take a look at my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list here.

Other motorcycle accessories worth keeping around

The following are accessories I always keep around. They might not mount directly to the bike, but they sure come in handy when you need them. I still think they’re interesting enough for new riders for me to include them in my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list.

On-bike accessories

  • First Aid Kit – I really hope there’s no need to explain why carrying a First Aid Kit in your backpack or under the seat is important for a motorcyclist.
  • Dynaplug Ultralite Tubeless Tire Repair Tool Kit – Nothing sucks like being stranded on a bike. To boot, it’s harder to find a tow truck willing to take you to a shop. I keep this kit under the seat to plug any punctures that may happen. It’s already saved me a few times in the past.
  • Bestek 300A Portable Lithium Jump Starter – Either for charging your helmet intercom at a rest area, or jump-starting your bike if the alarm drained it down. You definitely want someone in your riding group to have a lithium jump-starter at hand. In mine…well, I guess that’s me.

Off-bike accessories

  • Nelson-Rigg Deluxe Motorcycle Cover, Large – A nice, compact, quality cover. For both indoor and outdoor use. Size Large fits the Ninja 650 quite nicely.
  • NOCO Genius G1100 UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger – I use this charger to keep the bike’s battery charged, or recharge it whenever I forget to plug it in. Every vehicle owner should have a decent smart battery charger. If you have an alarm, it’s a must-have.
  • Front and Rear Sport Bike Stand – I can’t conceive not having a rear stand to use for basic maintenance tasks, like oil changes, chain lubrication or even cleaning the bike. I have had a few different units over time. Depending on how much you use it, you can go with a cheaper or more expensive one. I’d definitely take a more affordable unit over none at all.
  • Kryptonite High-Security Chain – A quality chain (attached to a secure object) is the number one thing that you can do to keep your bike from getting stolen. This is what’ll keep the rest of the things on this Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list safe. I’ve tried a lot of Kryptonite chains (which are the best), and this one is the best compromise between safety and convenience. Though there are “safer” chains, they are way too heavy to carry on your sport bike. Trust me, I’ve tried.

But…What about performance upgrades?

To be honest, I’ve back-tracked a bit over the years on performance upgrades. These days I try to avoid most engine-related projects for the sake of reliability. The fact that most engine upgrades provide marginal performance benefits at best don’t make them more tempting, either.

To see more on that topic, check out why I think motorcycle performance upgrades are seldom worth it. Just about anything else on this Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list is a more effective way to make your bike better.

The Takeaway

While the Ninja 650 is a great bike as-is, customizing it yourself to your own tastes and needs makes you appreciate it even more.
While the Ninja 650 is a great bike as-is, customizing it yourself to your own tastes and needs makes you appreciate it even more.

Well, that’s all of it! Hopefully this Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list has been helpful for anyone looking for some inspiration on their next upgrade. If you’re thinking about adding an upgrade to your bike or have any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve found my Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list interesting, check out what other projects I’ve been up to. Here are a few you might like. Many of them are specifically for the Kawasaki Ninja 650.

Got any tips, suggestions or questions? Leave a comment below.