Last updated on May 17th, 2018
Here’s my 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 mods list. It’s a list of all modifications and upgrades I’ve done to my 2017 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 2017 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.
My 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Mods List
Here is a list of what I’ve installed on my bike and liked enough to keep. Where possible, I’ve linked to the exact item I installed.
Bodywork & Aesthetic Upgrades
- Fender Eliminator Kit – It may not be the cheapest option, but they are certainly 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 both the OEM turn signals or aftermarket ones. Finally, it installs quickly, too.
- Z650 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 – Metallic Spark Black – 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.
- Aluminum CNC Fairing Screws (M5x15mm) – Titanium Color – I’m a sucker for titanium/gun-metal colored parts. Just for aesthetics I changed all the visible fairing bolts.
- Front Brake Fluid Cap, Aluminum Alloy – Black – For looks. One can be vain like that.
- Carbon Fiber Vinyl Key Cowling Protector – To keep the keys from scratching the cowl surrounding them. I just cut the vinyl as I installed it.
- Adjustable Folding Extendable Brake & Clutch Levers – You can install them for looks or for functionality. Regardless I like having them for the improved ergonomics. You can see them better in my control cable lubing how-to.
- Clutch Lever Adjuster Upgrade – CNC Anodized Aluminum (Titanium) – Just a pretty and cheap bolt-on accessory. Nonetheless, it does make the adjuster a lot easier to use with gloves 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.
- CNC Aluminum Oil Filler Cap (20×2.5mm) – Gun-metal Color – I like this model in particular because of how it’s more tamper-resistant due to the hex key it uses.
- CNC Polished Silver Tire Caps – Because who wants to own a sport bike if they’re not gonna farkle the heck out of it?
- Genuine Carbon Fiber Motorcycle 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). 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.
- Guardian Bell – Because you never know when you might come across some gremlins.
- Rim Tape – Factory Effex reflective Black Rim Tape – I mainly installed this for safety (increased visibility) and to be able to better see my bike parked in the garage via the security camera’s night vision.
- Smoked Front Turn Signal Housing – It might just be my opinion, but I think that smoked turn signals look so much better on this bike.
Frame & Control Upgrades
- Fork Brace – Black – Another part installed mainly to justify not making a deposit into my savings account. To see how to install it, click here – Ninja 650 Fork Brace Stabilizer DIY.
- Frame Sliders – OES Carbon Fiber Frame Sliders – Thankfully, the new Ninja 650 is designed for frame sliders. These are the ones I chose to go with due to aesthetics and price. They’re pretty nice.
- Front Axle Crash Slider Protector – Since the front axle is hollow, I thought why not?
- Quick Release Reusable Lynch Pin on Rear Axle – The benefit of this part is not having to replace the original cotter pin every time you adjust the chain. It did require a quick pass with a drill bit to enlarge the original hole by a fraction.
- Rear Swingarm Sliders – CNC Anodized Aluminum Extended Swingarm Spools (8mmx1.25mm) – I personally prefer the models which extend slightly from the swingarm and have “side plates” to avoid scratching the bike. These are the ones I went with.
- Cruise Control – Kurakyn Premium Affordable Cruise Assist P/B 6218 – Basic cruise control on a motorcycle! I love it for long rides (do I hear SaddleSore?) or simply adjusting a zipper while riding.
- Ram Mount Ball for a Smartphone/GPS Mount – Another must have, for me at least. To see how I installed it for use as a GPS holder, checkout my Kawasaki Ninja 650 smartphone mount DIY.
- Anti-Slip Knee Grip Tank Pads – Though I’ve typically used StompGrip Tank Pads in the past, this time I went with generic knee grip pads like the ones linked, that I only had to slightly trim to fit. To be honest, it was much cheaper and works just as well. I’d definitely do the same again if I had to.
- EZ-109 Oil Drain Valve plus EZ L-001 Silver Small 90 Degree Hose End Adapter – I can’t conceive not installing this on any bike I own. It makes oil changes so much cleaner and easier. For more info and how to install it check here.
- TP200 Motorcycle Bluetooth Tire Pressure Monitoring System TPMS – TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) has a long way to go on bikes. Nonetheless, the best system (read cheapest that works) I’ve found so far to see tire pressures through an app on my phone is this one. It isn’t perfect, but it lets me stay on top of my tire pressures (very important!). Specially considering that it avoids me having to refill the tires on a weekly basis.
Electronic & Electrical Upgrades
- Adjustable 2 Pin LED Turn Signal Relay Flasher – To fix hyperflashing with LEDs as well as adjusting the blink rate to my heart’s content. You’ll need the adapter below, though.
- Turn Signal Relay Adapter Harness – Taken from a Motodynamic LEDFR-01 Relay Kit to adapt the odd 3 pin blinker relay to the more ubiquitous 2 pin style. You can see it here.
- Brake Light Modulator – 12v GS-100A LED Control Box – I really like this mod. To see a detailed guide on how to install it, checkout this motorcycle brake light modulator DIY.
- Backup Phone Mount Charger – X-Grip Charging Phone Mount – Any experienced rider knows that their phone charger always fails when they most need it. That’s why I installed a backup. More info here.
- Coban GPS303G Alarm System with Remote Engine Disconnect – One of the first things I did was install a GPS Tracker Alarm to help avoid thefts. I also wired up a relatively easy system to cut the engine remotely from my phone. You might wanna take a look at a detailed guide of the alarm install.
- Custom 12AWG Power Harness next to front Headlight – I left a spare 12AWG wire coming from the battery. Mainly just in case I upgrade to HIDs in the future. You can see it here.
- Decoy Alarm – M.Way Motorcycle Anti-Theft Security Alarm – There’s no point in installing a GPS Tracker Alarm if the thief quickly rips it out. A decoy alarm will help make sure your bike can be tracked after the theft. Click to see a Motorcycle Decoy Alarm How-To that explains how it is installed.
- Horn Upgrade – Stebel Nautilus Compact Mini Air Horn – This is my favorite upgrade so far! There’s nothing like watching the cars swerve back into their lane because they think they are about to get hit by a truck. To see how I installed it, click here – Kawasaki Ninja 650 Horn Upgrade.
- MICTuning In-Dash 4.2A Dual Port USB Charger w Voltmeter – To keep my phone/GPS charged while riding. To see a detailed “How-To” on installing it click here.
- Custom Wiring Harness for In-Dash Charger Port – As seen in the USB charger install above.
- NOCO Genius GC015 12V Eyelet Battery Indicator – I use this port for both charging the battery during down time and to jump start the battery if necessary. Noco would surely not endorse that, but the starter only takes 30 or so Amps. Upping the fuse to 40A is unlikely to cause any real damage for momentary use with a weak battery.
- Remote Engine Kill Switch Wiring via Reed Relay – For more info on that, including a how-to, check out the motorcycle alarm DIY.
- Front Position Light Bulbs Upgrade – 2x JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 30-EX T10 LED Bulbs, White – After testing a handful of T10 white bulbs, this turned out to be the brightest, reasonably priced bulb I could find. I measured them with a Lux meter so the test was somewhat objective. Plus, JDM ASTAR has great customer service.
- Front Turn Signal Bulbs Upgrade – JDM ASTAR 5730 Chipsets BAU15S Led Bulbs, Amber – Like the previous upgrade, I also compared a few amber turn signal bulbs and found this one to be the brightest affordable LED bulb.
- Headlight Bulbs Upgrade – Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra Bulbs – While far from being HID-grade, the options were limited to begin with. This is the best compromise I could find.
- Rear Turns Signals Upgrade – Spirit Beast LED Rear Turn Signals, Amber – I initially tried some Action Turn Signals (with a suspicious similarity to the Rizoma model) and was unimpressed with the light output. I swapped them for these and now I’m much happier with the aesthetics, quality and brightness.
Upgrades pending installation
- UltraGel Motorcycle Seat Gel Pad – TR Series (7.5″x9″x7″) – After installing this in my Kawasaki Ninja 300, I knew I had to have this upgrade. The Ninja 650 is a vast improvement in comfort, but this is still a worthwhile upgrade if you are upholstering the seat.
- Carbon Fiber Vinyl Upholstery
Upgrades not worth the hassle
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- Nelson-Rigg Deluxe Motorcycle Cover, Large – A nice, compact, quality cover that fits the Ninja 650 quite nicely, for both indoor and outdoor use.
- 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. Plus it’s a permanent solution that does not have to be repaired later.
- 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.
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 contact me or leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading!