Earlier in my time with Kawasaki’s Ninja 650, I decided to replace the standard exhaust for an aftermarket Arrow system as I was interested in finding out if (and what) more could be achieved. While the bike was able to make a relatively healthy 2-3bhp increase throughout the entire rev range, there were more gains to be had, so I decided to fit a Rapid Bike Evo module (made by Dimsport) to see just what difference it would make.
The module is a self-learning unit that can alter the fuelling to suit the replacement exhaust. And it can do this without making any changes to the standard ECU unit or having it flashed; meaning the bike can easily be returned to the standard map if required.
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Alongside the self-learning function, there is also the option to fully customise the unit, thanks to the addition of free software. It can even raise the stock RPM limit – which is something that I have heard was changed in the 649cc motor, despite it being the same one that powered the old ER-6 to help the Ninja 650 get through stringent Euro4 regulations.
Installing the module
The module itself is relatively easy to install, once the fairing and tank are both removed. You simply plug and play, replacing a number of the standard connections with the Rapid Bike ones instead, before connecting to the unit.
The trickiest part of the whole installation was getting the panels off and removing the tank to get better access to the areas needed. And if you're not too nifty with a toolbox, it would an idea to pay a professional to fit it. Lucky I could do the job myself, although it took a few hours one evening to completely fit.
Adapting to the Ninja 650
The self-learning aspect of the module takes a couple of hundred miles to adapt to the bike, but the difference it made was noticeable immediately. The throttle response became a lot smoother and the mid-range had a bit more poke.
The total cost for the module is £355, which I think represents fairly good value considering the versatility of the unit. It also allows a number of other Dimsport accessories to be fitted, like a quickshifter and a map switch for those who might want to have a setting for track and road.
Now if you combine it with the £655 Arrow exhaust system, it soon becomes a pretty hefty outlay overall – even more if you were to opt for a Yoshimura Alpha system, which costs £752, or an Akrapovic system from Kawasaki which will set you back a wallet-lightening £1029.95.
The fuel maps can be further tweaked and customised with the addition of the free software that can be downloaded from the Dimsport website. Mac users beware, this will only work on a PC – something I found out when I went to try and download it.
Overall, I’d recommend the module for the Ninja 650 and would say that if you run an aftermarket exhaust then it’s an invaluable piece of kit that should definitely be considered alongside the price of the exhaust, even if it does start to become eye-wateringly expensive.
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