Long-time HD rider looking at a '16 Ninja 1000 in NC - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-17-2017, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Long-time HD rider looking at a '16 Ninja 1000 in NC

Been riding HDs since 1982 and currently have a '14 Road King, a '13 Sportster 72, and the wife has a Victory Kingpin baby bagger. My wife has also been riding 16 years and she rides her Vic and my Sporty regularly. She's a little thing so she hasn't tried the Road King yet. I've never owned a Jap street bike but I borrowed a Honda Hawk back in the 90s for track days at Danville, and borrowed a '98 Suzuki TL1000S for a couple of months when they first came out. And I still get crotch rocket fever once in a while, last year I even bought a Buell XB9SX to play on. I absolutely LOVED it but wound up selling it to a club brother after I came way to close to cracking it up far too many times. I'm old and even a relatively low-speed get-off is gonna hurt nowadays.

I love Harleys. Always have. Always will. But every one in a while I just want to go play or do a track day, and sometimes I'd like an uber smooth, fast, fared bike for longer range stuff.In addition to my CRF each year we think it would be cool to have a 4-cyl Jap liter bike to play on or tour on or take on long day trips to the NC twistees. The Ninja seems perfect, in that I can pull the saddlebags and go play on it locally to get my CRF jollies. Then we can pack up the saddlebags and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway or Cumberland Gap in Kentucky, riding a little more 'sportily' on the way up than I can on the RK.

So I got CRF again this year (Crotch Rocket Fever) and have been researching bikes to death. I've been able to test ride Yamaha FZ-10 and FZ-09, Suzuki GSX S1000 and S1000F, two models of Triumph Street Triple, and a Ducati Monster 796. I haven't been able to test ride the Z900 or the Ninja 1000 yet because most Kawi dealers in my area won't do demos. Everything I've read seems to point to a left-over 2016 Ninja 1000 as the best thing for us. The pillion seat was a non-starter on the Zooks, even though the S1000 might be my first choice if always going solo. The FZ-10 was awesome for us but it is pretty pricey. The FZ-09 would work but it will take a bit of money to get it where we need for touring (and a lot of guys do buy one and slowly turn it into something approaching an FJ-09). The Triumphs were a blast and relatively inexpensive, but again, we'd have a bit of a cash outlay to get it set up for light touring.

The Ninja 1000 pillion seat is one of the few that seems to actually be a seat. Lol. The shield and fairing also get great reviews. And I love the availability of detachable color-matched hard bags. A dealer an hour or so away is blowing out his black 2016s and it's hard to resist. Might be joining the club soon. I just wish he had the red 2016s in, still.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-17-2017, 12:48 PM
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Location: Central Kentucky
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Sounds like you are looking for the same thing as I was a few years ago when I ended up with my 2013 Ninja 1000. I can't advise you on which to pick but it sounds like you have considered most of the best choices for great all around road bikes. I am 56 now and bought my first Ninja 1000 in 2011. I now have a 2013 and it suits me perfectly. Love the ample low and mid range power and it has plenty of top end. I can hang with the sport bike crowd on the weekend and still tour in comfort.

The FJ-09 and the Street Triple sound like great choices too but I think for the occasional long haul the Ninja has them covered, and will still put a huge smile on your face in the twisties. The only weak spot on the Ninja is with the suspension. For most folks it is plenty good enough but if you are much over 180 pounds or you are a skilled rider who can really push the pace in the corners it is a bit on the soft side. But for most spirited riding and touring it is plenty good enough.

My two cents worth. Good luck with your choice.

2013 Ninja 1000.....Osram Nightbreakers, Pazzo levers, Vesrah pads, Puig screen, R&G frame sliders / case covers / axle protector, Sargent seat, PC5 with Ivans fuel map and ECU reflash, Akrapovic full exhaust, forks and shock rebuilt by Traxxion Dynamics.

2015 30th Anniversary ZX6R.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-17-2017, 08:00 PM
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I think the Ninja will become the most used bike in your stable. Other bikes sound fun to... but it's hard to beat the sportiness and bags. I have a '11 Road Glide Custom and a '15 N1K. Welcome from GA.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-18-2017, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2016
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I'm kind of the opposite. I've never owned a Harley and don't really intend to. Not that there's anything against them, just that this bike is so much fun and everything I'd hoped it would be, and it fits me better.

I also picked up a new '16 on sale (huge discount), and what's so appealing is the ergonomics, the "feel", and the ability to readily tour. It's quick, looks great, and rides well (although I did replace the OEM tires at the 600 mile service).

My wife has a couple of Triumphs (Street Triple R and a Daytona R), and neither really fit me. The Ninja out-handles the Street and I find the CG on the Daytona odd (very forward). I'm not entirely sure, but on the street I think I out-turn it too. And this Ninja outruns both, hands down.

But the Harleys I've sat (and I could be wrong), all position my feet way forward, so that, oddly enough, I feel hunched over leaning to get to the handlebars. For me, after sustaining a lower back injury while in the military, that kind of hunching isn't comfortable. Around here, Harley rules, no doubt, and I mean no disrespect. It just doesn't fit me and the style of riding I do.

The Ninja, moreover, isn't your typical crotch rocket. It's a sport bike, to be sure, but the grips are elevated just enough that you're not hugging the fuel tank. Your feet are below you, instead of forward or behind, so it's a more natural sitting position. The CG is low and centered, so turns are honest and true (again, ditch those OEM tires and go with a 55 on the back). And doing, ahem, 80 or so on the freeway puts you just over 6000 RPM, so you can ride all day long and your bike is happy to do it. Not that one wants to ride freeways all day long. Just sayin'.

And if on sale, that's a heck of a deal. I got mine for $8500 OTD with 3 miles on the odo. I had to drive 200 miles to pick it up, and I'd intended to trailer it home since I would be driving in Chicago traffic on a very windy day, and putting 200 miles on an unfamiliar and new bike. The trailer idea didn't work out (wife absconded with it for her Daytona), so I rode the traffic, wind, and distance, and loved every minute. Jumped off the bike and would have happily done 200 more.

On the quality side, I've read here a couple of reports of issues with new Ninja's, but those seem to be very exceptional. It's built solidly, yet all sorts of customizations you can perform if so inclined (me, LED lights). Mine's been awesome since the first mile.

I'm sure whichever bike you decide upon, you'll be very happy. I can say, with certainty, that this Ninja will make you smile when you ride it. Hopefully you can nab a test ride and know for sure before plunking down a ton of cash. Even if not and you take the chance, I'm hoping you're as happy with yours as I am with mine. Yours was a great post, by the way. Welcome to the forum.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-18-2017, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Memo from Kawasaki Heavy Industries:

"Due to your previous Motorcycle Ownership, and the extremely competitive nature of our Industry, KHI is concerned about its Image. Therefore, we must advise you that if you choose to acquire a Ninja 1000 Motorcycle, you will be required to sign a Waiver forbidding the wearing or use of the following items while using our Products:

Fingerless gloves
Black Leather Vest secured with small chains
Excessive use of Skull logos
Belt with Oversize Belt Buckle
Knee-high leather 'Miner's' boots with thick heel
Cereal Bowl helmets
Heavy chain to secure your wallet
Patches proclaiming 'DILLIGAF' or 'Ride to Live' or 'Ride to Eat' or anything with 'Sturgis'.
T-shirts imprinted on the back referring to your lack of knowledge regarding the whereabouts of your passenger.

Thank you."
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Wearing all your Gear is like using Condoms...you don't have to but, do you feel lucky?
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-18-2017, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Treasure Coast of FLA
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See, that lost post isn't helpful. The dude is looking for opinions and you offer sarcasm.

I like all bikes but the Kawis have been my line for the last 30 years so I'm slightly biased. The N1K is a totally different animal than any HD you've ever ridden, Buells included. In my mind, the N1K is the true Universal Japaneses Motorcycle done right. It's a comfortable, solid, powerful, well handling do it all bike. Wanna trip? Take it. Wanna track? More than acceptable. Want a practical ride that will tingle your toes every time you get on? then this is the right ride.

Shop for a nice, low mileage used one. Save the dough for modding the bike to fit you and enjoy it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-18-2017, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Oh, whatever. A little humor never hurt anyone! You guys are all too serious!

The N1K is just a motorcycle. I can think of several other choices for what he wants.

But if you come to a N1K board, You're gonna get N1K raves.

Wearing all your Gear is like using Condoms...you don't have to but, do you feel lucky?
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