Why is the N1K so unpopular? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Why is the N1K so unpopular?

Yes I know, WE all like this machine and have realized it's a terrific blend of performance and practicality at a good price point.

But I hardly ever see another one, and the last three Kawasaki dealers I have been in didn't have a single example- of any year. There are inmates here reporting that they are finding and buying leftover bikes dating back as far as 2013. Reviews in the press have been largely positive, and owner reports have been too, with the primary complaint being engine vibration at certain engine speeds.

Evidently this is a very good seller for Kawasaki in other markets, but not so much here in the USA.

The only theory I have come up with is that Kawasaki has branded themselves into a corner with the "Ninja" moniker and that by insisting on calling it a Ninja here in the states they have pigeonholed it into a category that it doesn't fit. The Ninja name has become entangled with pure sports machinery such that it seems riders who want a more practical machine ignore the 1000abs from the outset and riders who want a pure sports bike can see that that's not what it is and pass it up as well.

Oddly, the Ninja name when applied to Kawasaki's smaller machines- specifically the now gone 250 and 500, and the remaining 300- seems to function as an aspirational label and works fine, despite those machines being much closer to a standard than to a sport bike.

In my eyes the N1K would be a "Standard" but for the fairing. Everything else about it- the seating position, the midrange weighted power delivery, the inclusion of integrated luggage, etc, serves to make it a regular do-everything machine.
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post #2 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 02:07 PM
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You are in alaska.....I visited anchorage and went into Anchorage Yamaha..cool shop.

Big expensive bikes are usually harleys.

Notice the cover of the magazines. They are full of small, inexpensive machines. People just don't have the money.

People that could afford 30k motorcycles still can. Those that could buy 12k bikes got hurt I very the last 5 years. No money.

Many went to adv bikes. I'll bet where you are, it's all adv's?

Still, it's been in production since late 2010, and been updated twice...someone is buying them.

Over half the new motorcyckes sold, in the usa, go to Los angeles
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post #3 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 05:00 PM
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I agree. I just bought a leftover 2014 for a steal. While I only have 500 miles on it right now, I'm so far very impressed. What appeals to me is its versatility - fast but comfortable, nimble in the corners for a heavy bike... you all know. But - maybe - it's not either or. Its not a pure sports bike nor a sport tourer (arguably). Its not a naked standard... it's not retro... no 'hipster' vibe... maybe it's a bike without a core market? Maybe I'm the core market, 40's, still want a sport(ish) bike, not looking for hipster cool. For me, speed, handling, good electronics, riding position and reliability is what I need...
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post #4 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 07:03 PM
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Picked up a 2013 in wisc end of last year for what i feel is a steal mid 6000.00. Zero miles. I thinks the bike is a riders bike, someone looking for reliability, style, performance, handling, ect.. I'm not looking to ride on the edge, or track my bike. I don't care what it does in the quarter mile. I like to do wheelies when I feel the need and that's simple on these all purpose sport tour machines. I'm a 50+ rider and this is just a perfect crossover for me. I also had a ZZR1200 that was kind of an overlooked machine as well, but that's what i look for.
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post #5 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 08:07 PM
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So, viewed sales numbers, and decided the bike is not POPULAR?

Without seeing thise, no one has a clue as to what's been sold.

Here's a good way to judge popularity. Google "ninja 1000 exhaust system" count how many aftermarket versions you see.

Now, try the same with a Honda vfr 1200.

The 2017 bike is more revised than their own zx10r. That would never happen to an unpopular bike. If a person is judging the amount sold bu what they see on their own home town streets, that's silly.
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post #6 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYN1000 View Post
Picked up a 2013 in wisc end of last year for what i feel is a steal mid 6000.00. Zero miles. I thinks the bike is a riders bike, someone looking for reliability, style, performance, handling, ect.. I'm not looking to ride on the edge, or track my bike. I don't care what it does in the quarter mile. I like to do wheelies when I feel the need and that's simple on these all purpose sport tour machines. I'm a 50+ rider and this is just a perfect crossover for me. I also had a ZZR1200 that was kind of an overlooked machine as well, but that's what i look for.
Flyn thats exactly how i feel about the ninja and how i ride also

2012 N1000 spark bl and gray ABS
Tail tidy
Urban brawlers
V/h DB killers sitting on the shelf collecting dust
Givi rack and topcase
Puig smoked wind screen
oem gel seat set
Rascal grafiks tank pad
Grip puppies
SW Motech ninja 1000 quick connect gps mount with navi bag
2014 air filter and holey bottom plate
Go Cruise Throttle lock
Ivans ECU flash
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post #7 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYN1000 View Post
Picked up a 2013 in wisc end of last year for what i feel is a steal mid 6000.00. Zero miles. I thinks the bike is a riders bike, someone looking for reliability, style, performance, handling, ect.. I'm not looking to ride on the edge, or track my bike. I don't care what it does in the quarter mile. I like to do wheelies when I feel the need and that's simple on these all purpose sport tour machines. I'm a 50+ rider and this is just a perfect crossover for me. I also had a ZZR1200 that was kind of an overlooked machine as well, but that's what i look for.
I'm this way as well.

Based on my own personal (and recent) experience, I'd say its because when you say "Ninja" you think crotch rocket. Thats what I thought and that's why I was looking more at a Versys. It wasn't until I actually saw a Ninja and sat on it and I immediately stopped looking at the Versys......and I just got my 17 Ninja last week....so that tells you how recent.

I don't think the market for a Ninja looks at a Ninja because they think the Ninja is something its not. Thats why I wasn't looking at a ninja anyway.
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post #8 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 09:35 PM
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Good discussion thread. Thank you for your comments and insight.

I'm 70 years old and ride 100s of miles on my N1K weekly. Keeps me young. This isn't a middle-life crisis bike trying to capture my youth or stroke my ego. I am old enough to be past all that stuff. I'm not asking much of a motorcycle -- I just want a bike with enough power to disappear when the hooligan urge strikes, a bike I can enjoy riding with a body that's not young anymore, a bike that will take me on longer trips in relative comfort (not Goldwing style, I'll take a car instead), and a bike that isn't too heavy for me to handle in parking lots -- where most of the drops seem to happen. Actually, that is a lot to ask of a motorcycle. But the N1K is that bike for me.

Am I a primary market for this bike? I think I'm at least a close secondary market. Honda abandoned the sport touring market; offering the CTX or VFR instead. Kawasaki hasn't. They appear to understand this market. And they seem to be putting good development resources into the N1K bike for the forseeable future.
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post #9 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYN1000 View Post
Picked up a 2013 in wisc end of last year for what i feel is a steal mid 6000.00. Zero miles. I thinks the bike is a riders bike, someone looking for reliability, style, performance, handling, ect.. I'm not looking to ride on the edge, or track my bike. I don't care what it does in the quarter mile. I like to do wheelies when I feel the need and that's simple on these all purpose sport tour machines. I'm a 50+ rider and this is just a perfect crossover for me. I also had a ZZR1200 that was kind of an overlooked machine as well, but that's what i look for.
Same here. It's got the great looks, got power, and the ergo is good. It's the very embodiment of cool, at least to me.
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post #10 of 123 Old 04-07-2017, 11:26 PM
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The styling is a bit weirdo for the demographic profile of the people who would like this bike. I've more years than i care to admit riding. At the tender age of 66 i wanted a sportbike that pulled like a Triumph Speed Triple with the same type ergos but with the dealer network and reliability of a good old Japanese inline four get-outta-my-way type motor. N1K fits the bill. After my test ride of mine I completely forgot the Godzilla-esque fairings, bought it immediately and haven't looked back. I read this is the best selling Kawi in the UK. I guess they're a bunch old forkers too who like riding more than wrenching !
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