Considering the Ninja - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
 7Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Considering the Ninja

I tried to post an earlier introduction thread that didn't work for some reason. Apologies. I did post a couple answers to other forum questions, so I figured I should try this again.


Currently 55 year old, been riding since around 10 years old on dirt bikes, got my road license at 16 and never looked back. I've owned a bunch of bikes, but I'm looking for a change with a few caveats. Right now, I've got four bikes (2 for street and 2 for track). That's getting to be a drag for maintaining them, so I'm going to pare the street side down to one do-it-all motorcycle. Right now, the majority of my riding is commuting, which I do any day when the temp is over 32F. I'm also planning to do a trip or two this summer, which leads me to my main questions about the bike. For the record, I do my own tire changes, brake bleeding, and valve checks, as well as chain adjusting and replacement, so being able to work on a bike without having a to buy a bunch of expensive diagnostic tools is a plus (that's a knock on both the BMW and the Tiger mentioned below).



The current three top contenders are a BMW GS, a Triumph Tiger, or the N1K. I realize that one of these things is not like the others, but I've always had a soft spot for Kawasakis, and for the N1K in particular. The addition of the cruise control was a major check box for me, and with side luggage and a top case just about any motorcycle will work for me. I only ride one-up, as my wife is a no-go for riding in general (no fear, just prefers a/c & creature comforts). I've ridden the Tiger 800 XRX (low - I'm short), and am planning to get a ride on the GS this upcoming summer. I'm hoping Kawasaki brings their truck to town so I can take the N1K for a spin. I missed my chance to ride one at the AIM Expo, because I was considering the new Goldwing. I ended up ditching the GW for cost and size reasons,

So, my main question about the Ninja is wind protection. I imagine that if I do buy one I'll be adding a power port for heated gear, as well as a set of handlebar risers, and possibly a windshield. But, overall, how well is the rider protected by the fairing from wind and (especially) weather? The ride back from Ohio to Minnesota last year involved riding through a day-long series of squall lines from the Ohio border all the way to Davenport Iowa, where I finally gave up and decided to get a hotel for the night. Has anyone ridden the ninja in those sorts of conditions? How is it for cold weather?

Any input would be great.
antimatter is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 03:46 PM
Senior Member
 
kenors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatter View Post
So, my main question about the Ninja is wind protection. I imagine that if I do buy one I'll be adding a power port for heated gear, as well as a set of handlebar risers, and possibly a windshield. But, overall, how well is the rider protected by the fairing from wind and (especially) weather? The ride back from Ohio to Minnesota last year involved riding through a day-long series of squall lines from the Ohio border all the way to Davenport Iowa, where I finally gave up and decided to get a hotel for the night. Has anyone ridden the ninja in those sorts of conditions? How is it for cold weather?
I ride year around in the PNW, although I must admit, retired so not a daily commuter any more. Still lots of trips on the N1k. You will need to do a bit of update to pile up the miles in inclement weather comfortably. I had a 2011, 2014 and now a 2018 N1k, BTW. The 2014 had 68k miles on it when a truck decided it didn't like the color,,, 2020 saw a refresh of the Ninja so this may not apply. Upgrades for comfort will include:

Seat: Biggest update to get more than 30 minutes of comfort out of the N1k. Lots of seat options available. I've had Seth Lamm and Sargent. Both great. The Sargent foam is very thin but the shape is great. Folks have ordered it with thicker foam with even better results.

Windshield: Several available and necessary to get decent wind protection, especially if you intend to sit totally upright with bar risers. I have a National Vstream tour + Puig wing above it. Total protection but too hot in the summer. Others are available.

Grip heaters: Really like the comfort they add to any bike in the cold.

Handguards: The fairing is narrow and leaves your hands exposed. I took a near triple digit pebble to the pinky finger knuckle early on (never happened on any other bike) and it prompted me to add these. Not only do they add protection from debris, they make the grip heaters way more effective and keep your hands a lot drier in the rain.

FYI: You mentioned the Triumph Tiger. One of my riding buddies has one and it's stranded him twice in the first 30k miles of it's life. Both times with electrical problems. His is a 2014 so maybe it's been fixed since then.
RobF and Darthanubis like this.

2018 Ninja w/bags, Motowerks lowered pegs, Sargent Seat, Puig/Vstream screen, Givi XS307 tank bag, WOLO BadBoy horn, Aerostitch Roadcrafter
kenors is online now  
post #3 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenors View Post
I ride year around in the PNW, although I must admit, retired so not a daily commuter any more. Still lots of trips on the N1k. You will need to do a bit of update to pile up the miles in inclement weather comfortably. I had a 2011, 2014 and now a 2018 N1k, BTW. The 2014 had 68k miles on it when a truck decided it didn't like the color,,, 2020 saw a refresh of the Ninja so this may not apply. Upgrades for comfort will include:

Seat: Biggest update to get more than 30 minutes of comfort out of the N1k. Lots of seat options available. I've had Seth Lamm and Sargent. Both great. The Sargent foam is very thin but the shape is great. Folks have ordered it with thicker foam with even better results.

Windshield: Several available and necessary to get decent wind protection, especially if you intend to sit totally upright with bar risers. I have a National Vstream tour + Puig wing above it. Total protection but too hot in the summer. Others are available.

Grip heaters: Really like the comfort they add to any bike in the cold.

Handguards: The fairing is narrow and leaves your hands exposed. I took a near triple digit pebble to the pinky finger knuckle early on (never happened on any other bike) and it prompted me to add these. Not only do they add protection from debris, they make the grip heaters way more effective and keep your hands a lot drier in the rain.

FYI: You mentioned the Triumph Tiger. One of my riding buddies has one and it's stranded him twice in the first 30k miles of it's life. Both times with electrical problems. His is a 2014 so maybe it's been fixed since then.

Thanks. The handguards are a great tip. I've run those before on various bikes, and have had my hands saved at least once by a truck-driven projectile.

I sat on the BMW at the IMS here in Minneapolis. Great feel, but I had an '00 RT that left me stranded when the input transmission splines stripped, something the first generation oil-heads were famous for. On the other hand, my '13 ZX-6R track bike has been faithful, even after I high-sided it and ripped all the controls off. There's a lot to be said for Kawi toughness.
antimatter is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 06:11 PM
OCL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 117
I strongly believe all Japanese bikes today are tough as nails. Especially when compared to the European bikes (ahem KTM). The Europe bikes CAN be tough and reliable. Depends on the model. Sometimes you have to work through a few gremlins (Guzzis for example...LOL!) then they become "reliable" so to speak. But one thing is for certain, Japanese sportbikes are tough and durable as all hell. You can beat on them for years and as long as you change their fluids, and filters, and you don't deliberately try to kill them, they will just keep running.

Having said all that, and even being an N1k owner, if I could only have ONE street bike, I think I would go for an ADV style bike. A Japanese made one. VStrom 1050, Africa Twin, Yamaha Tenere. Reason being is you can take them just about anywhere and they are supremely practical and really comfortable to ride. Kawasaki makes the Versys 1000 BTW.

If you want sport, the N1k for sure. You can't get this same sporty riding experience on any ADV bike.
Darthanubis likes this.
OCL is online now  
post #5 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCL View Post
I strongly believe all Japanese bikes today are tough as nails. Especially when compared to the European bikes (ahem KTM). The Europe bikes CAN be tough and reliable. Depends on the model. Sometimes you have to work through a few gremlins (Guzzis for example...LOL!) then they become "reliable" so to speak. But one thing is for certain, Japanese sportbikes are tough and durable as all hell. You can beat on them for years and as long as you change their fluids, and filters, and you don't deliberately try to kill them, they will just keep running.

Having said all that, and even being an N1k owner, if I could only have ONE street bike, I think I would go for an ADV style bike. A Japanese made one. VStrom 1050, Africa Twin, Yamaha Tenere. Reason being is you can take them just about anywhere and they are supremely practical and really comfortable to ride. Kawasaki makes the Versys 1000 BTW.

If you want sport, the N1k for sure. You can't get this same sporty riding experience on any ADV bike.

The big attraction of both the BMW and Tiger are that they are offered in low-suspension versions. I really wish the Japanese would do this for those of us who are shorter of leg. Full disclosure - I'm 5' 5". I'm good on anything up to 32" of seat height, and up to about 33.5" if the seat is narrow enough. I can hear someone thinking 'Why not a cruiser/Harley?' Well, my back has never been able to handle the 'feet forward' thing for more than about 15 minutes.

The other reason I'm leaning away from an ADV bike is that I rarely ride on gravel roads, and never on dirt.
Darthanubis likes this.
antimatter is online now  
post #6 of 20 Old 02-14-2020, 08:26 PM
OCL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 117
Regarding seat height. I'm 5'8" have a 31 inch inseam.

I used to dread the seat height. Then I got myself a Suzuki DR650 to try out the ADV waters: 35" seat height. Well on that bike it's very light weight so it turns out the seat height isn't such a big deal if you can easily support the bike with your legs. Not sure about 500 lbs. behemoths.

Try a VStrom 1050 or 650. They're standard seat heights are relatively low: 32 inch and narrow at the center. They're also more street oriented. The 2020 VStrom 1050 is significantly updated and leaves few things to be desired.

The N1k seat height isn't low but isn't tall either. And it is narrow along the waistline. But it is still 519 lbs. wet.

I'm just a bit younger than you. I do work out a lot to maintain my core strength for riding. Yet, I find that lighter motorcycles are just so much easier to ride. And as I advance in age I find myself not wanting all that power as much as I used to....until I ride my N1k then I'm: "DAMN! This is fun I don't know what I'm thinking wanting to ride my Dual Sport!" LMAO!!!! Then I ride my dual sport and I'm: DAMN! This is fun! I don't need no stinkin' N1k!"
Darthanubis and Ninja Raven like this.
OCL is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 02-15-2020, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCL View Post
Regarding seat height. I'm 5'8" have a 31 inch inseam.

I used to dread the seat height. Then I got myself a Suzuki DR650 to try out the ADV waters: 35" seat height. Well on that bike it's very light weight so it turns out the seat height isn't such a big deal if you can easily support the bike with your legs. Not sure about 500 lbs. behemoths.

Try a VStrom 1050 or 650. They're standard seat heights are relatively low: 32 inch and narrow at the center. They're also more street oriented. The 2020 VStrom 1050 is significantly updated and leaves few things to be desired.

The N1k seat height isn't low but isn't tall either. And it is narrow along the waistline. But it is still 519 lbs. wet.

I'm just a bit younger than you. I do work out a lot to maintain my core strength for riding. Yet, I find that lighter motorcycles are just so much easier to ride. And as I advance in age I find myself not wanting all that power as much as I used to....until I ride my N1k then I'm: "DAMN! This is fun I don't know what I'm thinking wanting to ride my Dual Sport!" LMAO!!!! Then I ride my dual sport and I'm: DAMN! This is fun! I don't need no stinkin' N1k!"

I have a DR650 at one point. Set the suspension at the factory 'low' position, did Racetech front and rear as well as a pumper carb. Great bike, but a bit lacking on power and definitely a 'fair weather' motorcycle. I'll give the 'big' strom a try, but in the past its been a bit wide for me to get a foot down comfortably.
antimatter is online now  
post #8 of 20 Old 02-16-2020, 12:58 AM
OCL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 117
The newer VStroms are narrower to allow a straighter path for your legs. They're still not low seat.
OCL is online now  
post #9 of 20 Old 02-16-2020, 04:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 40
I'm in the middle of making a similar decision, weighing the new 2020 Ninja1000SX against a couple of other bikes I'm considering to replace my FJR. If comfort and wind protection is your priority, you will certainly need to switch out shields, especially if you're looking at the 2020, which has an even smaller shield than the '19 and back. To gain the same protection as the other ADV bikes you mention, I presume you'd have to get a rather large shield because of the way you sit on the Ninja, even with its three-way setting, which could look rather odd on the Ninja (if a sporty appearance is important).
RC65 is online now  
post #10 of 20 Old Yesterday, 12:40 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 1,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatter View Post
The current three top contenders are a BMW GS, a Triumph Tiger, or the N1K. I realize that one of these things is not like the others, but I've always had a soft spot for Kawasakis, and for the N1K in particular. The addition of the cruise control was a major check box for me, and with side luggage and a top case just about any motorcycle will work for me. I only ride one-up, as my wife is a no-go for riding in general (no fear, just prefers a/c & creature comforts). I've ridden the Tiger 800 XRX (low - I'm short), and am planning to get a ride on the GS this upcoming summer. I'm hoping Kawasaki brings their truck to town so I can take the N1K for a spin. I missed my chance to ride one at the AIM Expo, because I was considering the new Goldwing. I ended up ditching the GW for cost and size reasons,
Any input would be great.
I have both the 2016 N1K as well as the 2015 F700GS which has the same 798cc engine as the taller 800,,. All three bikes are new for 2019 and 2020 model years,,.
I preferred the F700 as its around the same seat height as the Ninja at 32/33 inches depending on the seats and the F800, F850 is closer to 35/36",,.
I find the F700 very nimble and light, corners like a sport bike on the tarmac and I can keep up with much more powerful bikes, no where near the power of the Ninja so you have to ring its neck to make it go and just remember your not going to get away with as much when it comes to passing and so on,,.

As far as the comparison between the two, I find the N1K more refined then the BMW, the tranny, clutch, and shifting are noticeable smother, the brakes are more responsive and the suspension is firmer and more exact,,. I consider the Ninja my main ride and purchased the GS used for a good price with low miles,,. I like them both for different reasons and see no reason to get rid of either,,.
I lot of friends have bought used ADV bikes,,Vstoms, CB500X's, mid sized BMW700/800GS as second rides, shop for good deals,,. Expect to knock em over if you get off the asphalt, its inevitable and they can take it with out much damage if you have them guarded up properly,,.

So far both bikes have been problem free, just normal maintenance and valve adjustments,,. The Ninja 45,000 Km's since new,,. The GS 24,000 Km's since new including the original owner with only normal maintenance,,.

Lag 4
2016 N1K,,Gry/Blk
Ceramic Coated Header with Urban Brawlers
Latest edition of Ivans flash E6, BMC performance A/C
OEM Gel Seat & Cowl, Bikemaster Bar End Mirrors, Koso Apollo heated grips
HID's with Halos, LED running lights, Smoked turn signals with LED's
S21's with the 55 rear

Last edited by Lag 4; Yesterday at 12:47 AM.
Lag 4 is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in













Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome