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,,.