Default and/or Preventative Mods? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-09-2020, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Default and/or Preventative Mods?

Hi,

I was wondering what the default / preventative mods are for the N1K / if Kawasaki has any particular kryptonite in it's manufacturing process?

Coming from a VFR background - one main weakness was the wiring harness - which using a VFRNess aftermarket replacement was a good preventative measure to avoid issues further down the track.

I was wondering if there is anything that is considered a good / recommended mod to make early to the N1K?

From my searching I haven't been able to find anything specific regarding preventative/weaknesses.

I have found a few default recommendations - such as replacing the standard 190/50's with 190/55 tires (seems both for preference of handling as well as a more accurate speedometer), or the usual after market exhausts. Are new N1K's considered to be relatively flawless or is there any preventative mods I should consider earlier with the purchase of a new bike, or other popular changes that should be considered?
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-09-2020, 09:55 PM
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I know where your coming from on this one. Before my purchase I searched and searched and literally could not find a reparative problem on the N1K. I even remember thinking am I missing something. I dont believe I did because today after 3.5 years of ownership I still dont see any truly weak links in this bikes reliability. Sure theres been a couple of trans failures, a motor, a fuel pump and I believe were up to 3 maybe 4 ABS pumps. So other then the somewhat repetitive airlock of the oil pump after an oil change there isn't a chink in its armor. I personally have only had a hard line on the rear brakes fail in 50k...
unless you count a clogged fuel filter. Think one rider reported over 100000 miles with no valve adjustment even, but it's a commuter bike to him I believe. So if its reliability you want... this bike has it.
P.S. I think on the 17s there were a few that had a failed gasket on the the water pump or water to oil heat exchanger.

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post #3 of 29 Old 02-09-2020, 10:22 PM
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What year is your bike? If its before 2016, we could possibly point a finger at the clutch oiling and noise issue. There are a few mods that will help with that. Also, if it's an early abs bike, it might be wise to change the brake fluid early and often. Even at that, both issues are pretty small.

The abs pump issue appears to be solved on later bikes, and so is the after 2016 clutch.

11-13 bikes have the voltage regulator in harm's way. The plug needs to be greased and sealed or it's going to be an issue.

I'm being very critical, and that's about it.
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post #4 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 12:03 AM
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I had a 1999 VFR and several ZX7s. The electrical systems in those I swear were designed by Lucas. If you never had a 70's or 80's British car you won't get the joke. 2016 and up Ninja 1000, I cannot think of anything. Better clutch, clutch cable, ABS, better lights. RC mentioned the minor issues with the earlier ones.
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 07:26 AM
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I also came from a VFR to the Ninja 1000. This has been a superbly reliable motorcycle which performs just as it did from day one. I had one very minor issue. The bike would not start unless the clutch was pulled in. I normally put the bike in neutral and start it......no need to pull the clutch. I removed the clutch switch, opened it up and wiped it clean with a little WD-40 and applied a tiny dab of dielectric grease to the contacts. Problem solved. It was just dirty.

I tour on mine as well as chase apexes. Have ridden in all sorts of weather including a three hour interstate ride through a huge storm that soaked me all the way home, (misery). Bike has performed perfectly. I have yet to see a problem documented with these bikes that is repetitive enough to be deemed a weak point in the design.

Definitely get the 190/55 rear if you buy one.

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.

2019 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT.....ECU reflashed by Ivan.
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post #6 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 01:23 PM
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As mentioned by rcannon409, the early model regulator / rectifiers need to be cleaned and greased regularly, thus a "must do".

I think the new style clutch cable probably fits in the "should do" for preventative maintenance.
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post #7 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 01:23 PM
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It's flawless. LOL! Almost.

Besides the rear 190/55 rear tire, which I believe is big a benefit and there is no good reason not to make the change, and all the other things RCannon mentioned, the early model N1k's had front rotors that were prone to front brake pad uneven deposits that caused slow speed pulsing. Most owners think the front rotors are warped (they're not). This issue occurs right around 13k-15k miles. Sooner if you use the brakes a lot. There is no cure except the replace the rotors. And if you replace the rotors with OEM, within 13k-15k miles you're back to the same issue. The solution to get rid of this common issue is to replace the front rotors with one from a ZX10R or ZX14R. Lightly used ones work well and there's plenty of wrecked ZX10R's and ZX14R rotors on the market. I am not sure if this is an issue with later N1k's. I hope not. Maybe others with 2017-2019 N1k owners with over 15k miles can chime in.

Compared to the VFR800, the N1k is flawless to a fault. It is FAST. Much, much faster than the VFR800 at any speed at any gear. The N1k is also much more comfortable and has better wind management. I came from two VFR800's, the last one was a 2007. I kick myself for waiting this long to make the switch because I was too much of a Honda fan boy (snob).
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 02:54 PM
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I recall riding the Ninja 1000 for the first time and thinking to myself that this is exactly what the VFR should have been!!

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.

2019 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT.....ECU reflashed by Ivan.
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 03:36 PM
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Earlier models the seat was unbearable. I heard newer models are better.
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2013 BMW K1300S 30 YR Edition
2019 Husqvarna 350 FX


Past bikes
1972 Honda XL100
1974 Suzuki TM250
1974 Honda Elsinore250cr
1984 Honda Sabre v45
1986 Honda Sabre v65
1990 Harley 1200 Sporty
2003 Yamaha Vmax
2009 KTM 450 XCF -stolen
2011 Ninja N1k
2007 Honda 250 Crf250X
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-10-2020, 05:48 PM
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I wanted to say that you cant really list a seat as a long term problem. Then I remembered riding my brand new 2012 ninja from the showroom and decided you made a really good point. If you wanted more proof, they have messed with the seat every time the bike has been changed, or upgraded.

Chrispys clutch cable mention is good, too. The new cable is cheap, and it looks like it's better. Just order the cable for the 2017 bike. It fits the older bikes without a problem.

I cant prove this, but I think the stock 11-13 pads are the source of the rotor problems. If you have a earlier bike, I would switch those pads oit as soon as possible. We all have our favorites. Try anything other than the ebc-hh pads. Dp, Vesrah and such are better choices.....anything other than stock. I believe the stock friction rating is so low that they dont work correctly and damage the rotors.
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