N1k vs. FZ-1? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-14-2019, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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N1k vs. FZ-1?

I really want a Ninja, but had a first gen FZ-1 years ago that was one of my favorites, out of 40+ bikes over the years. Anyone come from an FZ to the Ninja? They seem fairly similar, or not?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-14-2019, 07:41 PM
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They are very similar
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-14-2019, 08:37 PM
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Yes, I rode with a guy with a second gen FZ1 and ergonomically it was very similar to the Ninja 1k. Nor sure power wise because although we swapped bikes a few miles neither of us thrashed the other's bike. I'd say the FZ1 had a bit less torque in the low to midrange but seemed happier to rev up high.

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post #4 of 14 Old 04-14-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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It's shocking to suddenly realize that my FZ was at least 12 years ago. Now, at 64, I doubt my knees could take the FZ ergo's, so probably not the Ninja 1k either. It's depressing to consider my lifelong love of motorcycles will have an ending some day. Honestly, I've never even sat on a N1k, but I've got a terrible feeling that it's gonna be torture. Maybe I'm destined to finish my riding years on my Vstrom.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-14-2019, 09:45 PM
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It’s not that bad, I’m 60 eat up with arthritis and the nk1 is pretty comfortable for me, make a few changes like the seat and throttle lock and it works, you definately need to go and sit on the NK1 at the very least.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-15-2019, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dmerc View Post
It's shocking to suddenly realize that my FZ was at least 12 years ago. Now, at 64, I doubt my knees could take the FZ ergo's, so probably not the Ninja 1k either. It's depressing to consider my lifelong love of motorcycles will have an ending some day. Honestly, I've never even sat on a N1k, but I've got a terrible feeling that it's gonna be torture. Maybe I'm destined to finish my riding years on my Vstrom.
Well, a Vstom isn't a bad way to finish up. I have a buddy with an FJR and Vstrom 1k with hip problems. It's strange, sometimes the FJR feels better, sometimes the Vstrom. He's 78 and still rides every sunny day.

If you haven't tried them, you can lower the pegs an inch with Motowerks lowering blocks. It may not seem like much but I was surprised how much it helps. There are other ways to lower the pegs a bit as well.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-15-2019, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I think a good night's sleep lightened me up! lol I've lusted over the N1k for years now, you can bet I WILL keep it on my list.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-15-2019, 06:10 PM
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Has an 09 FZ1 from 2009-2015 putting 80k trouble free miles on it. Friend owns it now and the bike is over 100k miles now.

They are very similar bikes and the Ninja 1k was developed with the FZ1 as competition.

09 FZ1 was one of the best bikes I ever had. Better handling and faster revving with better top end power compared to the Ninja. Sold it to buy a 2015 R1, which I totaled last year.

Ninja has better low and midrange torque and wind protection, and also holds half gallon more fuel than the 2nd gen FZ1.
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post #9 of 14 Old Yesterday, 07:06 PM
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I have both a gen II FZ1 (2007) and a 2014 N1k. They both have slipons with ECU tunes. They are very similar bikes and I think either would make you happy. I got the Fz1 because of the cost (less than half what a ninja costs) and only scored a ninja because a very good deal came around. Very high level Yamaha:better engine, Kawasaki:better suspension/chasis

Real world differences between the two:
Seating The riding position is NOT the same, The N1k seat forces you to lean forward a bit more (and also slides you into the tank) with the Fz1 you can be more upright. I've never used my arms to support my weight on the Fz1, even when I tuck down, It doesn't seem possible. On the ninja there is some weight on there. Fz1 seat is also wider and to me is better for long trips.
Suspension The Fz1 is very soft compared to the ninja. It makes it much nicer for long rides or bumpy roads as the Fz1 will absorb the bumps while the n1k will transfer it to the rider. The back end of the ninja feels light and thus very vague
Acceleration The ninja has way more low end torque. It will beat my fz1 from 0-60 everytime. But from 60-100 the fz1 slaughters, The top end pull is insane. The fz1 wants to keep going higher to that 12k redlne, whereas the ninja (to me) loses its grunt well before 8k. And as far as passing power on the freeway.... I actually prefer the fz1, you need to drop more gears but it will really take off when you do. But both are more than quick enough to get you in trouble
stock Headlights Way brighter on the fz1 its dual low/high. The ninja is single low beam dual high beam and seems unfocused. The Fz1 has a very sharp cutoff.
Footpegs Much higher footpegs, almost like a true supersport (not quite that high though). That said, it doens't mean anything in terms of turning capability. If you take the same turn at the same speed the FZ1 has to lean over more than the N1k. I think it has something to do with the steeper rake on the ninja (24* vs 26*) and shorter wheelbase (56.9" vs 57.5") So don't let the lower footpegs of the ninja make you think it won't turn as well. The ninja also keeps a line better throughout a turn with less corrections. Even though the pegs are higher i never have knee issues with long rides on my fz1, but surprisingly I do on my ninja. I think its because the Seat (both front and back) are bigger so you can move around more
Turn in The fz1 is easier to turn in, almost like a dirt bike with wide handlebars. It also changes directions very easily. Much like a super sport the ninja likes to carve rather than turn. Gives high speed stability but at lower speeds it seems lazy and slow. In the twisties you need to shift your body weight with the Fz1, hang off the bars, move your butt off the seat. The ninja you can ride perfectly upright, butt firmly planted and take the same turn at the same speed.

Now the more nitpicky differences, these are things you likely wouldn't notice unless you rode the bikes back to back.
FZ1
- Wider handlebars
- Better front brake feel
- stock Rev limit 12k, high revving engine, most of the power is north of 7k and it will happily take you there
- Leaning requires more active input. Holding a line requires a little pressure on the bars (the ninja is set it and forget it) This thing rocks at low speed maneuvers, I can easily do u-turns at lockout on this. The leverage from the wide bars make it very easy to toss the bike around
- superior wind protection for my hands, sounds weird being a naked bike, but my Hands are protected by the farings (on the ninja they are out in the cold) leg protection is about the same

N1K
- stock rev limit 10k, the ninja revs slower than the fz1, but the gearing makes up for it
- ergonomics are more sculpted, it will either fit you like a glove, or make you feel cramped
- Front end is prone to wobble (more torque means front end gets lighter easily)
- narrower bars, this bike takes a lot of energy to chicane and change directions
- 20lbs heavier, once you are moving... you are fine, but pushing it around in the garage or duck walking in a parking lot you really feel the weight. It's SIGNIFICANTLY harder to move than the fz1
- As mentioned, the steering is responsive, like a supersport, a little lean goes a long way and it feels very secure
- ABS (in the US the Fz never had this, but the later years did in europe)
- Traction control/engine modes

I could go into more detail but like I said it's nitpicking at that point. But in my completely honest opinion: I prefer my Fz1 in most circumstances. It is comfier, it is more fun to rev, I like giving more input in the twisties as I feel more involved (the ninja just feels bored on twisty roads, I think at the track the ninja would turn better, but I only ride streets). I really like the brakes. The engine is smoother. An despite not having electronic safety features, I actually feel fine driving it in the rain. The bags (Givi v35, maxia 55) hold more than the ninja (27L+givi maxia 56). When I ride my fz1 it's a joy and I feel like I'm really riding and experiencing something exciting.

The ninja is used when I want to feel secure? The turning is more controlled and acceleration is docile at freeway speeds.

That's not to say the ninja is a slouch, or the Fz1 is a better bike, in many ways it's not. but I prefer it, Like I said it's just opinion. I think either bike will make you happy. Feel free to ask more questions if you have any
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Last edited by drumbum; Yesterday at 07:16 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old Yesterday, 07:25 PM
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One important thing I must re-iterate. The differences are very nitpicky. Re-reading my post it may sound like these bikes are very different, but they aren't, most things you wouldn't notice unless you rode the bikes back to back. If someone were to take one of my bikes tomorrow I would be fine no matter what they left behind.

Oh an P.s. insurance on the n1k is crazy expensive, i think it's like 2.5x what my fz1 costs and I have a clean record.
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