I am now well past the last break-in stage of my bike and approaching 4000 kms. Here's a brief review of what I've noticed so far ....
Motor - Now past the 2nd break-in stage of 1600km, still an abundance of power .. much of it that I have not tapped into yet ! Love the roll on capability ! Zero to 60 comes fast all the while staying in first gear.
Tranny - I do find myself miss-shifting from 1st to 2nd every now and then. Not sure if just me or what. Still shifting nicely throughout going up and coming back down. Agree with some owners that you need to downshift back to 1st when coming to a stop sign or redlight. Or, you will find yourself caught with your tranny hanging down when it goes green. So beware !
Comfort and Ergo's - On the first leg of my 850 km trip, my a$$ was killing me after ¾ hr. My planned stops were 1-1/2 to 2 hrs. So at 1-1/2 hr, I couldn’t wait to get off the bike. BUT, on the return home, same time duration of course, I found I could stand it for the entire 1-1/2 hrs or more with only a few minor movements around my seat while riding. This was what I was hoping for – for my butt to just get “into shape” for longer rides. So, I don’t think I’ll need any gel seats or a Corbin or Sargent that others have purchased. Just have to get into riding shape ! As for the rest of ergo’s, it was great. Wrist, arms, back and neck – all fine. Quite comfortable actually. Again, going down there on the first leg, I found my throttle hand to be getting a little cramped and sore where I’d have to flex my hand and fingers to stretch it out. But, coming home, hardly an issue. ‘Ride shape’ again ! Rest of me is good too – legs/knees, back incl’g lower back, arms and wrists. I'm 5'9" and 185. Not an issue. Never owned a true sport bike but have to wonder how it might feel on the wrists for prolonged rides. With the N1K, fingers to upper arms – AOK.
Handling - Still nice handling. I find I’m to use my bodyweight to direct my bike to avoid any kind of longitudinal road crack or even ‘hold’ a line as to not fall into these road cracks. One thing I noticed on my trip and this would be the same for all bikes is when you load your bike up with side saddlebags and additional storage cargo netted on top of the passenger seat, it really does affect the bikes handling. My saddlebags were smaller nylon type bags bought at a Princess Auto (Canadian auto/hardware type department store). $40 for the pair and allowed me to carry my chainwax, rain jacket in one, rain pants in the other, a hammer (to prop up my tire/swingarm off the ground to freespin my wheel to chainwax my chain), a roll of tape and a tire guage. On the passenger seat, I had my laptop bag (basically a backpack) with a bicycle pump, laptop, some papers and cell/laptop charger and charging cables. So for the three storage containers, total weight couldn’t have been more than 20 lbs. BUT, it definitely changes the center of gravity of your bike making cornering just slightly different. Not a big negative way but enough to notice the difference to take note ! I can’t imagine how much more is affected if you had the factory hardcases on the sides all loaded up AND a GIVI styled hardcase loaded up too. Not that the bike could not handle the weight or affect its acceleration BUT definitely would affect it’s engineered cornering characteristics. Just be aware of this trait if you’re loading it up. You’ll be fine but handling does change.
One other note I want to make on the handling is at speed and with cross winds. So far, got my bike up to 151kph. To me, that’s fast ! This is 94 mph. For a 49 and a half something old fart that hasn’t ridden street in 30+ years, it’s fast enuff. Having said that, I was truly amazed how straight and true I felt at 151. No hint of ill-handling whatsoever. No speed wobbles. Nothing. Straight up and down and true. Very awe-inspiring. I think I may try 161 yet (100 mph) to say that I’ve done it. Especially know my tires are in excellent shape and bike is in overall same shape.
Cross-winds and (vehicle) wind gusts. Forgot how intimidating these can be. But, will say and only after I kind of figured it out the long way (ie. hard way), when you in normal seating position at 60 mph, your upper body and arms are out there like a sail. You don’t really notice this UNTIL you try ducking down low behind your windscreen. So, I tried staying low a number of times, vehicle wind gusts and cross-winds and diagonal cross-winds virtually disappear! And this litre bike has enuff girth and stability to really handle the cross-winds and most semi type truck wind gusts. It barely budges. I guess there would be a limit to what you may want to ride in in terms of wind. But, this is good to know for those that have this as a consideration when thinking about purchasing such a bike.
Gas Mileage - I travelled over 2000 kms on this trip. I average 50 mpg. (Imperial MPG) My highest was 56 mpg and lowest was 46 mpg. And this was doing anywhere from 55 to 70 mph. Not a lot of gunning it; just steady paced speeds down the roads. To me, I’m impressed with the mileage. A litre bike that has that kind of performance that’s capable of an overall average thus far of 49 mpg, I’ll take it ! I’m hoping with more break-in, I can break the 50 barrier.
Windscreen - Wanted to touch on this, again, and that’s the windscreen. Still works great. Adjustability is great. And have had the bike at speeds in and around and over 70 mph including those cross-winds AND vehicle gusts and the windscreen is as solid as can be. No rattling. Doesn’t “fall down” to the next lower notch due to vibration or gusts. Nothing.
Guages - Still have a bit of an issue with the gas gauge. It’s a tough one to figure out in terms of the LCD markings that show and what’s actually left in terms of real fuel and distance yet you can go. It FINALLY dawned on me (duh) that that’s the reason for the weird shaped LCD markings on the guage. They represent the shape of the tank itself. So the upper markings are “larger” and the lower markings are “smaller”. Well, when you look at the tank from the side, physically look at it, you have more capacity in the upper portion of the tank than you do in the lower part. Ie. it’s somewhat shaped like a mushroom .. for the sake of argument Therefore, as your bike expends gasoline, the gauge markings progressively get smaller as you near the end of the tank of gas you have which makes sense in real terms as it relates to what’s going on in your tank. Almost got caught a couple of times thinking I’ve got half a tank left when I was at the midpoint of my markings thinking (duh) I have half a tank of gas left. Well, not really. Somewhere up higher in your tank (ie. larger part of your tank), you already have surpassed the halfway point. So, be careful. Don’t get caught on a hwy thinking you can go another hour or so when you really only have maybe a half hour or ¾ of an hr riding distance to go !
Oil and Chain Maintenance - Oil/chain maintenance. Changing oil on this is a snap. Very easy access to the drain plug and almost as easy access to the oil filter. No real excuse for not doing proper oil changes intervals. Oil and filters are cheap. Motors and related engine equipment – not so much. Not a glamourous topic of discussion but a valid one just the same and props to Kawi for making it easy for the owner. And, really, you shouldn’t be paying someone to do this for you. It’s waaaay too easy to do. Spend the time in getting intimate with your bike. It’s that “bond” you begin to develop with it. Same for chain maint/adjustment. Really an easy thing to do. Doesn’t have to be done often but those cam adjusters make things sooo much simpler. Nice.
Toolkit/storage – The supplied toolkit is well done I thought. You get a fair amount of tools and fits all nicely in the supplied pouch. One thing I noticed and read about from other owners is that the supplied allen wrenches are not long enough to “break” those first turns of various allen bolts as it came from the factory. So, what I did was cut a 10” piece of copper pipe I found in my garage and use it to put ‘over’ the allen wrench to effectively lengthen the wrench from 5” to 12 – 14”. This extra leverage will allow you to loosen up those bolts and such. This ties into my storage point. With some creativity, you can place this 10” copper tube under the passenger seat .. along with a set of pliers, sidecutters, 3 pcs of tire repair (rubber), tie repair rasping tool, owner’s manual annnd my bike registration.
Still get the “looks” . Had to laugh ... was doing my oil and a young couple were out for a walk and passing by our home on the sidewalk. Couldn’t help but notice the wife in full conversation and the husband was listening yet glancing back and over his wife’s shoulder back towards my bike kind of in a “yup .. yup .. uh huh .. uh huh” manner. Too funny.
Still may be in a honeymoon mode but, to me, it’s STILL a winner !