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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

I finally picked up my beautiful machine last week. I've been waiting over one year for this and now slowly burning through my run-in period before I can unleash the beast!

I've been a member here since March 2015 and it's been interesting reading each member's accounts of praise and complaint in relation to the N1K. While there's still not much on the 2016 model, I already had a pretty good idea about the bike's characteristics before I rode one.

While I've only been riding the N1K for one week now (and keeping below 4K RPM) I have ridden various bikes over a 35 year period and have some initial comments on comfort, handling, etc if anyone is interest?

PRICE:
AUD$13,500 Ride away including 6 mounts rego. I am purchasing panniers and have been quoted AUD$1,268 including installation.

THROTTLE RESPONSE:
I can't mention much on power as I'm trying my hardest to keep the RPM under 4,000 during run-in. I know plenty of others just smash their machines right out-of-the-box with hard run-ins, but I'm taking a softer approach inline with the manufacturer's recommendations. There is much 'entertaining' conversation about Throttle Response of late and I've found the 2016 silky-smooth. All my N1K riding thus far has been urban / city riding that gives you plenty of throttle on/off opportunities. Letting go of the throttle completely, allowing compression breaking to slow the machine was much less than anticipated - especially since reading the abovementioned thread on Throttle Response with many riders considering it to be non-linear and are looking to smooth it out. Perhaps its something that has been rectified in the 2016 and since I've never ridden another N1K, I've got nothing to compare it to? But if I compare it to other super-sport bikes I've ridden in the past, it's very smooth in comparison. There is also an inherent millimetre or two of slack in the throttle which I appreciate!

CORNERING:
After watching many YouTube reviews of older models, I was also expecting the steering/cornering stability to be much firmer than it was. Many riders were complaining about the force necessary to initiate cornering, but I find this bike turns so easily - it's extremely manoeuvrable and I just love corners on this machine!

SEAT / COMFORT:
About 1 hour into my rides I'm thinking about the pain in my ***. I will persist for now and see if I can just get used to it before making any decisions to acquire something more comfortable. One thing I did notice, is that I don't feel any tendency to slide forward on the seat. It feels rather neutral and I can happily choose my position which will remain that way until I choose to move back or forwards as the ride dictates. This might have something to do with my height/weight, being 178cm tall / 80kg? The overall ergonomics are perfect for my build and apart from the stock seat, this is an extremely comfortable bike. I can easily place both feet on the ground as well.

WINDSCREEN:
Yes, while city riding is perfect with the windscreen tucked into its lowest position, highway use is tiring. But with so many people exchanging the stock N1K windscreen, I was expecting a lot of buffeting at highway speeds in the highest position. I didn't experience any such thing at it's highest position. Apart from the aesthetic appeal of a tinted windscreen, I'm more than happy with the stock windscreen thus far.

Everything else about this bike is great and I'm so happy with my purchase. The only other observations I'll mention are that the brakes are fantastic, I like the stock exhaust because it's nice and quiet, but I'm really disappointed with the headlights! Seriously, why is Kawasaki still using these crappy old-tech lights on current models - I just don't get it? The last negative would be the fuel consumption, but I'm hoping this is primarily due to the fact that I'm running it in and the majority of riding is done in traffic / urban conditions?

MODS:
I don't have any mods completed yet, but endeavour to install the following when I can afford it:

- LED headlights
- Airhorn (screaming banshee look like a contender?)
- Frame sliders
- Alarm (Scorpion)
- RAM Mount
- Front / Rear Axle Sliders
- Power Socket & USB Power Adapter
- Front Sprocket 16T
- Digital Gear Indicator
- Fender Eliminator

I will post additional updates on handling/performance or any other issues as I gain more experience on the bike, in case anyone is interested or for those whom plan on buying a 2016 model.
 

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Congrats on the new ride and glad you are liking it. Since you are in the land of Oz, it is quite possible that your bikes don't have to meet the same cursed EPA (pollution agency) that US & Canadian spec bikes do. In addition there are often even more strict ones for the state of California (CARB) and mine is a California bike. Many bikes can't even be sold here though available in the rest of the US.

Even if you don't have the drivability issues like my bike did, an Ivan's reflash will still make a good bike that much better and you get more power too.

Good list of mods but one thing to note. I have read that many fender eliminators won't work with the factory bags. You might want to double check on the one you plan to buy to make sure it doesn't have an issue.

One of my best mods was swapping out the windscreen. I didn't find much buffeting with the stock one nor did I find much protection either. It was more cosmetic than anything. So I went with the V-stream touring (aka Pope's Hat) and couldn't be happier. I leave it on low pretty much all the time. My head is in nice smooth air and good protection everywhere else. I can tuck down behind it when I am running 160kph or higher.

Anyway enjoy the bike and have some fun.
 

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Love the color.

Your initial impression of perfection is interesting. This is the reason you see so many manufacturers offering "ride days". You spend a few minutes on each bike, and are thrilled with everything about it.

You'll notice "ride reports" in magazines are often times very positive to a machine that will end up finishing last in a shootout. Initial impressions of the very worst Buell bikes were often positive.

It takes a while to fully learn a machine. Come back at 500 miles, 1000 miles, and lets see if any of your opinions have changed. You are a good writer, Clint, so I hope you will. Its a good bike, well worth discussing, but it will be interesting to see your opinion as time goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Day Trippin - it sounds like we're lucky here down-under with regard to emissions! Plus, the year-round riding is nice too! I'll have to take some additional snaps of my bike at the beach and post them for those in the Northern hemisphere to enjoy!

I'd really like to take advantage of Ivan's Flash - one can't deny the advantage of that mod based on what I read, but I have a couple of concerns. First, I'm not completely sure how that modification would affect my warranty and second, the time and risk of sending my ECU overseas?

I have found a couple of Fender Eliminators online that claim to accommodate for panniers. This is a low priority mod for me - more of a 'nice to have' mod when finances allow.

Thanks for the tip regarding the V-Stream.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks rcannon409, yes, the colour scheme is great on this model.

I couldn't agree with you any more. Each and every vehicle I've ever owned has slowly introduced faults/flaws to annoy me and I'd be confidant to say that the N1K will do the same. As I said in my original post, this was merely an initial observation of the bikes characteristics and there is no question that this is my 'honeymoon' period! I'm certainly going to enjoy becoming more acquainted with her!

As to future posts, absolutely - in the interests of a forum such as this, I intend to post many positive and negative experiences as the case may be. I don't think it'll take too long before I get the sh!ts with the stock seat. Cheers
 

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[/QUOTE] I have read that many fender eliminators won't work with the factory bags. You might want to double check on the one you plan to buy to make sure it doesn't have an issue. Anyway enjoy the bike and have some fun.[/QUOTE]

Don't want to hijack the but this concern me. I am looking at a bike with factory bags and I absolutely want a fender eliminator. Is this for certain?:confused:
 

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@M1 - definitely check with the company that makes the fender eliminator to make sure it will work. I checked with a few, don't remember which ones now though, and they said they wouldn't work with the factory bags on the 2014+ models.

I have to agree that my engine is now smoother after a few more thousand miles but it is still tingly. Blessedly at my normal cruise speed 5-5.5k in 6th (with a 16T countershaft) it is pretty smooth. I don't think my hands could take running it near redline all day long though.

I think Kawi specifically made it buzzy at the rpm so you won't want to remain there for long. Then again you never really need to rev it to make it go. I have a few things I will try to reduce the vibes such as beemerbuddies (neoprene grip covers) and heavier bar end weights. Both are in transit now.
 

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Other hidden things to look forward to. Handling improves a lot once you get good tires. I'd say a good 20% once you switch to the 190/55 rear.
 

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One thing I really appreciate but doesn't get much credit is how well the stock fairing works. It does generally a very good job and even on hot days I've had no real issues with hit.

When I went to the motorcycle show in Long Beach almost every bike I demo rode had far worse heat managment than my N1K. As much as I loved the Indian Chieftain it was roasting my chestnuts every time I went slow or come to a stop. The Suzuki GSXS1000F wasn't near as good in this area either. The only bike that was better was a CanAm Spyder but when its fans kicked on I thought it was a tornado under the cowl.

One area though where Kawi missed the boat was no option for a centerstand. This was a big miss as far as I am concerned. Since I added the auto chain oiler it makes it less of an issue but still I'd like one.

How can they put such good headlights on the Z1000 and such crap on the N1K? They rank among the worst I've seen in a long time only surpassed (in the negative sense) by a cheap Chinese scooter I have at home.

I plan to change out my tires next week so I am looking for the handling upgrade. It is very good now. I'd say for my riding 8.25 out of 10. Be interesting to see Clint's feedback after a few 1000 kms on it. Super tight roads aren't its forte in my experience. By that I mean with a lot of 15-30 mph turns.

I'd be curious to see what differences, if any are between the Ossie spec models and the US. Sometimes manufacturers actually take the time to setup bikes for certain area. Now its more of the least common denominator approach - find the worst/most restrictive market and build for that. Everyone else will suffer but we'll save money by just building one flavor...
 

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If the owners manual is any help. there appears to be a us bike, a euro bike, and a california bike. I believe our instruments are able to show us and metric measurements.

Being that it mentions a euro bike in the usa manual, I wonder if thats it?

As far as their emissions standards, it appears they recognize the euro standards for automobiles, but maybe a few years behind.

I think the manufacturers have been in favor of these rules to avoid just what your talking about and needing 35 different ninja 1000 models to be able to be sold worldwide? It would make sense, and make production numbers way easier.
 

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Glad you are enjoying the bike! I'm with you... I feel like the N1k is perfect for me except for that stock seat which is now featured in torture museums across the land. As rcannon mentioned, good 190/55 tires are a really noticeable improvement.

I'm so used to the bike now I don't really think much about what others complain about.... It is what it is and I'm having a blast! I really racked my brain trying to figure out what bike would really meet my needs better, be more fun to ride, more comfortable etc., and I wound up buying another N1k. What can I say... I'm a creature of habit.
 

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Back to the paint. Thats the real green color, not the "candy" green from 2012, isn't it?

Your photo makes it look non-metallic, but the pics from kawasaki look candy green. If its the plain, real, non metallic green I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I've punched out another 500km since my last post and my *** is killing me! I'm really hoping that I can just harden-up, so-to-speak? I've been predominantly riding the twisties - trying to ride my bike of chicken strips!

This location is about 20 minute drive from where I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland - just so happens to be a really popular paragliding site too!


Yes rcannon409, the green metalic colour is really impressive. I was surprised how good it was in person after viewing the bike online. Photos just don't do it justice.

sprockethead: I'll be really keen on swapping over to a 190/55 - so many members here rave about it! I'm still really enjoying the handling as is, but when the time comes, I'd be mad not to give it a go.

Couple more initial observations: clutchless upshifting on this bike is superb - so smooth! I've been searching for 7th gear more and more, but I'm so happy with the slipper clutch - it's so light and easy on the left-hand. It's just about summer here and Queensland is a fairly warm/hot climate. Considering that I've been running the hills and twisties for hours, I was expecting noticeable engine heat. But I've been pleasantly surprised and have to say that this bike is by far the coolest bike I've ever owned. It's not the middle of summer yet, so I'll see how that goes?

The mirrors are just ok and I've noticed that there's no helmet lock? I'm also trying to source an electronic copy of the 2016 Owner's Manual from the retailer.

Watch this space!
 

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Nice bike! I shared many of your first impressions as well on the first ride. If the seat is like the '14 model, it doesn't really get any better. I almost feel like it got worse instead. If there is one thing to change, that would be it :)
 

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Love that color combo!

Just checked the US website, we dont get it:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So, it is green metallic? Is the lower part on the fairing silver?
Yes, rcannon409 - it is metallic green. In fact, all the green and black is metallic and looks great up close. The bottom section of the fairing is silver. IMO it is a real leap in aesthetics from the previous model.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Nice bike! I shared many of your first impressions as well on the first ride. If the seat is like the '14 model, it doesn't really get any better. I almost feel like it got worse instead. If there is one thing to change, that would be it :)
Hi luciano136, I really hope the seat doesn't get any worse? There are many here in the forum who even say the alternatives are not much better. My father-in-law is a retired upholsterer - I may consider throwing him some cash to customise a new seat for me? As you said, if this is my biggest complaint, I'm doing pretty well!
 
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