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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why is the Ninja 1000SX so
  1. ultra smooth: when I accelerate, the sound of the inline 4 is butter smooth
  2. ultra quiet: because it's so smooth, the OEM exhaust produce a very pleasing purr
  3. plush in its suspensions: the bike seldom ever gets ruffled over any unevenness on road. Yes, I can feel bumps but the suspension soaks up most of the nonsense on the road. Are the suspensions developed in-house or are they 3rd party products?
How many years did Kawasaki spend tuning this machine to the current state?
For you experienced Ninja owners, please pardon the newbie questions. Yes, I'm new to the Ninja 1000SX.
 
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I'm glad you thinks it's smooth. N1Ks have long suffered from some pretty significant "buzzing" issues that have annoyed many members here and the suspension has been far from perfect for many in the past as well. I'm guessing you weigh around 170 lbs?
 

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Compared to itself? It became more refined in 2014, then again in 2017. 2020 is the latest revision. They did a bunch of little things like rear shock geometry, fork damping changes, and slightly different engine tuning.

They did an OK job with what they had to work with, and the selling price of the bike.

The frame and engine are from the 2010 z 1000. This whole platform, the Versys included, is based on a naked bike. That's strange.

As compared to a bike that was designed to be smooth, comfortable and quiet? Maybe an FJR, zx14, Hayabusa, or Concours 14? It's not even in the same conversation with those bikes. Maybe it shouldn't be? It's priced thousands less and you can't have an expensive suspension system, and the extra balancer and do that.
 

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Yes, indeed.
You're lucky like me. The stock suspension works well for lighter riders, not so much for heavier riders. I sincerely hope they've refined the bike over the last ten years! I have yet to ride a 2020+ and am very curious to see how they stack up against a very nicely setup previous gen.
 
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Compared to itself? It became more refined in 2014, then again in 2017. 2020 is the latest revision. They did a bunch of little things like rear shock geometry, fork damping changes, and slightly different engine tuning.

They did an OK job with what they had to work with, and the selling price of the bike.

The frame and engine are from the 2010 z 1000. This whole platform, the Versys included, is based on a naked bike. That's strange.

As compared to a bike that was designed to be smooth, comfortable and quiet? Maybe an FJR, zx14, Hayabusa, or Concours 14? It's not even in the same conversation with those bikes. Maybe it shouldn't be? It's priced thousands less and you can't have an expensive suspension system, and the extra balancer and do that.
I think they intended to give the previous N1Ks some "character" to make them not feel electric. I just think they gave them a little too much "character".
 

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** sorry, I hate it when I double post **
 

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At the end of the day the Ninja 1000SX is a TOURing bike even if it looks like a trackday weapon wearing a fatsuit. It's supposed to get you to the roads you want to ride in relative comfort, haul *** through those roads and then get you home without you feeling too beat up.
This is exactly why I bought this bike. I had a Z1000 naked prior and the lack of wind protection took its toll on me when riding out to destination roads. And the trips home were excruciating to my neck and shoulders. I knew when they told me in 2010 that a fully faired version was coming out that I was going to want to trade up (over?). So I bought a 2012 and haven't regretted it for a second. Now I ride all day and just feel tired - not beat up!
 

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I'm glad you thinks it's smooth. N1Ks have long suffered from some pretty significant "buzzing" issues that have annoyed many members here and the suspension has been far from perfect for many in the past as well. I'm guessing you weigh around 170 lbs?
I think it's silky smooth too, but outside of demo days my primary comparisons are to the Kawasaki 650 twin, which is good, but definitely not smooth. And to be fair, the only other inline-4s I've ridden are the R6 and ZX6R, so I probably don't have a great smoothness comparison anyway.

You're lucky like me. The stock suspension works well for lighter riders, not so much for heavier riders. I sincerely hope they've refined the bike over the last ten years! I have yet to ride a 2020+ and am very curious to see how they stack up against a very nicely setup previous gen.
I weigh about 230 and I think the '21 suspension is pretty good. I dialed in 3-4 clicks of rear preload, but I haven't touched the front yet and haven't really had any issues. I do want to mess around with it, but considering it's 25 degrees outside, I'm waiting for warner weather!
 

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I think it's silky smooth too, but outside of demo days my primary comparisons are to the Kawasaki 650 twin, which is good, but definitely not smooth. And to be fair, the only other inline-4s I've ridden are the R6 and ZX6R, so I probably don't have a great smoothness comparison anyway.
If it doesn't vibrate your hands numb at 75 mph, it is smoother than previous versions. My 2011 used to vibrate my wife's feet numb before I modified it.

I weigh about 230 and I think the '21 suspension is pretty good. I dialed in 3-4 clicks of rear preload, but I haven't touched the front yet and haven't really had any issues. I do want to mess around with it, but considering it's 25 degrees outside, I'm waiting for warner weather!
Cool. Hopefully it stays pretty good for you. I'm a little lighter than you and used my stock suspension for years before I upgraded.
 
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If it doesn't vibrate your hands numb at 75 mph, it is smoother than previous versions. My 2011 used to vibrate my wife's feet numb before I modified it.

Cool. Hopefully it stays pretty good for you. I'm a little lighter than you and used my stock suspension for years before I upgraded.
I average 75-80 on the highway commuting to work in the summer, and still have both hands. Both feet too. My old (2019 ha!) Ninja 650 was WAAAAAAY more vibey than this. Not so much in the bars, but after about an hour my feet were numb from the pegs.

I certainly hope so! I'm sure I will eventually replace the suspension, but I have a lot of other things I want to do first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If it doesn't vibrate your hands numb at 75 mph, it is smoother than previous versions. My 2011 used to vibrate my wife's feet numb before I modified it.
If do a straight 5-8 hour out of town ride, stopping only for toilets, gas refill and lunch, I will get hand nerve issues. My hands' gripping strength will be cut by 1/4 but they usually recover in a couple of days. But, I'm not sure if that's the bike or just my age or the fact that I am holding on to tube for 8 hours or all of the above.
 
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I average 75-80 on the highway commuting to work in the summer, and still have both hands. Both feet too. My old (2019 ha!) Ninja 650 was WAAAAAAY more vibey than this. Not so much in the bars, but after about an hour my feet were numb from the pegs.

I certainly hope so! I'm sure I will eventually replace the suspension, but I have a lot of other things I want to do first.
lol. It does have decent enough suspension to use for a good long while. At least mine did for me. It was getting pretty bad after close to 50,000 miles and the new suspension felt amazing when I finally upgraded.

If do a straight 5-8 hour out of town ride, stopping only for toilets, gas refill and lunch, I will get hand nerve issues. My hands' gripping strength will be cut by 1/4 but they usually recover in a couple of days. But, I'm not sure if that's the bike or just my age or the fact that I am holding on to tube for 8 hours or all of the above.
I still wonder myself if it's the bike or just my age or the fact that I am holding on to tube for 8 hours or all of the above. My N1K is significantly smoother after all the mods. I don't know if it's bad genetics and/or all the dirt bike riding/racing I did when I was a kid but I've always battled numb hands on all my street bikes.

It really boils down to the amazing stock Euro5 ECU tuning like Rcannon409 said. 🤪
All I know is I was very pleasantly surprised that the ECU flash didn't just make my bike run significantly better but it also reduced the felt vibes (just like Ivan claims). My N1K is now pretty close to what I like to call "creamy". My Euro5 Duke 890R was very snatchy and got a LOT better with an ECU/fueling module.
 
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lol. It does have decent enough suspension to use for a good long while. At least mine did for me. It was getting pretty bad after close to 50,000 miles and the new suspension felt amazing when I finally upgraded.


I still wonder myself if it's the bike or just my age or the fact that I am holding on to tube for 8 hours or all of the above. My N1K is significantly smoother after all the mods. I don't know if it's bad genetics and/or all the dirt bike riding/racing I did when I was a kid but I've always battled numb hands on all my street bikes.


All I know is I was very pleasantly surprised that the ECU flash didn't just make my bike run significantly better but it also reduced the felt vibes (just like Ivan claims). My N1K is now pretty close to what I like to call "creamy". My Euro5 Duke 890R was very snatchy and got a LOT better with an ECU/fueling module.
Yep, Akra Ivan's and Progrips w/HVMP bar ends have improved it alot. And running it at 8k+ rpm all the time lol
 

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If it doesn't vibrate your hands numb at 75 mph, it is smoother than previous versions. My 2011 used to vibrate my wife's feet numb before I modified it.
On my '11, a 16T front sprocket fixed vibes at 75mph.

On the '14 model they lowered the 6th gear ratio which lowered cruising rpm by a couple hundred rpm. That moved the vibe range up 5-10 mph. Add a /55 profile rear tire and get another 3% increase in comfortable cruising speed. It was a smart move given most of the US speed limits. Adding a 16T front sprocket made the '14 smooth at my normal mile eating speeds (~85 or so).

My '18 is pretty smooth at 80ish with stock gearing but it's still new. The vibration seems to change a bit as the miles pile up on any of the bikes. Also I have the Barkbuster Storm S7 handguards on the '14 and '18 which changes the spacing to the bar end weights which changes the vibration modes. Others have noted that adding a couple washers under the bar end weights seems to help with vibration.
 
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Everytime I swap bikes on group rides with someone they are always really impressed with the Ninja. With wide eyes and a grin they go on about how smooth, quiet, fast etc. it is and I say "yep, I know. That's why I got it"

I agree that Ivan's flash deserves a lot of credit for this.
 

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Yep, Akra Ivan's and Progrips w/HVMP bar ends have improved it alot. And running it at 8k+ rpm all the time lol
I have to believe that running them hard does loosen them up. :)
 

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On my '11, a 16T front sprocket fixed vibes at 75mph.

On the '14 model they lowered the 6th gear ratio which lowered cruising rpm by a couple hundred rpm. That moved the vibe range up 5-10 mph. Add a /55 profile rear tire and get another 3% increase in comfortable cruising speed. It was a smart move given most of the US speed limits. Adding a 16T front sprocket made the '14 smooth at my normal mile eating speeds (~85 or so).

My '18 is pretty smooth at 80ish with stock gearing but it's still new. The vibration seems to change a bit as the miles pile up on any of the bikes. Also I have the Barkbuster Storm S7 handguards on the '14 and '18 which changes the spacing to the bar end weights which changes the vibration modes. Others have noted that adding a couple washers under the bar end weights seems to help with vibration.
I think you meant they raised the 6th gear ratio on your '14?

There is a lot you can do to reduce vibration. Unfortunately gearing them up is not an option for me since I need the snappiness for the type of riding I do. I need it to wheelie out of 1st and 2nd gear corners 🤪.
 
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