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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 馃お.
I originally wrote "raised" but then I thought "lower rpm" for same speed so changed it to lowered. 6th gear went from 1.136 to 1.107, so lowered??? IDK.

I knew you rode a lot more aggressively than I did. You're one of them thar crazy a$$ed Squidlius's!!! :p I never did learn to steer with the front wheel waving in the air. Not sure whether to feel sensible or be jealous!
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It definitely would NOT be the first time I've misunderstood something but this is what I understand:


The Different Types Of Gear Ratios

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it, let鈥檚 talk the lingo. When someone says that a bike is geared 鈥渢all鈥 or 鈥渉igh,鈥 that means you鈥檒l get a higher top speed but at the cost of acceleration. If someone says that gearing is 鈥渟hort鈥 or 鈥渓ow,鈥 that means better acceleration but a lower top speed. Here鈥檚 the confusing part though. A larger gear ratio鈥攕ay, 3.10鈥攃orrelates to shorter or lower gearing, while a low number鈥攍ike 2.70鈥攔epresents taller or higher gearing. It all goes back to how many times that front sprocket has to rotate to turn the rear sprocket and the wheel.

Motorcyclist gearing video

It is great to see that they raised 6th gear on the newer N1Ks because it is to short on the 2011.
 

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I knew you rode a lot more aggressively than I did. You're one of them thar crazy a$$ed Squidlius's!!! :p I never did learn to steer with the front wheel waving in the air. Not sure whether to feel sensible or be jealous!
Definitely sensible. One of these days riding around like a crazed 20 year old is gonna bite me. I had to take a quick 20 mile loop ride for lunch today (I'm working). Most of the roads I ride are covered in leaves, dust, dirt, gravel, twigs and other fun misc items. Great practice! I entered a 3rd gear right hander faster than I should have and both tires slid on some gravel I never saw. Big pucker and luckily nothing more other than kicking the ground pretty hard putting my right foot out as it slid. Big fun!
 
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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.

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.
Kawasaki did a great job with the 2020 revision! With lower pegs and a taller seat for my 6'2" frame it is smooth, comfortable, and quiet. I don't know how much time you spend on the bikes you have listed but I have an abundance of seat time on the FJR and for me there is no more vibration on the Ninja and it is far more comfortable while not weighing nearly as much. Someone looking at the FJR for sport touring should most definitely consider the 1000SX.


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.



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!
I weigh the same and have no issues with the stock suspension on my 2020. I dialed up the preload on the rear shock along with a few other tweaks and it works just fine for street duty.
 

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I don't know how much time you spend on the bikes you have listed but I have an abundance of seat time on the FJR and for me there is no more vibration on the Ninja and it is far more comfortable while not weighing nearly as much. Someone looking at the FJR for sport touring should most definitely consider the 1000SX.
I have to disagree with you there. I'm on my 3rd FJR since 2003 and would never consider taking my 1000SX on a 1-2 week trip with some 600 mile days. The FJR is in its element for this--smoother than the 1000SX in my opinion (especially at higher speeds), more stable and able to withstand strong crosswinds due to its 100 lbs. of extra weight, much better wind protection with an electrically adjustable windscreen, greater packing capacity, shaft drive for no on the road maintenance, 25% more fuel capacity and great gas mileage with regular grade, bigger alternator for powering my accessories, and, with my RDL seat, all day comfortable. Yes, its a big top-heavy bike and a handful at parking lot speeds, but other than that, its a joy to ride on the interstates or in the twisties once you get to them. Don't get me wrong, I love my 1000SX, but only for 250-300 mile day rides or short 3-4 day trips.
 

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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.
What did you modify to reduce the vibrations for the pillion footpeg?
 

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What did you modify to reduce the vibrations for the pillion footpeg?
I reduced the vibration overall in general (bars, pegs, seat) by getting the ECU flashed (which fixes the ignition curves), fixing the fuel ratios (in the ECU flash or with a Power Commander V) and getting more miles on the bike.
 

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My ninja is set up similar to Squids, and I also have the HVMP bar ends. Those are fairly amazing, under 70 mph. At 70, some vibration starts to be felt. Under that, it's very good. If I were in an area where I was restricted to 65, I might even call my bike Very smooth.

The ninja 1000 engine is missing the second balancer than an fjr, concourse 14, or zx14 has. It doesn't matter what they do for tuning, or set up. You can't tune around that fact. My c14 stays smooth up until it's new Ivanized top speed.

On my work phone, I was able to download an app that measured vibration. It was on an apple phone. It was good enough to pick up on a failing bearing on a 400hp electric motor. The company ignored the warning, and ended up having to buy a motor.

With that said, I wonder what that app might do on a motorcycle? I should have tried it. I wonder if it might give a number, or would suspension and road conditions influence the total?
 

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On my work phone, I was able to download an app that measured vibration. It was on an apple phone. It was good enough to pick up on a failing bearing on a 400hp electric motor. The company ignored the warning, and ended up having to buy a motor.

With that said, I wonder what that app might do on a motorcycle? I should have tried it. I wonder if it might give a number, or would suspension and road conditions influence the total?
Apple already have a built in motorcycle vibration tester. Works automatically.
 

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On my work phone, I was able to download an app that measured vibration. It was on an apple phone. It was good enough to pick up on a failing bearing on a 400hp electric motor. The company ignored the warning, and ended up having to buy a motor.

With that said, I wonder what that app might do on a motorcycle? I should have tried it. I wonder if it might give a number, or would suspension and road conditions influence the total?
Apple already have a built in motorcycle vibration tester. Works automatically.
I was going to say this too! Apple has even said not to use an iPhone on a motorcycle at all. Seems pretty dumb to me, but whatever.
 

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The engine architecture is exactly the same thru the years, so the twice-RPM buzz is still there, even in the latest gen. What Kawi has done is to reduce felt vibration with each iteration. This is mostly done with polymer isolators and tuned mass dampers. These systems work well but their effectiveness varies. Polymers stiffen with lower temp, for example, and with age. This is why the felt vibration changes. Some times my '18 feels awfully buzzy; other times... still there, but not so bad. Then again, some riders are more sensitive to it. Besides, everything is relative. After riding the K1600GT for a while, then jumping on another bike, just about everything else feels a bit annoying to me. Then after getting used to it for a while... meh, no big deal.

As for the rest of the bike, Kawi has definitely done a good job refining the N1k over successive gens, though IMO not as quick or comprehensive as I would've liked. A lot has to do with not having much direct competition, so they just did enough to keep up the sales.
 

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Kawasaki hasn't changed any physical parts to reduce vibration. The rearset polymer bushings as well as the rear engine mount bushings are the same as they always were.

What changed is tuning. Ask anyone who has Ivan's flash about vibration. The way the bike is tuned changes how it vibrates. The exhaust does as well.
 

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The way the bike is tuned changes how it vibrates. The exhaust does as well.
The 180deg-crank inline4's secondary imbalance that causes twice-RPM buzz is due to the rod angle difference between the rising piston pair an the falling piston pair. Unless the inline4's inherent architecture is changed, no amount of tuning will change that rod angle difference.


N1k has always had a counter-balance shaft, which helps to reduce this secondary imbalance. However, that system can only be tuned to work well for different RPM ranges, so it is possible to re-tune the counter-balance shaft to alter the inline4's buzz characteristics. All this, at the expensive of robbing some HP, of course.
 

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The Polymer talk, and balancer talk is from magazine first test reports. If you read these and trust them, you would think the Ninja received a balancer in 2010. Again in 2014, 2017, and the last time in 2020. In reality, it's always been there and no changes were made.

It's almost like a group wrote these reports but never knew the bike had existed before their version did.

Somewhere along the way someone also said this bike had a "new" rubber mounted engine. That wasn't 100% fiction, but close. The Verss has another set of rubber mounts,but we dont.

The balance was there, and has been there since the 2010 z 1000 was introduced. New? As compared to what?

The engine never was 100% rubber mounted . There is one bushing at the rear of the case that has a polymer insert, but it's not new. That was in the 2010 z 1000 as well. You can see this mount from either side of the bike. Look to the center of the motor, just above rhe sprocket. You will see the rubber bushing.

The other mounts are solid, and always have been.
 

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Tuning affect either fueling or spark timing, neither of which will do anything to alter primary or secondary balance, or the vibration cause by either imbalance. Only ways a tune might possibly make any difference in engine vibration are:

1. If the engine was misfiring before the tune, which will cause rocking couple in the engine block, and the new tune alleviate that problem.

2. If prior fueling and spark timing was off enough to cause engine knock, and the new maps alleviate that tendency.

3. If the throttle bodies were off balance, and a TB syn was done as part of the tune.

Otherwise, no.
 
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Lets go with number 4.

Your list would have been excellent, in 1998.

Number 2 is in the area, but not in the context of knocking.

There are emissions related things happening inside the ecu that you have no idea are going on. You didn't mention them in your list, and I've never seen you talk about them, before. I'm not going to disclose them here.

I don't think you've ever tuned anything before, but when you do, its almost magical.. When the fuel needs are correct, the timing is correct, the temperature is correct and the restrictions removed, the engine vibrates less. Not because of any mechanical reason. It does help not to have the engine searching trying to make a narrow band o2 sensor happy, but that's not all of it.

Think about it. The frame , engine, rearsets, engine mounts and handlebars are the same as the 2011 . You are saying the new bike vibrates less. Is it magic?
 

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I get Volfy's point from an engineering standpoint but there is no question that the different ignition curves combined with the proper fuel maps make these things run smoother. A full exhaust also seems to help make it run smoother. Maybe it is completely subjective but this has been the case with every bike I've ever modified (which is every bike I've ever owned).
 
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Tuning affect either fueling or spark timing, neither of which will do anything to alter primary or secondary balance, or the vibration cause by either imbalance. Only ways a tune might possibly make any difference in engine vibration are:
snip
When the fuel needs are correct, the timing is correct, the temperature is correct and the restrictions removed, the engine vibrates less. Not because of any mechanical reason. It does help not to have the engine searching trying to make a narrow band o2 sensor happy, but that's not all of it.
snip
I get Volfy's point from an engineering standpoint but there is no question that the different ignition curves combined with the proper fuel maps make these things run smoother. A full exhaust also seems to help make it run smoother. Maybe it is completely subjective but this has been the case with every bike I've ever modified (which is every bike I've ever owned).
So the short version here is: everything affects everything else. Who'd a thunk it?
 
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