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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to switch from my 2010 Thunderbird 1600 to a sport/touring bike, and have my eye on the 2014 Ninja 1000. I'm only 5'7" and am concerned that this bike might be on the tall side for me. I've sat on a Ninja 650, and was able to get both feet almost flat on the ground, so I might be ok. I hope to sit on a bike soon to see in person. I'd be interested in hearing from other shorter guys/gals who have one of these bikes. Any problems or issues I need to consider?
thanks,
Adam
 

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I too am 5'7" with a little less than a 30" inseam. I can easily get the balls of my feet down on both sides on my 2014 N1K. I've been riding for a long time though so I'm quite used to tippy toeing. I also have a 2008 Ducati Hypermotard that I really have to tippy toe on but it also weighs a hundred pounds (or more) less than the big Ninja.

I always tell shorter riders if you're gonna ride, and want higher end sporty bikes, get used to tippy toeing. You're not gonna get taller and they're not gonna get shorter. Lowering them just makes them suck in the handling dept.
 
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I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and cannot put my heel down without some extra weight on the back of the bike. Seeing how my wife insists I take the Wing if she is going to be the pillion I guess using the balls of my feet will be the way things are. A little harder backing up but other than that it is OK.
 

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I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and cannot put my heel down without some extra weight on the back of the bike. Seeing how my wife insists I take the Wing if she is going to be the pillion I guess using the balls of my feet will be the way things are. A little harder backing up but other than that it is OK.
You can get lowering links for it, but Sam's probably right about the handling.
 

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I just purchased a lowering link for the rear. I am 5'8 and the balls of my feet are down on both sides. I usually have to lean to one side when I stop if I want a more stable feeling. That being said, I am going to lower it, just not a lot. No more than an inch, then bring the front down a little.
 

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I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and cannot put my heel down without some extra weight on the back of the bike. Seeing how my wife insists I take the Wing if she is going to be the pillion I guess using the balls of my feet will be the way things are. A little harder backing up but other than that it is OK.
I know the feeling of trying to back up on the N1K. My ST1300 had a slightly lower seat height, but it is over 200 lbs heavier. I'm 5'9" on a good day, with a 30" inseam, and I am typically on the balls of my feet. With the N1K, I can actually walk the bike around anywhere I want by getting off and pushing or pulling it. It's light enough for me to do that. I would never think of trying it with my 700+ lb. ST1300.
 

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Should not be in issue, I'm 5'6" 29 inch inseam, can't flat foot but this bike is light enough not to cause concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Doing fine...

I purchased the 2015 N1K, and I'm handling it fine. I'm on the balls of my feet, but the lightness of the bike makes it easy to handle.
Adam
 

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Im 6-3 and everything seems just fine to me.
 

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I too am 5'7" with a little less than a 30" inseam. I can easily get the balls of my feet down on both sides on my 2014 N1K. I've been riding for a long time though so I'm quite used to tippy toeing. I also have a 2008 Ducati Hypermotard that I really have to tippy toe on but it also weighs a hundred pounds (or more) less than the big Ninja.

I always tell shorter riders if you're gonna ride, and want higher end sporty bikes, get used to tippy toeing. You're not gonna get taller and they're not gonna get shorter. Lowering them just makes them suck in the handling dept.

I'm interested to know if you have ever actually lowered a bike and extensively tested its handling in real world situations (not race track doing 120+ around curves, but everyday streets in city/rural roads)? What empirical data did you record from consistent testing of N1k with and without lowering? Did you have multiple participants all observing the same handling quality difference? What metrics were based off of a regular N1k and tested in the same exact scenario (rider, street, speed, temperature, etc) to deduce the handling was subpar?

I spoke to two kawasaki dealerships (one which sold me the N1k and ordered the lowering link to put on it after their service mgr and salesrep both told me it was safe and wouldn't effect the handling). I asked a former car/motorcycle mechanic and a John Deere engineer about the possibility of poor handling due to lowering a bike. The mechanic and engineer actually told me technically it should make handling better because of the lower center of gravity.

I've reached out to a couple of folks of other forums who also wrote something like "don't do it, it will cause handling problems" and the generally admission was "no I have never actually rode a lowered bike, but...". I also found a lot of people over 6' and 32' inseam consistently telling short riders not to lower there bikes. A little suspicious given that many people buy/trade used motorcycles and taller riders would naturally not want to buy a lowered bike.

Not trying to start an argument, I just want to know if there is any science behind this statement or not. Point is I did a lot of research because I started asking the simple question... is there actually any empirical evidence of poor handling with lowering a bike an inch or two? My general search over other forums have found all riders that have declared to 1. have a short inseam and are in need of lowering 2. actually ride a lowered bike have reported it did not effect handling and they are delighted to ride now, even at low speeds.
 

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If you are going to lower it, do it properly with hyperpro lowering springs and then have the suspension adjusted again or revalved.

Several people on the uk forums have lowered theirs without any issues.

I am also 5'8 with 20 inseam, I however just went with thicker boots (Forma Adventure).
 

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Angelo, 20 in inseam? Or 30. At 30, you can ride this bike. At 20, a tricycle is too tall. Heres a 5' 1" person doing just fine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTP19gY9VNw As far as it not making the bike handle worse...If dragging exhaust pipes, and less than 4 inches of suspension travel is good, please explain. Lots of us did not start riding last week, and remember when bikes were low. It felt great, but you gave up suspension travel and cornering clearance....PLUS, they actually make low bikes.
 

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Advantage to lowering is obvious. Plus, in any situation where you dont need suspension travel, or cornering clearance, its awesome. That is, if front and back are lowered an equal amount. However, when you hit bumps, or need cornering clearance, thats the issue. If you ride slow, or dont go through gutters, no problem. When you go through a gutter, and drag frame, you wont be happy.
 

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I'm interested to know if you have ever actually lowered a bike and extensively tested its handling in real world situations (not race track doing 120+ around curves, but everyday streets in city/rural roads)? What empirical data did you record from consistent testing of N1k with and without lowering? Did you have multiple participants all observing the same handling quality difference? What metrics were based off of a regular N1k and tested in the same exact scenario (rider, street, speed, temperature, etc) to deduce the handling was subpar?

I spoke to two kawasaki dealerships (one which sold me the N1k and ordered the lowering link to put on it after their service mgr and salesrep both told me it was safe and wouldn't effect the handling). I asked a former car/motorcycle mechanic and a John Deere engineer about the possibility of poor handling due to lowering a bike. The mechanic and engineer actually told me technically it should make handling better because of the lower center of gravity.

I've reached out to a couple of folks of other forums who also wrote something like "don't do it, it will cause handling problems" and the generally admission was "no I have never actually rode a lowered bike, but...". I also found a lot of people over 6' and 32' inseam consistently telling short riders not to lower there bikes. A little suspicious given that many people buy/trade used motorcycles and taller riders would naturally not want to buy a lowered bike.

Not trying to start an argument, I just want to know if there is any science behind this statement or not. Point is I did a lot of research because I started asking the simple question... is there actually any empirical evidence of poor handling with lowering a bike an inch or two? My general search over other forums have found all riders that have declared to 1. have a short inseam and are in need of lowering 2. actually ride a lowered bike have reported it did not effect handling and they are delighted to ride now, even at low speeds.
LOL LOL
Yes, guys that flat foot always are the ones that say we should not lower the bike and that we need to learn to balance the bike. Also they say, you should learn to ride at slow speeds (with rear brakes), like if we are learning to ride.

"Motorbikes are manufactured with the average user in mind. This would be suitable as long as you are the average user.
You will probably recognize… stopping at a slope… the trail in front of the traffic lights… will I be able to put my feet on the ground? Will I be able to keep the bike straight? The present feeling of no comfort and no trust in yourself and the bike. When riding the bike it’s all about confidence" (from lowering springs website)

Compared to my previous bike, a 650R, the N1K is super heavy, so trying to move it backwards is extremely difficult.Also if you park at an incline, is almost impossible to start it up as you need to get the stand up with the same foot you are trying to push the bike straight.
In good weather, sometimes at a stop, you misplace or slip the foot a bit and almost drop the bike. I cant imagine on bad weather.

The mechanic in my race shop said no problem lowering it. I tried by myself but couldn't (my jack was not precise enough and lowered it like 4 inches, I did ride it like that around the block it was fun, but returned to stock, it felt too low).
So an inch or so would be perfect.
 

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I had my '14 lowered. We used a T-Rex Racing lowering link, and an ebay stock sidestand, cut/welded shorter. I bought the bike new this past January, a dealer leftover. That was 7700 miles ago.

Bike is flawless. Lower it if you need to.
(5'5" 30" inseam)
 

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Also 5'8 with 30" inseam, no problems here. I cant flatfoot on both sides of course but no big deal.
 

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Same here. I'm 5'8. I can flat foot on one side but not both. I can come close to getting flat footed on both sides but its not comfortable as it involves riding up to the tank pretty tightly :/ Huge difference coming from a lowered CBR 600 F4i which I was flat footed on both sides and had an inch of clearance when standing up. I could bounce the bike side to side between my legs, its also a bit over a hundred pounds less than the N1K.

After getting used to the N1K and being ok tip toeing or flat foot on just one side, I got confident with it and it hasn't been an issue. I was seriously considering lowering it the first time I sat on it at the dealer but decided against it after riding it for a week.
 

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Pwizle, props to you for learning how to handle your bike.

My dad had a friend who was 5'3" and rode a 700lb Yamaha xs11. He got pulled over by the police, often, as the cops thought he was a 12 year old out for a joyride. He finally got a vest that said, "I'm 35 years old" and he ride with that on.

He could get one foot down, barely, and rode that bike over 100,000 miles. He got so good, he could u turn in a double driveway.

We can thank Harley for the idea we need both feet down, and it's sad that that idea still is alive. It's screwed us all out of comfortable and well suspended bikes.

To those who wonder if it will hurt handling, use common sense, and think about hitting abump,
 

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I'm 5'2" in my riding boots, 28" inseam. I had to learn to tripod dual sports in order to do demos on them in classes. We had a '78 KZ400 (wish we still did...) which is tall, so I started riding it until we sold it. Then I had a 600 lb NT700V (little brother to the ST1100 and ST1300) and tripoded it for 30,000+ miles. Even though the N1K is taller, it's 100 lbs lighter, the standover point is narrower, and the CoG is lower than the NT so I'm actually getting along better on it. I also have the saddlebags and topcase which add weight. I got brave and took my 13 yr old on it (He's almost as tall as I am and weighs about 100 lbs), and I felt way more comfortable with him back there than I did on the NT. I'm getting a custom seat in a couple weeks which will supposedly get my feet lower to the ground, too.
 
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