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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I was wondering what the default / preventative mods are for the N1K / if Kawasaki has any particular kryptonite in it's manufacturing process?

Coming from a VFR background - one main weakness was the wiring harness - which using a VFRNess aftermarket replacement was a good preventative measure to avoid issues further down the track.

I was wondering if there is anything that is considered a good / recommended mod to make early to the N1K?

From my searching I haven't been able to find anything specific regarding preventative/weaknesses.

I have found a few default recommendations - such as replacing the standard 190/50's with 190/55 tires (seems both for preference of handling as well as a more accurate speedometer), or the usual after market exhausts. Are new N1K's considered to be relatively flawless or is there any preventative mods I should consider earlier with the purchase of a new bike, or other popular changes that should be considered?
 

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I know where your coming from on this one. Before my purchase I searched and searched and literally could not find a reparative problem on the N1K. I even remember thinking am I missing something. I dont believe I did because today after 3.5 years of ownership I still dont see any truly weak links in this bikes reliability. Sure theres been a couple of trans failures, a motor, a fuel pump and I believe were up to 3 maybe 4 ABS pumps. So other then the somewhat repetitive airlock of the oil pump after an oil change there isn't a ***** in its armor. I personally have only had a hard line on the rear brakes fail in 50k...
unless you count a clogged fuel filter. Think one rider reported over 100000 miles with no valve adjustment even, but it's a commuter bike to him I believe. So if its reliability you want... this bike has it.
P.S. I think on the 17s there were a few that had a failed gasket on the the water pump or water to oil heat exchanger.
 

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What year is your bike? If its before 2016, we could possibly point a finger at the clutch oiling and noise issue. There are a few mods that will help with that. Also, if it's an early abs bike, it might be wise to change the brake fluid early and often. Even at that, both issues are pretty small.

The abs pump issue appears to be solved on later bikes, and so is the after 2016 clutch.

11-13 bikes have the voltage regulator in harm's way. The plug needs to be greased and sealed or it's going to be an issue.

I'm being very critical, and that's about it.
 

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I had a 1999 VFR and several ZX7s. The electrical systems in those I swear were designed by Lucas. If you never had a 70's or 80's British car you won't get the joke. 2016 and up Ninja 1000, I cannot think of anything. Better clutch, clutch cable, ABS, better lights. RC mentioned the minor issues with the earlier ones.
 

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I also came from a VFR to the Ninja 1000. This has been a superbly reliable motorcycle which performs just as it did from day one. I had one very minor issue. The bike would not start unless the clutch was pulled in. I normally put the bike in neutral and start it......no need to pull the clutch. I removed the clutch switch, opened it up and wiped it clean with a little WD-40 and applied a tiny dab of dielectric grease to the contacts. Problem solved. It was just dirty.

I tour on mine as well as chase apexes. Have ridden in all sorts of weather including a three hour interstate ride through a huge storm that soaked me all the way home, (misery). Bike has performed perfectly. I have yet to see a problem documented with these bikes that is repetitive enough to be deemed a weak point in the design.

Definitely get the 190/55 rear if you buy one.
 

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As mentioned by rcannon409, the early model regulator / rectifiers need to be cleaned and greased regularly, thus a "must do".

I think the new style clutch cable probably fits in the "should do" for preventative maintenance.
 

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It's flawless. LOL! Almost.

Besides the rear 190/55 rear tire, which I believe is big a benefit and there is no good reason not to make the change, and all the other things RCannon mentioned, the early model N1k's had front rotors that were prone to front brake pad uneven deposits that caused slow speed pulsing. Most owners think the front rotors are warped (they're not). This issue occurs right around 13k-15k miles. Sooner if you use the brakes a lot. There is no cure except the replace the rotors. And if you replace the rotors with OEM, within 13k-15k miles you're back to the same issue. The solution to get rid of this common issue is to replace the front rotors with one from a ZX10R or ZX14R. Lightly used ones work well and there's plenty of wrecked ZX10R's and ZX14R rotors on the market. I am not sure if this is an issue with later N1k's. I hope not. Maybe others with 2017-2019 N1k owners with over 15k miles can chime in.

Compared to the VFR800, the N1k is flawless to a fault. It is FAST. Much, much faster than the VFR800 at any speed at any gear. The N1k is also much more comfortable and has better wind management. I came from two VFR800's, the last one was a 2007. I kick myself for waiting this long to make the switch because I was too much of a Honda fan boy (snob).
 

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I recall riding the Ninja 1000 for the first time and thinking to myself that this is exactly what the VFR should have been!!
 

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Earlier models the seat was unbearable. I heard newer models are better.
 
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I wanted to say that you cant really list a seat as a long term problem. Then I remembered riding my brand new 2012 ninja from the showroom and decided you made a really good point. If you wanted more proof, they have messed with the seat every time the bike has been changed, or upgraded.

Chrispys clutch cable mention is good, too. The new cable is cheap, and it looks like it's better. Just order the cable for the 2017 bike. It fits the older bikes without a problem.

I cant prove this, but I think the stock 11-13 pads are the source of the rotor problems. If you have a earlier bike, I would switch those pads oit as soon as possible. We all have our favorites. Try anything other than the ebc-hh pads. Dp, Vesrah and such are better choices.....anything other than stock. I believe the stock friction rating is so low that they dont work correctly and damage the rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sweet - all the above is very encouraging and reassuring!

I recall riding the Ninja 1000 for the first time and thinking to myself that this is exactly what the VFR should have been!!
Hmm - add a center stand as an option and I'd probably agree with you. Do that, and configure the motor as a V4 and I definitely would. ;) However I haven't owned a inline four before - so it will be interesting to see how much I miss the V4 configuration.
 

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All I had were V engines before. Hanging out in the VFR forums, one could be lead to believe V4's are superior in torque because...it's a V4. Hang around V-twin forums, one could be lead to believe V-twins are the holy grail when it comes to midrange torque. Or that V4's or V-Twins have the sweetest sound. Having owned a VFR800 for over a decade, I can almost believe it. I've owned & ridden European V-twin motors too, including Ducatis.

I forgot how good inline 4's can be. I had a CBR600RR and that bike sounded sweet too even with stock exhaust. And it revved to the Moon and was smooth all the way up there.

Then there's the Ninja 1000 motor. In a nutshell: it sounds great. Mean as hell at idle and when spinning up. But the impression that goes with you after a ride is that torque. That endless wave of torque. It starts right off idle and never lets off until the rev limit. It's only a 1,043cc too and not some 1.2+ liter monster, which makes it even more impressive.

Anyway, centerstand? What's that? I miss it. Is it necessary? Not really. I don't miss the V4 either. What's there to miss? I'm still trying to figure it out. I don't miss VTEC that's for sure. I don't miss shifting down 2x to pass either. I don't even miss the sound.
 

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I cant prove this, but I think the stock 11-13 pads are the source of the rotor problems. If you have a earlier bike, I would switch those pads oit as soon as possible. We all have our favorites. Try anything other than the ebc-hh pads. Dp, Vesrah and such are better choices.....anything other than stock. I believe the stock friction rating is so low that they dont work correctly and damage the rotors.
My second set of OEM rotors were with the Vesrah SRJL pads. A season and a half and the pulsing was back.
 

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There goes that idea..lol...If I remember correctly, the older, 2004 era zx10 and our Ninjas both used 300mm rotors. The zx10 pieces were more expensive. Maybe they really are lower quality?

I notice the new 2020 ninja is back to round rotors. Maybe theres a reason for that?
 

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Ocl, I think you are correct. The part number on those discs is specific to this bike. It's not shared with other bikes that had 300mm rotors. The cost on these is a lot less than the "same" 300mm rotor used on other bikes.

Not a big deal, really, if someone doesnt mind buying used rotors when these go bad. 500.00 if they have to have this specific rotor.
 

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Oh yeah I wouldn't replace mine with the same rotors that go bad in 15k miles. I love my ZX10R rotors.
 

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It will be interesting see if these hold up better. Based on the retail price, they should. I know they are larger diameter, so you cant really compare the two, but the zx10 rotors are way more expensive if you order from Kawasaki....maybe better material?
 

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I hope so. I've never had rotors behave the way the ones in my '12 did. I put almost 70k miles on my VFR800 on the original rotors. I just changed the pads (stuck with OEM pads). Never an issue. Did the same on previous bikes too.

Have you had this issue on any of your other bikes?
 

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Good to see quite a few riders here coming from various VFRs. I don't have any experience with Honda's 90deg V4s, but I've ridden 2 VFR1200F's for some 7yrs. About as bullet proof as they come from Honda.

RC, interested you mentioned EBC HH pads. They are my go to aftermarket brake pads. Last set went on VFR1200F when the OEM pads wore out.

Brake pad material transfer can happen with any brake pad. Some are just more prone than others. Hot disc/pads left standing after a wet ride can be especially bad, sometimes to the point of the pads getting stuck to the rotors. For this reason, I always blow wet brakes (after wash or rainy ride) with compressed air before putting the bike away. I also try not to squeeze the front brake at a redlight for a long time. I either switch to rear brake, or relax the front brake to roll the bike forward/backward a little bit, so the pads re-engage the rotor at a different spot.

Anyhow, sounds like the consensus on N1k is a thumbs up.
 
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