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If that were the only variable, it might be easier to form an opinion.. They also upgraded the stock tires and played with the seat. The rider sits a bit higher if the specs are accurate. That's not even adding what Rock said about the bars and such...

We need both bikes, side by side to find out just how they made the geometry change.
 

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I've spent an enjoyable morning searching through the various Kawasaki parts files and have confirmed that :--
  • the 2017~19 has the same p/n as the 2020 for the top triple tree plate & lower triple tree plate
  • the 2017~19 has the same p/n as the 2020 for the rear suspension tie-rod
  • the 2017~19 has the same p/n as the 2020 for the rear shock absorber
What is different is the rear suspension arms that attach the rear shock absorber to the tie rod.

If you want your 2017~19 to have the same steering geometry (and improved handling) as the 2020, then either (1) order 2 rear suspension arms off a 2020 model or (2) order a lowering link and use it to raise the rear end, which is what I have done. (thanks for the tip RC)

You will notice I have not suggested going with a 190x55 rear tyre. My reasoning is that the Kawasaki engineers are not stupid, so they must have had some good engineering reason to stick with the 190x50 rear tyre on the 2020 model and to just change the suspension arms.

I mean changing the tyre specification for the new 2020 model would cost Kawasaki nothing, while designing and making new suspension arms is a real cost increase, and any manufacturer will avoid a cost increase if there is a viable alternative that is cheaper.

I suspect that the engineers may still be concerned about the effect of an increased tyre diametre has on the Trac Control & ECU actions.
 

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Murph, RC and I also compared the part numbers for the bars already so that's not new news. However, I took some pics and they are spaced differently. The eye test never lies. I also rode my ninja down and it was ten feet from the demo bike I sat on. Something for sure is different.
Not sure the tire size impacts the ecu as much as it does the IMU. That being said it may impact the TC to some extent, but there may be other reasons to keep the 190/50 as it is considered more of a touring profile. Probably easier to change the suspension arm then re-program and re-calibrate the electronics
 

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<< snip >>
Not sure the tire size impacts the ecu as much as it does the IMU. That being said it may impact the TC to some extent, but there may be other reasons to keep the 190/50 as it is considered more of a touring profile. Probably easier to change the suspension arm then re-program and re-calibrate the electronics
Thats what I don't understand. According to the Kawasaki US website, the 2020 N1K has :--
  • NEW Enhanced Chassis featuring Bosch IMU
  • NEW ECU Tuning
  • NEW Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF)
  • NEW Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-Lock Brake System (KIBS)
So all the electronis ( IMU / ECU / ABS / TC ) are new and would have had to been re-calibrated for the new steering / suspension geometry.

Even the tyre is new (Batlax S22 vs S20) so why keep the 190x50 tyre size ??
 

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good point, everything is new. or allegedly is. The bosch is for sure. The zx14 has the 190/50 still as well. Suzuki also puts the 50 on the gsx-s1000 bikes. could be perceived safety, cost or considered a better touring profile. Also keeps the seat height to certain specifications so maybe that factors in as well. Sort of odd as I don't remember any of my euro bikes, or ones I test rode, ever having anything but a 55. I believe the K1300, sort of a 1/4 mile type bike, originally did but that was changed in later years.
 

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Rock, it's highly possible it's a seat height thing. It's about 1/2" taller at most. But that's enough to make the bike handle better for most folks. Also enough to make the bike too tall for others. It's true if all the bike does are highways and the occasional twisty road, the owner of an N1k with a 50 rear probably won't even care or notice. One can adopt to it. But as soon as you go ride a bike with neutral handling, that's when you notice. The newer bikes no doubt has improved upon this handling quirk by quite a bit. Personally for me, I find the N1k is easier to ride fast with the 55 rear. Less effort overall because I can relax bar pressure and not constantly nurse my chosen line on long sweeping corners.
 

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I know allot of riders complain about seat height. so I'm sure this factors in. For what the NInja is made for the 50 probably is about right. It's oreinted towards highway as much or more than it is for the twisties so the 50 would result in less center patch wear (or less uneven) for extend highway use.

I like the 55, but if the geometry was tweaked in the new bike to give you the same effect then I'd probabaly leave the 50 on back. Can't say for sure though. Even if I went for that test ride I wouldn't have gleaned that much as they do that huge group on local crappy roads thing.
 

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Exactly. Test rides, unless there's a local twisty road nearby, is a crap shoot. You get to test the power and the ergo's to a degree. You get to test the highway (even though the dealer always says please don't take it out on the freeway :rolleyes:). I was lucky enough when I test rode the N1k and GSXS1000f, there was a local street with S-turns, a round about, and a few long, sweeping on/off ramps to the freeway. I noticed the handling quirk on the N1k right away. But I was so excited I ignored it. But after a month of ownership it became annoying, because I also had another neutral handling bike to ride and compare to.
 

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I test rode the 2020 ninja and bought a 2019 ninja. I also just replaced the tyres with a 55 in the rear.

It was a few months since I test rode the 2020 ninja... however, I would say with the new tyre on the 2019 it feels very similar to how the stock 2020 felt to me. I'd have to do it back to back to really say for sure though.
 
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