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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I had my first ride on my 2014 N1k ABS. Previous bikes include the Honda VFR 800 and 4 Bandits and a GSXR 1100. The bike has been in my garage for 6 weeks in this, the worst Wisconsin winter in 40 years. It had 1 mile on the clock from going up and down my driveway.

Not being a born Wisconsinite, I didn't realize that going from inland to the Lake meant a temperature drop from 59 F to 38 F so it got cold quite insidiously and turned a pleasant ride at the start into into freezer !!!

ok now the bike. The book says the rev limit for running is in 4k and that equals 60mph in top - so don't run it in on the Interstate. Some people report a clutch which is in/out but I found it quite soft and progressive. The engine vibes were not apparent. The front brakes were superb but the rear brake was surprisingly weak - perhaps it needs bedding in.

On my Bandits, I wired a sounder under the seat and fed it from the indicators: that reminds me that I haven't left the indicators on and warns pedestrians on crosswalks in towns. I haven't wired that yet and so I left the indicators on a couple of times and that can be FATAL and cause a car to pull out in front of you if the driver thinks you are turning. It's THE most dangerous error I am prone to. I will wire a sounder and I have a bright red LED strip that I will attach to the dash...

The seat - I was fearful that it might be too tough and sporty after the Bandits, but it wasn't a problem despite my skinny male bum. As men get older, their bum migrates upwards and forwards and they sit on their bum bones

Handling - best handling bike I have ridden and I mean going straight, on a really bad road surface with tar snakes and potholes and ridges and ruts - the bike never twitched - ever ! I did the same road in my V6 Camry last week and it was thrown about all over the place. I don't know about bends yet apart from roundabouts which it took well.

Engine characteristics. Going from a Bandit to a N1k, the first thing you notice is that when you unwind the power, the engine braking is extreme and can be used instead of the brakes. Its like a single cylinder speedway bike. That is because of the 11.5:1 compression. I reckon that could be dangerous if there was a car tailgating me, so I need to unwind in a high gear.

Stalling. The light flywheel on sport bikes means that dropping the clutch at 1k rpm will stall it - not like the Bandit 1200. I mastered that very quickly and there is no need to scream the engine - just give it 400rpm more than a big flywheel 1200

Tires: I read that THIS bike is sensitive to even 2lbs pressure to I checked the tires and got them spot on with 2 different gauges.

I could go on all day about the bike but overall its the best bike I have every ridden (since 1964) and it feels so safe and planted.

Now we are back to freezing rain and high winds so I have to sit here and bore you guys for another 10 days (at least). I cant wait to get 600 miles on and then give it some real stick coz I KNOW it's going to be a broad grin machine. I LOVE it. (Note the White Rose of Yorkshire)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I dare anyone to complain about sweating or how hot it is this summer.
Told my wife last week that this coming summer (Rumor) the a/c and ceiling fans stay OFF !
I will sweat, sweat and sweat again to erase the horrible memory of this "Polar Vortex"
Trouble is that there are lots of mods I want to do to the bike, but as soon as it comes 50F+ reliably, I just want to ride it and the mods will have to wait
Seriously though, if anyone is reading this thread to see if the 2014 N1k is for them - just post a question about how it really is, and I will tell you. I once rode from the North of England to the Mediterranean via the Swiss alps on my 1200 Bandit and it was comfy - I could not have done that in a car with my bad back - not even in my V6 Camry. I think this Ninja feels the same - the riding postion is perfect. They should have thought up a new name coz Ninja means head down and bum up to most bikers. Forget two up coz the rear seat wont take my little rucksac even (not a pet name for her indoors)- oh and the speedo reads 4 MPH fast !!! according to the tomtom GPS which also reads exactly 2mph slower than both our Camrys (I know - tell it to the cops).
 

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good to hear

Good to hear your report. Sounds like you have ridden a lot. How long have you been in Wis? I have a great respect for englishmen who ride M/C.
I went to the UK this past summer to go to the IOM and the MotoGP at Silverstone. What a trip. Those people ride. I went to the Manx GP in Aug.
I pick my bike up tomorrow. Can't wait. Here's a Bushys to you.

My family was from Antigo Wis a little north of you.
 

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Sure sounds like you've found the right bike for you. I imagine your roads suffered a lot over this winter so be careful of the potholes. From what I'm hearing my area suffered a lot but I won't see the results till the end of the month. Going out for a long ride today, sunny & up to mid 80's here in Tampa area.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good to hear your report. Sounds like you have ridden a lot. How long have you been in Wis? I have a great respect for englishmen who ride M/C.
I went to the UK this past summer to go to the IOM and the MotoGP at Silverstone. What a trip. Those people ride. I went to the Manx GP in Aug.
I pick my bike up tomorrow. Can't wait. Here's a Bushys to you.

My family was from Antigo Wis a little north of you.
I was from North Yorkshire which has probably the best biking roads in the world coz they are all just meandering metaled cow tracks a couple of thousand years old and the land is all up and down too. The roads are packed with sport bikes every Sunday with a lot of fatal crashes too. I came to Wis via Florida and Central Washington State - 4 years there - and to the Holy Hill area a year ago via Sun Prairie.

A glance at the map shows a grid system here with marshes, and that means straight, flat roads so I will need to be inventive to get some thrills. The Kettle Moraine forest just North of me has nice scenery. The Basilica of Holy Hill has some nice twisties for a short distance so I will have to go back and forth past there trying not to mow down the nuns. The good stuff is over by the Mississippi by all accounts, but that's an overnighter by the look of it.

Yes the N1k ABS 2014 is a Honda VFR 800 with a bigger, better engine in a fireblade aluminum frame and style, and with Bandit 1200 riding position and screen. In other words, just what I always wanted.

I am not bothered about doing 150mph, but getting 20 to 70 (plus tax) in style will be a hoot for sure on this machine.
 

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I've not owned any bike thats as sensitive to tire pressure as this one. Especially up front. Mayeb its because it carries a lot of weight up there? I cannot explain it, but it is true.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sure sounds like you've found the right bike for you. I imagine your roads suffered a lot over this winter so be careful of the potholes. From what I'm hearing my area suffered a lot but I won't see the results till the end of the month. Going out for a long ride today, sunny & up to mid 80's here in Tampa area.
I lived in Safety Harbor near Tampa over the winter of 2007/8 and its gorgeous. No hills of course, but some twisty little roads here and there. Wish I was there now but I am told that I am happier living closer to my mother in law in Milwaukee.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've not owned any bike thats as sensitive to tire pressure as this one. Especially up front. Mayeb its because it carries a lot of weight up there? I cannot explain it, but it is true.
I owned an old Suzuki 1200 (pre-Bandit) that was a 'pea-roller' with a lot of weight and a thin front tire. It would tank-slap under a variety of conditions

I tested the N1k for 'tank-slapper' characteristics by slamming the power off and riding with no hands as the powerful engine braking came in- it was steady as a rock even though the steering head isn't stiff. Glad I checked the tires first as the rear was 6lbs under recommended and the front was spot on. No tpms on bikes, only on crappy old Camrys where 6 lbs is nothing - wonder why...shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you never know who may be listening
 

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Yes, I always listen to when my woman tells me when I'll be happy, NOT!!!!
I only tolerate it coz I am retired and can ride my bike all day and every day (when it stops snowing), while she works like a dogesse and pays my health insurance and the cat food and cooks me lamb chops and shops for my beer. Oh and she is a neat little redhead who never reads Kawasaki forums, which comes into the equation too.
Yeah I can work around this flat grid-road Wisconsin stuff if I get some research done, although it's starting to dawn on me why people tolerate Harleys ... did another 22 miles today and nearly lost my fingers to frostbite... and tonight it snows followed by freezing rain

I found one nice set of bends with a steep hill on Monches Road, Hubertus, but the bloody highway people had scored deep parallel winding marks into the road to give traction on the hill. It was like riding on 15 miniature railroad rails but the Ninja handled it well before I chickened out. Left the indicator on TWICE again - so that RED LED repeater strip is so essential for me to instal or I wont live to see 80 degrees. That standard indicator should be BIG and central on the dash with a beeper. Once you have had a beeper you will never go back to silent indicators - oops my first criticism - love is so fickle
 

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Picked up my 2014 today what a joy. Took the long way home from the dealer, about 150 mi. I love the motor and the brakes. I did some twisties on the way home it was hard to keep the revs down and not lean on the tires to much. I could not come up with the front tire problem that some of the mags talked about. It just seems to pitch in fine. regardless of speed. Sat will be some what of a good test with a ride on the cherohala skyway. My favorite road. my only complaint so far is the seat but that may come around to.
 

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Picked up my 2014 today what a joy. Took the long way home from the dealer, about 150 mi. I love the motor and the brakes. I did some twisties on the way home it was hard to keep the revs down and not lean on the tires to much. I could not come up with the front tire problem that some of the mags talked about. It just seems to pitch in fine. regardless of speed. Sat will be some what of a good test with a ride on the cherohala skyway. My favorite road. my only complaint so far is the seat but that may come around to.

4k revs max while running in ? yeah right - we have to try though...mine makes some kind of engine high-pitched whine at low revs which gets submerged by the induction growl when it gets gas. Could be entirely normal. Too cold to mess around just now.
 

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Happy wife happy life... so they say.

Actually my wife and I have been discussing moving to southern Florida so she could be close to her mom since she is approaching 90 and could use some help. Got mixed feelings about it, love the warmer weather, hate the straight flat roads with traffic gridlock, love the beach, hate being so close to my mother in law...what a dilemma.:confused:
 

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Happy wife happy life... so they say.

Actually my wife and I have been discussing moving to southern Florida so she could be close to her mom since she is approaching 90 and could use some help. Got mixed feelings about it, love the warmer weather, hate the straight flat roads with traffic gridlock, love the beach, hate being so close to my mother in law...what a dilemma.:confused:
Got an idea - and its as hot as my pants after screwing a Ninja 1000 through the Ardeche valley at 110mph wearing thermal underwear in July - let's swap mother in-laws so I can get back to Florida !
 

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I could not come up with the front tire problem that some of the mags talked about. It just seems to pitch in fine. regardless of speed. my only complaint so far is the seat but that may come around to.
I'm still in the early break-in with my bike, too, but so far, have not noticed any problem with turn in. Seems to be very similar feel to my VFR.
I'm also concerned about the seat - skinny old butt on sportbike seat. Hopefully, my butt will get used to it, or maybe I'll have to strat wearing Depends soon, and it'll give me a bit more cushioning back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm still in the early break-in with my bike, too, but so far, have not noticed any problem with turn in. Seems to be very similar feel to my VFR.
I'm also concerned about the seat - skinny old butt on sportbike seat. Hopefully, my butt will get used to it, or maybe I'll have to strat wearing Depends soon, and it'll give me a bit more cushioning back there.
I tried shuffling back against the rear seat and that seemed better coz its wider there. Kawa must have had a dilemma coz making the seat more tourer friendly would give less control when going fast and spoil the appearance. I would trade all that for a fat ole Bandit style seat but the butt will get used to it and the seat will give some given time. Aftermarket seat modders will be pleased, but I will try Botox my bum first
 

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I tried shuffling back against the rear seat and that seemed better coz its wider there. Kawa must have had a dilemma coz making the seat more tourer friendly would give less control when going fast and spoil the appearance. I would trade all that for a fat ole Bandit style seat but the butt will get used to it and the seat will give some given time. Aftermarket seat modders will be pleased, but I will try Botox my bum first
I'm with you, a comfy seat is worth spoiling the look a little. I tried the padded bicycle pants with only a small improvement. The seat just needs to be a little wider.
 

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I just got a seat from Sargent. Wow! It was an amazing upgrade for me.
- Doesn't slide me into the tank
- Doesn't Cut (hard-edge) my upper inner thigh at stop lights
- More comfort in the saddle
I was surprised at the difference in feel because it doesn't look radically different

-Troydba
 

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I just got a seat from Sargent. Wow! It was an amazing upgrade for me.
- Doesn't slide me into the tank
- Doesn't Cut (hard-edge) my upper inner thigh at stop lights
- More comfort in the saddle
I was surprised at the difference in feel because it doesn't look radically different

-Troydba
I will certainly be checking that out so thanks ! This bike is pitched to attract the touring guys, many of whom suffer from 'thin bum' syndrome, so they will sell a lot. I think seat rubbing probs get worse in hot weather so it may be a while before we get there in Wisconsin. I would tell you the temp, but the cold has frozen the batteries in my outside temperature sender unit !
 
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