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Discussion Starter #1
So, I think I will eat my words here. On a thread about tyres, I had previously said the bike's (I have a 2016 Ninja 1000) front-end turns in very well and the tyres have good grip with the stock tyres. The thread was on tyre size, the stock 190/50/17 vs. the lauded 190/55/17 (rear tyre). Well, I changed my mind yesterday when I hit the twisties for the first time since I bought my bike. With the stock tyres the front-end kind of flops in and its not the nicest feeling. You don't flow through the turns; the front-end of the bike of just flops in. Killed the joy for me there and then.

My question is, does this happen only because of the 190/50/17 size stock rear tyre or is it also a problem with the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20 rubber? Can the rear stock size tyre (190/50/17) cause the front-end to flop in like it does? Is it the stock rubber or is it the rear tyre size which causes this problem?

I already have a set of brand-new Metzeler Sportec M7 RR in 190/55/17 (rear) and 120/70/17 (front) in my garage. I had bought these at the time I picked up my bike as I'd already made up my mind on changing the stock tyres. But for one reason or the other, I did not go through with the change. However, if swapping the stock tyres for the Metzelers is going to cure the bike of this flopping in issue, I will do it right away!
 

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My bike did the same thing after about 3K on the stock tires. I replaced front and rear with the Angels and did the rear 55. Problem solved.

My brother changed only his rear and reported no great performance increase.. he recently changed is his front and is completely happy with the bikes handling. I think this validates how bad the OEM tires are and how quickly they should be swapped out. No matter the profile (although the 55 could enhance the bikes smoothness, I don't believe it can overcome a poor front tire)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the informative reply, Gary, that really helps! I will change to the Metzelers then! It seems the front tyre is the culprit then. Do you think it is the profile of the stock front which is the problem? I would assume that a 120/70/17 front would have the same profile no matter the brand since the aspect ratio (70) does not change.
 

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Bikram, it is said oem tires are a special compound, made very cheap and light, but built to resemble the real thing. Often times this means a single compound rubber. Any cost cuttign corner is a big deal when you are buying 50,000 front tires, if not more.

OEM tires, from Honda, are also built with a standard that they must be able to hit a curb, at x mph, and not dent a rim. I'm sure Kawasaki has its own odd requirements.

That 190/55 rear is a good mod. Its a subtle difference when you raise the back end 5mm-7mm, and this bike likes that.

I believe the new tire feels better due to higher quality construction as much as the geometry change. When you plug both together, it s a big deal.

Manufacturers do not want to end up in court because your front wheel went into a high speed wobble. THAT is the specific thing they try to avoid because it costs them $$$$.

Kawasaki sets bikes up with a low back end, soft shock, and stiff forks to avoid this. I dont care if its the ninja 100, concours 14, or zx10r, its what they do.

If you want to make your bike handle properly, look at that list I gave, and do the opposite.
 

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Switching to the 190/55 rear will raise the rear ride height slightly. but it is enough to make a noticeable improvement in handling.

My bike came with the Bridgestone BTO16 tires and I experienced issues similar to yours. Mine also needed quite a bit of pressure on the bars to hold a line through a turn.

Changing tires and going to the 190/55 rear made the handing much better......nice neutral steering and much more stable when leaned over. The Metzeler M7 RR tire is a good choice.
 

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We only changed the profile on the rear tire, leaving the front at the OEM size. I haven't raised the front end to compensate for the taller rear but am quite happy with the bike now for spirited off track performance.

The Angels are duo-comp so you should get much better wear(shape). Two things that made my oems scarey:

1) On the track I dropped pressures by about 6lbs.. don't do this on the OEM's.. run the factory pressure. They are even worse low on air. I show scalloping marks!!!

2) Making the assumption that your suspension is aligned (help me out here Rich) look for signs of uneven wear across the surface. My bike got so bad that it would literally fall over going one direction versus the other and hitting the smallest of bumps.. like pavement sealer.. would slip the front end.. real pucker moments. Neither of my tires were at the wear bars when I replaced.

Assuming my lean angles are good and not fudged up, my street riding still is fairly aggressive in turns, whilst still having about 10cm of chicken strip on each edge. That last bit is a little tough to take off on the street :) I wanted a sport bike that didn't hurt me, not a touring bike..but some compromises were made for the greater good :)
 

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The front tire is definitely the main issue. I changed my front to a Michelin 2CT and it is night and day even with the stock rear still in place. I didn't have much front end feel with the stock tire and the turn-in wasn't very gradual. I wasn't comfortable pushing the bike. Now it is very stable even at aggressive lean angles. For reference, I have maybe 1mm of chicken strips left on my rear tire ;).
 

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lol I said 10cm and nobody called me out:) 10mm (about a pinky width) haven't been down to 1mm (lol) since my gxxr on track days.
 

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lol I said 10cm and nobody called me out:) 10mm (about a pinky width) haven't been down to 1mm (lol) since my gxxr on track days.
Yea, I figured it was 10mm :D

Never realized it until I took a track day class but apparently I lean my bikes pretty hard. I was scraping the pegs on the supermoto and those bikes aren't exactly low to the ground. The upside is that I can still go much faster on the track by actually hanging off the bike to further reduce the center of gravity.

As long as you're smooth, it's amazing how much grip bike tires really have!
 

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LOL don't be that guy. Don't look at all the info from people who have done it before and not see the value in the information.

The stock tires are a joke, and the 190/55 works better on this particular bike.

Don't waste any more time on it. get new tires and get the correct size rear. I recommend something from the fat white guy myself. You will not regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kawasaki sets bikes up with a low back end, soft shock, and stiff forks to avoid this. I dont care if its the ninja 100, concours 14, or zx10r, its what they do.

If you want to make your bike handle properly, look at that list I gave, and do the opposite.
RC, I agree that the bike's suspension settings aren't ideal. What settings would you recommend, front and rear? I was thinking of doing the following:

Front: Spring preload at 7 turns out from full stiff; rebound damping at 0.75 to 1 turn out from full stiff; compression damping 1.25 turns out from full stiff.

Rear: Spring preload at 28 clicks out from full stiff; rebound damping at 2 turns out from full stiff.
Do you think this is too radical and track-oriented or will it serve me fine for spirited street use and for twisties?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Switching to the 190/55 rear will raise the rear ride height slightly. but it is enough to make a noticeable improvement in handling.

My bike came with the Bridgestone BTO16 tires and I experienced issues similar to yours. Mine also needed quite a bit of pressure on the bars to hold a line through a turn.

Changing tires and going to the 190/55 rear made the handing much better......nice neutral steering and much more stable when leaned over. The Metzeler M7 RR tire is a good choice.
Thanks, Johnmark. The comments here have helped me make up my mind to get rid of the stock tyres and go for the aforesaid Metzeler tyres. Even though I have done only about 800 miles on the stock tyres and they will be useless to me off the bike, but so be it. I'd rather take the financial hit and have the joy of riding!
 

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You can play around with the suspension settings a bit but for the street, I honestly believe the tires and smooth throttle control are most important. I've only stiffened up the rear suspension and left the front alone and it feels pretty good.

Unless you are braking really hard and go WOT out of every turn, the suspension will not be much of a limiting factor on the street. I have no problem out-handling people on supersports on their fancy suspension :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Two things that made my oems scarey:

2) Making the assumption that your suspension is aligned (help me out here Rich) look for signs of uneven wear across the surface. My bike got so bad that it would literally fall over going one direction versus the other and hitting the smallest of bumps.. like pavement sealer.. would slip the front end.. real pucker moments. Neither of my tires were at the wear bars when I replaced.
Thanks Gary, I'm scared enough to get rid of the stock tyres!! :eek::D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The front tire is definitely the main issue. I changed my front to a Michelin 2CT and it is night and day even with the stock rear still in place. I didn't have much front end feel with the stock tire and the turn-in wasn't very gradual. I wasn't comfortable pushing the bike. Now it is very stable even at aggressive lean angles. For reference, I have maybe 1mm of chicken strips left on my rear tire ;).
These are words of great comfort, Luciano! You have described what I currently feel on my bike so it gives me great hope that the tyre swap is going to fix the problem I am having with these s*** stock tyres!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
LOL don't be that guy. Don't look at all the info from people who have done it before and not see the value in the information.

The stock tires are a joke, and the 190/55 works better on this particular bike.

Don't waste any more time on it. get new tires and get the correct size rear. I recommend something from the fat white guy myself. You will not regret it.
Consider it done, Man!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You can play around with the suspension settings a bit but for the street, I honestly believe the tires and smooth throttle control are most important. I've only stiffened up the rear suspension and left the front alone and it feels pretty good.

Unless you are braking really hard and go WOT out of every turn, the suspension will not be much of a limiting factor on the street. I have no problem out-handling people on supersports on their fancy suspension :)
For the rear, did you change just the spring preload or the rebound damping as well?
 

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I'm usually skeptical when people complain about tires since most of them don't push their bike even remotely close to the limits of the tires but for whatever reason, these stock ones (especially the front) don't seem to work for the N1K?! It's really bizarre; they have plenty of grip but the profile and how they wear make for awkward turn-in. I had the same "fall over" experience shortly after I bought the bike and almost lowsided. The delayed throttle response before Ivan's flash didn't exactly help either. You couldn't possibly ride the bike hard and smooth. Scary.

Now I've grown to love the bike and can ride it smoothly and dance through the corners so to speak.
 

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RC, I agree that the bike's suspension settings aren't ideal. What settings would you recommend, front and rear? I was thinking of doing the following:

Front: Spring preload at 7 turns out from full stiff; rebound damping at 0.75 to 1 turn out from full stiff; compression damping 1.25 turns out from full stiff.

Rear: Spring preload at 28 clicks out from full stiff; rebound damping at 2 turns out from full stiff.
Do you think this is too radical and track-oriented or will it serve me fine for spirited street use and for twisties?

Step 1 is to set sag. If you do that, the rest will come into play. All kinds of videos showing how to do that.

I am not a fan of changing all the settings to soemoens idea of great.

Set the rear sag, then the front.

Out back, you just have rebound. Based on that, turn it in five clicks..test. Then turn it out ten...test. If it does not click, make it 1.5 turns in, then 3 out (3 out meaning 1.5 from stock).

By that point, you will know what you like out back.

You sure could try those mentioned settings. My bike has fork cartridges, and a shock, so my settings are of no value.

I would not do much until you change tires. My stock tires were so bad it made the suspension feel much worse than it was.
 
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