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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Ninja 1000 owners. I am kicking tires and looking seriously at a Ninja 1000. This looked like a good place to gather info and make an informed purchase. I am presently riding a 2002 Yamaha FZ1. It's been a great bike but it's time for something a little more modern. My old FZ is a solid and capable bike, has good fuel range, comfort and power. The new generation Ninja 1000 looks to be the most obvious replacement for my bike. I have only sat on the new Ninja but it felt very comfortable and seemed to have lower seat height. It is also the best looking sport/tour bike that I have looked at thus far. I have a couple of questions:

1) Are there any technical or performance differences between the 2011-2014 model years?

2) Does it have a gear indicator?

3) Will the older models accept the 2014 side cases?

Anybody out there that has owned or rode a Gen 1 FZ please chime in and tell me what you like about the Ninja in comparison

Thanks!
 

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Hey, this is not the place for 100% objective advise since we all own z's, but I'll sure try.

For 14, you get traction control, and in the USA you'll get abs. Performance differences? Maybe a tiny bit, but nothign worth noting. The older bikes, 2011-2013 can have the ecu reflashed, by Ivan, for a serious horsepower increase. We're talking about 20hp gain, down low, so thats a plus for the older bikes.

The Ninjas appear to be very durable, so dont be put off by used.

I think you'll have better suspension on the 14. Better tuning, and that remote preload adjustment is cool.

I know one guy adapted the side cases to his older bike, but it was very expensive. He ended up with a 2014 subframe, which was expensive.

No gear indicator...why? God only knows. I'm from the dirt bike world, so I dont look at the ones I have on other bikes, but it bothers some.

So, should you do it? No, and I'll explain why.

The first gen fz1 is an incredible bike. Comfortable, good handling, good brakes, etc. Yours is jus told, to you, but the Ninja being generations ahead? Yes, but do these tech gadgets make for a better riding experience?

What if we threw 3 grand at your fz1 and updated the shock, forks, and maybe an exhaust? Something like this:

Project Recycle- Yamaha FZ1

I 100% promise you the modified fz1, shown there, will out handle the stock Ninja and be more comfortabel for long distance touring. It wont have th eNinjas low end torque, but it will have plenty.

I'd feel differently if you did not already own it. Also, whats your physical size? If your large, the fz1 may be better. Its not as compact as the Ninja 1000.

I'm just thinking this trade will cost you 10-12 grand, if you fully set up the Ninja and I promise its not THAT much better.

My thoughs are like this. The tow bikes are in the same class, and serve the same types of riding. For the money, you coudl fix up the fz1, and buy something else, too.

A used Concours 14, for touring..6 grand. A used sportbike 4-7000....

Theres a lady who put 200,000 miles on her gen 1 fz1, so likely yours in not worn out.
 

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My friend has a 2001 FZ1 with Ivan's jet kit, some sort of exhaust and race tech front suspension. He runs PR3 tires, and I run PR2/PR4 combo's. His FZ1 is nicely set up.

Back when I was on my FJR we swapped bikes a few times, and again after getting the N1K.

It is a different bike than the Ninja. It's a very good and capable bike. There isn't a lot of difference between the FZ1 and N1K ... but there are enough that you should consider it.

First and foremost both bikes have more than adequate power. The N1K feels a bit smoother, but this is splitting hairs.

The FZ1 transmission had this weird mechanical edge. My FJR shifted like a tractor, so it wasn't a Yamaha thing. There may have been something wrong with his transmission. It was nowhere as nice as the N1K's shifting.

The frame is the biggest difference. The N1K has a stiffer and more responsive frame than the FZ1's steel tubular frame. No matter what you do with the suspension, the FZ1 feels like there is a little bit of lastic "give" between each wheel and you. That's the only way I can describe it, and you probably wouldn't notice if you don't go between bikes, but it's there.

Ergonomically the FZ1 feels smaller. Lots more helmet buffetting; he tried three windshields before he found a decent one, but still he's not happy. Narrower handlbars. Otherwise the bikes are similar.

The N1K has much better luggage options, but you already know that.

That's what I think about the differences between the FZ1 and N1K. What about 1st and 2nd gen differences?

I was this close ---> <--- to getting a new 2014 because I wanted ABS and better sidecases. However, I found a used 2011 with the stock sidecases, Corbin seat, and about 2k miles on it ... for $5k less than a new one. Realistically, I only use the sidecases on long trips, I manage without the ABS, and $700 of that $5K gets me Ivan's ECU programming with perfect throttle control. The benefits of the 2014 simply did not justify the extra money, IMHO.

So, if I were in your shoes, I'd find a low-mileage 2011-2013 in great shape with a few extra's, unless it involved taking on debt, in which case I'd keep the FZ1.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Those are some very honest responses, Thank You. I have been struggling with many of the same questions that both of you touched on. My FZ just turned 27k this past weekend and according to Yamaha it's due for a valve check. It has been flawless in its reliability. I have done a Ivan's jet kit, half *** suspension work, AIS removal, and a Yoshi slip-on. I've also done numerous creature comfort add-ons. I have considered the Gen 2 FZ but it's a only a marginal upgrade and many publications contend that the Gen 2 is not any quicker. I really LOVE the looks of the new Ninja but if I get a new bike I want more performance than I have now. I've seen several Ninja's in the $6,500-8,000 price range slightly used with low miles. I could likely get $3,000 for my FZ. I am bugeting around $5k for my next bike.

My other option is to buy an entirely different used bike and do some more mods to my FZ. I have been considering a DRZ400SM or Harley XR1200. I have a friend that has the Harley and has offered it a favorable price. Yeah, it's a Harley but the sport bike version and quite a fun bike.

It's a shame that there aren't more sport/tour bikes in the market place. The Ninja 1000 is the most appealing bike for my needs and riding style but if it is only a marginal upgrade then I'm not sure it's worth the extra coins?
 

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If your primary goal in changing bikes is to get significantly more power in a standard, then have you considered the Tuono, S1000R, etc?

Also ... Do you use so many of the FZ1's ponies that you need more?

If it is more of issue that you're bored with your FZ1, then a N1K won't solve that. Adding more power won't solve that; it just moves the goalposts a little further away. But I bet a DRZ400SM, and learning how to ride it properly, could very well be what you're looking for.
 

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Hey NinjaLust, I have the XR1200 you mentioned in your last post. One thing to keep in mind with it is aftermarket parts are very expensive. Since they only made them for 4 years for the U.S., (5 years for European market), not many aftermarket companies are making parts for them. I did quite a bit to mine, and I love the bike, but I wanted something completely different, so I went with the Ninja 1000.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If your primary goal in changing bikes is to get significantly more power in a standard, then have you considered the Tuono, S1000R, etc?

Also ... Do you use so many of the FZ1's ponies that you need more?

If it is more of issue that you're bored with your FZ1, then a N1K won't solve that. Adding more power won't solve that; it just moves the goalposts a little further away. But I bet a DRZ400SM, and learning how to ride it properly, could very well be what you're looking for.
I have no interest in Italian bikes. They're pretty but I can't handle the cost of maintenance and there are no dealers in my area. A couple riding buddies have an S1000R and S1000RR's so I might have an attraction to their bikes performance (?). My other riding buddies have ZX10, ZX14, Concours 14, VFR's and Speed Triples. My old bike has good performance but I'm behind all of them statistically. No, I don't use all the horses I have available very often. I do run it up in the triple digits quite often and I would like more low end grunt. The Ninja isn't necessarily gonna run those bikes down but it will be newer and more modern. There's just very few standards out there than offer the kind of performance that I'm looking for. The Ninja 1000 seems to be the most logical choice for my needs and budget

Hey NinjaLust, I have the XR1200 you mentioned in your last post. One thing to keep in mind with it is aftermarket parts are very expensive. Since they only made them for 4 years for the U.S., (5 years for European market), not many aftermarket companies are making parts for them. I did quite a bit to mine, and I love the bike, but I wanted something completely different, so I went with the Ninja 1000.
So, did you sell your XR before getting the Ninja? If I do buy the XR1200 it'll be a second bike and I'll keep the FZ and do some more performance mods. These 2 bikes are radically different. I rode the XR and it was fun in a cruiser sort of way. It was a blast on rolling country back roads and handled better than I expected. My friend modded his with a V&H X-pipe and the X suspension upgrade. I don't think I would do many other mods other than maybe a Power Commander. I have been researching this bike quite a bit too.
 

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NinjaLust,
No, I didn't sell it, and didn't want to. I have the Bassani road rage exhaust, PTF fuel management controller, Bitwell handlebars, Blackhorn intake, tail tidy brake light, Progressive 970 shocks, bar end mirrors, Storz front fender and a Free Spirits torque kit. (Which I didn't install, yet). I was looking to go in a different direction than the XR and the other Harley's I had. I'm really liking the Ninja 1000 so far, I did some things to it this winter, but will start a post for that a little later.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll stay tuned to see what you did with the Ninja. Maybe I'll get my garage set up like yours one day? I'd love to have a N1K and XR1200 in the garage
 

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I'll stay tuned to see what you did with the Ninja. Maybe I'll get my garage set up like yours one day? I'd love to have a N1K and XR1200 in the garage
From what the guys on here are saying, your FZ-1 isn't too shabby. Before I decided on the Ninja 1000, a 2012 FZ-1 was the other bike I almost bought. There was just something about the Ninja that lured me in. Plus it has low miles, showroom condition, and I couldn't turn down the price.:rolleyes: It seems there are WAY more aftermarket/performance parts for the Ninja 1000 than the XR.
 

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Try this, if you haven't been here already.

Harley Davidson XR1200

I wouldn't think there would be all that much to do to a Ninja 1000? Maybe suspension mods, reflash, exhaust but what else?
That's what I like about the N1K, I don't really HAVE to do anything to it, just things I WANT to do to it. I have read about several guys doing the Ivans stuff with much success and satisfaction, but I won't put in my two cents about it because I didn't do it, and don't know enough about it. I guess it all comes down to your personalization imagination. (If that's even a term). And yes, I've seen the Harris site many times for the XR, but ordered most of my stuff from Free Spirits.
 

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I wouldn't think there would be all that much to do to a Ninja 1000? Maybe suspension mods, reflash, exhaust but what else?[/QUOTE]

Carbon fiber body work is available from Japan. What else would you think the bike needs?
 

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Numbers do not tell the full story

While we all look at numbers like rear wheel horsepower and quarter mile times, the riding experience is qualitative not quantitative.

I have ridden the early FZ1 with pipes and jet kit. It was a very, very good motorcycle. On the other hand, it is generally true (and especially so with the Ninja 1000) that the Kawasaki riding experience is more visceral than the numbers can explain. The Ninja 1000 acts and sounds like it is possessed when sufficiently revved, yet it has tons of power from the very bottom of the rev range.

I am a throttle response junkie. The Ninja 1000 throttle response is A++.

Your query calls for one very clear and simple response. The numbers won't solve anything for you. Ride a Ninja 1000. Roll on the throttle. You will know what you want.
 

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Guys, the stock Ninja 1000 has unreal throttle response. That is true, 100%, but I dotn even knwo what category to put Ivans modded ninja into.

Maybe numbers will do it better. At 3000 rpm, a stock ninja is making about 30 hp. His bike is at 40. By 6000, his version is +15hp, by 7000 its +20. So yes, it flies.

But, its not uncontrollable. If anything, its more manageable. You feel directly connected to the throttle bodies, and its amazing.

The Harley, though, I just dont get. I feel like it woudl be like my sv 650 and time spent on it was time not on my Ninja.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Harley, though, I just dont get. I feel like it woudl be like my sv 650 and time spent on it was time not on my Ninja.
A Ninja 1000 is at the top of my list as long as I find one that fits into my budget. 2015 models are out of the question. I'd love to ride one and see how it compares or exceeds the performance of my current bike. As for the Harley, it's as cool as Harley's get IMO and I have access to one for less $ than I can get suitable Ninja. It's a totally different riding experience and I think it would be fun but it could get old quickly. If I bought the Harley I'd have two bikes, if I get a Ninja I can only afford one. That is my logic as flawed as it may be.
 

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I had a similar dilemma. After deciding that I was going to buy a new Ninja 1000 (that's another story) I then had to decide on the year model as the shop had 2013,2014 and 2015 models available.

For me in Australia the prices were more for each year newer as they had a 2013 model at a very low price, about $3,500 discount as they wanted it gone. The 2014 had about $2000 off the retail price and the 2015 was at retail

After owing a lot of bikes, knowing what I want in ta bike, and how much after market parts are etc. I decided it was definitely worth the extra money to get the 2014 model over the 2013, factoring the new features, specifically :
Traction Control - Self explanatory benefits
Remote rear preload - really handy if you take people for pillion rides like I do.
Monobloc brake calipers - Very very good brakes on this bike
Improved performance - fatter midrange and top end via revised Intake cam and airbox
Taller 6th gear

These are all real improvements that make a difference to my daily ride, rather than gimmicks that to the average rider make no real difference like we see so often on new motorcycles.

I have never used the lower power mode, not even in heavy rain, I don't consider it a feature worth mentioning in a comparison. IMHO If you need low power mode you shouldn't be riding a 1000 cc.

I couldn't see a huge improvement in the 2015 over the 14 that warranted the extra $.

Lastly the 14's will have a better resale than 13's because of the mentioned features . You could argue the same for the 2015 over the 2014 but the differences are much greater between the 2013 and 2014.

Not that I'm trashing the 2013 model by any means, I very nearly bought one, but what I got for the extra money I firmly believe it's worth it.

That's how I made my choice anyway, this is the best bike I've ever owned, I love riding it.

Good luck.
 

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Jimmy is right...it could, and maybe should matter, but...Resale value? LOL Not as long as dealers discount one year old bikes down to under 10k.

Heres the high price locally, and these guys are the expensive place.

Classifieds for Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming | ksl.com

The 14 and 15 share different colors, but zero mechanical differences. Oh, My cheaper, local dealer will sell a 2014, otd for right at ten.
 
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