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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the Ninja is gone. I'm sorry to say, it just couldn't live up to the hype, and I just never felt the love from it.
I was unimpressed with the suspension, and the power, so I've sold the bike.
I still have some items in the classifieds, KQR saddlebags with key, Tank bag, Gel seats, and a set of clutch/brake levers...

I still have my Buell, old faithful, no traction control, no ABS, just 140HP of *** kicking handling in a 465 lb engineering marvel.

I hope you all find your sweet spot on two wheels, and enjoy life to the fullest. Those of you that are local to the southwest, are invited to attend my SpringFast rides the weekend before Labor day in Alpine, AZ.


Ride hard, ride free, and by all means, RIDE TO LEAN!

Bart
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, in my garage, I still have my 2009 Buell 1125, 2012 Yamaha Tenere, 2007 Suzuki DR650, 2001 FXDX, 1989 XLR, 1972 Triumph T120, and I just added a 2016 BMW R1200RS.
Someday, I would like to have a sportbike with fully adjustable suspension, belt drive, traction control, ABS, and optional hard bags. (I can hope can't I?)
 

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The v twin vs in-lien 4 is a tough transition to make. The ninja 1000 and Buell make a perfect comparison as their dyno charts are so similar. Both are right at 120hp, stock, and both are at @ 60 hp at 5000 rpm. Torque advantage to the ninja, oddly enough, as the ninja makes more torque at 4000 rpm than the buell ever does.

So, on paper same-same? Reality is way different and you will usually find those who like the v twin just cant transition over, and the same going the other way.
 

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So how do you like the BMW so far?
 

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I noticed that earlier about the BMW. A guy on another forum traded his NIK on the BMW and ended up absolutely hating the bike and wanted his N1K back. Said it was boring as heck.

I am pretty much past ever buying another BMW opposed twin. I've had quite a few of them and while I appreciate them, they don't really do much to excite my soul. I'll go with a V over one of their opposed twins any day. My last GS was pretty much when I'd had enough. Sure the water cooled ones are faster but it is their character that doesn't do much for me.

I get where Bart is coming from for some of this. I love how a high performance/ V feels. Still I am not opposed to a good inline 4 either. My favorite would likely be an inline 6 such in my K16.

I do love the versatility of the N1K though. If they could do more with the vibes I'd be much happier. I agree about the suspension as when pushed it isn't up to 9/10ths pace or more. I exacerbate its issues because I am not a petite rider.
 

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Interesting comments.... that BMW is 5k more than the N1k and cost a lot more to maintain. Cool bike though, if I was a fan of the flat twin I would probably look at that as well as their R1200rt.

The Buell is no doubt a brilliant bike. I love the idea of the belt drive as I weary of the mess and fuss of chain maintenance. Wish I had the means to buy multiple bikes for different applications. For me the versatility of the N1k is unrivaled.. Great purchase price, reasonable maintenance costs, parts availability, dependable, anybody can work on it and backed by a huge company.
 

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I still miss my tlr, there is just something about a twin. I'd like to find a super cheap sv1000 someday maybe, put tlr heads on it and just have fun with it.
 

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Dont be fooled by the Buell. All it is was is an unreliable Honda VTR 1000 Firestorm.

Even Buell did not want to build it, but Harley forced the engine size and plastic configuration so it would not directly compete with the Japanese. It did well , in racing, but it only ran against 600cc inline 4's. For someone to choose it, vs anything, means they really love the brand vs being interested in a good product. They are for sale, all over, for 4 grand, and theres a reason.
 

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Interesting about the Buell rcannon... now that Eric Buell Racing is bankrupt, where do you get them serviced? My friend has a Buell that was made by Harley. He said the HD dealerships hate when he brings it in for service
 

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The "buell" engine was a Rotax. Very similar to what Aprilia used in its RSV 1000r. That would be the way to go if you really wanted that specific engine design.

I'm sure the guys who own the Buells have a forum, so parts and support will probably be around for some time. Still, you'd really want to be into the brand.

Buell did some incredible things. Modern exhaust comes to mind. He was one of the first to use the under engine exhaust and thats all you see anymore. Using the frame as a fuel tank? Why not? Brilliant. However, he should have had people around him to keep him in line.

The front brake is a perfect example. Think of the r and d money that went into that? It was an issue that was solved. His design did have some positive aspects, but it looked foolish. Plus, it was an issue no one had. Re inventing the wheel comes to mind.


This is not picking on our op, and I dont mean to sound that way,. Its just when you see his other bike, that he likes, is a bmw 1200rs, then you know he's more interested in low end torque than high rpm horsepower.

I believe once Eric had the opportunity to build the bike the way he wanted it to, I think he turned that 1125 into a very good machine in the 1190sx series. But, its like you say, where do you get service? Parts? Warranty?

So,skip all that nonsense and look towards Hondas Vtr1000. Its not quite as powerful as the1125 buell, however, it runs. It has dealer support. Its cheap. It runs forever. Or, Suzukis tl 1000.
 

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RC That front brake on the Buell was a British design. I had a friend that worked in the AMF test center back in the day and they had that brake on a Sportster in the late 70s testing it. Of course when Willie G got in there anything that was cool got thrown in the garbage.
 

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Sorry you didn't like the bike. Different strokes for different people. I would agree that the N1K lacks a bit in character but its all-around usability more than makes up for it. It has really grown on me over the last few months.
 

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Define character. Is that a bike that is so undrivable that is it miserable to ride? Or is that where the power curve is so peaky and high up that it will barely idle below 10k and no usable power until 12k but then pulls hard to 16k? Or do we want something with character such as the old Porsche 911s I had that just a slight lift of the throttle mid-turn invoked such trailing throttle oversteer that you easily be pointing in the other direction quicker than it took me to write this sentence.

In some ways I think "character" is both hard to define and often overrated. Look at the millions of cars Honda & Toyota churn out, bland as h3ll yet people buy them. A Camry is about as boring as it gets but very competent at what it does.

Sometimes "character" is confused with other things. I don't miss my old British bikes leaving a puddle of oil ever where I parked them. Sure they were full of character and apparently left it everywhere. At times I may be nostalgic for them but I am MUCH happier with the current crop of bikes and cars. Just as I've had it with Ducatis and their character and spending hours in the shop for routine maintenance.

I am at the point I want my bikes to be pretty close to an appliance. I want reliability first and foremost. Enough power to keep me happy provided in such a way it is entertaining. I don't want it to be like a helicopter where every hour of flight time requires hours & hours of preventative maintenance along with normal repairs. I want it to idle at a light, not overheat in traffic. I want enough range I can ride for at least 2 hours @ 85 mph and sill have at least 20 miles to go find a gas station. I want brakes that work and without some silly linked ABS system. I want it light enough to be fun but not so light as to be fragile. I want enough room to take a passenger from time to time. Most of all I don't want any lights inspired/made/produced by Lucas, aka "The Prince of Darkness", inhabiting my bike. I don't want someone to have to ride behind my bike picking up pieces that fall off like some of my past Harleys have.

All previous those things could be character for some in a perverse way. I don't have a lot of free time so when I want to ride, not wrench. I also need to cover a lot of ground most weeks and so often "full of character" also seems to entail "lack of reliability" or major shortcomings in key areas based on my past experience.

Some of my most character filled bikes I've owned I'd never want to see in my garage again. I loved them at the time but it was like being in an abusive relationship. I thought I had to deal with the crap to get the good but I've learned otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
On paper, the buell and ninja are close, but the Buell comes out on top
Buell HP - 146
Ninja HP - 138
Buell torque - 82 ft lbs
Ninja torque - 74.4
buell weight - 466 lbs wet
Ninja weight - 502 lbs wet

They are night and day difference. Sorry to differ with you rcannon.
The Buell comes with top of the line Showa suspension that is FULLY adjustable.
The Ninja comes with substandard suspension that only has compression adjustment on one fork? wtf? The inline 4 powerband, or lack of bottom end, and that suspension is what started to push me away from the Ninja.
I loved how smooth the engine was, how well mannered in the city. But when I want power, I want it now, and the Buell has ALWAYS delivered that.
I understand how those that are not mechanically inclined worry about who is going to work on their bikes. I've always worked on mine, and have no problems going into the motor if need be. I've rebuilt many an old Honda, a few Hardleys, and a couple of Buells. I typically tear into my bikes within the first couple of thousand miles just to see what makes them tick. I haven't had to go too far into the motor on my 1125. adjusted the valves, and replaced the stator and rotor, that's been it in 75,000 miles.
I got spoiled by the belt, zero maintenance, strong, does not sling oil or grease or anything onto the swingarm or rear of the bike. nice...
The Beemer is pretty nice, VERY comfortable, I don't feel like a pretzel riding it. I'm still undecided about the suspension, I'm so anal about that, but it seems to be working well so far, I've got so many different adjustments with the ESA i've just got to fine tune it. It does seem weird doing it with buttons instead of a screwdriver. The clutch is smooth as glass, no effort to pull in, and sooo easy shifting into gears and neutral. Gone is that sticky dang clutch of the Kawa, woohoo...

I have to agree with Day Trippin in regards to the Ninja feeling like an appliance.
That may have been the last straw that pushed me away from it, no soul.
For some, that appliance is just what they are looking for. Smooth, reliable, vibration free, proven design. A good all around bike.
That isn't what I'm looking for. I want a great sport bike, that I can ride all day, up to 1000 miles a day if I want. The Ninja, or the Buell is not that bike. Maybe the beemer is, and maybe not. I do know the RT, FJR, or Connie is not what Im looking for either. Too big, too heavy, I've thought long and hard about them, ridden them, they are just not me.

;-)
 

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Dont get me wrong, when you bring up suspension issues, I'm with ya. Ninja stock suspension is barely adequate. Your liking a bike that is a bit out of the ordinary is cool too.

Suzpension may not be a reasonable issue to complain about in this situation. When the buell was released, in 2008, its price was around 11k. The Ninja is that same price, but in 2015 money. If the ninja retailed closer to 14k, you'd get your suspension with it.

The ninja starts more as a work in progress due to its price. I believe those of us who sent the ecu to Ivan found out where its soul was hiding.
 

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RC That front brake on the Buell was a British design. I had a friend that worked in the AMF test center back in the day and they had that brake on a Sportster in the late 70s testing it. Of course when Willie G got in there anything that was cool got thrown in the garbage.

No way, really? So Buell would have stumbled into this thing, and used it vs it being his idea?
 

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Well, the Ninja is gone. I'm sorry to say, it just couldn't live up to the hype, and I just never felt the love from it.

[/I]Bart
I sold a 2010 Harley XR1200 and bought my 2011 Ninja 1000. MY XR was well sorted with suspension mods, pipes, ECU flashed and many comfort bits. It was no where near as fast as the Ninja but it had amazing grunt and tons of personality. The Ninja like most Japanese bikes lacks personality. I do enjoy my Ninja and I find it very comfortable and a pleasure an long rides. However, it doesn't "stir my soul". I don't think I'll have it long before I start searching for a performance oriented big V-Twin. Those EBR 1190 SX's were tops on my wish list before they shut the doors.
 

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Buelligan, interesting comments about the esa system.

Its probably not a positive for that ESA system when your stock Buell feels better, is it?
 
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