Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Below is my first ride thoughts on the 2018 I just purchased. This is based on a 200 mile ride on various road types. The really good news is the bike’s baseline platform is awesome in terms of: engine, braking, clutch pull & absorbing road conditions. The con’s: bars, leg rooms, windscreen are all fixable with aftermarket accessories. Note: I'm 5'6", 150lbs.

Ninja First Ride Initial Impressions – 08.10.19


Pro’s:

The smoothest throttle response I’ve ever experienced, in any gear, at any speed. Even at small throttle openings in 1st gear. No on/off throttle issue at all.

Clutch worked very easily. Easy lever pull & dropped in and out of gear quickly. Only one missed shift all day, even with my boot issue (see below).

Slipper clutch worked very well & matched RPM speed allowing quick gear changes without any rear wheel hop.

Engine is powerful & capable but completely manageable & not intimidating. Engines spins up quickly but not abruptly & without hesitation in all rpm. It’s also smooth on deceleration & engine braking.

Engine braking occurs nicely without being too strong, which sets up well for great initial bite of the brakes both front & rear. The brake pull is easy, offers great feedback & the bike stops fast. Overall the brakes are confidence inspiring even at moderate lean & work very well. Didn’t try the brakes going hot into a turn.

Almost any gear can operate at any speed making the bike easy to ride without feeling like your lugging the bike or running in too high an RPM.

Suspension over all road conditions was awesome. Bike was super compliant on any surface. Very comfortable.

Sargent seat worked fine. No complaints on maiden voyage. Although didn’t move to rear of seat much as my reach to bars prevented it.

Reach to the ground was no problem for my 30" inseam.

Didn't have any issues hitting exhaust with boots as I've read about.


Con’s:

Bar risers needed. Bars were too far away requiring a reach, which overworked neck & back muscles causing fatigue & discomfort. Can’t ride long distances as is.

Lower controls need to be lowered more. Need more legroom. Legs felt cramped were uncomfortable as ride went longer. Will purchase Motowerk’s.

Bike doesn’t turn easily. Requires too much initial effort to steer it. This is a major complaint I’ve read about. I have a suspension tune scheduled to hopefully help & setup SAG/compression/preload for my weight. If not a 55mm tire is in my future.

Windscreen needs to be replaced. It does work & displaces some air, but doesn’t provide enough protection which I’m looking for. Seemed to work best in middle setting allowing cool air to the helmet. High setting had too much turbulence at helmet.

Can’t wear thick boots which I was, as it was much too difficult to get boot over & under shifter throughout the day. Had this problem all day on every shift even after adjusting shift linkage.

Didn’t notice any difference between Full & Low power modes. Will need to evaluate more.

I look forward to addressing the changes on the con's list to make it a rock steady sports tourer for my needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Definitely switch out the rear tire for a 190/55 before doing any suspension mods. It will make a big difference in the way the bike handles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
Switch out the rear tire to a 190/55. No amount of suspension adjustment will give you the neutral steering you want. Increasing rear spring preload is NOT the answer. It will only address the steering to a point but not eliminate the requirement for constant bar pressure at moderate lean angles. The 55 rear will eliminate it without sacrificing ride quality that happens with more spring preload.

Ride the bike more before making ergo changes. With a 30 inch inseam the seat to peg should be perfect for you. If you lower the pegs more you loose cornering clearance. If you raise the bars higher you will get MORE wind blast. The ergo's on the bike is a delicate balance and any change to it will affect something else that you may or may not like. Been down that road on a few bikes I've owned.

I found that at the highest windshield setting, helmet choice becomes critical. The N1k really prefers a helmet designed for the upright riding position and not a more aggressive, race-style helmet. Aggressive race-style helmets with the windshield position in the highest position will have more buffeting. The older N1k's have a better windshield at the highest position. The newer N1k's have a small "double bubble" design that provides MORE wind protection at the lowest setting but creates slightly more wind buffeting at the highest setting. It's another one of those that was carefully balanced by Kawasaki. In my personal opinion, the older N1k windshield was quieter at the highest position than the new N1k windshield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Man goes to show everyone has different tastes. Remember it's a SPORT tourer, not a Gold Wing. In fact it's perhaps the smallest and sportiest sport tourer in the liter plus class. Too many people here seem to disregard the sport part and over emphasize the tour part. I think the Concourse or FJR might be a better bike for them if they are more touring oriented than sport oriented.

I'm 6'1" with a 34" inseam and I find the legroom to be quite generous for such a sporty bike. Someone 7" shorter with 4" less inseam would surely have much more legroom.

Stock bars needing risers? At 5'6" your reach issue seems to make sense as you probably have shorter arms, but I found the stock bars too high and angled oddly, and did Cooldaddygroves' famous Speedy Moto clip on mod that slightly lower the bars and give them a more natural and sportier angle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ykun

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
I am 5'10" and a 31" inseam. I cannot imagine how lower pegs would work/help.

I think it handled fine. I had other suspension design gripes, but that has been beat to death. I came off bigger bikes with a Connie, ZX14, ZX12R as well as ZX7s and prefer the heavier steering (and the associated stability). I won't take a squirrelly R6 to the corner for gas.

My Ninja 1000 is gone and I haven't rode my girlfriend's 2015 N1K in a while. That will change soon as her's is getting a set of Angel's with a 55 rear tire and a shock soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,949 Posts
I still cant believe we dont have some type of adjustment available...bars, pegs, or seat height. I'm 5'10" , but my legs are short. I need 31 or 32 in long pants. The ninja fits me very well, and I like the bars as is. Especially after switching to the non rubber topped pegs. That's a cheap and easy way to slightly lower peg position. That's a good mod since it really does not lower anything except the peg tops. Google "zx10 pegs" to get an idea of why this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
RC you have adjustment, adjust the valves lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rcannon409

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts



Lower controls need to be lowered more. Need more legroom. Legs felt cramped were uncomfortable as ride went longer. Will purchase Motowerk’s.






Well if you want to lower the pegs, and even have the option to move them further back (which I found provided a lot more leg room, plus a better leg position), try a set of rearsets. I just sold my 2017 N1K, and removed the Lightech rearsets and putting them up for sale
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Definitely switch out the rear tire for a 190/55 before doing any suspension mods. It will make a big difference in the way the bike handles.
Thx Johnmark101.


Yes, read all about the 55 tire & how by raising the rear end it enables the bike to turn. The first week I had the bike I had the SAG setup correctly by a shop that specializes in suspensions & now on the 50 the bike turns with ease!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well if you want to lower the pegs, and even have the option to move them further back (which I found provided a lot more leg room, plus a better leg position), try a set of rearsets. I just sold my 2017 N1K, and removed the Lightech rearsets and putting them up for sale

CDO,


Thanks, I saw all your goodies for sale. I added the Motowerks extenders already & they have given me that little extra leg room I needed & are working well. Adjusting the brake light to get it to light up with a light touch was another story altogether, but all's well now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I still cant believe we dont have some type of adjustment available...bars, pegs, or seat height. I'm 5'10" , but my legs are short. I need 31 or 32 in long pants. The ninja fits me very well, and I like the bars as is. Especially after switching to the non rubber topped pegs. That's a cheap and easy way to slightly lower peg position. That's a good mod since it really does not lower anything except the peg tops. Google "zx10 pegs" to get an idea of why this helps.

rcannon409, you're right. None of us are the same size. In a car you can adjust seating position, height, steering wheel angle, mirror view, etc... Yes if motorcycle manufacturers would make bar height/angle & foot controls adjustable it would add cost, but we pay to fix these things anyway to fit our individual needs mostly through 3rd party manufacturers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skootin

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
One of the very trick features of my old 1983 Laverda RGS-1000 was its footpegs and foot controls were mounted on rotating circular plates. Incredibly simple and convenient for adjustments!

Another unique item was the fuel filler's location behind that door in the fairing. Fill-ups did not require moving one's tankbag! Luckily for us, these innovations never caught on.

This is one motorcycle I'd love to still own!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
It was an extremely well thought out machine for high speed (read: European!) sport touring. But even with the clever fuel filler arrangement gas stops often took longer, because someone was going to inquire about this two-wheeled Starship Enterprise. It was really reliable- I put 25K miles on it over 18 months in rain or shine. And we had some El Niño action in there, too! Never missed a beat.

The downside was constant guff from Ducatisti and Guzzisti, who'd deride it as "not a real Italian motorcycle". As best as I could figure it, what kept it from being a "real Italian" was its dependability!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
Haha, nobody ever complained about the RGS being under-geared. Quite the opposite...below about 80mph clicking 6th was almost lugging the motor. Not good for the driving record!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,949 Posts
The concours 14 has the 6th gear like that. 60mph is 2500 rpm. You have to drop a gear to pass people. Even though I rarely use it, its awesome.

Is it just a coincidence that the original, concours 1000 is the same color as the Laverda? I'm starting to think it might be the bike that inspired the entire Concours line up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Updated thoughts after 2000 miles in the saddle

Here's an update on the N1K now that I've put 2000 miles on the bike in the two months I've had it. All the miles come on 200-265 mile rides throughout northern & northwest NJ (Sussex County) & lower NY state, where there are lots of twisty two lane roads with a variety of elevation changes.

Everything I liked about it initially, I still do. The things I wanted to address I did & made it even better...

Adding the bar risers & foot peg extenders made it more comfortable & I can ride all day without issue.

Adding the MRA dark windscreen does offer marginally better wind protection, although my new Shark helmet helps a lot too especially re: wind noise. Don't even think about the wind anymore. That's when you know the problems solved.

As the weather has changed the heated grips & seat are awesome.

After having my suspension/SAG setup the first week I bought it, it turns much better. It doesn't nose dive under hard braking & the chassis is settled even when my input isn't spot on. Even though it turns better, it does require consistent bar pressure throughout a turn. I'll probably make the move to the 55 rear when I wear out the OEM's to see if it allows a lighter touch to hold a line.

The brakes & throttle response are excellent. My braking & throttle technique is improving rapidly the more I ride it.

I've spent time using each power traction control mode & have better understanding of how & when to use each. Nice to have options.

Kawasaki truly did an amazing job in creating the N1K.

Overall I'm thrilled with this bike & look forward to adding many more miles in the years to come!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Janek and N1KLife
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top