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New to the Kawasaki Family

1358 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  sprockethead
I bought a new 2015 Ninja 1000 ABS at the end of Sept to replace my old commuter, a Honda VFR800. I've owned Hondas for most of my motorcycling life. After disappointment at the Honda offerings, I took the plunge and got the Kawi. I was surprised at all that Kawi offered: a fur reel touring sport bike with bags and assessories plus 50lbs lighter and 40 more ponies than my old VFR.

Don't get me wrong--I loved that VFR and ran it into the ground. I'll probably do the same with the Kawi. I'm having fun learning the ins and outs of this new bike. You can't ride all bikes the same way. You have to learn what works best with the chararcteristics you've got. For starters is the amazing engine on the Ninja 1000--the center piece of the bike. While good natured, it's snap to life in an instance and tell everyone who's the boss.

I make no beans about it. This is my commuter. I got to get through traffic quickly because I'm usually late for a meeting. Plus, I gotta haul groceries back home at the end of the day. I've put a top trunk on the rear and am waiting for the stock side bags. I've install tank grips and have a frame sider kit that I'm waiting for a free weekend to install. Plus, Apex 3in risers coming next week. I'm also thinking new rear sets because the foot shift lever isn't long enough.

I usually don't mod out my rides, but this one is screaming for customizations. Don't know why. Some other mods that are in the back of my head: shorty hand controls and 2016 slipper clutch.

Looking forward to sharing what I'm doing to the bike and hearing what everyone has done to theirs. Thanks for reading!
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Welcome! Congrats on your new N1K. It is a very solid bike all the way around. I had looked at bunch of bikes before picking up one last week. I have several other bikes but was looking for a "commuter" bike. My commute is about 700 miles one way, each weekend (SoCal to NorCal or on up to Washington state.

I do have a question about the top trunk and rack you went with? From my understanding, there isn't anything that works with the factory bags except for one company's rack.

I am just getting started but here is my list of mods so far.

Factory bags
Disc lock
Bike mitts (removed after test install, waiting for colder weather)
Tail bag
Tank bag
Frame sliders

LEDs (replace factory lights)
Aux LED driving lights
16T countershaft
Taller windscreen
RAM mounts
USB/cigarette power socket
Fuse block
High output horn
Sidestand pad (to better support the sidestand on soft surfaces)
Mirror extenders
McCuff fuel cuff (to help with the vapor recovery systems in California)
Techspec Gripster tank grips
Shifter boot sock (prevent scuffing of my shoes/butts)
Heated grips

To Order
Ivan's ECU reflash
Slipon exhaust
Heated gear connectors
Better seat (maybe gel seat cover for now)
Auto chain luber (most likely latest TUTORO)
Topbox if I can find a rack that will work with the stock luggage so I can add one of my Givi boxes
Voltage gauge

The "To Order" list might grow as I ride it more. I've only put about 600 miles on it the past week. I wanted to get a feel for the bike and see what I needed to change to make it livable for me while commuting. I do wish someone made a bigger fuel tank though. I'll have to see how many watts I have extra so that I can run some heated gear.
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Day, what frame sliders did you end up with?

Like the mirror extender option. I used my old extenders with 2014 mirrors and it is an excellent combination. The ones to get are these and not the chinese copies.

Mirror Extenders Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Z1000SX Z1000 SX 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 | eBay

The guy that makes the originals is from Hungary. To say he is fanatical and a perfectionist is an understatement. If one happened to be off by .000000001in. , he would be devastated and probably jump off a cliff.

With you putting on so many miles and being in the hot sun, think twice about a gel anything. I left my ninja in the hot sun, with the kawi gel seat, and it was a miserable experience. That gel stayed at 140 degrees for hours after.
RC- I don't remember which sliders I got, I bought them at a local store in SoCal and I don't remember the brand. The went on pretty easily.

For the mirror extenders, those look like the ones I bought, just waiting for them to arrive. I remember reading about them before I bought them but thanks for the tip.

Thanks for the tip about a gel seat. I was thinking of going with a Corbin again. For some reason whatever they do seems to work well for me. I can do their ride-in service and have it fine tuned as well. I put close to 60k miles on a Corbin on my V-strom and it was still going great when I swapped it onto another one. Can't say the Vee was the best adventure bike I've ever owned but it was solid, reliable as the day is long and if something happened to it, I wasn't going to worry about it to much like I would a Mulitstrada or my GS.

I do hope with the Corbin I'll be back a bit more from the tank. Right now the family jewels are are pretty much wedged against the tank when I ride and the vibes at 5k+ cruise rpm tends to make them go numb. I can deal with the stock seat longer than I can deal with my nether bits going numb.

I just had a thought, maybe a gel seat with a sheepskin cover might not be a bad option for LD days. I kept one with my V-strom when I needed a bit more "ventilation" and would put it on the Corbin to mix things up a bit. It came in handy when I rode from Chicago to Albuquerque in one day. I take if off when riding aggressively but on the highway it was handy at times. Problem is with the stock seat, I don't like its shape and want it flattened out a bit more and need to be able to move back a bit. Other than that, I could probably live with it. Maybe I'l get out my turkey slicer and have a go at the stock foam.
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Welcome to the forum pvancle... lots of great roads around you and plenty of farkles to be had. You and your new bike will have a long and glorious relationship.
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