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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am thinking about upgrading to a 1000cc Ninja 1000 SX for sport touring and would love some input on this.
Anyone has any experience moving from a 400 to a 1000 cc? What are your thoughts? Worth doing or waste of money?
I am a little scared of the power bump. I ride responsibly but sometimes in a straight I do like to open it a little. Although I enjoy 0-60 significantly more than 60-90 if you know what I mean [Torque lover, not HP].

---- Context ----

I live in upstate New York, so we have all seasons here.

I have been riding my 2018 Ninja 400 ABS (first bike) for 1.5 years now and absolutely love the bike. I have done around 4,5k miles, 2000+ miles of which is just riding around nature and mountains and at least 500 miles on the racetrack. I also ride a lot with my girlfriend or others on the back for little excursions, but it gets uncomfortable for us a little quickly and the power starts really becoming an issue when going 2 up. I am 6'2" and 220 lbs so generally on the taller/ heavier side. I have heard it said that you get your first bike as a good all-rounder and then figure out what kind of riding you want to do and then get the bike to do it. I am now sure I want to focus more on the leisurely/ meditative/ nature focused riding, maybe also a bit more with a passenger or even some longer range/ highway touring. Stereotypical 40-year old dad riding essentially in spirit, even though I am 24.

The two main reasons I see for going from an essentially perfect bike for beginners like the N400 to something like the N1000SX is mainly:
  • The suspension and adjustability. Because I am heavy and I like to take friends on the bike, suspension non-adjustability is becoming an issue. The N1k has essentially fully adjustable suspension. Having better suspension on the rougher roads would also help with comfort and ride length, at least in my mind. when pushing 2 hours, general body fatigue does begin to set in on the N400, which I can only do so much on with preload adjustment and tire pressures.
  • Power: Again, passing on the highway is tricky or going 2-up significantly reduces torque conversion on the N400 for me and makes the experience less enjoyable. I'd like something that nearly pulls as fast when I am on it as when I have another person with me (I know this doesn't make sense physics etc but you know what I mean).
  • Heated Grips, Quick shifter, Safety Features / IMU(!), Better wind protection from touring windscreen, better headlights (!) and saddle bags, are also all relevant in my calculation because they become important for the type of sport/adventure riding I want to do, which on the N400 is a little tricky with (headlights not good!!!).

It's a big investment, but I can see myself using this for many years to come. Thoughts?
 

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Imagine that, a relatively new rider that starts on a somewhat starter bike, enjoys it enough to figure what he likes and doesn't, committed enough to invest on a more capable bike, and then ask questions BEFORE he buys, what a breath of fresh air!!! Well.....Welcome to the forum and Thank You for joining. On top of all that you are doing your homework instead of asking others that have never met you to decide the best bike for you. Reading your first post tells me you may be the perfect rider and owner for any of the late model N1K's.

We most often compare a new buy purchase to that which we are accustom to, so in comparison to the Ninja 400, you are pretty much going to get what you are asking for. BTW, I think the Ninja 400 is a great little bike to not only as a starter, but also a 2nd bike as well. The N1K should answer your desire for more torque, and more 2-up comfort. Regardless of your size if you both fit on the 400, you should both enjoy the 1000. As you well know the power bump is in the throttle. Twist the throttle device hard and it will get up and go and not for beginners, but I think you have paid your beginner dues. Relax on the throttle and it will smoothly put-put along until you need more, then you twist more. Control is in your hands (or hand). You also have the option of setting it in RAIN mode which will be 70% power and level 3 traction control until you are used to the bike and want more and then you can change the mode to SPORT, full power and level 1 traction control, or RIDER mode and make a custom setting which also will allow turning the traction control off.

ABS, Traction Control, Cornering Control, IMU, lean indicator, quick shifter, heated grips, hard bags and the rest are all nice to have features for the novice and experienced rider, especially when 2-up. With 500 miles on the track out of 4.5K miles total, I would say you are far beyond the beginners and into experienced street riding class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ABS, Traction Control, Cornering Control, IMU, lean indicator, quick shifter, heated grips, hard bags and the rest are all nice to have features for the novice and experienced rider, especially when 2-up. With 500 miles on the track out of 4.5K miles total, I would say you are far beyond the beginners and into experienced street riding class.
Thank you so much for the kind reply
 

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I'll agree with Eagle Six, and add that I did more or less the same thing you did. I owned a Ninja 650 before my N1K, and traded up for pretty much exactly the same reasons. Though I admit, I've never been on a track (yet!).

I will say, IMO the quickshifter is crap unless you treat the throttle like an on/off switch. But others here love it, so who am I to say? Overall, as long as you keep your wits about you, you'll likely be just fine.
 
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The NK1 is a awesome bike that is comfortable yet sporty enough to make ya giggle when you wick the throttle. As Eagle Six stated just be mindful of the loud tube and it is a very easy bike to ride. I agree you have road miles and track time on the 400 ( another great bike) you would have no issues adjusting to the 1000.

Welcome aboard Sir!
 

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I will say, IMO the quickshifter is crap unless you treat the throttle like an on/off switch. But others here love it, so who am I to say? Overall, as long as you keep your wits about you, you'll likely be just fine.
Yea, the quick shifter issue is interesting, and in other threads we have all been beating the subject to death. @investwithvalue if you are not familiar, the quick shifter cuts the engine for a split second when you upshift and slips in gear and this is most often quicker than most can shift using the clutch. I think in the manual it will say something like this, open the throttle full and shift when ready. It should shift smoothly through all the gears from 1st up to 6th. To downshift, close the throttle and shift down through the gears. It's more import when up shifting to keep the throttle open than it is which rpm you shift. Similar when downshifting, it more important the throttle is closed than is the speed or rpm of the engine. This is all pretty easy when track riding, if you are going to use the quick shifter out of a corner into the straight you want to go as fast as quickly as you can, full open the throttle and at close to top rpm upshift and keep it going until it is time to slow down. Same when approaching a turn, throttle off because now we need to slow down, and slam the gears down until the right gear for that turn.

I'm not always (actually these days only about 10% of the time am I full on or full off) so I use the quick shifter kind of like an automatic or paddle shift and it is not designed for that. So, I'm not at full throttle and may not even be much of a load and it upshifts smoothly. When down shifting I may not be fully closed, but close to it probably and it down shifts smoothly. But for some riders it doesn't work as smooth or not at all. I don't know if it is an adjustment thing or something else causing the difference like between me and @Oramac. I'm just happy mine works pretty good. I use the quick shifter about 80% of the time upshifting and around 50% of the time downshifting. When I picked the bike up in May of 2020 I didn't think I would even use it, but I tried it and ended up using it more and more. Maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age?!?!?
 

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We rarely get to see this, but you sound like the perfect person, in the perfect mindset to make this bike change.

When you get it, take time to understand what a this quick shifter is supposed to be good for, and what it doesn't do very well. Not every quick shifter...this one, as specific to the bike. There's a clue in it's name. Also, the fact that they don't call it an auto shift conversion kit.
 
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Hi everyone,

I am thinking about upgrading to a 1000cc Ninja 1000 SX for sport touring and would love some input on this.
Anyone has any experience moving from a 400 to a 1000 cc? What are your thoughts? Worth doing or waste of money?
I am a little scared of the power bump. I ride responsibly but sometimes in a straight I do like to open it a little. Although I enjoy 0-60 significantly more than 60-90 if you know what I mean [Torque lover, not HP].

---- Context ----

I live in upstate New York, so we have all seasons here.

I have been riding my 2018 Ninja 400 ABS (first bike) for 1.5 years now and absolutely love the bike. I have done around 4,5k miles, 2000+ miles of which is just riding around nature and mountains and at least 500 miles on the racetrack. I also ride a lot with my girlfriend or others on the back for little excursions, but it gets uncomfortable for us a little quickly and the power starts really becoming an issue when going 2 up. I am 6'2" and 220 lbs so generally on the taller/ heavier side. I have heard it said that you get your first bike as a good all-rounder and then figure out what kind of riding you want to do and then get the bike to do it. I am now sure I want to focus more on the leisurely/ meditative/ nature focused riding, maybe also a bit more with a passenger or even some longer range/ highway touring. Stereotypical 40-year old dad riding essentially in spirit, even though I am 24.

The two main reasons I see for going from an essentially perfect bike for beginners like the N400 to something like the N1000SX is mainly:
  • The suspension and adjustability. Because I am heavy and I like to take friends on the bike, suspension non-adjustability is becoming an issue. The N1k has essentially fully adjustable suspension. Having better suspension on the rougher roads would also help with comfort and ride length, at least in my mind. when pushing 2 hours, general body fatigue does begin to set in on the N400, which I can only do so much on with preload adjustment and tire pressures.
  • Power: Again, passing on the highway is tricky or going 2-up significantly reduces torque conversion on the N400 for me and makes the experience less enjoyable. I'd like something that nearly pulls as fast when I am on it as when I have another person with me (I know this doesn't make sense physics etc but you know what I mean).
  • Heated Grips, Quick shifter, Safety Features / IMU(!), Better wind protection from touring windscreen, better headlights (!) and saddle bags, are also all relevant in my calculation because they become important for the type of sport/adventure riding I want to do, which on the N400 is a little tricky with (headlights not good!!!).

It's a big investment, but I can see myself using this for many years to come. Thoughts?
I answered earlier on the N400 forum!
Copy and paste job.

I have a 2011 N1K, and it is a blast to ride.
It is a little cramped for long 2 up runs, if that is high priority on your list.
I am 48, and can do 250-300 mile days without too much pain.
If you plan to ride long distance with a passenger, get a top box or backrest for them.
If you plan to do much longer days than 300 miles(especially 2 up), a Concours 14 is the ticket for spirited sport touring.
Our 400s were in the shop this past weekend for the ABS recall, so I took the C-14 and my wife rode the N1k for the first time.
We rode probably 150 miles.
She couldn't believe how different the two bikes handled.
She commented that she never had to think about putting the bike where she wanted it in the corner on the 400.
The N1k was a different story. The power was eye opening for her too.
 

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Hi everyone,

I am thinking about upgrading to a 1000cc Ninja 1000 SX for sport touring and would love some input on this.
Anyone has any experience moving from a 400 to a 1000 cc? What are your thoughts? Worth doing or waste of money?
I am a little scared of the power bump. I ride responsibly but sometimes in a straight I do like to open it a little. Although I enjoy 0-60 significantly more than 60-90 if you know what I mean [Torque lover, not HP].

---- Context ----

I live in upstate New York, so we have all seasons here.

I have been riding my 2018 Ninja 400 ABS (first bike) for 1.5 years now and absolutely love the bike. I have done around 4,5k miles, 2000+ miles of which is just riding around nature and mountains and at least 500 miles on the racetrack. I also ride a lot with my girlfriend or others on the back for little excursions, but it gets uncomfortable for us a little quickly and the power starts really becoming an issue when going 2 up. I am 6'2" and 220 lbs so generally on the taller/ heavier side. I have heard it said that you get your first bike as a good all-rounder and then figure out what kind of riding you want to do and then get the bike to do it. I am now sure I want to focus more on the leisurely/ meditative/ nature focused riding, maybe also a bit more with a passenger or even some longer range/ highway touring. Stereotypical 40-year old dad riding essentially in spirit, even though I am 24.

The two main reasons I see for going from an essentially perfect bike for beginners like the N400 to something like the N1000SX is mainly:
  • The suspension and adjustability. Because I am heavy and I like to take friends on the bike, suspension non-adjustability is becoming an issue. The N1k has essentially fully adjustable suspension. Having better suspension on the rougher roads would also help with comfort and ride length, at least in my mind. when pushing 2 hours, general body fatigue does begin to set in on the N400, which I can only do so much on with preload adjustment and tire pressures.
  • Power: Again, passing on the highway is tricky or going 2-up significantly reduces torque conversion on the N400 for me and makes the experience less enjoyable. I'd like something that nearly pulls as fast when I am on it as when I have another person with me (I know this doesn't make sense physics etc but you know what I mean).
  • Heated Grips, Quick shifter, Safety Features / IMU(!), Better wind protection from touring windscreen, better headlights (!) and saddle bags, are also all relevant in my calculation because they become important for the type of sport/adventure riding I want to do, which on the N400 is a little tricky with (headlights not good!!!).

It's a big investment, but I can see myself using this for many years to come. Thoughts?
I think its a natural progression from the 400 Ninja to a 1000. I went from a '89 FZR600 (75hp? probably comparable to a modern 400) to a '02 GSX-R1000 (a much more extreme upgrade) and then to a 2014 Ninja 1000SX in March 2021 (previous owner only had 10k miles on it). Most of my riding was really sport touring anyway and I wanted something with ABS (the newer bikes have the IMU). I added heated grips, they don't do much...the National Cycle large/tall windscreen does more to keep me warm.....that and winter gloves (and a cheap Firstgear colder weather suit) keep me comfortable at highway speeds down to 45). I've put 6000 miles on it since then. I can't say the headlights are great, mine have been upgraded to LEDs and they are OK. Not great at night. I may go back to stock, but I think they sucked too.

What is "a lot" when you say you ride with a passenger? And how long do you ride for? My wife doesn't ride with me, so I chose the 1000SX over the FJR1300/Concours category of bikes. If she was interested in weekend trips, I would have gotten a bigger, more touring oriented bike. For me, it has the looks of a sportbike but the comfort of a touring bike (esp. when I ride 300 miles to Long Island with the hard bags and tailbag) and fits what I do perfectly. Power is not a problem, it is slightly slower and doesn't handle as well as a sportbike, but I only really notice when I merge on the highway (the previous owner had a larger front sprocket installed to drop the revs on the highway and I'm sure that is part of the difference). It's a more relaxed ride; more isolated from the road, more comfortable, but still sporty enough to be hugely fun at semi-legal speeds on public roads.

I'm in Baldwinsville (outside of Syracuse), and I'm 6' 1" and about 195, so we're in similar climates and size.
 

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I don't know if it is an adjustment thing or something else causing the difference like between me and @Oramac.
Maybe it's adjustment. I don't know. I know I can shift buttery smooth using the clutch, but the QS is choppy and clunky unless I'm full-throttle or no-throttle. And even then the Quick-Down part is still less-smooth than if I just rev match it myself.

Anyway, I forgot to mention that I'm 6'4", 220 myself. I don't ever ride 2 up as the wife has her own bike, but other than that I can say the N1K is quite comfortable. I'm even one of the few who likes the OEM seat.
 

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With your experience and with where you want to go with your riding, I wouldn't think twice about the upgrade.

After a lot of research, I went directly to the N1K in 2021 after not riding for almost 40 years. I read all the stuff about learning on a smaller bike and there's definitely validity to that argument, but for me the N1K was the right decision.

First, it's only 517 lbs wet so it's light enough to move around yet not so small or lacking in power that you'll want to upgrade in a year. Second it has all the safety electronics that if you choose to keep these on, will prevent you from doing wheelies or spinning the wheels or locking up the brakes in a curve. Third, it has all the power you could want for spirited riding and for touring if you plan to load up the bike with a lot of gear. The damn bike pulls hard in 5th and 6th gear and I can't tell you how reassuring that is when you're at speed and need to get out of a sketchy traffic situation fast. Fourth, it is a very competent touring bike.

Finally and probably most important, I'm an adult....I'm not going to do something stupid with my right wrist that would risk my life. I respect the power that is available in the N1K and have taken the past year to grow into the bike as my own riding skills improve.

Had I bought a 400cc as a first bike I know I would be looking to trade up now. The N1K is so much more capable for what you're looking to do. So for you, once again I wouldn't think twice about the N1K.
 

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Anyway, I forgot to mention that I'm 6'4", 220 myself. I don't ever ride 2 up as the wife has her own bike, but other than that I can say the N1K is quite comfortable. I'm even one of the few who likes the OEM seat.
I'm in that group, the OEM seat if fine for me, the rear seat for the wife is a different issue, but we got that worked out and she is tickled pink!
 

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So. . . I had a similar journey, although I was not a new rider. I had stopped riding for several years due to a health condition. When I was better and got back into riding, I started with a Ninja 300. Great little bike, actually stuck big Givi side bags on it with a soft tailpack and used it as a touring bike for a couple of years. Then I fell in love with a 2018 N1K. I still have my 300. I love them both and ride both bikes regularly local. The N1K I also use for touring. The N1K power is a huge jump up from the 300 (and I am guessing will be from the 400), but totally controllable - just be smart with your wrist. I am fairly small, 5'5" 125# and I find this bike to be very easy and enjoyable to ride. Very well mannered and capable, but the "wahoo" factor is there when you want it. From what you post, I think you will find the N1K a great fit. Accessories I have added to mine: gel seat, heated grips, throttle lock, Puig windshield, crash cage, clearwater lights.
 
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I have had my 2022 Ninja 1000SX for six months now and love it. I have spent years touring on my 1996 GPz 1100, a fantastic sport touring machine. However, it is very heavy, even without panniers, and I find the biggest difference with the NSX is the light weight. This bike is very easy to handle and I highly recommend it for sport touring. I took it down to Baja last month with the Kawi side bags and my old Givi 42 liter bag on top of the Givi frame. The Kawi bags have an odd shape and do not mount very easily. However, when locked in they are very solid and aerodynamic. The fly-by-wire throttle took a few hundred miles to get used to, but I got used to it soon enough, and of course there is no replacement for displacement. The stock passenger seat may be an issue for the missus, but I haven't had a passenger yet to give an opinion. The 1000SX is a great bike, very reasonably priced, and highly recommended for sport touring (and everything else!).
 

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I have had my 2022 Ninja 1000SX for six months now and love it. I have spent years touring on my 1996 GPz 1100, a fantastic sport touring machine. However, it is very heavy, even without panniers, and I find the biggest difference with the NSX is the light weight. This bike is very easy to handle and I highly recommend it for sport touring. I took it down to Baja last month with the Kawi side bags and my old Givi 42 liter bag on top of the Givi frame. The Kawi bags have an odd shape and do not mount very easily. However, when locked in they are very solid and aerodynamic. The fly-by-wire throttle took a few hundred miles to get used to, but I got used to it soon enough, and of course there is no replacement for displacement. The stock passenger seat may be an issue for the missus, but I haven't had a passenger yet to give an opinion. The 1000SX is a great bike, very reasonably priced, and highly recommended for sport touring (and everything else!).
I think the N1K is a fine 2nd bike. I've ridden the ninja 400 quite a bit, having bought one for my son a few years back. The fundamentals are the same, once you get used to a heavier bike. I also owned an SV650, which many consider an excellent starter or 2nd bike. The N1k is FAR more ore forgiving IMO. Less wheelie happy, better handling, more manageable power. Much more refined and smooth. Just learn to roll into the throttle in first gear and enjoy a nice upgrade.
 
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